The “August” visa bulletin has just been released, which is the final visa bulletin for DV2023. It will come as a coup de grace for some and give some light to others.

So who are the winners and losers. Well the biggest increase went to OC region, with a bit of an increase for SA region. Those two moves (particularly OC) look completely logical to me – and relate to the quota – more on that below.

AF region became current – but that region was already effectively current – this VB made only ONE single case current in the region that was not already current. No increases for any countries. That increase (affecting literally only one case) was a nod to the quota system (and regional reallocation).

For EU, the region did not move but Uzbekistan received a small bump. Hopefully some Uzbeks can make use of that increase.

In Asia, the region held at 21000 again, but Iran and Nepal got a small increase. I suspect that will help a few Nepalese cases, but the Iranian increase probably won’t help many. For Iranians, the post interview processing and existing backlogs mean this increase is largely a pointless one.

Now this VB also settles an “argument” about quotas. I have always explained that quotas are applied to the issuances. There are some that believed the regional quota as described in the INA was somehow not applied to visa issuances, and instead was only applied perhaps in the draw. This VB utterly refutes that view. If quotas are not applied, then it really means that a region such as EU or AS should have been allowed to take visas if there was embassy capacity in that region. There is CLEARLY capacity in EU, and yet, only OC and SA got bumps in the VB. Well that shows that those two regions were behind in the quotas as compared to other regions. So those two regions were given some additional help. AF was made current symbollically to demonstrate that the reallocation of visas away from AF was justified, but EU and AS had already benefitted from that reallocation whereas OC was looking like it would not even reach it’s default quota. Hence the changes we see.

So for DV2023 this is the final VB. It won’t change, this is it. I’m sure there are some that are bitterly disappointed, but hopefully they have been listening to my comments and were somewhat prepared. But it is still a blow.

So for those that became current, we will see some more 2NLs for September interviews (where embassy capacity/backlogs allow). However, as I have already said, I am not expecting a large number of 2NLs because we are very close to the global quota.

For DV2024 I had hoped we would see the selectee numbers in this VB, but it means it will be published in the next VB in about 1 month from now.

Those that are current, and have forms processed early enough, can normally expect their 2NL in the next 2 to 3 weeks from now. This is supposed to be the same every month. VB from the 8th to the 15th of each month, and 2NLs in the second half of the month. For the last few months there have been 2NLs in daily batches, but we seem to be moving to a more normal procedure where almost all the 2NLs are sent before the end of the month, with just a hadful being sent earlier this month. I would normally expect all the interview 2NLs to have all been sent by the end of this month, but we can see recently they are exceeding that to try and get as many interviews in as possible. They can be sent right up until the last day of the month, and even the first few days of the following month during exceptional times.

To those new to looking at VBs, let me explain what the “except” XXX country means – and you can also read this post on how to read the visa bulletin.

Processing is spread out over the full year. You can see the progress of the two previous years in this post about basic questions.  However, some countries have a high number of selectees and those selectees are concentrated in the lower case numbers. For various reasons, mainly to do with embassy capacity, KCC slow down certain countries as compared to the region. So, for example – in Africa, any case with a case number shown as under the new number can be interviewed but for cases from a few countries, that number is lower. That isn’t a big problem, it just “slows down” those countries a little more than the rest of the region. Since selectees from those countries all have lower case numbers, this slowing down does not present any risk. It does not (at this point) mean they won’t allow all selectees an interview from those countries.

To understand why some countries get lower case numbers, read this article about the lottery draw process.