The “new” travel ban (discussed on this earlier post) is likely to cause problems to selectees from each of the selected countries. In my earlier article I have listed the selectee counts for the countries impacted by the ban. I have been asked by some to consider the impact of the ban on the regions, and how it will affect the process for other cases in the regions. If the ban stays in force and slows down or destroys the chance for most or all of the affected selectees from  the banned countries, what will that do to the regional case number progression. It’s a somewhat callous question given the horrible shock to the affected selectees, but it’s not unreasonable for others to wonder what will be the impact to the other countries.

As I have discussed, KCC raised the number of selectees in DV2018 – and unlike DV2016 and DV2017 we are likely to see some high case numbers not become current. This is explained in this post about DV2018 selectee numbers. But the affect of the over selection varies by region and the impact of the ban varies also.

Africa region has three countries affected by the ban (Libya, Somalia, Chad) which represents less than 1000 of the over 49,000 selectees chosen in that region in DV2018. So – because this is a small proportion of the overall regional selectee count, there is little or no impact to the region as a whole.

Asia region however is different. The ban affects selectees from 4 countries in the region, Iran, Yemen, Syria and the lone selectee from North Korea). In total there are over 6000 selectees affected in a region that has 16000 selectees in total. So – there is a huge difference to the impact as compared to Africa. The remaining 10,000 unaffected selectees might have less competition for the available visas – so that could change the outcome for Asia.

However, I am being careful to not predict that Asia can now go current at the moment. I’m being careful because of two things.

1. We don’t know if this ban will be challenged and will survive. As I have mentioned in my article about the ban, the new order is worded in a much smarter way. They have described, for each country, the rationale behind the ban. If Trump and his team had never mentioned “Muslim ban” and simply presented this – it would have been much harder to attack. So – the question is whether the courts will allow some lawsuits to connect the first ban with this, or whether they treat this as a totally new (and therefore more reasonable) order. It is too early to know the answer to that. It is conceivable that the ban stays in force all the way through DV2018 OR the ban might be weakened or removed. WE simply don’t know.
2. We also don’t know whether KCC will hold back visa bulletin progress in order to protect the position of the Iranian, Syrian and Yemeni selectees. We have seen them do something like that before – although recent experience in background checking has meant that selectees from those countries (particularly Iranians) who are interviewed in the second half of the year have high chance of being placed on AP and very small chance of clearing AP in time – so KCC may be more pragmatic about their approach nowadays.

Both those factors are realistic possibilities and impossible to predict. And BOTH would be very impactful, so “wait and see” and a conservative approach is the only “smart” answer at this time.