I’d like to explain some things. First, I work for a living. I am one person. I sleep about 5 or 6 hours a night. I have a family. Because of all these things I cannot answer all your questions all the time, and certain questions are a waste of my time which should be spent on answering more complex questions where people actually need help. Your impatience does not mean you *need* help. It means you need to learn patience!!!
I am being flooded by questions from people who are panicking about VB progress and asking over and over again, what about my number – is it safe or when will I get an interview. I do understand the desire to want answers, but these questions are the biggest waste of my time. I typically respond wait and see – because this process is hard to predict accurately. I have posted various explanations that people could read to understand better and calm themselves down – but people obviously aren’t doing that. So – although I don’t want to start predicting progress (because I don’t have accurate data yet, I am going to gather some information here and illustrate some points.
So let me start by pointing out some useful articles you should read.
In this earlier post about DV2018 selectee numbers I have explained why this year seems to be overselected and what case numbers I currently consider to be “safe ranges”. If your number is below those safe ranges and you ask me “am I safe” you are wasting my time. I have not adjusted those numbers because of slow VB progress. This article will explain why, but to re-use an analogy, if you have a bucket that holds 10 gallons of water, you can fill it up fast, or you can fill it slowly. Either way, it holds 10 gallons. Filling the bucket slowly makes less mess. KCC fill the bucket slowly – meaning they spread the process over 12 months. So – in month 3 there is no need to freak out like some of you are doing!
One thing we should all understand is that DS260 processing has been changed this year. Past years saw early months having much higher numbers, because DS260s were stuck in a backlog. but that is less needed
Next. I don’t have the CEAC case data for DV2018 yet. That CEAC data won’t be in their system until January 1 – and then it will take a few days to capture all the data using the BRILLIANT tool developed by Xarthisius. However, I have been analyzing the CEAC data for several DV years and now have the complete set of DV2017 data and have published some information about DV2017 numbers here. DV2018 won’t be precisely like DV2017, but it will be similar. Once we have the DV2018 data, I will use DV2017 non response rates and denial rates to predict the final DV2018 cutoffs. However, the “holes” let me explain why VB pace will increase for some regions.
I have explained “holes” in several posts. The most important one to understand holes and density is this one about “holes theory”. Holes are the cases that are disqualified before the May announcement AND there are holes created when countries a limited during the draw process. Holes decrease the “density” of how many actual cases exist within each 100 case numbers. Imagine taking 1000 case numbers from a region. The “density” is how many actual cases there are in 1000 case numbers. The answer is not 1000. It’s less than 1000.
All regions have a number of disqualifications (because of multiple entries or photos that don’t comply with requirements for example). All 5 regions have holes created by these type of disqualifications. The holes are spread evenly across the whole number range. The “starting” holes rates per region for DV2017 were:
AF – 24%
AS – 6.5%
EU – 20.5%
OC – 8%
SA – 6%
So – for the first 1000 cases for AF region for example in DV2018 we could assume that there would only be around 760 cases. In Asia that number would be 935 cases and so on. Hopefully, that is clear.
The OTHER reson we see holes is countries that have MANY entries during the entry period. Those countries are “limited” during the draw process, so after some given point there are no winners from those countries but there are less cases per 1000. This does not happen in SA and OC region, but does happen in AF, AS and EU regions. You can see the DV2017 charts that show this happening on this post about DV2017 numbers.
OK – so how does that affect the VB pace. Well – this is easiest to explain with EU region. AF and AS regions are more complicated to understand because they have countries that are held back in the VB progress (Nepal, Iran, Egypt and Ethiopia). So – I am NOT going to try to explain those regions. I want to explain the principle and using EU allows me to do that. PLEASE don’t ask me to do this for “your” region, or “your” country. Take the time to understand the concept.
So let’s use EU region to explain the concept. After three Visa bulletins we can see they have released numbers up to 6000. So – they are going at a pace of about 2000 per month. If that pace were to continue throughout the whole 12 months, we would only get to 24000. BUT that is not what will happen. If you look at the 2017 chart for EU, you will see that the case number density (cases per 1000) decreases as the U2 countries are hit. The first was at 15000, the second drop happened around 17000. After that point the holes rate became about 60%. So – when KCC make 2000 cases current in the early number range, that means they are making about 1600 actual cases current. After CN17000, 2000 cases would only yield 800 actual cases. If they want to make 1600 cases current, they would have to double the amount of case numbers they make current. That means they will increase the case number progress later on.
The other factor that will increase numbers is this. Right now we are in October. KCC have not yet received ANY feedback from the embassies about denials, AP cases, or no shows (people that don’t turn up to the interview). The earliest feedback they will have will be at the end of this month. So – they can re-allocate those visa slots that are passed back from the embassies, but that will only help for the next VB (January interviews) and more likely the VB after that (February interviews).
So – If I had to predict EU monthly increases, I would expect the VB to increase by about 2500 for January, 2500 for February, and 2500 for March and April. That is VERY rough guess – it could be more or less. However, if that is what happens, that means that we would be at about 16000 for April interviews, and then the lower density will kick in. From that pointy onwards we will see monthly increases of around 5000 per month. Theoretically that pace could get to CN41000 by September, although the question then becomes, “how big is the bucket”. In my earlier post I suggested EU CNs under 37XXX were safe – and if you follow my logic we could reach that number by August.
The other regions (AF, and AS) can also see this same sort of increase in later months, but as I said, it becomes more difficult to calculate. We will be able to understand better in January when we have the CEAC data. OC and SA region will NOT see this same increase in pace, since their holes rate is static throughout the ranges.
So – please remember this is a 12 month process. We are 3 months in. It is too early to know how the DV2018 story ends, but there is no point in losing confidence because you don’t understand the process. I hope this article has explained it better for you.
Please let me repeat how I started. I am really busy. I *really* can’t answer every time you ask me a question that you can answer by reading these articles. Please think about that before asking me about your case number, or interview timing.