Well who is in the mood for some chaos? The government are, apparently.

The VB for September 2024 has been released – this one an important one as it contains the numbers for the end of DV2024. These numbers won’t change, they are final. If your number is lower than the numbers shown, then your case is current and you may get an interview. If not, then your DV2024 chance has ended.

Now, I have been saying for months that no regions will go current and the VB has been operated well until this point to assure that numerical control was enforced. I have always stressed we can never be sure about what the VB will do, and there are sometimes “surprises”. But this month is probably the dumbest thing I have seen in my years watching the DV process.

It seems someone at the visa office decided to have some fun and give massive unjustified increases across all the regions. Honestly, whilst this will thrill many, and no doubt *some* will benefit, this is simply going to lead to some form of chaos.

For those that are current, there are some embassies that are still backlogged and will not reach the highest case numbers for the region, even though those case numbers would have been interviewed elsewhere. This is an unfortunate effect still lingering from the COVID times which increased backlogs in other visa categories that affect the capacity that is given to DV cases.

Even in embassies that are not currently backlogged, there will be capacity limits that won’t allow the scheduling of cases all the way to the VB numbers.

There will be some embassies where they will have flexible capacity and they could take cases up to the max case number, but I don’t anticipate that will be many embassies.

So now we have the unfortunate position where a process that is supposed to be numerically controlled (as written in the law) will now be another lottery based on which embassy you are assigned to. That is dumb, almost cruel. And it will be hard to understand why someone will get a chance at an interview when another selectee won’t, just because of a few miles.

Also, this might bring back the DV23 chaos where they overschedule cases in September, and then visas get exhausted on some random date. People turned up for their interviews at embassies on September 7th last year, having spent hard earned money on medicals and travel, only to be told all the visas had been used. I honestly assumed the government would have learned from that disaster, but we now will have to wait a few weeks to see if they recreate that situation. Thankfully, I will be able to monitor that to some extent, but people may get locked in to some tough choices with late September interviews.

Two quick points.

Cases will still be handled in case number order. Take EU as an example. Cases from 30k to 49999 just became current, but they will be added to the AV queue for each embassy in numerical order (assuming those cases have been processed). So, within an individual embassy we will not see Cases being scheduled out of order, but embassy to embassy comparisons will show differences due to their capacity.

And second point, in some years the VB published in July also provides the selectee numbers for the next year, but this year it seems it will be another month before we know that important data.

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 handful 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.