I have thousands of people reading my blog. I try to warn people what to expect in the visa bulletins – but still people seem surprised when the Visa Bulletin goes slow and I get flooded with people panicking with perfectly safe case numbers. I even get people asking “am I safe” with case numbers already current!


I have explained this before. I posted a few days ago explaining why the VB pace would be slow, but unless I am REALLY specific, the message gets lost. So – let me try and illustrate why the visa bulletin pace is slow.

The reason is the backlog. What does that mean? Well – not everyone submitted their DS260 as soon as they found they were winners. People tend to sit on these things – sometimes for months. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and then people wait MONTHS to submit the forms (sometimes for good reason I’m sure)! So – what does that mean. Well – we know it has been taking about 3 months on average to process the forms. So if someone went current in October but only submitted their forms in August, their processing would have meant they could not have been scheduled until November or December (for January or February interviews. That case would have been part of the backlog – meaning a case already current, but scheduled late because of delayed submission.

I posted about this a few days ago explaining this backlog would be a reason for slow VB progress. Let’s take AF region as an example.  As I mentioned in that post, the current response rate for cases up to 17200 (the AF number last month) was just under 38%. Only 38% of the cases under 17200 (adjusted for Ethiopia) has been scheduled. I expect by the end of the year the full response rate to be about the same as DV2015 – which reached 61%. The difference of 23% will close over the next few months.

So – let’s put some numbers on it. Let’s assume the response rate will reach the 61% in a reducing curve. Something like 7% this month, 5% next month, then 4% the month after and so on. So – the 38% would “mature” over time to 61%.

Why does that affect VB progress?

Well KCC have to decide how many interviews can be scheduled in any given month. Let’s assume they wanted 1250 to 1300 interviews (we’ll be able to confirm that number in a couple of weeks when the 2NLs go out).

Under 17200 there are 12618 cases. 7% of those cases would have been ready already (according to my assumption) but the DS260s were not processed in time for last month. So – that means the 7% backlog cases would produce 883 cases ready for interview. That is 883 of the 12500/1300. KCC would then calculate how many numbers to increase the VB by for the month of March. They would have needed a further 350/400 cases at a new response rate of 45% (38% plus 7% – just a guess right now). The difference between  17200 and 18700 was 883 cases – and 45% of those would have yielded 384 cases ready for interview. That would have meant a total number of interviews of 1267 – which represents about 2500 people.

That is roughly what happened – but I will know for sure with the 2NL data in the CEAC file later this month.


I hope that explains things for people…