The new Visa Bulletin was just released, giving the numbers which will be current for May interviews. If your DS260 has been processed, and you are now current, then you should be getting your interview notification soon, but it depends on your embassy.
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, for example – in Africa, any case with a case number shown as under the new number can be interviewed but for cases from a few countries, 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.