SAN DIEGO — A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to resume issuing diversity visas for immigrants from underrepresented countries, partially reversing a pandemic-related freeze on a wide range of immigrant and temporary visas.
The U.S. issues up to 55,000 visas a year to people from countries with low representation in the U.S., many in Africa. They are chosen from millions of applicants by lottery.
Winners who aren’t vetted for green cards at U.S. consulates lose their spots if they don’t have their visas in hand by Sept. 30 of the year they were chosen.
The State Department had issued about 12,000 diversity visas for the 2020 lottery when President Donald Trump announced the freeze in April, leaving about 43,000 winners still waiting, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said.
“To be clear, there is no statutory requirement that every available diversity visa be issued each year, ” Mehta wrote in