US District Court Judge Amit Mehta has issued an order reserving a total of 7,395 diversity visas that were set to expire on Thursday, the last day of the US government’s 2021 fiscal year.
In the last-minute order issued on Thursday, judge Amit reserved 6,914 diversity visas for 22,203 plaintiffs in Goodluck v Biden and consolidated lawsuits.
He also reserved 481 diversity visas for DV-2021 plaintiffs in a lawsuit known as Goh, which is not consolidated with Goodluck vs Biden.
The order provides a huge reprieve to thousands of FY-2021 Diversity Visa Lottery winners whose immigration paths would have been extinguished by the Biden administration’s inaction. 23,853 applicants who are yet to be issued DV-2021 visas can now keep their hopes alive as they chase down the 7,395 visas reserved by Judge Amit.
Earlier this week, US District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ordered the State Department to reserve 966 DV-2021 visas beyond Thursday’s midnight deadline.
If the Biden administration does not successfully appeal the orders by the two judges, 8,361 DV-2021 visas could be issued.
The Goodluck lawsuit named President Joseph Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services US Department of State Julie Stufft, and Acting Director of the Kentucky Consular Center Morgan Miles as the respondents.
Plaintiffs in the case challenged the Department of State’s continued policies, procedures, and practices which suspended the processing of their immigrant visa applications.
Attorneys for DV-2021 selected plaintiffs have since served the Biden administration with a Litigation Hold to prevent the end of fiscal year destruction of records, files, and documents pertaining to pending DV-2021 immigrant visa applications.