US Department of State have just published the report for 2015, which includes the numbers by country of visas issued under the DV lottery. This is interesting to confirm the accuracy of the CEAC data extract that I publish, and also to compare to predictions of quota and to explain what happened with the processing.
So first the numbers, summarized by region.
The numbers shown are for CP (Consular Processing – cases processed outside of the USA) and the AOS (Adjustment of Status – processed inside the USA). The total column gives totals for the regions and then the global total of 49,377. The final column is a calculation of the quota based on the number achieved for the EU region and the formula that sets the regional quotas (INA 203(c)). That final column means that is EU was allowed 19711, then AF quota for example was 21845 (which was not met – as we can see).
So – what does this mean. Well Africa and Asia regions did not reach their quotas. Visa slots were wasted in those two regions. Why did this happen – well I have two explanations.
For Africa, there were many “no show”
cases. In these cases the selectee completed the DS260, so KCC scheduled an interview, but the selectee did not show up for the interview. The fact that the DS260 was introduced in DV2015 probably had something to do with this. In previous years the forms were paper based and would have been sent by mail or courier. For some, particularly in Africa, the cost/hassle of dealing with paper based forms would have been enough to put some off completing the forms. Once the process was moved to the DS260, it seems more people submitted the forms, but more were no shows.
KCC seemed unable or unwilling to accept this was leading to a shortfall, and therefore the visas issued was less than they could have achieved. This shortfall also caused me to be confident that they would reach at least 55000 for the last VB, but I assumed that KCC would see the shortfall developing as I had and would do something about it. In the end they probably saw the shortfall, but were not able to write off the no shows fast enough to reclaim those spaces.
The “wasted” 2000+ visas would have taken 6000 to 8000 cases numbers to fulfill – so we might have seen a final cutoff near to 60000. Alas, that did not happen.
In Asia, there was also a shortfall. In that case I think USDoS and KCC were expecting Iranian AP cases to clear faster, OR they took the decision to hold the spaces open for the Iranian selectees under AP. In the end Nepal took the number they were expected to take (3370) and Iran took 2661. Rest of Asia could have taken more and the AS final case number could have been over 10000 IF visas had been taken from the Iranian AP cases not approved. But that would have been a double blow for Iranian selectees that already have the worst AP situation among all the countries.
Other interesting stats to look at is the conversion rate from selectees to visas issued. I have discussed before the league table on how likely each embassy is to approve a case. Egypt remains one of the easier embassies and nearly 3500 Egyptians were issued.
At the other end of the scale Ghana has a horrific conversion rate from selectee to visa issued. 526 successful out of 3381 selected. Benin has a similar low success rate. These sickening results are due to corrupt agents, poor standards of documentation and selectees that seem to believe the rules are somehow “flexible”. I am sure that some of the selectees in Benin and Ghana were actually Nigerians looking for a way around the country exclusion.
If you would like to see the data it can be found here.