I am seeing lots of confused people at the moment. People don’t seem to understand how the scheduling works and why cases don’t seem to be scheduled in a set order.
So let me try and capture everything here.
Not all DS260s are processed at the same speed. Cases can be different based on travel history, education or even something as simple as your name. For instance. If you have a name that appears on a terrorist list (by coincidence, we’ll assume), then your case will be flagged for additional name checks. Obvious right? The number one concern for the US is the safety of people here. Delay to your case is not a concern for them.
People don’t seem to understand why document processing could vary between cases.
It should be obvious that processing documents could also vary case to case. One case might be very simple, with a minimum of documents for a single selectee, that selectee was born and raised in a country with very reliable paperwork standards. Perhaps that person has no travel history so only needs one simple police certificate. All very simple.
Now contrast that with another case where there are several adult selectees (principal selectee plus adult derivatives). So that ios more documents. Maybe those documents have to have translations, or maybe the documents come from countries where documents are frequently fraudulent. That will add to the time. More police certs could cause the same thing.
Do you see? It’s nuts to think that all cases would take the same time to process.
Couple that with a very common occurrence that people don’t send the correct documents or make other mistakes and we can see delays. Of course it doesn’t help that KCC have set themselves up with no way to monitor or report the progress. If you fail to send a required document they generally don’t tell you what is missing. For this reason YOU need to be VERY careful to understand and follow the instructions. Quite simply, your Greencard DEPENDS on this. You will not be scheduled for interview if you get this step wrong, and you will have months of frustration trying to sort it out.
Is there an order in the way they process cases?
Next there is the sort of “weird” way they process. It really isn’t that weird but too many of you place importance on case number ordering without considering other factors. That is why you don’t see me tracking where they have got to in document request emails or whatever, because I know that is not a reliable measure. Some of you think it is cast in stone, and are confused when you hear about someone with a higher number than yours being “ready for scheduling” or scheduled before you.
So – does case number order play a part in processing. My answer – it does, sometimes.
What do I mean by “sometimes”. Well if KCC had only a few cases to process at any given stage, the case number ordering wouldn’t matter much. They could theoretically process any case number. In the early days after the results are published that would have been the case – and that meant that any case number might have been processed. However, if KCC has a backlog of work (like a pile of cases to work through) then they will process cases in an approximate, case number order, except that DS260s, and documents take different times to complete based on the individual case. Of course, it would be possible for KCC to handle all their work and remove the backlog – so again we could see high case numbers being asked for documents.
Now you have to remember that KCC seem to have stopped the majority of their operations over the last few months. They stopped answering the phone, they gave only very generic answers to emails, and don’t seem to have made much progress. So if you submitted your DS260 or documents at that time you are probably in a backlog of many such cases. In that scenario, people with higher case numbers might find themselves waiting for months. So – patience is called for.
Remember not all the embassies will be working at the same level. Some will be almost fully open. Some will be open for most visa types including DVs. Some will be open, but won’t process DVs. Some will be fiully closed.
Then some embassies will use restrictions such as the Schengen area 14 day rule to not schedule cases. Other embassies will schedule the cases even though selectees are affected by the identical ban.
Some will accept some level of transfers, others won’t.
In short, every embassy is different, and they could all change from day to day. There are about 130 embassies and I am not even going to try and keep up with their current status.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Does being asked for documents mean I will become current soon?
A1: No – you should not read anything into that.
Q2: Does receiving the reading for scheduling email mean I will get an interview if I am already current?
A2: Not necessarily because not all embassies are processing DV cases – so if your embassy is closed ( or open but not doing DV cases) you will not be scheduled.
Q3: Can I be scheduled before my case number is current?
A3: No. In no circumstances can that happen – even if you are a named plaintiff on some lawsuit.
Q4: I am current but I have not had my ready for scheduling email. Will I be scheduled?
A4: Probably not. If they have not cleared your documents you will not be scheduled. It is possible however that you missed the email, so that is why I say “probably”.
Q5: Does the case number order determine when in a month I will get scheduled, or will I always be scheduled before other people because I have a lower case number than them?
A5: No. Once two case numbers are both current and ready for scheduling, either one could be scheduled first. The case number doesn’t matter at that point.
Q6: Do people who were current in an earlier month (say October) go before people who were current in a later month (say November) OR do people who submitted their DS260/documents first get scheduled first?
A6: No. Once case numbers are current they are all the same. A case submitted a month ago could be scheduled before a case submitted 6 months ago if both cases are ready and current.
Q7: Something you said above (insert gripe here) seems unfair to me.
A7: Life isn’t fair sometimes.
Q8: I think they should do XXXX because it would be smarter / more efficient / fairer or whatever.
A8: Oh well. It is what it is.
I hope this helps. Please don’t ask me questions I already answered above.