AOK, first off, congratulations to EU and OC that both got pretty good and even unexpectedly good numbers for the last VB. Whilst many in OC region will still have missed out, EU got within a few hundred cases of being current.
Now then, AF, AS and SA. Awful news. Horribly sad. Let’s talk about them one by one.
My first thought was like many of you I am sure, that this VB was a mistake. What could possibly be going on?
The AF number is a clear increase of 5750. This can’t be a mistake, it is deliberate. For AF I believe the CEAC database is understated, so I can see that if there are even a few hundred cases that show ready or AP when in fact they are issued, that could change the VB numbers by thousands. However, I am disappointed that KCC seem to have been ignoring the no show issue for this last VB, as the previous VB seemed to suggest they were acting to address that.
Furthermore, the late submitted DS260 backlog cases are still an issue for all regions but particularly AF. DS260 processing seems dramatically improved just recently so that people submitting their DS260s even in late May are finding themselves being processed already. Those late submissions are still taking visa spaces obviously – so that is a factor that only KCC can see at this point.
Lastly, the AS result suggest they seem to be giving existing AP cases a chance, rather than prioritizing new cases. This is a reverse of what they have done before, but in a sense it is understandable. If someone has had their interview, and clears AP in September, it is a double blow to find there are no available visas. KCC may be using this low V number to reduce the chances of that happening.
We will only know their wisdom or otherwise when we see the final annual numbers. I really hope KCC does not leave visas unused!
For Asia, this is a nightmare. Honestly – I cannot understand it beyond saying that they must be allowing for a flood of AP approvals for Iran. if the quota estimates are correct, that is the only explanation. Now, as I mention above for Africa, the priority being given to closing AP cases is a reverse of previous years, but is arguably a fairer approach.
Nepal being stopped at 7150 is not such a big surprise. Nepal seems to be heading for around 460 issued visas per 1000 cases, so anyone that has being doing the math can understand why Nepal is not increasing.
We haven’t spoken much about SA. The lack of increase for them is another big shock, again I suspect there is an understating of the CEAC data issued number. Again, time will tell.
Could these numbers change??
I remember a year ago questioning the same thing. SA in particular seemed like a mistake, so we wondered for a while whether we would see an update to the VB, either as a correction to the existing month, or a change in the following VB. Whilst that is not impossible (especially the correction to this month), it is not that likely so I would hate to give anyone the impression that they should wait for that. So – my heart would love to see that happen – but I don’t think it will.
Congratulations to those that have gone current. It is a lottery, some experience the joy of going through, some don’t. It is awful for those just now seeing the reality and I hope my comments over the past months have not increased the burden on anyone. To those that I felt were in safe positions but have missed out (life AF numbers fro 50000 to 55000 for example) I am deeply sorry. If I could change it, I would in a heartbeat, but perhaps now more people will understand my reluctance to be pinned down on the final predictions – because this process always brings surprises, some good, some bad.