The new Visa Bulletin was released a short time ago, which was very slightly after the “normal” schedule – although of course, some have been stressing for days over the “late” VB with much speculation of what it could mean. Quite simply, it is “expected” between the 8th and the 15th. So – this was a few hours “late”.
As you can see there was good movement in the numbers. I don’t put too much weight on an individual VB, but this good movement is another sign that DV2023 is running normally. The first three months of processing are normally slow, then the pace of interviews picks up in January. As long as DS260 processing is in good shape (as it appears) then really we are seeing a “good” year (with normal processing). Thus far there are no indications of any problems.
As a reminder, in a normal year we don’t have long AV queues, you should unlock your DS260 if you need to and we can generally expect that DS260 processing will be mostly “caught up” by December/January. That means you have a high chance of getting your 2NL as soon as your case goes current.
Those that are current, and have forms processed 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, but we seem to be moving to a more normal procedure where almost all the 2NLs are sent before the end of the month, with just a hadful being sent earlier this month. I would normally expect all the interview 2NLs to have all been sent by the end of this month, but we can see recently they are exceeding that to try and get as many interviews in as possible. They can be sent right up until the last day of the month, and even the first few days of the following month during exceptional times.
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.