The new VB has just been released, and it’s a bit of a mix between regions as to who benefits.
No increase in EU, although EU is almost current with just a few cases left.
Now AS has moved a lot, but a relatively small increase in Nepal and Iran. So – good news for “Rest of Asia” I guess.
AF gets a pretty good jump but still still almost no move for Egypt.
No move at all for OC and SA.
Those that are current, and have forms processed early enough, can normally expect their 2NL in the next 2 to 3 weeks from now. The new no documents procedure is still a little unknown, so we will have to wait and see exactly how that goes. 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 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.