The “December” visa bulletin has been published. It concerns the case numbers eligible for January interviews.

For those that are current, and have forms processed early enough, they can expect their 2NL in about 1 to 2  weeks from now. I know I am going to get a lot of people who will ask me this exact question – so let me say that again. 2NLs will be sent in about one or two weeks time.

It is possible that some people will be current for January interviews, but will not be scheduled in January because they submitted late, or there is a processing backlog that causes a delay. December  interviews were based mainly on cases submitted up to mid June. I expect the January interviews to be allocated to cases submitted up to (roughly) mid July. That is an educated guess, we will be able to confirm that when the 2NLs start to come out.

To those new to looking at VBs, let me explain what the “except” XXX country means (for Iran Nepal, Egypt and Ethiopia).

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 of 13500 can be interviewed but for cases from Egypt or Ethiopia, 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.

Read this link if you are unsure how to read the visa bulletin.


Now, I am sure I am also going to get asked about the presidential election that was held a few hours ago. Staggeringly, Trump won. He has been very vocal about some, frankly, very misinformed policies he would like to enact. People will be fearful that the DV program will be cancelled immediately. It won’t be. It is run by laws, not presidential whim. The president cannot act in a unilateral way. So – whilst there has been a desire by some to reform immigration for years, that process cannot happen overnight. Therefore DV2017 and DV2018 will both go ahead unaffected. My guess is that DV2019 will also, because that lottery starts just a few months after Trump will come to power and there would not be any time to change the laws by that time. So the earliest change possible to the DV program is for the DV2020  year – and even that is not clear. So for now, nothing changes regarding the DV program.