So as you are all probably aware now, there was much to celebrate for DV2020 visa holders today. A lot happened in quite a short space of time. I have now had a better chance to read the order by Judge Mehta, and so let’s recap that order AND the other actions we had heard of prior to the order.
So in chronological order, the winning started earlier this week. I became aware of a case in the Netherlands where a DV2020 visa holder was about to have her visa expire on the 20th. She contacted the embassy, and she soon was told that the embassy was discussing her case with the Department of State in Washington. The embassy told her that they were working on helping all the DV2020 cases with visas issued, but particularly the cases that were expiring first. I was thrilled of course and posted a tweet about feeling positive without explanation.
I did not want to say anything further about specifics of that case in case it caused the government lawyers to step in and advise the DoS to stop that plan. For the sake of that case, and knowing how important that was, I gave no information other than the cryptic tweet. This was Wednesday early morning – the day before the hearing. The NIE was then confirmed early morning (my time) on Thursday. It granted exemption from PP10014, 10143 and the Schengen 14 day restriction. Awesome news for the lucky recipient who then got her Covid all clear test and booked her flight. I believe she has actually entered the USA this evening. Now it is important to understand this selectee had no justification to be eligible for an NIE – this was granted only because she would otherwise have lost her visa. So – it was clear the government were trying to do something.
Then in the hearing on Thursday, the government lawyers confirmed the fact that this NIE had been issued AND one other case.
On Friday the government further confirmed that they had issued other NIEs also covering cases expiring up to Feb 28th. Again – this was a clear signal that they (DoS) intended to “take care” of those people with visas issued, and were prepared to issue NIEs to ensure fair treatment of those cases.
I started a live Q&A and almost as I was starting, Curtis tweeted that Judge Mehta had issued an order as a decision from the hearing the previous day.
The order itself is EXTREMELY generous in its protection. It strikes me as a cleverly written order that really uses the powers of the court in a very wise way. The order itself can be read here. The order uses the All Writs Act to protect the visa holders from losing their standing while decisions are being made. This was a crucial part of the hearing on Thursday where Judge Mehta posed a question to the government lawyer (York) about what if he (Mehta) did nothing. He asked York for an opinion about whether the visa holders would lose standing. York seemed unprepared for the question and then incorrectly answered the question saying they would retain standing. Judge Mehta immediately countered saying he was convinced that they would lose standing (a point that Chuck Kuck later explained was decisive in assuring the win). And that belief is what has allowed Judge Mehta to protect the visa holders now. Because the court is given huge discretion to protect the status quo for people to make sure they do not lose their rights while the court makes up its mind. Awesome legal “tap dancing”.
Now – the order itself is very generous. Almost too generous – I will explain.
The order explains that visa holders normally have 6 months visa validity. Now that is actually incorrect as many of you will know – the 6 months is counted from the day of the medical, and can even be shorter than 6 months in certain medical circumstances. However, the order paints the picture that people would normally have 6 months to make an orderly move to the USA, and of course the DV2020 holders have not had that “orderly” experience due to the ban, then the extension and also the Schengen bans.
So, as I read it, the order gives visa holders 6 months to enter the USA (6 months of validity) after one of three dates – whichever date comes first.
- The day the administration revoke the 10014 ban (if that happens).
- The first day after the ban expires (currently set as March 31)
- The day that Mehta gives his final ruling in the Gomez case.
Now hold on – don’t get too excited yet. I am concerned that Mehta has written an order that is difficult to implement, and goes beyond the benefits that visa recipients would normally receive. So for that reason (fear of appeals) I think we might see a different resolution. The order itself says in the closing words that if the government continues granting NIEs the court will listen to requests to modify the order. Mehta is ensuring no one is worse off by his order, but also (I believe) opening the door for the government to continue with the NIE plan, either with or without revocation of the 10014 ban.
So – the government might find the order unpalatable, and might instead try to deal with things through NIEs (or just have the visas revoked). In that case we could see this order changed. Therefore I feel at the moment is it wise to use your existing visa by the expiry date if at all possible. I personally would not want to gamble a certainty against a possibility, even though the Judge has been extremely clever in his order.
The lawyers will have a perspective about this and I know Chuck Kuck plans to discuss this in a live session tomorrow. So – they may see things differently to my take. But the positive news is that ANY way you cut it, the war is won for the visa holders. They will be able to enter the USA, the only question remaining is when. So it is fantastic news.
Let me deal with a couple of questions I know will be asked.
Q: Can people with March expiry dates enter immediately?
A: NO. we have to wait this week to see what action the Biden administration takes on 10014 and see whether DoS need to continue to grant NIEs. So – for those with VERY early March expiry dates, you might need an NIE – but there will be time this week to figure that out. You are protected anyway.
Q: Does this help cases that expired already, perhaps earlier this month (before the 17th)?
A: Updated statement. My understanding is that visas issued from September 4 to September 30 (Gomez I) are PROTECTED under this order. BUT I don’t know yet how those cases will be helped. Patience.
Q: What about DV2020 cases that did NOT get a reissued or issued visa in September. Are they affected by this order?
A: No – those cases are not affected at all by the order and will need to wait for the final hearing & outcome in the Gomez case.
Q: Does this affect DV2021 in any way?
A: No – this is only about DV2020 visa holders. We still need to wait for the Anunciato case to move things ahead. But you can see the justice system is working and our lawyers know how to deliver a win! So remain positive.
Now then – let’s remain calm and wait to see what happens over the next few days. The government lawyers will need to work out their response and work with DoS to figure out how they can address the implementation of the order, or try and engineer a more palatable solution. But it is clear – they have to do something that pleases the DV2020 visa holders.
So – for those of you sipping endless mojitos, you are soon going to get back to work and give you liver a rest!!!
Here is my video update from today where I learned of the order LIVE on air!
February 23, 2021 at 06:17
Hey Mr. Brit, just for the clarification, will this decision affect for the visas expiring in March in a bad way. I mean now the administration can leave as it is without issuing NIE to those visas. Because there is a court decision to keep them valid.
February 23, 2021 at 14:53
Yes, there is a chance that the court order actually causes the government to not work on the NIEs. We will have to wait and see.
February 23, 2021 at 17:35
Hi Simon – thanks for this info!
You mention that further information for those with DV2020 March expiry dates will be coming this week. Do you have more clarity on when exactly this will be? Ideal situation right now would be to get an NIE, especially considering coming from Schengen and 14 day outside requirements.
February 23, 2021 at 21:05
No further clarity – we have to wait.
February 23, 2021 at 11:48
Probably nothing new for you but just in case – here is the comment from my firm’s attorney on the situation. Maybe this helps:
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an emergency injunction. The injunction preserves and extends the validity of diversity visas issued and renewed under the Court’s September 4, 2020 injunction. The decision from Judge Mehta orders that the government shall treat all diversity visas, issued in September 2020, and NOT expiring between February 17, 2021, and February 28, 2021, as preserved until:
1. A final decision is reached in the Gomez case, or
2. The rescission or expiration of Presidential Proclamation 10014. The Proclamation is set to expire on March 31, 2021, though the government has notified the court that the president could issue a rescission prior to the end of February.
Once either of these two events occur, all DV-2020 visas issued or renewed in September 2020 with an expiration date either before OR after the February window included above, will once again be valid for six months from the triggering date.
February 23, 2021 at 15:01
Yup – no new news.
February 23, 2021 at 13:28
Hi brit, everithing is good but what about dv 2021 viners.?
February 23, 2021 at 14:07
Finally the visa bulletin is out.
February 23, 2021 at 20:00
Is this order safe? I mean… I understand that you suggest to use the normal validity date. But just in case I will not have enough time for prepare my travel (14 days out of Schengen also):
1- is the Mehta order confirmed and all issued visa in September will automatically have 6 more validity month after one of the three kickoff dates?
My visa will expire on March, 28. Let’s assume I will leave in June for USA:
2- shall I request something to the embassy in order to avoid problems at the US border or the Customs will already know/apply the court order?
Thanks a lot.
February 23, 2021 at 21:14
Wait a few days and we will know more about what the government plans. You have plenty of time.
February 24, 2021 at 04:49
Hi Brit in curtis morrison tweet it says “Biden administration is opposing the briefing schedule proposed by the immigrant plaintiffs” whats it mean?
February 24, 2021 at 06:06
Lawyers being lawyers and arguing about when to have a hearing.
February 24, 2021 at 07:26
just for the clarification three types of visas issued during 4 to 30 september
1. Visa with annotation” not subject to pp10014″
2. Visa without any annotation
3.visa with anotation”subjected to pp10014″
Pl clarify these three visas and what visas are actually subjected to pp 10014
February 24, 2021 at 14:19
I personally don’t think the annotations were always correct, but it’s very simple. YOu either were a reissued visa from before April 23 (and therefore not affected by the ban), OR you were affected by the ban.
February 24, 2021 at 11:18
Hello Brit, have you successfully heard of anyone whose vise was about to expire from the 17 to 28 Feb, make it into the USA? i
February 24, 2021 at 14:28
February 24, 2021 at 11:22
Visa I mean
February 24, 2021 at 20:57
Hello BritSimon! My visa (dv 2020) expiration date on March 10.
1) What do you recommend to do?
2) I still have 6 months left, thanks to the Mehta?
February 25, 2021 at 13:49
February 24, 2021 at 23:29
My immigrants visa is about to expire on March 10, and I am trying to enter the US on March 8. In that case, do I need to ask for the NIE? Or should I wait to hear for the announcement?
I, actually asked for the NIE a day before you discussed about “Explaining Visa holders” thing, and the order was rejected by embassy. Now it is getting closer for my visa to expire, I am so scared…
February 25, 2021 at 14:00
February 24, 2021 at 23:44
February 24, 2021 at 23:46
pp10014 is gone
February 25, 2021 at 00:21
Great!!! So happy
Thank a lot to Simon, Aila and all lawyers may God bless you and your family
February 28, 2021 at 14:09
I am DV2020 visa holder and I have new baby girl was born after visa issuance. I contacted the embassy and they told me she can migrate with me with only passport and brith certificate.
I was planning to go for 1-2 weeks only then come back after few months after finalizing my staff in home country. I know that is possible for me and other family members as we have visas on our passports and the stamp on it will enable us to use during our return if we didn’t receive the green cards. but I am afraid about my little baby what the procedure will be done for her.
So here is my inquiries:
– what should I do after landing regarding to my baby girl?
– will the process for ssn and green card for her will be initialized automatically like us by CBP or I should go to some where and apply for them for her?
– can I go to to another state rather than the one that have my address which I will receive the ssn & green card? I am talking from the perspective of applying for documents or any procedures of my baby girl.
– can she travel back after landing by 1-2 weeks and when the green card received for her on my address I will manage to get it to our home country to let her travel back to US using it?
I am waiting for your advices
February 28, 2021 at 16:26
1. They will process the baby for the GC at the arrival airport.
2. You will apply for the SSN later – there is no rush for that.
3. Go anywhere.
4. If that is your plan make sure they give you a stamp in her passport.
February 28, 2021 at 21:59
Thank you Brit for your quick response. Just a clarification on last point/answer. If they give her a stamp in her passport. Will that be enough for her to travel and come back to US using the passport without visa nor green card?
March 1, 2021 at 14:33
That is the point, yes.
March 4, 2021 at 11:25
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Travel.State.Gov U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE — BUREAU of CONSULAR AFFAIRS
Travel.State.Gov > U.S. Visas News > National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland
National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland
Last Updated: March 2, 2021
On March 2, 2021, the Secretary of State rescinded the previous national interest determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for exceptions under Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10143 as related to the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland. The previous national interest determination covered certain technical experts and specialists, senior-level managers and executives, treaty-traders and investors, professional athletes, and their dependents.
The Secretary of State also made a new national interest determination covering certain travelers seeking to provide vital support for critical infrastructure. Travelers in these categories, as well as academics, students, and journalists for whom National Interest Exception (NIE) criteria has not changed, may qualify for NIEs to PP 10143 as related to the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland. No previously-issued visas or NIEs will be revoked due to the new policy. Qualified travelers who are applying for or have valid visas or ESTA authorization may travel to the United States following the procedures below even as PP 10143 remains in effect.
Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual NIE to travel. Students seeking to apply for new F-1 or M-1 visas should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate; those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be considered for an NIE to travel.
Travelers who wish to visit the United States to offer vital support to critical infrastructure sectors, as well as academics, J-1 students, and journalists who have a valid visa in the appropriate class, an ESTA authorization, or who are seeking to apply for a visa, and believe they may qualify for a National Interest Exception should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling. If a National Interest Exception is approved, they may travel on either a valid visa or ESTA authorization, as appropriate.
The Department of State also continues to grant NIEs for qualified travelers seeking to enter the United States for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security. These travelers and any others who believe their travel to be in the United States national interest should also review the website of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for instruction on how to contact them.
We appreciate the transparency and concerted efforts of our European partners and allies to combat this pandemic and welcome the EU’s reciprocal action to allow key categories of essential travel to continue.
March 4, 2021 at 23:56
Judge Mehta said there is an ability for the order to be changed for the 6 month extension. Does this still have any risk? Also has the DOS locked in implementation for expired visas entering post March 31st yet? As in are we all safe to enter within the 6 month extended period for sure?
March 5, 2021 at 17:02
No I would NOT assume the 6 months is 100% certain. Travel as soon as is possible, for your circumstances.
March 5, 2021 at 16:21
DV 2020 CASE WILL RESUME SOON, IT WILL BE SCHEDULED ALONG WITH THE DV 2021 DV WINNERS TOO
Before the revokation of P10014 there was a court hearing about the DV 2020 and the court pass a decition to revalidate the DV 2020 cases along with the DV 2021 and you guys dont need to worry about
March 5, 2021 at 18:45
Please leave the info announcements to me. Your information is misleading. The Gomez case has to be won before DV2020 cases can be scheduled.
March 6, 2021 at 13:02
Am Francis from AF had a high case number and was not yet interviewed. When is Gomez case set to be ruled? I mean the date
March 6, 2021 at 15:41
Not an actual date – but we hope for April.
March 7, 2021 at 02:22
Yes you do. But please, you must be patient.dv 2020
March 7, 2021 at 08:13
hey Simon my name is Abdul , dv2020 winner , my visa rank was current , and i sent all supporting documents to KCC , WILL I HAVE a chance to be sent to the interview , because us embassy in our country is open .
please give the answer
March 7, 2021 at 14:25
It’s not up to me.
March 8, 2021 at 08:44
what d you mean? is it possible that i am in 9095 reserved visa ,? once gomez succeed will i haave chence to be receive 2ln? case 2020AF5xxxx RWANDAN
March 8, 2021 at 14:08
You will have to wait and see.
March 11, 2021 at 15:55
On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, former President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants who pose a risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak. The proclamation was effective at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2020. It was continued by former President Trump on June 22. The proclamation was further extended on December 31, 2020 through March 31, 2021. Applicants for immigrant visas covered by the proclamation, including Diversity Visa applicants, who were not issued a visa as of April 23, 2020 are subject to the proclamation’s restrictions unless eligible for an exception. No valid visas will be revoked under this proclamation.
All DV-2021 diversity visa program applicants must be found eligible for, and obtain, their visa or adjust status by the end of fiscal year 2021 (September 30, 2021).
All DV-2022 diversity visa program applicants must be found eligible for, and obtain, their visa or adjust status by the end of fiscal year 2022 (September 30, 2022).
March 11, 2021 at 20:15
Why do you often paste these things? We can all access them.
March 13, 2021 at 18:43
Thank you for all the help you are giving to us. My wife is a dv 2020 winner and we have submitted all the required documents. We have received the “documents ready, you are ready to be scheduled” email. I just checked the status of our case on ceac site and it shows the status as “At NVC”. Does that mean, the case is not yet forwarded to the embassy. I thought when they changed all regions to current, the cases will be forwarded to the respective embassy. Please let me know if we need to check if something wrong with documents. Thank you.
March 14, 2021 at 23:10
You will be scheduled when:
1. Your case number is current.
2. Your case is ready to be scheduled.
3. Your embassy is open and accepting DV interviews.
March 16, 2021 at 11:37
I’m DV2020 winner and case no 2020AS186**.so what’s the status now?I saw CEAC data sheet some case nos after my no was in issued status with embassys like TKY,AMM.Is it happened?
March 17, 2021 at 03:03
We are waiting for the outcome of the Gomez case.
June 15, 2021 at 08:54
When can we probably expect to have a determination of the DV2020 case?
June 16, 2021 at 04:12
No one knows.