OK. I have only been awake a couple of hours, and I am getting a lot of questions already expecting answers. I would need more time to be precise, but already from the data there are some obvious points. Let me summarize some of the points fairly quickly.
First, I will provide a quick spreadsheet that has some important data points. The per region max case numbers assigned are there, plus the number of actual cases (i.e. taking out the holes). Then I input the selectees announced per region to get a “starting derivative rate”. Remember, each actual case number includes any derivatives on that case, and each person (including derivatives) is counted toward the quota as visas are issued. Because of marriages, births and so on, the final derivative rate is always higher than the starting derivative rate.
I also took a quick look at how many cases were current in DV2018. Why? Well, this is a quick (but not 100% accurate) way to assess how many cases were needed last year to fill the quota. I say it’s not 100% accurate because it does not take into account country differences. Just as there is a different derivative rate per region, there is also a different derivative rate per country. Additionally people within each country do not have the same education, motivation, financial ability and so on to go through the process. So – if we took 100 winners from France for example and 100 from Uzbekistan, the number of issued visas would not be the same. So – estimating at the regional level does not adequately take into account the mix of winners, and the percentage of winners from each country within a region can vary year to year depending on many factors. So – 15000 EU cases in DV2019 may not yield the same result as 15000 EU cases from DV2018. The same can be said for all regions.
Another factor that makes predictions hard is the changing political and economic landscape both in the USA and abroad. The DV process can be affected by a great many things. For example, Trump introduced the travel ban. That affected AS region immensely since many AS region DV selectees were suddenly banned. If the travel ban continues, AS region will go current – BUT if the ban were to be lifted (and I have no reason to say it will), then numbers would change. Similarly if a country were to suddenly be involved in political turmoil or war, that might take that country out of the picture and could affect regional outcomes. Finally, new DV processing procedures like the one recently implemented for documents have an affect. It remains to be seen how those procedures will impact the lottery. So – there is a difference between the mathematical calculations of how many people can get current, and the actual reality. If you really want an accurate prediction, wait until the final VB is released in July.
Now, every year when I give predictions I warn people to be careful. People ignore my comments and just remember the numbers. They ignore my cautions and later whine that “you said something and it turned out different”. So for the 1000th time of me saying this (and knowing that some people will ignore my warnings and later act like little children) – BE CAREFUL with assumptions and predictions. One additional word of caution. We might have some inaccuracy in the CEAC data due to the way it was collected. I believe it isn’t too significant, but again, just another reason to be careful.
So – comments for each region.
Africa did not hit it’s quota last year, and the quota for DV2019 is slightly increased. There are less cases in AF region this year than went current last year. So – mathmatically and theoretically, AF region should be able to be current (all numbers able to get an interview). I am a little concerned about how AF cases will deal with the new document procedure. Generally speaking AF region is slow to respond to changes, meaning there are AF selectees that won’t have read about the new procedure (because they don’t read my page), and will simply wait for their 2NL that will not come. They will miss the emails asking for the documents and later complain that they were never asked for that. If that happens, AF won’t fill the quota. Conversely, the new procedure is designed to allow better processing of cases prior to the interview, hopefully to reduce the AP times we saw increased last year. That could help AF and other regions cases, but it is too soon to be sure. KCC and the embassies did an AMAZING effort at the end of the year to push through as many AP cases as possible. I’m sure they are hoping to avoid such last minute work this year.
Asia’s story is all about the travel ban. If the ban stays in place there is no way to meet the quota, and AS would go current. Looking at the data we can see that Nepal hit it’s selectee limit earlier than normal (just under 6400), and Iran numbers continue until around 11000. That has changed the density of the region, but again, the ban has such a high impact, the only question is whether the ban stays or not.
EU was allowed to exceed it’s quota by quite a margin in DV2018. We cannot be certain whether that will happen again or not. If it does, EU can probably go current – but “wait and see” will be the best approach. A lot will depend on AF region processing and whether there is a surplus of visas available to allow EU to exceed the quota. If not, the last thousand or so cases (28XXX and above) might have some reason to be concerned. There was a push toward Eastern EU countries over the last couple of years, and whilst I don’t have the data, I imagine that is the same – so I expect derivative activity and response rates etc to remain about the same as last year. The new document procedure should not be much impact in EU. I would expect people in EU to receive and respond to the new instructions, so I don’t think that will cause a significant change in the outcome.
Pretty much a done deal that OC goes current. No worries mate.
Again, I don’t expect any problems with SA region going current.
Nos os preocupéis, ¡amigos!