The first VB for DV 2020 has been released. The numbers are lower than my predictions in every region – but people should not panic or worry about that – it simply shows the amount of effort they had put into closing out DV2019 and the numbers will rise over the coming months.
Those that are current, and have forms processed early enough, they can expect their 2NL in about 1 to 2 weeks from now. This is the same every month. VB from the 8th to the 15th of each month, and 2NLs in the second half of the month. For the last few months there have been 2NLs sent in two main batches, some early (around the 15th to 20th) and then some in the later part of the month. I would expect the 2NLs to have all been sent by the end of this month. The end of the month really means THE END OF THE MONTH. Please don’t waste my time later this month asking about 2NLs. Please. They can be sent right up until the last day of the month.
To those new to looking at VBs, let me explain what the “except” XXX country means – and you can also read this post on how to read the visa bulletin.
Processing is spread out over the full year. You can see the progress of the two previous years in this post about basic questions. However, some countries have a high number of selectees and those selectees are concentrated in the lower case numbers. For various reasons, mainly to do with embassy capacity, KCC slow down certain countries as compared to the region. So – in Africa, any case with a case number shown as under the new number can be interviewed but for cases from Egypt, that number is lower. That isn’t a big problem, it just “slows down” those countries a little more than the rest of the region. Since selectees from those countries all have lower case numbers, this slowing down does not present any risk. It does not (at this point) mean they won’t allow all selectees an interview from those countries.
To understand why some countries get lower case numbers, read this article about the lottery draw process.