We have many DV2020 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.

Please read the ground rules at the bottom of this page.

Current Status of the ESC page

For the first few days each year the performance of the system is bad. Too many people are checking, the site gets overwhelmed and crashes. As of today, it seems to be behaving better most of the time – BUT it could still crash or be sluggish.

The site is accurately providing results. It is not broken for basic checking. However, the “Forgot Confirmation Number link is broken. It takes your info and bounces back to the start when you submit. So – if you have not got your details from the entry last year, you will have to wait until they fix that functionality. I have NO IDEA when that will be. You have to just wait. I have received MANY requests to recover confirmation codes for people, I have NO WAY of doing that, so your emails are being ignored.

Next, as usual, I have already had many people who swear they have followed instructions and the system won’t find their result. Every single case I have been sent so far that I have check I was able to get the result first time. That means people are not paying attention. The most common ways are entering the whole name (not just the lastname before the comma), or they mix up letters/numbers in the confirmation code. The system prompts people about the latter, but people ignore that, and assume the system is broken. It is not broken. YOU are making a mistake. The links below will help both with the checking AND with accessing the DS260 for winners.

However, I do want to urge people to NOT rush to fill out the DS260. There is no advantage to rushing, and many of you can actually cause yourself a problem by submitting a DS260 without thinking it through. So – wait. Read below and take your time.

Here are two links to help those still not able to check their entry:
http://britsimonsays.com/faq/checking-esc-page-check-without-mistakes/

And for those that cannot submit their DS260
http://britsimonsays.com/faq/ds260-case-number-doesnt-match-case-number/

And those that cannot access their DS260 because of invalid immigrant case number message click this link

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 2020. 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. In addition there was a change to the process at the beginning of this year about ubmitting documents to KCC AFTER the DS260. So – please be careful.

The actual processing time of the DS260 is quite short – probably 3 to 4 weeks. From 2018, KCC managed to prioritize the way they process DS260s to ensure DS260s submitted for lower case numbers are processed before higher case numbers that will wait anyway 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?

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.

Is my number safe?

At this time we are already seeing some VERY high case numbers being quoted, these high numbers are FAR beyond the numbers that we have come to consider as safe numbers. So there can only be two explanations of that.

  1. KCC have selected FAR too many people and high case numbers will not get interviewed. That has happened before, and is somewhat “normal” which is why being selected is not a guarantee of getting a Green Card.
  2. There are more holes this year because KCC implemented some new technology/rule. This is a possible, but probably over optimistic idea. As I mentioned in my last article the case numbers are not consecutive. So – it is possible to have a massive increase in holes over previous years. But until we see the selectee numbers we will not know how many holes there are.

The point is, if point 2 is not correct (and I tend to believe it is not), then this year will see cutoffs at the end of the year so selectees with high case numbers will miss out. Again, until we see the selectee numbers we cannot say for sure what is high, or what is safe. Please understand I cannot answer the “am I safe” question for many of you.

When will interviews start and how will I be told of my interview date?

No DV2020 interviews will happen before October 2019. DV2020 interviews will continue until September 30th 2020. 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 DV2020 will go out in mid/late August. That will be for cases that have been processed AND are current for October, AND have submitted their documents. 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. Every month.

“My case number is XXXX when will I be scheduled?”

Oh man. These questions are tiring. I really expect people to use some thought process about this, and if you can’t do that, then asking me to think for you is not going to be warmly welcomed by me. I have made available more than enough information to get an idea of how scheduling works, but remember, cases are scheduled according to ALL the following three things.

  1. The case number. No case will EVER be scheduled until the case number is ready.
  2. DS260 submission. Until the DS260 is submitted AND PROCESSED, you will not be scheduled.
  3. Submitted documents to KCC (new process). Until your documents are submitted to KCC you will not be processed. Read about the new procedure here.

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?

In some years it is possible that there would be a small second draw around September/October. However, it would only be a small number of cases – so chances of being in that selection are very small. However, given the high case numbers we are seeing, there is almost no chance of a second draw for DV2020.

Please learn to be self sufficient about this point. 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 are published (in the July or 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 DV2020 CEAC data until January 2020. In the meantime, you can see excellent visualizations of the DV2018 and 2019 data at the site maintained by a smart guy call Xarthisius. The site illustrates well the density, response rate and so on, which are things you will hear me explain (and can read about on my site).

How many visas can be issued for DV2020? How about XXX country?

According to the published information, there are 50,000 visas available globally. However, the visas are allocated through a quota system to each region. They are NOT allocated by country. However, no one country can receive more than 7% of the global allocation. – so regions have an allocation of the 50,000 global quota. This is explained in more detail here.

Can DV2019 be stopped by Trump/Republicans/Aliens?

This was fully detailed in this post from August 2017.  Since then, Trump and the Republicans have continued to achieve almost nothing, and there has been no credible progress toward immigration law changes. Please read that article, and don’t ask me the same questions again until an actual real law is passed.


GROUND RULES for BritSimonSays.com

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.

  1. Read the DV lottery guide. It includes a link to my guide on how to complete the DS260, an overall rough idea of the process and so on.
  2. READ the FAQ (frequently asked questions). If you ask me a question that is covered in the FAQ, you are wasting my time. Please help me help you and others that need help
  3. Learn how to use the search feature and translation features of this site.
  4. Post your questions in English. Like many of you, I am multilingual but English is a common language – and most Americans ONLY speak English, and mostly, not very well 😉
  5. If asking multiple questions, number your questions and consider how I can answer the question. Consider how I can answer with a simple yes or no or short answer – you will find I ALWAYS answer questions like that, because you considered how to make the answer easy for me to give. Give me enough detail to answer the question without making me read about your life history for 10 minutes. I do ignore some rambling questions that send me to sleep…
  6. Do NOT post “are you sure” type questions – I simply HATE that. It is a huge waste of my time to have to deal with that type of follow up. Read my answer 10 times if you need, but unless you are CONVINCED I misunderstood or answered incorrectly, don’t ask me the same thing I just answered.
  7. 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.
  8. 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, but I am able to jump to the thread if you use reply.
  9. 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.
  10. Tell the truth. Don’t lie to me. I hate it – and it is pointless. This process requires honesty. So do I.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 for that and I am too busy. I will not hesitate to delete messages I find annoying or damaging to other people’s chances. Some people are amazed when I do that – but 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.
  13. This space reserved for any other rules I think of, whenever I think of them.