The new Visa Bulletin was just released, giving the numbers which will be current for March interviews. If your DS260 has been processed, and you are now current, then you should be getting your interview notification soon (see below).

DS260 processing is going well and there are now cases from July and August that have been processed, so that means they are close to catching up with the backlog. Now – I am fully aware that there are some cases still unprocessed from May, June and July submissions, and that is proof of what I have said before – that not all DS260s take the same time to process. So – be patient if your form needs a little more time.

As you can see there was good movement in the numbers. AF increasing by 10000 is a welcome occurrence no doubt, and EU moved nicely also. The numbers across all regions are now quite close to the end of the “extremely safe” ranges for the regions, with country exceptions probably a little behind.

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/February. 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.