The “October” bulletin has been released. It includes details of case numbers that are current for November interviews.

As usual, some will be shocked at the progress, some will panic, some will rejoice. For those panicking – this is only month TWO of a TWELVE month process. The numbers will change each month until the final VB of the DV2018 year (published in July 2018). So – calm down.

A couple of points, most regions have continued at the approximate pace set at the beginning. The new way of processing DS260’s seems to be allowing better (more logical) progression in OC, EU, SA and AS regions. AF region is different – so I will explain that.

Interviews cannot be scheduled for a case until the case is current AND the DS260 is fully processed. KCC sets the VB numbers based on how many cases have had their DS260s processed. So – if they look at the 1000 cases, how many of those 1000 have their DS260s processed. If there are only 200 cases ready in that 1000 cases, then they will look at the next 1000 cases and so on until they have enough cases that are ready to meet the approximate capacity for the embassies in the region. This means that for October, KCC made 8500 cases available (probably around 1800 interviews).

In November there are more of the first 8500 cases now processed, so those cases will now be scheduled and  they have added only 100 case numbers to the VB. It does not mean that anything has changed with high case numbers, it is only a matter of pacing the interview over the full year. So, no need to panic!!

Why does this happen in AF region and not so much in other regions – well that is two things, first, AF region selectees tend to be a bit slower to submit their DS260s than other regions. Secondly, the cases in AF region are harder to complete background checks because the record keeping systems in some AF countries are not up to “modern standards”.

The other thing to remember is that three regions (AF, EU and AS) have some countries that take a large allocation of the selectees in early case numbers and those countries have no cases in the higher case numbers. During the draw process those countries are stopped. That means the density of cases in the three regions becomes less in the higher case number ranges and the VB progress is faster later in the year for those regions.

For those that are interested in understand density and the draw process, I explained in this in detail in a series of posts that can be found here. This was from a previous year – but the principles are the same.

Those that are current, and have forms processed early enough, they can expect their 2NL in about 1 to 2  weeks from now. I know I am going to get a lot of people who will ask me this exact question – so let me say that again. 2NLs will be sent in about one or two weeks time – that means the latter part of the month. The schedule is that VBs are published between the 8th and the 15th of each month, and 2NLs go out from the 15th to the end of the month (most typically around the 20th to 24th). This is the same every month, so there is no need to ask me.

To those new to looking at VBs, let me explain what the “except” XXX country means.

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.

Read this link if you are unsure how to read the visa bulletin