The visa bulletin has been released, covering the numbers which are current in January. As I have explained before, this does not mean that you can be interviewed in January if your case is not “documentarily qualified” (DQ) AND your embassy has to be able to accept your case. Of course with the tiered prioritization (DV being on the bottom of the priority list), that won’t be the case for many people and I suspect we may see continued slow processing.
It is clear that KCC continues to move slowly with DS260 and document processing. However in previous years they have at least “followed” the VB somewhat, so with the increase in VB numbers we might see more activity. I certainly hope so.
Those that are current, and have forms processed and documents 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. I would expect all the October interview 2NLs to have all been sent by the end of this month. The end of the month really means THE END OF THE MONTH. Please don’t waste my time later this month asking about 2NLs. Please. They can be sent right up until the last day of the month.
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 – in Africa, any case with a case number shown as under the new number can be interviewed but for cases from Egypt, 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.