We have many DV2019 selectees with very basic questions. Let me try and address the most frequent ones here in the hope that people will read this. If you ask a question and I give you a link to this page, it is to indicate that your question can be answered by reading this page and using some common sense. Please use the links in the title at the top of this page for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the DV lottery guide. There is LOTS of information available on my site – so a look through the FAQ and guide will take care of most questions.
First, some ground rules. I don’t work for the government, I don’t get paid for this. I work for a living and I sleep sometimes. So – I expect people to respect my time. That means the following “rules” exist on my site.
- Read the DV lottery guide. It includes a guide on how to complete the DS260, rough idea of the process and so on.
- READ the FAQ (frequently asked questions). If you ask me a question that is covered in the FAQ, you are wasting my time.
- Learn how to use the search feature and translation features of this site.
- Post your questions in English.
- If asking multiple questions, number your questions and consider how I can answer the question. Give me enough detail to answer the question without making me read about your life history for 10 minutes.
- Post your question once and wait for a reply. Sometimes your post won’t show up on the public page until I approve it. That doesn’t mean you should post the same question 5 more times. Just wait.
- If following up to a question you already asked – use “REPLY” to keep the questions in context. I see an administrators view of the questions – I don’t always see that one question is close to your previous question.
- Don’t expect me to know everything about life in all the countries around the world. You may not have left country A – but you should consider that the world does not all work the same way as country A.
- Tell the truth. Don’t lie to me. I hate it – and it is pointless. This process requires honesty. So do I.
- Keep your data private. Your case number should be quoted with region and year, but you don’t need to give me, or anyone else, a precise number. Give a range by “X-ing out” the last few digits. So – if your number is 2019AF000012345, you can quote your number as 2019AF12XXX. That tells me you are about the 12000 to 13000 range in AF region in 2019.
- Every year I get a few characters that drive me nuts. There is the person that asks every single question that pops into their head. If someone is making use of the info here, that should not be necessary. Take some responsibility for your own case. Second I get some smartasses that get uppity with me over one thing or another. I could argue for England, I enjoy a good argument, but this isn’t the place and I am too busy. I will not hesitate to delete messages I find annoying or damaging to other people’s chances. This is my blog. If you want to argue because you think you know better, just find somewhere else to do that. I’m not interested in feeding your ego, and I don’t care if you think I am arrogant, mean, a tyrant or whatever. Really – I don’t care, so those “accusations” don’t hurt me.
- This space reserved for any other rules I think of, whenever I think of them.
First – two links to help those still not able to check their entry:
And for those that cannot submit their DS260
Now – some questions.
Is there a deadline to submit my DS260?
There is no official deadline to submit your DS260. People will continue to submit DS260s for DV2019 cases well into 2019. Submissions as late as April, May or perhaps even June of next year will still get processed in time.
How long does it take to process the DS260?
The way DS260’s are processed was changed for DV2018. It may change again, but this is my best guess as to how DV2019 processing will go.
The actual processing time of the DS260 is quite short – probably 3 to 4 weeks. From last year, KCC managed to prioritize the way they process DS260s to ensure lower case numbers are processed before higher case numbers that will wait for their case numbers to become current. This was a good change – because in previous years DS260 caused scheduling delays for many cases.
Does every DS260 take the same time to process?
No. There is some background checks required on each case that vary according to the situation of the selectees. The precise details of the checks are not published, but we can guess they are mainly about ensuring security of the USA. That means they communicate with agencies and foreign governments about the details you provide on the DS260. Some countries co-operate with the USA, some don’t. In countries that don’t co-operate you can expect DS260 will take longer. So, some cases are very simple, and some not so simple. If a selectee was raised in Western Europe, works in an office and has never travelled to certain high risk countries we can expect the DS260 processing (once the case is ACTUALLY processed, not queued) to be quick. If on the other hand someone has travel history around certain countries in the middle East or lists their work as “Nuclear weapons specialist”, well they can expect the US government to take longer over those checks.
So – never assume that all DS260s submitted on the same day will complete processing on the same day. There will be variations.
When will I be interviewed? Is my number safe?
Interview timing is mainly based on your case number, and where that number is ranked within each region. If you submitted your DS260 early, but have a high case number within your region, you will wait until that case number is ready to be interviewed. So – if you are case number 10000 in AS region for example you can expect a long wait before being interviewed. However regions have their own numbering, SO that same number in AF region (where the highest case number could be a lot higher) that 10000 number would be very low. So “low or high” number is relative within the region.
Just today, the DV2019 selectee numbers have been released.
Overall, this is a low selection year. This means it should be somewhat calmer than DV2018. It is too soon to make predictions, but at least OC and SA look much better than last year and within the realms of a sensible number of selectees.
AS region has a high number of selectees, but of course the countries affected by the travel ban will mean everyone else in Asia region will have a better chance of being current.
For AF and EU – their numbers look OK – but of course, as DV2018 has showed us – this process has some surprises – so people need to get ready to hear me say “Wait and see”.
The timing of the interview cannot be precisely predicted. However, you can look at numbers from DV2018 in the historical numbers and see roughly where your number would have fallen last year. Based on that you can get an idea of when you will be interviewed.
There is no need to ask me if your number is low or high. Compare your number to the highest numbers here – and apply some logical thinking.
Cases are called for interview in case number order, so a low number means the case could be interviewed earlier in the process *IF* the DS260 is processed.
HOWEVER, if a selectee with a low case number submits their DS260 late, it is possible their case will not be scheduled until a later month than their case number would suggest. No case will be scheduled unless the DS260 has been processed. In the case of someone with a low number who missed their “current” month because of DS260 backlogs, their case will be scheduled once the DS260 is processed. In some cases people might actually want to use this delay to cause a later interview (for instance if someone wants to get married prior to interview).
When will interviews start and how will I be told of my interview date?
No DV2019 interviews will happen before October 2018. DV2019 interviews will continue until September 30th 2019. So stop packing your bags. It’s a long process. Interview scheduled are notified in monthly batches about 6 weeks before the interview month. The notification is called the 2NL.
When will KCC send the first 2NLs?
The first 2NLs (the interview notification) for DV2019 will go out in mid/late August. That will be for cases that have been processed AND are current for October. Then 2NLs will come in a monthly schedule, also late in each month. So – late in September for November interviews and so on.
When are the visa bulletins published?
The visa bulletins are published around the 8th to the 15th of each month. If you call KCC they will always respond that it is released on the 15th. They are not “late” until the 16th. Usually I get people lamenting “the sky is falling” and “why are they so late” around the 10th or 11th. That will happen every month – and no matter how many times I explain, people are impatient. But please understand this is very predictable – there WILL be a new VB every month, between the 8th and the 15th.
How do KCC schedule the cases?
Roughly speaking all interviews are spread out over the year, starting in October and ending the following September. KCC release numbers via the visa bulletin to say which case numbers can be interviewed. Check out this article to understand how to read the visa bulletin.
KCC will increase the number made current on each region at a pace that ensures they have enough interviews to match the embassy capacity during each month.
So – to take an example. If OC had a highest case number of 1000, we could roughly expect to see that number increase by 100 each month. It might be 75 one month and 125 the next, but you get the general idea – it is a slow progression over the year.
Will there be a second draw?
Because this is a low selection year – it is possible that there would be a small second draw around September/October. However, it will only be a small number of cases – so chances of being in that selection are very small. They might also only select more in certain regions.
Please learn to be self sufficient. This site has LOTS of information. Please apply some common sense and think before asking a question.
You can look at the historical visa bulletin numbers from previous years to get an idea how things work. However, every year is different, so I would suggest only taking a look at DV2018 to try and anticipate when your number will be scheduled for interview. **Please** do that rather than asking me to predict your interview date. Use some judgment and common sense to allow me to spend my time on people that need help with more critical questions.
Selectees, cases and case numbers
OK – so there is some confusion about this – so let me cover it here.
When the selectee numbers were published in the August Visa Bulletin there is a number shown for each country within each region. That number is the number of *selectees – INCLUDING derivatives*. So – if a winner was single, that is one selectee on one case number. If the winner was married and had one child, that would count as three selectees. The global quota of visas is 50,000, so if the three person family were to be approved, that is 3 out of 50,000.
Each winner gets a case number. The derivatives are on that same case number. Each region has it’s on set of case numbers – so there can be an AF1, AF2, AS1, AS2, EU1 and EU2 ands so on. So when you tell me your case number is case number 12345 – it is meaningless. I need the year and region.
As I explain in this post about holes theory – the case numbers assigned have “holes” (or gaps between them). So – case number 2019EU20000 does NOT have 19999 cases in front of them. The number will be less. However, there may be less case numbers – but each case has the selectee and derivatives.
To understand your “place in the line”, you have to understand the density of cases, number of derivatives on each case, how many cases will respond, how many will be approved and so on. There is a lot to understand. I wrote a series of articles a couple of years ago – and all can be understood by reading those – start with density analysis, and use the links at the bottom of that article to get to the others. The analysis was specific to DV2016 – but the principles are the same.
In the first few months of the new program year we don’t have much data. In January we get access to the CEAC data and then we will understand a lot more. The CEAC data is all the case status info for every case – but again we will not have DV2019 CEAC data until January 2019. In the meantime, you can see excellent visualizations of the DV2018 data at the site maintained by a smart guy call Xarthisius. The site illustrates well the density, response rate and so on.