The “January” visa bulletin has been published. It concerns the case numbers eligible for February interviews.

For those that are current, and have forms processed early enough, they can expect their 2NL in about 1 to 2  weeks from now. I know I am going to get a lot of people who will ask me this exact question – so let me say that again. 2NLs will be sent in about one or two weeks time.

It is possible that some people will be current for February interviews, but will not be scheduled in February because they submitted late, or there is a processing backlog that causes a delay. January interviews were based mainly on cases submitted up to the end of June. I expected the January interviews to be allocated to cases submitted up to (roughly) mid July, so the backlog was continuing to be a larger impact than I had guessed last month. I suspect that we will see that speed up and once 2NLs are being released I am hopeful that we will see processing has reached to submissions of late July, possibly even August.

However, I have also been explaining to a number of peopel that we would see a slow down in the VB pace as time goes on because the cases that are now eligible for interview because their DS260 is processed, but were current in a previous month. Those cases take a large number of interview “slots” as the year progresses which means we see a slow down in the VB increase. This phenomenon is certainly evident in the VB this month with slow increases in each region.   This is all “normal’ – nothing to panic about. Remember this process goes on until September 2017.

To those new to looking at VBs, let me explain what the “except” XXX country means (for Iran Nepal, Egypt and Ethiopia).

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 – in Africa, any case with a case number shown as under the new number can be interviewed but for cases from Egypt or Ethiopia, 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.

Read this link if you are unsure how to read the visa bulletin.