Green Card Lottery despite Corona crisis?

It is an uncertain time, and the world is struggling to cope with the effects of the Coronavirus, although the situation is slowly returning to normality in many countries. Below you will find an overview of the impact of the Corona crisis for Green Card holders, Green Card winners and USA travelers!

Does the Green Card Lottery DV-2022 take place?

Yes, the Green Card Lottery DV-2022 will be held this year as usual. The current situation due to the Coronavirus has no effect on this!

Especially in times like these, the importance of the Green Card becomes very clear. Since Green Card holders have almost all the rights of a US citizen, they are still allowed to enter the USA even in the current crisis situation.

Therefore do not hesitate any longer! With THE AMERICAN DREAM you can already sign up now for the Green Card Lottery DV-2022. 

Were Green Card winners drawn this year despite the Corona crisis?

Yes, all participants of the last Green Card Lottery DV-2021 could breathe a sigh of relief, because the lottery draw was not affected by the current corona crisis and was simply postponed by the US authorities by one month to June 2020. If you participated in the Green Card Lottery with THE AMERICAN DREAM, we have checked your status as usual and already informed you about your result.

Restrictions in the USA due to the Coronavirus

To contain and combat the rapidly increasing number of Corona cases, the American government has decided on the following measures:

  • A ban on entry into the USA for all non-Americans who have stayed in the Schengen area, China (except Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland as well as Brasil in the last 14 days
  • Worldwide closure of all USCIS offices and Application Support Centers (for biometric data capture) to the public
  • Restriction of services and suspension of public access to many US embassies and US consulates worldwide

Does the US entry ban also apply to Green Card holders?

No, Green Card holders are not affected by the entry ban into the USA. All Legal Permanent Residents may continue to enter the USA just like US citizens, even if they have been in an area affected by the entry ban in the last 2 weeks.

Image on the entry ban due to Corona in the USA

However, you should expect extended controls on US entry and a 14-day domestic quarantine. In addition, entry is now only permitted at selected US airports that are equipped with special health centers.

Do lottery winners still receive a Green Card?

You are a winner of the DV-2020 and currently in the official Green Card application process? Then please note the following consequences:

Since not only the embassies in Berlin and Munich, but also the US Consulate in Frankfurt/Main, which is responsible for the Green Card issuance, are still closed, all scheduled interview appointments were cancelled until mid-July 2020.

Those affected will be or have been notified by the US Consulate by e-mail and/or text message. Due to the closure, no new interview appointments are currently being assigned regarding the Green Card Lottery.

Can I go on my Green Card activation trip?

Unfortunately, Green Card winners who need to complete the activation trip to the USA are currently not allowed to enter the USA, as they are not yet considered Legal Permanent Residents. Therefore, an activation trip must be postponed until the entry ban is lifted.

However, if you are close to the end of your 6-month period for the activation trip, as a DV-2020 winner you can apply for a replacement visa at the responsible US consulate due to this exceptional situation. This is possible until September 30, 2020, but should not be done until the original visa is about to expire.

Can I travel to the USA with my valid ESTA despite the entry ban?

No, ESTA holders from countries for which the entry ban has been issued are currently not allowed to enter the USA with an ESTA. Any traveler with a valid ESTA who attempts to enter the USA in violation of the imposed entry ban will not only be denied entry, but the ESTA permit will be invalidated.

Image for USA travel with ESTA

Can I apply for an ESTA despite the entry ban?

Yes, you can still apply for an ESTA for your visa-free entry into the USA despite the entry ban. Since an ESTA is usually valid for 2 years (or until the expiry of your current passport), you can still apply for an ESTA now and use it for your travels to the USA after the entry ban has been lifted. This way, you avoid any delays that may occur later due to the large number of applications after the travel ban has been suspended.

Tip: Trust our knowledge and experience and apply for an ESTA with our ESTA experts today. 

I am in the USA and my ESTA is expiring - what now?

Since 18 March 2020, there is a special regulation for ESTA travelers. Due to the closure of all USCIS offices worldwide for the public, VWP travelers who are currently in the USA with an ESTA and who cannot leave the country for a valid reason may apply to the USCIS for a status extension if their permit to stay expires in the next 14 days.

Those affected should contact the USCIS by phone: +1 800-375-5283 for further instructions. ESTA status can usually be extended for a maximum of 30 days (except in cases of serious illness). There is a strict obligation to provide evidence, for example through flight cancellations or certificates.