15 July 2011

Lawsuit over botched US Green Card lottery dismissed by federal judge

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A federal judge has dismissed the class action lawsuit filed by 36 people who had been erroneously told that they had won a US Green Card.

US immigration

The lawsuit filed by 36 people who had been wrongly told that they had won a US Green Card has been dismissed.

The 36 people filing the lawsuit were just a few of the 22,000 entrants to the US visa Green Card lottery held earlier this year, which had its results nullified due to a computer glitch. 

While the US State Department announced the results on May 1, the 'winners' were later informed that the results were cancelled as there was an error that caused the computer to select 90 per cent of the winners from the first two days of applications, as opposed to selecting them from the entire 30 day registration period as it should have done.

As a result, a redraw has been held. However, a group of the enraged 'winners' filed a lawsuit claiming that the government should recognize the original results.

In this week's court hearing, it was argued that the selection was indeed 'random' and as the 'winners' had no idea that they would be at an advantage by applying within the first two days. However the State Department argued that the results didn't represent a fair, random selection.

While Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson empathized with the people whose hopes had been dashed, she still sided with the State Department in arguing that the results had to be voided because a computer problem had caused the selection to favor certain applicants over others.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their ESTA application to the US Embassy.

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