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This lawsuit is an opportunity for DV-2021 selectees to challenge the application of the unlawful No Visa policies that were first-implemented by the Trump administration and have since been adopted by the Biden Administration. These policies include the Kentucky Consular Center’s failure to process documents submitted by DV-2021 selectees and the State Department’s prioritization of nearly every visa category above DV-2021 selectees.
We will be filing this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Deadline to participate: May 31, 2021 11:59 PST
Filing date for complaint: June 6, 2021
These are firm deadlines, as we aim to have a hearing scheduled on our forthcoming motion for preliminary injunction in July 2021.
To participate in this lawsuit, DV-2021 selectees must:
(1) have completed and submitted their DS-260, and
(2) not be named plaintiffs in any other litigation concerning their DV-2021 application.
Cost to Participate:
The attorney fee to participate as plaintiffs in the lawsuit will be $1,500 per DV-2021 selectee family (regardless of family size).
The terms by which the attorney fees are payable depends upon where the DV-2021 selectee resides:
A) For DV-2021 selectees residing Cuba, Iran, Nepal, Venezuela, Yemen, or in any country in Africa, the initial payment to participate will be $0, and the remaining balance of $1,500 will be due in three consecutive monthly installments of $500 upon the DV selectee’s entry into the US.
B) For DV-2021 selectees residing in all other countries, the initial payment to participate will be $500, and the remainder of $1,000 will be fully due upon the DV selectee’s entry into the US.
Please click the button below to sign-up for this case.
No, but you must have submitted the DS-260.
If I participate in this lawsuit, but I later believe that my visa was issued without any assistance from the lawsuit, do I still need to pay the attorney fees?
Yes. We are with you for the long haul, and we want you to be with us, too.
Are DV-2020 or DV-2022 selectees or visa applicants from any other visa category eligible to participate in this lawsuit?
No. Only DV-2021 selectees are eligible to participate.
The purpose of this lawsuit, as with all of our lawsuits, is to get your visas issued! This is important, because all plaintiffs must join the lawsuit with the understanding that the purpose is not “to win the lawsuit” in the traditional sense. For example, if the government decides that they would prefer not to fight us and instead issue visas to make the lawsuit moot, that is considered a success because we achieved the ultimate goal of the visa issuance.
At this point, our legal team is still refining the legal strategy for our complaint and motion for preliminary injunction. However, I can tell you that we will have multiple causes of action that include ultra vires, mandamus, and the Administrative Procedures Act (both for the government’s unreasonable delays, and arbitrary and capricious actions), and perhaps even a novel Administrative Procedures Act claim that hasn’t been tried in this kind of lawsuit before. In short, PP10014 may be gone, but the No Visa policies that were implemented in tandem with it continue, and the lingering effects as well as the collateral consequences of PP 10014 continue to cause irreparable harm to DV-2021 selectees.
In the short term, we want the State Department, KCC, and embassies to turn the machine back on, and put forth their best good faith efforts in order to issue visas to our named plaintiffs. Further, if by September, it is obvious that 55,000 Diversity Visas will not be issued before the end of the fiscal year, September 30, we of course aim for the remaining DV numbers to be carried over past September 30th so they can be saved and issued to our DV-2021 plaintiffs.
The deadline for joining the lawsuit is May 31 at 11:59 PM PST (California time). That deadline is in concrete and will not be extended under any circumstances. However, please keep in mind that the earlier plaintiffs join the lawsuit, the better we can integrate our plaintiffs’ facts into our arguments, which will result in a stronger and more convincing complaint. If everyone joins on May 31, we will have less time, fewer facts, and less detailed declarations to produce the best possible lawsuit. As I am sure you can agree, time is of the essence, and we appreciate all those who choose to participate early.
This litigation will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Note: there is no guarantee as to which judge we will be assigned. We cannot assume that this case will be consolidated with the Goh case, which is currently assigned to Judge Mehta. However, this assignment is not final, and Goh may be reassigned to another judge. As for our case, the assignment of our judge is unknown and will remain unknown until after the case is filed. Also, based on our experience with related cases, judge assignments may change more than once in the initial weeks of the case, before being finally assigned to a judge who will preside over the case to conclusion.
As with all lawsuits, there are no guarantees. However, shortly after the filing of the complaint, we will file motions for a preliminary injunction and for expedited discovery. The purpose of these motions is to obtain relief sooner than the typical time frame for a lawsuit, which ordinarily can last for one year or more. Considering our limited timeframe, we want to avoid the normal course of scheduling and seek relief as soon as possible.
Of course. But our first focus is getting our plaintiffs’ visas issued before the September 30 deadline. If visas are issued to all of our named plaintiffs before then, reserving visas becomes irrelevant.
No. The same plaintiff cannot bring the same cause of action in multiple lawsuits. This is considered “forum shopping” and is prohibited. All the cases mentioned have duplicative causes of action, so participation in multiple cases is not an option.
I have submitted my DS-260 and supporting documents to KCC and they still have not reviewed my case. Will this litigation help my case ?
You are not alone! The majority of DV-2021 selectees are in this same position, and that is one of the problems this lawsuit seeks to remedy. Our hope is that it will.
No, I will not personally be handling your consular processing. However, we have an experienced team of paralegals who exclusively communicate with KCC and consulates/embassies about individual files, and work with our clients to problem solve. We recognize the importance of a dedicated consular processing team because of the number of hours and support we devoted to our Mohammed and Fonjong DV-2020 plaintiffs, the majority of whom we were able to get scheduled for interviews in September. For example, we were able to coordinate the transfer of at least 50 cases from embassies who had completely suspended processing, to other embassies.
If the judge issues a positive order, will you help to transfer and schedule my case from KCC to the embassy for interview?
This is an important point. Generally, judges do not issue orders that completely grant or deny a complex motion. A favorable outcome will come in the form of a lengthy well-reasoned order that is specific as to what the legal justification for the order is, and what kind of actions the State Department will need to take. And then the State Department will interpret and implement the order. And hopefully the court will take a proactive role in overseeing the implementation of the order. It is impossible to predict what will happen after an order is issued without knowing what it says or how the State Department interprets and implements it. But we can assure you that we will do everything we can to get visas issued.
For DV selectees who reside in any Africa country, or in Cuba, Iran, Nepal, Yemen, or Venezuela, the initial fee will be $0 to join, and the $1,500 remainder will be due upon the DV selectee’s entry into the US in 3 consecutive monthly installments of $500. For DV selectees who live in all other countries, the initial fee is $500, and the remaining $1,000 fee is due upon entry into the U.S.
No. While we prefer prompt payments, we understand that circumstances may prevent you from paying the scheduled installments on time. If you are unable to pay at the scheduled time, we will work out a reasonable schedule.
What will happen if my visa application is refused and I am unable to enter the U.S.. Do I still owe the remaining balance?
The fee for all families is the same. We only charge the DV selectee. We do not charge extra fee for derivative spouse or children.
Absolutely NOT, not litigation is ever guaranteed. Plus, that is not our goal. Our goal will always be the issuance of visas to our clients.
I have a high case number, and the visa bulletin is current for my region. Could I benefit from this lawsuit?
It is unclear. We saw that happen for some DV-2020 selectees with high case numbers last September, but that year was not typical. Basically, the only way to find out is to try.
If the judge has not ruled yet and my visa is issued, do I still have to pay the remaining fees when I enter the U.S.?
Yes, you will sign a retainer agreement, a contract, promising that you will pay the remaining balance when you enter the U.S. The attorney fees due under our retainer agreement are not contingent upon the issuance of a judicial order. The fees due are contingent only upon the DV selectee’s entry into the U.S. Any belief that the visa was issued for any other reason does not change your obligation to pay the remaining fees.
Remember: the goal of our litigation is the issuance of the visas – not the issuance of a judge’s order. To reiterate, if the State Department issues you a visa that you use to enter the US, then you must pay the remainder of the attorney fees.
No. We do not plan to file a motion for class certification in this lawsuit.