I had an interesting question this morning from “Ilyas” who had looked at the DV data provided by Xarthisius. He calculated (correctly) that the file shows 13726 visas have been issued so far. Given that we have had 4.5 months of processing, he speculated that seemed slow progress.

Well – I have been doing this for a number of years and have old data to look back on. So – I decided to compare to data extracts I took in previous years at about this same point. So – below I give the per region numbers for the latest data file we have in DV2018, and below it, the data for February 18, 2015 (DV2015).

My issued number is out by one visa, because I excluded North America region. from both sets of data.


AF 4965 1043 1287 6301
EU 6417 537 818 5420
AS 1743 642 645 1734
SA 377 15 60 323
OC 223 30 28 255
Totals 13725 2267 2838 14033
AF 3910 397 722 5255
EU 4467 215 912 4096
AS 2119 61 888 1204
SA 385 23 62 251
OC 227 48 22 181
Totals 11108 744 2606 10987


Furthermore, here is the Visa bulletin that covered the same time period (meaning current numbers for interviews in February 2015)

AFRICA 26,000 Except:
Egypt:      12,000
Ethiopia:   15,500
ASIA 3,825
EUROPE 20,500


As we can see there are a few points to note.

  1. EU region has issued MANY more visas in DV2018 compared to DV2015, despite the fact that the DV2015 VB number was higher. This is because of the dramatically different density that I have described in recent articles.
  2. Similarly, there have been MORE visas issued in AF region this year compared to the same point in DV2015, and again, the VB number is lower this year than that year.
  3. Point 1 and 2 show why it is almost USELESS to go back and compare year to year based on VB numbers alone. That is a point I make often but seems hard to understand. Case density (along with other factors) means a number such as 30000 in one year is NOT the same as 30000 in another year.
  4. Asia pace is behind DV2015. I think that is obviously because of the travel ban impact (mainly Iran).
  5. SA and OC are roughly the same as DV2015.
  6. Looking at refused and AP numbers alongside Issued numbers shows that the embassies are very busy.
  7. Refusals are exceptionally high in AS region (10x higher than DV2015!). I assume this must be travel ban impacted cases – I would be very interested to hear from Iranians in particular as to how the embassies are processing the cases.
  8. Refusals are also somewhat higher in EU, and AF, but that is probably just in line with the increased number of cases that have been interviewed.  Again – this reminds us about density being critical.
  9. Lastly – there are more cases “ready” in DV2018 than the DV2015 comparison. Again, that is in line with additional cases (density). Those ready cases are generally future interviews, but also cases where the applicant didn’t show up for the interview, or the interview happened but the embassy has not updated CEAC yet.


Now I posted all this information to provide a pulse check to all as well as a response to a specific question. I am seeing “normal” progression at this point in the year, even though the VB numbers are generally lower.

I will be studying the data as usual, and will post updates as I see trends.