I have posted a few times about how Nigeria will impact the case numbers this year – the Nigeria DV2015 case number reduction. Some people have a hard time grasping what I mean when I say that AF numbers could be lower this year. I have explained this in the holes theory posts, and an illustration about the Ethiopian numbers but perhaps I need to be more explicit about Nigeria. So – let me explain why I think the exclusion of Nigeria could reduce the highest case number processed.

As I explained in the holes theory posts, Nigeria and some other countries have or had massive numbers of entries. The rules say that all entries within a region should have the same winning chance. But if those countries with high number of entries were allowed to have the standard chance of winning, they would get very high numbers of selectees – the majority of whom would never get an interview anyway. So – USCIS have implemented a cutoff or limit during the draw process. As I mention – that is completely explained in the holes theory post.

So – let’s try and paint the picture with some real numbers. We only have limited data to go on – for instance we do not have the number of entries for 2014 – but we do have the entries for 2007-2013. In 2013 Nigeria had 1.35 entries plus derivatives of about 620k. The Selectee+derivative rate is about 1.45 for Nigeria – that rate varies by country. I think entries would have increased in 2014 but we don’t have the numbers from the DoS yet. So – let’s take the 2013 entries.

As the holes theory explains, they would have got around 25000 winning cases from that number of entries (based on the DV2013 winning percentage which was 1.84% for Africa (excluding the limited countries like Nigeria Ghana and so on). As the draw is random, those 25,000 cases would have been spread equally between all the numbers which went up to 116000 in DV2014.

So – if you divide 25000 “winners” among the 116k you find that Nigeria must have had around 215 cases per 1000 case numbers. With me so far?

In fact they were limited to about 4200 cases (plus derivatives). We know this because we know they got a total of 6043 selectees including derivatives. According to the draw process, that means those 4200 were all concentrated in the first 20k case numbers (because there would be around 215 Nigeria cases per 1000 numbers). That math is backed up by what we actually saw in DV2013 and DV2014 – you don’t find Nigerians with DV2014 cases over about 20k (there might be a handful of oddball cases, but nothing significant).

So – what does that mean for DV2015? It means that out of the first 20k, 4200 cases that would have been assigned to Nigeria are no longer there. So comparisons between 2014 and 2015 case numbers need to consider how the density has changed. If Nigerian cases are not there, the density will be higher.  Hence my earlier comment that 15500 in DV2015 is actually comparable to 20k in DV2014. That is the impact to Ethiopia right now. At 30k there will be 6k missing cases (i.e. an increase in density). So – 2015AF30XXX is roughly the same as 2014AF36XXX.

Unfortunately for Africa as a whole it means that 2014AF81100 is roughly the same as 2015AF64XXX, although the slight “real terms” increase of quota for AF (because Nigeria isn’t taking any visas) might see us with a final cutoff above 70000. However, it is highly unlikely we will see AF numbers reach the 81100 we saw in DV2014.