OK – now that we have the 2NLs for March interviews I was able to run a CEAC extract and calculate a couple of critical metrics. The response rate and the number of interviews that were scheduled for March.
First about the response rate /backlog.
When the results were announced in may of last year, there would have been a flood of DS260 submissions in the first few months. This flood would have overwhelmed the resources of KCC, thus creating the backlog. So, for example if we imagine they could process about 1000 DS260s per week and they were getting 1500 a week in the first few months, it is easy to see how a backlog can build up. KCC process the cases in order of submission, regardless of case number or region. This means there is a waiting time that builds up – as well as the actual processing time for each case. The actual processing time varies by country, because some foreign governments have good systems and high levels of cooperation with the USA, whilst other countries have poor record keeping systems or low levels of cooperation. Selectees who come from the latter countries will take longer to process. Obviously someone may have complex work or travel history that can slow processing also. So – as I have said, two cases submitted on the same day won’t always complete processing on the same day. However, the waiting time before processing starts is the same for all cases. Whilst KCC has a backlog, there is a waiting time.
After the most recent 2NLs, I heard from some cases that were submitted in early December and got scheduled for March interviews. Now – those were unusually fast (highly cooperative countries and simple cases). There are still many cases not processed from October and November, but the fact that some were completed from December tells me that KCC is almost caught up with the backlog. A case submitted today would start processing almost immediately. That is good news – it means the backlog will have less effect in the coming months.
The speed of the response varies by region. For instance, AS region has very high and fast response rate, whilst AF region shows slow initial responses. Each region also varies in terms of how many responses they will eventually have. But I can look at the current response rate and somewhat accurately predict the response rate increase for the coming month. Because I can predict how many interviews a region will have month to month, based on previous months, this means I can calculate the number of interviews that will go to backlog cases, and therefore calculate how many cases will need new cases to be released.
I’m posting a screenshot of that calculation below, but let me say the following about my predictions for the following month. Remember this is for the VB that will be issued around Feb 10th. That VB is called the March VB, and it is for April interviews. Also – just remember – I only publish these predictions to educate people on how the process works. It doesn’t really matter whether I get these right or not – the VB will be what KCC decide, but at least people will know what to expect and might understand the process is not as mysterious as we once thought.
First, EU (and probably OC) is very likely to go current. If by some chance either of those does not go current for April interviews, they will for May interviews.
For AF region, I believe next month will see a VB of around 22000 – give or take 500. I might be slightly overestimating the backlog interviews, but we will see.
SA region will probably increase to around 900, perhaps 925.
Now, the region that I tend to get a lot of questions from… AS region. This region is harder to predict. The density and capacity of Nepal cases, plus the Iranian cases that take additional processing make it harder to be precise. Having said that, I expect Nepal to be limited at a different point to Asia as a whole again – probably around 4800 roughly. AS region will probably increase to 5500/5600.
Now also please remember – we are only 6 months in to a 12 month process. There is a long time to go so it is far to early to be predicting the final numbers and there is some uncertainty about how KCC/USCIS will handle the shortfall in EU and OC regions.
So if you ask me about YOUR number , don’t be surprised when I say – “wait and see”.
I hope that helps.