Ask anyone who has jumped out of a plane about ground rush. The effect can be unsettling, and for some, the end isn’t good.

The DV lottery is a lot like that in some years. This will be one of those years – at least for some.

Yesterday the VB for July interviews was published. Some were surprised about the AF jump (although that should not have been a surprise to those paying attention), AS region reached a high number (although I was surprised it’s didn’t go current). EU region had a horrible month (another horrible month). OC and SA are behaving in an utterly predictable way.

So what is going on?

Well, the end of the DV lottery year in over selected years (like DV2018) is always a bit unpredictable. Several times this year I have cautioned people to look back to DV2015 and what happened to AF region in particular. Over the past couple of years the lottery was underselected, so the outcome was easy to predict. So – this year, as the year gets late, people are surprised to read “wait and see” all the time, but in reality that is “normal” for over selected years.

In reality, KCC and the visa office are having to juggle a lot of balls in the air. This year has been harder than most because of new security measures, the travel ban and so on. There are many people waiting for the supreme  court decision, but time is running out for those people. However, it must be a factor for KCC/VO. Something, (probably the newish DS5535) is slowing up embassy work. At some embassies ( Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire for instance), there are many people expecting June interviews that have not been scheduled and will now be given July interviews. Now with the big jump yesterday, that gives some concern.

We can see issued numbers and progress at Xarthisius’ site – thanks to him and the people that continue to help with scraping.  Now, for those that read my update about quotas, they will have seen my discussing the quotas, and the possibility for a region to exceed the quotas (either by redistribution or by using Nacara allocation). I am NOT saying that WILL happen – just that it can happen.

AS region is massively affected by the travel ban. If the ban is not lifted Iranian and Yemeni selectees have little or no chance of getting their visas. Because of security delays, trhat might already be the case anyway – even if the ban were lifted today.

So – AS region will most likely not meet the quota. Those visas could be redistributed – if they know early enough. I think that is quite likely – but I was actually expecting AS to be current yesterday to enable that decision.

So, redistribution from AS could help other regions.

AF region might also underfill.  In fact – DV2015 is an example of that. In that year, AF region was underfilled (somewhat deliberately) and EU region benefitted. In fact, in DV2015 there were AF numbers up to 90,000. They cutoff the region at 50,000 and left AF under quota. The reasoning can only be that AF could not meet it’s quota because of embassy capacity and processing delays, so in that case, EU was able to continue taking visas above it’s quota.

So – if KCC/VO decided that should happen again – what would they have to do.

Well first they would have to give AF region the best chance possible. AF region has been slow to use it’s visas, many no shows, refusals, and delays. To try and get the region to take as many visas as possible, they would have a big jump and try and schedule as many interviews as possible (they did that yesterday). The quieter embassies would be able to handle some more cases, other embassies might not. In some cases we would see appointments being pushed to later months (we are already seeing that and I suspect we will see more soon). So – the conditions for a redistribution from AF are being created.   AF is entitled to as many visas as it can use within the quota, but if the visas cannot be used, it is better to plan to redistribute some to other regions.

Now – EU region would be the largest beneficiary of any such redistribution. Early processing has gone very fast, issued numbers are high. If the quota is strictly enforced (and it might be), there are only about 5000 visas left and EU is issuing about 2000 per month. So – the slow down of VB pace for EU “seems” to suggest they are shooting for the basic quota. They would try and reduce the pace of issuance to make the visas last until September. That is what yesterday was about.

If there were a redistribution there could be a small benefit to OC and SA region also. SA was a beneficiary of that type of redistribution in DV2017.

Best of luck to all waiting. I was in your position and I was in an over selected year. I “get” the frustration and fear.   However, at this point we cannot be certain that they are, or are not, planning to exceed the quota. And THAT is why “wait and see” is the only sensible answer. For those of you that think I have some “inside information” and really know what is about to happen – I don’t. And to be clear, none of you do either. We can predict, and you might be right, but none of us really know.


Just a quick note – next week we will see a flood of newbies for DV-2019. Not having to answer “wait and see” 100 times a day would free up some of my time! Remember to include your year when giving your case number.