****UPDATE – please read to the end to see who is affected****
So – in the last week to two weeks people from EU and AF (and some signs of OC region selectees receiving the same warning). regions are starting to receive notices as shown below. The notice is being sent to people who had interviews prior to the present month, and were placed on AP for any reason.
“The Congressionally-mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available up to 55,000 diversity visas (DV) each year, drawn from random selection among all entries, to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The Department of State in Washington informed U.S. consular sections worldwide to halt processing DV cases whose initialappointment was scheduled prior to July 2018 .
We regret at this moment we are unable to continue processing of your DV 2018 application, however in September 2018 please check the visa bulletin(https://travel.state.gov/contel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html) for information regarding DV visa number availability. Visa application and associated fees cannot be refunded. In September 2018 we will review all DV 2018 case files and return passports and original civil documents through the courier service.
Selectees for DV 2018 who did not receive a visa may enroll again for the DV 2020 program in the fall of 2018.
Immigrant Visa Unit
U.S. Embassy London”
The explanation is this.
First, we need to understand how visas are allocated – so I am going to describe a hypothetical situation. When KCC schedule cases for interview (CP not AOS), they pre-allocate a visa for each person on the case. So – a family of 5 would have 5 visas allocated. If an embassy had 4 interviews scheduled with a total headcount of (for example) 20, they would have 20 visas to account for. During the month, let’s say they approve two cases, place one case on AP and refuse one case.
10 visas of the 20 are approved, 5 are refused and 5 on AP. At the end of that month, the embassy must send back the unused visas, so that they “account for” all 20 visas allocated – 10 approved, 10 returned to KCC. If another case from a previous month was cleared on AP for a family of 3, the embassy might use 3 of the 10 visas to be returned, and return the remaining 7 OR they might return the 10 visas and ask KCC to reallocate 3 visas to the clearing AP family of 3. That reallocation process takes time, and involves communication between KCC and the embassy.
So – now we understand how that works, we can understand how the message above might happen.
Let’s take AF region to start with.
KCC (with the Visa Office) scheduled nearly 2200 interviews for August – those interviews haven’t started yet. From Xarthisius’ CEAC data we can see that 13500 visas were issued up to July 19th – it will be higher by now, but we need people to scrape the data to know the numbers. But in any case – take the 13500, or call it 14000, and add the AF scheduled interviews for August – that would be around 19000. Assume they have another 4000 people scheduled in September (1800 – 2000 cases), and we would seem to be at the quota. However, of the 5000 people scheduled in August, there will be no shows, refusals and AP cases. Those allocated visas will be returned to the pool at the end of August, so there is a chance for people to get visas allocated in September (from August interviews) or in August (from July interviews).
Even with all that, I think there will be a shortfall under the quota in AF region. Therefore, AF selectees told they have to wait for a visa to become available may have a decent chance of getting a visa.
KCC are acting like visas will run out because they have to assume all people interviewed will be approved. That won’t happen, so there will be a shortfall in the end in AF region. The question is whether they have time to re-allocate the visas. The unused visas from August interviews can be reallocated by KCC, but the September unused visas can only be used by the embassy for its own cases from previous months.
EU has a similar story – but the numbers are tighter. Therefore it is much more likely in EU region that cases will miss out. NOT cases scheduled already for August and September, but cases clearing AP, and perhaps cases on adjustment of status. Cases that enter AP during August could be impacted if the AP continues to September. Cases that enter AP in September are unaffected because their cases would time out anyway if not completed by September 30.
Cases on adjustment of status are similar to AP, in that they don’t have an allocated visa. So – AOS cases are also at risk.
The same might happen in other regions too (with the exception of Asia, I believe) but I don’t know for sure. Overall, the number of visas issued globally will not reach the 50,000 level. But because processing was so slow this year, there are too many interviews that have been left until too late in the year. I will write another article explaining why the processing has been so slow this year.
PLEASE. Before you ask for explanations about your region, please read the example about AF region. The same concept applies to all regions. FURTHERMORE, do not ask me about XXXX country. This is not at the country level, this is about regional quotas.
About the CEAC data. This data gives us important understanding of the process, and the remaining visas. Not enough people are doing the scraping, so we have not had an update for a while. Please go to The scraping site and give some of your time to scrape the numbers.
Who is affected?
- Cases from AS region should not be affected since their region is not going to reach the quota. So – exclude AS region from the following comments.
- Cases scheduled for August CP interviews are not affected if their case is approved by the end of August.
- Cases scheduled for September interviews are not affected at all, because their cases cannot continue processing after September anyway.
- Cases that are already in AP from any previous month up to and including July are affected.
- Cases still going through the AOS process are affected
Questions I am being asked:
Q: Does this mean it is over for cases affected?
A: NO! There is a risk to the affected cases, but that does not mean ALL the affected cases will not get visas. Some will. Some won’t. I cannot tell you about *your* case. YOu have to wait and see.
Q: Can any DV2018 case be approved after September 30th?
A: NO – under no circumstances.
Q: Why is there a difference for different regions?
A: Each region has its own quota.
AF is NOT near it’s quota, but KCC are “assuming” all scheduled cases will be approved. There are nearly 10000 people scheduled in August and September. THOUSANDS of those 10000 won’t be approved – hence there will be a shortfall. The unused visas from August will be returned to KCC at the end of August, and re-allocated in September – but we don’t know whether there will be enough of those to satisfy all remaining cases by then. Same thing will happen with unused visas from July interviews – but there are a LOT less of those because fewer cases were scheduled in July.
EU is very near it’s quota already, and and there are not many interviews scheduled. Success rate in EU is higher than AF, so the quota will be met.
AS is nowhere near its quota and has few interviews scheduled, so quota should NOT be a problem for AS. The visas are only allocated to AOS cases at the end of the process (drawn down from a system called IVAMS), and I am assuming (hoping) that the system is smart enough to be able to see the numbers available by region.
OC and SA are near the quota and have enough cases scheduled to reach or nearly reach the quota.