As most of you already know the DV2020 selectee numbers were released this morning. As I was analyzing the numbers I created a video that explained my analysis and ideas about the numbers but I also wanted to explain with an article which is easier to translate – so here goes.
Just as last year, the “August” visa bulletin contained the selectee numbers per country for DV2020. Please do have a look if you want to see selectees per country. The announcement of the selectees gave a total of 83,884 selectees. That number INCLUDES derivatives – meaning a family of four is 4 of the 83,884. Since a principal winner is the only one that gets a case number, the case number count is less than the selectee count. That is normal.
Since the results were released in May, we have been seeing some VERY high case numbers reported in all regions – and that meant that this year was different in some way to previous years. It really meant one of two things:
Possibility 1: Either there were a massive number of selectees for the year (meaning people with high case numbers would miss out).
Possibility 2: There were a “normal number of selectees but with a lot more HOLES in the numbers for some reason.
We now KNOW that the answer is Possibility 2. Let me explain.
What are holes? Well they are gaps between actual case numbers. So we could for example see the following sequence for a region like this:
2020AF1, 2020AF4, 2020AF5 , 2020AF7, 2020AF8 , 2020AF10
That would mean there are “holes at number 2, 3, 6, and 9. That would be a holes rate of 4 out of 10 (40%), or sometimes described as a density rate of 6 out of 10 (60%).
The holes are created during the draw process. You can read my article about holes theory here, but put simply, cases are numbered consecutively to start with but some cases are immediately disqualified before being notified that they are winners. The reasons for the disqualification vary, but could be bad photos, fraudulent entries and so on. Those people simply see the “not selected” message – the same as every other non selectee case.
Holes are always within the case numbers, but the amount of holes varies by region, and in fact varies by country. So – a country that has high agent activity, high fraud levels can probably expect to see high number of cases disqualified in a typical year – so that country would over contribute to the hole count per region. Because they are holes though we cannot prove which country the holes came from.
There is also a second reason for holes. Some countries have tremendously high number of entries within a given region. In some cases KCC deliberately cutoff that country during the draw process. So – for example, in Asia, Nepal and Iran usually account for about 80% of the entries for the whole region. So – at low number ranges we see Nepal and Iran would get about 80% of the cases between them, and as soon as they hit some artificial limit imposed by the people conducting the draw, we see a huge jump in holes, and a reduction in case density. This can be easily seen in this data from DV2018:
The two arrows show where the density dropped as Nepal and Iran became limited. The blue color represents holes – each vertical bar representing 100 case numbers. So – you can see the holes rate had been less than 10% and then at just above case number 7000 the holes rate jumped to around 70% or more. That is a good visualization of the effect of a country restriction during the draw process. Nepal and Iran are normally restricted each year – and Africa has several countries, as does Europe. I have described this in previous years and identified the countries.
So – now, hopefully you understand what holes are – so back to DV2020. By performing some simple math we can take the selectee numbers announced and figure out roughly how many cases there are per region, and by using some assumed highest case numbers we can estimate the holes rate.
So – if the selectee number had been very high (like 125,000 selectees or more). We would have instantly known this was an overselected year. BUT since the numbers are low we need to consider why we are seeing high case numbers and low selectee numbers.
Here is my spreadsheet with some rough calculations. I have shown how I worked out these numbers in my video I posted today, which you can see here.
So – in the spreadsheet above the selectee count is the official number, released today. The derivative rate is the average number of people on each case number (guessed, based on previous years). There is then a column labeled cases which is the official selectee number divided by the derivative rate. Then taking the “reported” highest case numbers I have heard we can deduce what holes or density rate we have in DV2020.
Taking a simple example, or OC region – I estimate 835 cases, and there are case numbers up to about 3000. So – if the 835 cases are spread over 3000 numbers that is a density of about 28% (holes rate of 72%). To put that in perspective OC would normally have a holes rate of about 7%. So – this means that numbers that sound high, are not as high as you think.
For YEARS I have been frustrated trying to make people understand that the case number is not that important, but rather how many people are in front of you. I have always told people to NOT compare one year to another in terms of VB progress, because each year is different. As the OC example shows the numbers sound higher this year – but selectee numbers are actually quite low. So this year, finally, people will understand my point. An OC case of 2000 in this year is “safer” than a case number 1000 in previous recent years.
Now, in other regions we see the same thing. Density of each region is low. This should give hope to people with high case numbers and whilst it is too early to be certain of what will happen in DV2020, it is clear that VB progress will be faster than recent years and we are likely to see high case numbers get interviews.
Now – we do not know what has caused the extra holes this year. I believe it must be a new security process (for instance identifying duplicate entries or fraud), or perhaps they have made good on their promise to disqualify cases where people used photos from a previous years DV lottery entry. I don’t know for sure. I am CERTAIN though that there is some new factor being used to create more holes prior to the May announcement.
I do NOT want to answer hundreds of times this same question – “is my XXXX number safe”. PLEASE understand how tiring that can be. So – read this next bit very carefully.
You have a high case number if your number is within the “top” 20% or so compared to the highest case numbers reported (shown above). So – if the reported data is correct these would be the “high number” ranges.
|AF – 60000 and above.|
|AS – 24000 and above|
|EU – 45000 and above|
|OC – 2400 and above|
|SA – 3100 and above.|
If your case number is UNDER these numbers DO NOT ask me “am I safe”. You will annoy me. Really. I waste a huge amount of time with this type of question and it is very frustrating. If you ask me this, I will point you to this article, if you are lucky. If you are not lucky you can expect some choice words…
If your case number is in those high number ranges, you might have “some” risk. I don’t know how much risk. I cannot predict it yet. I don’t think we will know until summer 2020 – so please understand I cannot be certain. You”. simply have to “wait and see”.
It is possible that some regions will go current (meaning ALL numbers can be interviewed) – but again – please don’t ask me to guess “chances” of that – these questions are really frustrating and a waste of my time. Everyone needs to understand that a lot of things can happen over the course of a year. You are all supposed to be adults, and with a High school education – so don’t act like needy children please.
Now – the other questions I tend to get are “when will I be interviewed. That is also a waste of my time. I am not some sort of guessing 8 ball game. Just exercise some common sense and some patience. The processing is spread of the year. If your case number is low, you could be interviewed in the early months. If your case number is mid range it will be later. If your case number is in the high ranges, it will be June/July of next year before you know your fate. SO WAIT.
I have also been asked if these numbers now make a second draw possible. Well maybe. Just maybe. If that happens, a few (very few) more cases would be added in about September/October.
September 13, 2019 at 21:10
Hello Simon..please can visa bulletins be released during weekend’s? Or we’ll only see Oct visa bulletins on Monday?
September 17, 2019 at 16:52
Hi Simon am Vedaste from Rwanda what bout VB it was very late, why?
September 17, 2019 at 20:46
I don’t know.
September 23, 2019 at 09:05
Hi having read your article I am relieved since my case is 2020AF54***.
1.when do you think I will be scheduled for interview
2.what does current mean in visa bulletin
3.since case numbers are apportion to regions is 2020AF54*** higher or lower.
September 23, 2019 at 19:28
1. Mid 2020
2. Please read the FAQ.
3. It’s fairly high.
November 17, 2019 at 19:46
Hi Simon, my case number is AS299XX, please tell me when do you think I will be scheduled for interview ?
November 18, 2019 at 21:13
October 18, 2019 at 18:23
Hi, thank you for your good work, please, please, with this evolution of the vellet buelletin visa I think that your jump theory in the case number is checked and the vb are going to evolve, you have another prediction for the dv2020. Do you think that Africa and others will be current in May 2020?thank you.
October 19, 2019 at 03:31
Everything is fine. Relax.
December 23, 2019 at 11:37
hello Brit, do you still think that eu region 45k and under are safe? thank you
December 23, 2019 at 18:01
November 17, 2019 at 17:05
Hello thank you for that it’s very enlightening.. Am a 2020 winner and I hope that I’ll get the chance of getting a visa… My question is kind of silly but am having anxiety over this… I have seen in other people’s comments you have told them that if they submit the ds260 and documents they need to confirm with Kcc and my question is that…is it a must I confirm when I’ve sent my email with documents ??please reply
November 18, 2019 at 21:09
No it is not a must.
December 7, 2019 at 05:40
Thank you for the great effort you doing here
I just want to your kind feedback for my below inquires regarding my case number 2020AF00035XXX
1- is my case number consider as lower number and is it save ?
2- when do you think I will be schedule for interview ?
Thanks in advance
December 7, 2019 at 06:02
1. Medium. It’s safe.
2. Around March
January 14, 2020 at 01:13
Based on this article i now have a fair understanding. Thank you so much
My CN is AF71***.
I will just wait and see. Fingers crossed.
February 12, 2020 at 20:36
Regarding the statement “That number INCLUDES derivatives – meaning a family of four is 4 of the 83,884” we have contradiction.
Firstly, 83,844 applicants chosen from 23,182,554 (with derivatives). It is know that number of qualified entries equal to 14,722,798. Therefore, 83,844 applicants represents by 53,273 qualified entries (a mathematical proportion states that 83,844 / 53,273 = 123,182,554 / 14,722,798 ). The diversity lottery makes available up to 55,000 permanent resident visas. If we assume that each of 53,273 applicant will apply to the visa without derivative and successfully pass the interview (respond rate = 100% and approved rate = 100%) the maximum amount of visas issued would be 53,273 which is less than 55,000. In fact, the number of visa issued under the assumption is less than 51,000. In that scenario we have that the Kentucky Consular Center underestimates the number of people applying for a visa. That’s the contradiction.
Secondly, we have the statement from August-2019 Visa Bulletin “Since it is likely that some of the persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, this larger figure should insure that all DV-2020 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2020”. The number 83,884 is not a large figure with compare to 55,000 visas to be issued. It gives the rate of 1.53 only (83,844 divided by 55,000). However, if we assume that the number 83,844 represents the number of original entries without derivates then the number with derivatives comes as 132,084 (a mathematical proportion states that 132,084 / 83,844 = 123,182,554 / 4,722,798 ). In this case, we have the rate of 2,40 (132,084 divided by 55,000) which could be a large figure in compare with 55,000 visas to be issued.
Thirdly, 55,000 divide by 132,084 gives us 42% which is very good response rate for the DV Lottery Program in general.
In conclusion, we can observe that the number 83,884 represents the number of main applicants and in other words the number of winners from original 14,722,798 qualified entries.
Please, comment my reasoning.
February 12, 2020 at 22:01
LOL – you’re funny. You assume there is a contradiction rather than assume you have misunderstood.
1. Each applicant (selectee or derivative) that is issued a visa is counted toward the 55k.
2. Again. You are confused.
3. Oh my – now you are just performing daft arithmetic.
In conclusion we can observe you simply misunderstood.
August 3, 2020 at 17:31
Hi Simon thank you for helping people lm dv winner 2021 my husband and my son are with me l mean the same case number and its As32000 my son will turn 21 in september even cspa will not protect him because my case number is high and May be the interview will be in Augest or september in 2021so what can l do please help
August 3, 2020 at 22:33
Your assessment is correct. You will most likely not be able to include your son – there is no way to get around that. It will take years to sponsor him, so you should consider this to decide whether to proceed or not.
August 28, 2020 at 12:24
Am a dv winner 2021. I tried submitting my Ds 260 form buh anytime i click on the sign and submit… It tells me my case number is wrong… Buh it was the same case number i use to log in at the Ceac website…
My case number is AF60000+
August 28, 2020 at 19:57
Remove the leading zeros.
May 16, 2023 at 15:38
My brother has won dv lottery this year but I have seen a huge Case number such as AS32XXX ! Simon this is about 2024 DV program and I have seen you posting a video about High numbers , my brother is from Srilanka and can you tell me will there be a chance ?
May 16, 2023 at 16:45
In the video linked below I explain why it is too soon to answer that question.