The “April” visa bulletin has been published. It concerns the case numbers eligible for May interviews. As you can see above all regions have gone current EXCEPT for the four countries identified (see below). It’s a big (and very welcome) surprise to see current so early in the year. What current means is that KCC have determined that there are enough visa slots to satisfy remaining demand for visas. So – all cases are “ready” for interviews (apart from those 4 countries listed individually).
This is particularly good news for the high numbers in SA region, as I was fearing there would not be enough visas for the demand in that region. Essentially it must mean that there has been a low response rate for the 2nd draw cases, particularly in that region. For other regions there may have been low response from the second draw (which would make sense as some people would not have checked). There is also a chance that the EO is having some impact also. If KCC believe they will have a lot of rescheduling work to do later (when the ban is lifted), they probably want to do as much as possible earlier in the year, so that later months will be about clearing up the cases from the 6 impacted countries. That seems like a wise precaution. Well done KCC!
For those that are current, and have forms processed early enough, they can expect their 2NL in about 1 to 2 weeks from now. I know I am going to get a lot of people who will ask me this exact question – so let me say that again. 2NLs will be sent in about one or two weeks time – that means the latter part of the month. The schedule is that VBs are published between the 8th and the 15th of each month, and 2NLs go out from the 15th to the end of the month (most typically around the 20th to 24th). This is the same every month, so there is no need to ask me.
As we know the 2NLs for last month were delayed, so that might cause a delay of the 2NLs for this month. KCC must still have a lot of work to do in dealing with the rescheduling of interviews previously cancelled.
It is possible that some people will be current for May interviews, but will not be scheduled in May because they submitted late, or there is a processing backlog that causes a delay. April interviews were based mainly on cases submitted up to early October.
To those new to looking at VBs, let me explain what the “except” XXX country means (for Iran Nepal, Egypt and Ethiopia).
Processing is spread out over the full year. You can see the progress of the two previous years in this post about basic questions. However, some countries have a high number of selectees and those selectees are concentrated in the lower case numbers. For various reasons, mainly to do with embassy capacity, KCC slow down certain countries as compared to the region. So – in Africa, any case with a case number shown as under the new number can be interviewed but for cases from Egypt or Ethiopia, that number is lower. That isn’t a big problem, it just “slows down” those countries a little more than the rest of the region. Since selectees from those countries all have lower case numbers, this slowing down does not present any risk. It does not (at this point) mean they won’t allow all selectees an interview from those countries.
To understand why some countries get lower case numbers, read this article about the lottery draw process.
Read this link if you are unsure how to read the visa bulletin.