UPDATE: Under the Presidential Proclamation issued originally on April 22, 2020 and extended on June 24, 2020, entry to the U.S. of anyone selected in the DV-2021 lottery likely won’t be possible before January 1, 2021. Nonetheless, in the event that the entry ban is rescinded or isn’t extended beyond December 31, 2021, DV-2021 lottery winners abroad should proceed as normal with the paperwork process to get a consular interview regardless of the entry ban.
DV-2021 visa lottery entrants can check the State Department’s website to see if they were selected in the lottery beginning on June 6, 2020. The link to do so is here.
If selected, the individual (and her/his spouse and unmarried children under age 21) would be able as of October 1, 2020 to file the forms necessary to apply for an immigrant visa abroad, or if in the U.S. already and eligible to do so, to apply to adjust status to permanent residency without leaving the U.S. The DV visa must be issued, or the adjustment to permanent resident application must be approved, by September 30, 2021, or the ability to immigrate evaporates.
Many of Maine’s immigrants, including those seeking asylum or holding other temporary statuses, register for the annual lottery in hopes of gaining permanent residency. Even if selected in the lottery and already in the U.S., they may be ineligible to apply to adjust their status in the U.S., and would instead have to request an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. This can be extremely complicated, and in many cases, will make it impossible to gain residency through the lottery despite being selected.
Should the April 22, 2020 Presidential Proclamation suspending visa issuance and entry of immigrants to the U.S. be extended into FY 2021, DV lottery winners who must apply for their immigrant visas at U.S. consulates abroad will face additional complications.
Anyone in the U.S. who is selected in the DV-2021 visa lottery should get legal advice from an experienced immigration lawyer as soon as possible, well in advance of the start of FY 2021 on October 1, 2020, to determine whether s/he will actually be able to gain residency through the lottery, and which process to follow if so.