We have many DV2019 selectees with very basic questions. Let me try and address the most frequent ones here in the hope that people will read this. If you ask a question and I give you a link to this page, it is to indicate that your question can be answered by reading this page and using some common sense. Please use the links in the title at the top of this page for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the DV lottery guide. There is LOTS of information available on my site – so a look through the FAQ and guide will take care of most questions.
First, some ground rules. I don’t work for the government, I don’t get paid for this. I work for a living and I sleep sometimes. So – I expect people to respect my time. That means the following “rules” exist on my site.
- Read the DV lottery guide. It includes a guide on how to complete the DS260, rough idea of the process and so on.
- READ the FAQ (frequently asked questions). If you ask me a question that is covered in the FAQ, you are wasting my time.
- Learn how to use the search feature and translation features of this site.
- Post your questions in English.
- If asking multiple questions, number your questions and consider how I can answer the question. Give me enough detail to answer the question without making me read about your life history for 10 minutes.
- Post your question once and wait for a reply. Sometimes your post won’t show up on the public page until I approve it. That doesn’t mean you should post the same question 5 more times. Just wait.
- If following up to a question you already asked – use “REPLY” to keep the questions in context. I see an administrators view of the questions – I don’t always see that one question is close to your previous question.
- Don’t expect me to know everything about life in all the countries around the world. You may not have left country A – but you should consider that the world does not all work the same way as country A.
- Tell the truth. Don’t lie to me. I hate it – and it is pointless. This process requires honesty. So do I.
- Keep your data private. Your case number should be quoted with region and year, but you don’t need to give me, or anyone else, a precise number. Give a range by “X-ing out” the last few digits. So – if your number is 2019AF000012345, you can quote your number as 2019AF12XXX. That tells me you are about the 12000 to 13000 range in AF region in 2019.
- Every year I get a few characters that drive me nuts. There is the person that asks every single question that pops into their head. If someone is making use of the info here, that should not be necessary. Take some responsibility for your own case. Second I get some smartasses that get uppity with me over one thing or another. I could argue for England, I enjoy a good argument, but this isn’t the place and I am too busy. I will not hesitate to delete messages I find annoying or damaging to other people’s chances. This is my blog. If you want to argue because you think you know better, just find somewhere else to do that. I’m not interested in feeding your ego, and I don’t care if you think I am arrogant, mean, a tyrant or whatever. Really – I don’t care, so those “accusations” don’t hurt me.
- This space reserved for any other rules I think of, whenever I think of them.
First – two links to help those still not able to check their entry:
And for those that cannot submit their DS260
And those that cannot access their DS260 because of invalid immigrant case number message click this link
Now – some questions.
Is there a deadline to submit my DS260?
There is no official deadline to submit your DS260. People will continue to submit DS260s for DV2019 cases well into 2019. Submissions as late as April, May or perhaps even June of next year will still get processed in time.
How long does it take to process the DS260?
The way DS260’s are processed was changed for DV2018. It may change again, but this is my best guess as to how DV2019 processing will go.
The actual processing time of the DS260 is quite short – probably 3 to 4 weeks. From last year, KCC managed to prioritize the way they process DS260s to ensure lower case numbers are processed before higher case numbers that will wait for their case numbers to become current. This was a good change – because in previous years DS260 caused scheduling delays for many cases.
Does every DS260 take the same time to process?
No. There is some background checks required on each case that vary according to the situation of the selectees. The precise details of the checks are not published, but we can guess they are mainly about ensuring security of the USA. That means they communicate with agencies and foreign governments about the details you provide on the DS260. Some countries co-operate with the USA, some don’t. In countries that don’t co-operate you can expect DS260 will take longer. So, some cases are very simple, and some not so simple. If a selectee was raised in Western Europe, works in an office and has never travelled to certain high risk countries we can expect the DS260 processing (once the case is ACTUALLY processed, not queued) to be quick. If on the other hand someone has travel history around certain countries in the middle East or lists their work as “Nuclear weapons specialist”, well they can expect the US government to take longer over those checks.
So – never assume that all DS260s submitted on the same day will complete processing on the same day. There will be variations.
When will I be interviewed? Is my number safe?
Interview timing is mainly based on your case number, and where that number is ranked within each region. If you submitted your DS260 early, but have a high case number within your region, you will wait until that case number is ready to be interviewed. So – if you are case number 10000 in AS region for example you can expect a long wait before being interviewed. However regions have their own numbering, SO that same number in AF region (where the highest case number could be a lot higher) that 10000 number would be very low. So “low or high” number is relative within the region.
Just today, the DV2019 selectee numbers have been released.
These numbers are selectees. That includes derivatives.
Overall, this is a low selection year. This means it should be somewhat calmer than DV2018. It is too soon to make predictions, but at least OC and SA look much better than last year and within the realms of a sensible number of selectees.
AS region has a high number of selectees, but of course the countries affected by the travel ban will mean everyone else in Asia region will have a better chance of being current.
For AF and EU – their numbers look OK – but of course, as DV2018 has showed us – this process has some surprises – so people need to get ready to hear me say “Wait and see”. I am somewhat concerned that EU looks a bit over selected – so that could mean a cutoff being in place at the end of the year.
The timing of the interview cannot be precisely predicted. However, you can look at numbers from DV2018 in the historical numbers and see roughly where your number would have fallen last year. Based on that you can get an idea of when you will be interviewed.
There is no need to ask me if your number is low or high. Compare your number to the highest numbers here – and apply some logical thinking.
Cases are called for interview in case number order, so a low number means the case could be interviewed earlier in the process *IF* the DS260 is processed.
HOWEVER, if a selectee with a low case number submits their DS260 late, it is possible their case will not be scheduled until a later month than their case number would suggest. No case will be scheduled unless the DS260 has been processed. In the case of someone with a low number who missed their “current” month because of DS260 backlogs, their case will be scheduled once the DS260 is processed. In some cases people might actually want to use this delay to cause a later interview (for instance if someone wants to get married prior to interview).
When will interviews start and how will I be told of my interview date?
No DV2019 interviews will happen before October 2018. DV2019 interviews will continue until September 30th 2019. So stop packing your bags. It’s a long process. Interview scheduled are notified in monthly batches about 6 weeks before the interview month. The notification is called the 2NL.
When will KCC send the first 2NLs?
The first 2NLs (the interview notification) for DV2019 will go out in mid/late August. That will be for cases that have been processed AND are current for October. Then 2NLs will come in a monthly schedule, also late in each month. So – late in September for November interviews and so on.
When are the visa bulletins published?
The visa bulletins are published around the 8th to the 15th of each month. If you call KCC they will always respond that it is released on the 15th. They are not “late” until the 16th. Usually I get people lamenting “the sky is falling” and “why are they so late” around the 10th or 11th. That will happen every month – and no matter how many times I explain, people are impatient. But please understand this is very predictable – there WILL be a new VB every month, between the 8th and the 15th.
“My case number is XXXX when will I be scheduled?”
Oh man. These questions are tiring. I really expect people to use some thought process about this, and if you can’t do that, then asking me to think for you is not going to be warmly welcomed by me. I have made available more than enough information to get an idea of how scheduling works, but remember, cases are scheduled according to ALL the following three things.
- The case number. No case will EVER be scheduled until the case number is ready.
- DS260 submission. Until the DS260 is submitted AND PROCESSED, you will not be scheduled.
- Submitted documents to KCC (new process). Until your documents are submitted to KCC you will not be processed. Read about the new procedure here.
How do KCC schedule the cases?
Roughly speaking all interviews are spread out over the year, starting in October and ending the following September. KCC release numbers via the visa bulletin to say which case numbers can be interviewed. Check out this article to understand how to read the visa bulletin.
KCC will increase the number made current on each region at a pace that ensures they have enough interviews to match the embassy capacity during each month.
So – to take an example. If OC had a highest case number of 1000, we could roughly expect to see that number increase by 100 each month. It might be 75 one month and 125 the next, but you get the general idea – it is a slow progression over the year.
Will there be a second draw?
Because this is a low selection year – it is possible that there would be a small second draw around September/October. However, it will only be a small number of cases – so chances of being in that selection are very small. They might also only select more in certain regions. (Update: I don’t believe there was a second draw this year)
Please learn to be self sufficient. This site has LOTS of information. Please apply some common sense and think before asking a question.
You can look at the historical visa bulletin numbers from previous years to get an idea how things work. However, every year is different, so I would suggest only taking a look at DV2018 to try and anticipate when your number will be scheduled for interview. **Please** do that rather than asking me to predict your interview date. Use some judgment and common sense to allow me to spend my time on people that need help with more critical questions.
Selectees, cases and case numbers
OK – so there is some confusion about this – so let me cover it here.
When the selectee numbers were published in the August Visa Bulletin there is a number shown for each country within each region. That number is the number of *selectees – INCLUDING derivatives*. So – if a winner was single, that is one selectee on one case number. If the winner was married and had one child, that would count as three selectees. The global quota of visas is 50,000, so if the three person family were to be approved, that is 3 out of 50,000.
Each winner gets a case number. The derivatives are on that same case number. Each region has it’s on set of case numbers – so there can be an AF1, AF2, AS1, AS2, EU1 and EU2 ands so on. So when you tell me your case number is case number 12345 – it is meaningless. I need the year and region.
As I explain in this post about holes theory – the case numbers assigned have “holes” (or gaps between them). So – case number 2019EU20000 does NOT have 19999 cases in front of them. The number will be less. However, there may be less case numbers – but each case has the selectee and derivatives.
To understand your “place in the line”, you have to understand the density of cases, number of derivatives on each case, how many cases will respond, how many will be approved and so on. There is a lot to understand. I wrote a series of articles a couple of years ago – and all can be understood by reading those – start with density analysis, and use the links at the bottom of that article to get to the others. The analysis was specific to DV2016 – but the principles are the same.
In the first few months of the new program year we don’t have much data. In January we get access to the CEAC data and then we will understand a lot more. The CEAC data is all the case status info for every case – but again we will not have DV2019 CEAC data until January 2019. In the meantime, you can see excellent visualizations of the DV2018 data at the site maintained by a smart guy call Xarthisius. The site illustrates well the density, response rate and so on.
How many visas can be issued for DV2019?
According to the published information, there are 50,000 visas available globally. However, the visas are allocated through a quota system to each region – so regions have the following quotas, based on 50,000 global quota. This is explained in more detail here. The quotas are here (with DV2018 quotas for comparison)
AF – 21814 (21543)
EU – 18021 (18288)
AS – 7855 (7858)
OC – 785 (789)
SA – 1519 (1515)
Can DV2019 be stopped by Trump/Republicans/Aliens?
This was fully detailed in this post from August 2017. Since then, Trump and the Republicans have continued to achieve almost nothing, and there has been no credible progress toward immigration law changes. Please read that article, and don’t ask me the same questions again until an actual real law is passed.
February 18, 2020 at 22:41
I have a question for DS-260
Do I need to unlock it to add social media accounts?
Are they mandatory?
What do you suggest me? Someone else completed that form for me in my presence and he never asked my about the social media information. If yes, how can I unlock my DS-260?
want to tell you that my case number is 2020EU2XXX3
March 8, 2020 at 17:44
Hi my name is Elisa Albaro
I won and received the green card and I entered as a permanent resident for the first time on December 25th 2019 I left for Italy on January 2nd, they told me that I would have 6 months to return, but unfortunately this morning I found out that rimini (italy) has turned red and I cannot enter and leave the city for the corona virus. can I delay the departure given the situation of the viral crown? Can I freeze my visa for a period of time given the situation?
Which government office should I advise and advise to report this situation and understand if I can postpone or freeze my situation until there is an improvement in this situation? thanks a lot for any useful advice
March 8, 2020 at 18:23
The period outside the USA is 12 months. No need to do anything.
March 26, 2020 at 13:28
Hi my name is Son of God. This is my dv experience.
After 6 failed attempts the 7th was God’s time. I didn’t know completely the next step after being selected. I was happy to be selected but what next??? Then boom boom I felt on britsimonsays and Got all the knowledge and fill the Ds 260 all alone. Got my interview on 3rd September 2019 and was told to come with a i134 form . Guess what I had no relatif in the USA but God Almighty made a way. Since it was the last month I sent back the documents needed via dhl on 26th and got my Visa the last day on 30th and was the last printed Visa of dv 2019. Right now in USA thanking God and britsimonsays for the platform. You are really helping the world. Your reward may not come from those you’re helping but know that God in heaven will reward you. Continue doing it with love. God bless you again. Sorry for summarizing my experience . I had to write something here where i got helped. I will go in detail next time
March 26, 2020 at 15:05
March 26, 2020 at 22:48
Your name Son of God? Wow. Congrats man.
June 23, 2020 at 19:54
hello brian I am the winner of the green card 2019 I entered america on December 25, 2019 and then returned to Italy after two weeks on January 5 to settle some practices in Italy … but unfortunately after a month the covid exploded and everything in Italy was blocked and we were all at home. so that I can stay up to six months max one year abroad from the first time you enter America is it true? is it possible for me to return to america on 24dicembre 2020? I have read, however, that I can extend the return for two years in case of extraordinary circumstances (such as the covid) is it true can I? how can I extend my return? how can I do? unfortunately near here in germany the covid is sumenting and it is more and more often that there will be a new wave towards november december 2020 when the gren card expires. How can I protect myself?
thanks for any help you can tell me
June 23, 2020 at 20:07
You have 12 months from when you left on Jan 5.
To get 2 years you need to apply for a re-entry permit – which you can only do from within the USA
August 3, 2020 at 08:57
First of all, hello Mr. Britsimon, I would like to thank you for your good work. Let me tell you about my case. I was the winner of the dv lottery in 2018 and I didn’t get married when I filled out the dv application. Ds 260 I filled out the form because I was married and I was a 3rd year university student but I did not finished school at the time. So, I fill out the form as a diploma. I think I failed because of this reason. I’m the winner of the 2021 dv lottery again. My marriage ended in divorce and filled out the same way ds 260. I also dropped out of 4th grade, there for, when filled out the dv lottery form, I explained that I had a definition and that I had completed some university course studies. Will I have a problem with this situation? Have a good time.
August 3, 2020 at 21:26
I don’t understand any of that. Please be clear.
August 4, 2020 at 08:14
hi Britsimon sorry a bout that.
I was previously the winner of the 2018 DV Lottery. I did not get married when I filled out the DV lottery at the time, but after I received the DV lottery, I got married and filled out the ds 260 form. I was a 3rd year university student at the time and applied for my diploma because I had not finished my studies. However, I could not explain it in the interview, so I did not succeed. And now I’m the winner of the 2021 DV lottery. I am now divorced and I have a divorce certificate.
My concern now is that I have dropped out of school but I have 10 years of work experience with related. Can I be denied a visa because of this? My other question is write down the name of surname missed one spelling the one I saw when I filled out the DV. I filled out the DS 260 proper way. Is this a problem? Thanks a lot.
August 5, 2020 at 00:35
1. If you meet the requirements, you’ll be OK.
September 17, 2020 at 17:08
good morning simon, first of all thanks for your help. my name is elisa i won the green card 2019 i entered america on 25 december 2019 and left to return to italy on 2 january 2020 because i had to finish closing my business in italy. I was supposed to leave for America in March but unfortunately the virus arrived in Italy and everything was blocked. now from what i understand maybe i have the possibility to return to america within 12 months of my last exit (i hope that the covid is considered a good reason not to be back immediately). I have read that there will be a second wave of pandemic in December until March 2021 and I am very afraid because in America I would be alone and without a home and work and I am afraid to return with the pandemic in action. I read that there is the possibility of staying out even for two years .. but I should have done the documents when I was still in America, I tried to write all the usics (official site immigration) several times but they don’t answer me like in the embassy, I tried to write to pro lawyers good but they give me paid attorney addresses and I don’t have much money now.
I ask you can I stay since the covid problem more than 12 months (due to the extraordinary situation) until the covid is over in March 2021?
do you know an association or a pro bono lawyer who can answer this question?
thank you very much for your great help and for your useful advice
September 17, 2020 at 19:58
If you are absent for more than 12 months you can either try to re-enter and see what happens at the border OR apply to the local embassy for an SB-1 visa, which is a one time returning resident visa. You should be able to do that without a lawyer, and whilst approval is not guaranteed, they are aware of the pandemic so approval is very likely given the circumstances.
October 15, 2021 at 13:49
Hi Mr. Simon, You have produced lot of information indeed. I keep on reading them (I think I will be doing that for many more months). Each has new information. Thank you for putting your valuable time for this.
October 22, 2021 at 21:34
What do you mean prioritization of DV cases?
October 22, 2021 at 22:20