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Joe Biden lifts US Immigration Ban

Great news for Green Card winners: US President Joe Biden has revoked the Immigration Ban imposed by Donald Trump through Proclamation 10014. Here's what that means for the DV-2020 and DV-2021 Green Card Lottery winners!

What is Proclamation 10014 about?

In April 2020, former President Donald Trump signed the Presidential Proclamation 10014, suspending immigration to the United States. The former administration justified the measure, also known as the "Immigration Ban", by citing the Corona pandemic and the resulting crisis in the US labor market.

The provisions were then extended through the end of the year in June 2020 by Proclamation 10052. In addition, an Immigration Ban on various work visas also took effect. In January 2021, former President Trump renewed the Immigration Ban again through March 31st, 2021, with Proclamation 10131.

Biden revokes Immigration Ban

As confirmed by a White House press release dated February 24th, 2021, the Proclamations 10014 and Sections 1 of the Proclamations 10052 and 10131 have been revoked effective immediately. Accordingly, holders of valid visas may enter the United States, and Green Cards may be issued at US consulates worldwide.

However, the provisions of Proclamation 10052 and 10131 relating to nonimmigrant visas (various work, student, and tourist visas) remain in effect.

DV-2020: winners with valid visas

All winners of the DV-2020 Green Card Lottery who hold a valid immigrant visa can and should immediately enter the United States to activate their Green Card.

For them, the US Entry Ban, which applies to the Schengen Area and elsewhere, has been lifted by a general National Interest Exception (NIE).

However, we would recommend that affected DV-2020 winners obtain confirmation from the Frankfurt consulate before flying to the USA to avoid any risk. Please send a short e-mail to [email protected].

What is a NIE?

The abbreviation NIE stands for "National Interest Exception." With an NIE, people can obtain an entry permit for the USA based on urgent necessity.

Such exemptions have been granted, for example, to people working in health care or conducting research on the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, scientists, business people, investors, or professional athletes may receive an NIE if their work is of national interest to the United States.

The exception for all DV-2020 winners with valid visas now helps thousands of Diversity Visa winners activate their Green Cards in time despite Corona. They do not need to apply for an extra NIE.

Who else is affected by the Entry Ban to the USA?

There is a corona-related travel ban for the 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, China (incl. Hong Kong and Macau), and India. Only winners of the DV-2020 Green Card Lottery with a valid immigrant visa are exempt from it since Feb. 25th, 2021, through a general National Interest Exception.

Non-immigrant visa holders (meaning individuals without Green Cards) from these countries may only enter the US if they have not been in any of the affected countries for at least 14 days before entry.

Click here for detailed information on the corona-related entry ban.

DV-2020: winners whose visas have expired

Green Card winners of the DV-2020 who were issued visas that have since expired also have good cards. If you belong to this group, you will most likely still be given the opportunity to make your activation trip to the USA.

The rights of DV-2020 winners are currently protected by an order issued by US Federal Judge Amit Mehta. The order states that visa holders of the DV-2020 lottery must be given six months to make an orderly move to America.

More information on what specific steps DV-2020 winners with expired visas can do now will most likely follow in the coming days and weeks.


DV-2020: winners who did not receive visas

By law, US consulates were not allowed to issue diversity visas to DV-2020 winners after September 30th, 2020. Unfortunately, the recent order issued by US Federal Judge Mehta does not change this.

If you belong to this group of people, you will have to be patient and wait for the outcome of the "Gomez v. Trump" court case. Should the proceedings be successful, a total of 9,095 additional DV-2020 winners who have so far gone away empty-handed would still receive their interview appointment.

Gomez vs. Trump: what is at stake?

The Gomez v. Trump lawsuit was filed in summer 2020 by winners of the DV-2020 Green Card Lottery as well as applicants and sponsors of family-based and employment-based visas.

The lawsuit challenges the Trump administration's Proclamations 10014 and 10052, which effectively halted nearly all immigration to the United States.

A decision in the case is expected in April or May of this year.

Hope for DV-2021 winners

The revocation of Proclamation 10014 is also great news for the 55,000 winners of the DV-2021 Green Card Lottery. US embassies and consulates may now resume granting interview appointments to Green Card winners.

As part of the ongoing "Anunciato v. Trump" court case, a decision will still be made on whether interview appointments of DV-2021 winners can take place beyond September 30th, 2021. This is because consulates normally have a full year to issue immigrant visas to all Green Card winners in a given year.

It is feared that the period from March to September 2021 will not be sufficient to successfully complete all of the up to 55,000 petitions of DV-2021 Green Card winners. If the lawsuit is successful, immigrant visas for the past lottery are likely to be issued for the first time ever after September, 30th.

Anunciato vs. Trump: what is at stake?

The Anunciato v. Trump lawsuit was filed on November 9th, 2020, by more than 245 applicants who qualify for visas in various categories (diversity visas as well as family- and employment-based visas).

The plaintiffs seek relief as quickly as possible from all entry and immigration bans that prevent them from entering the United States and request that their applications be processed by the US authorities – even beyond September 30th, 2021, if necessary.