January 2018 Visa Bulletin

Discussion in 'Lottery Visas - DV' started by Xarthisius, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

    OC can't go current. I have written a pretty detailed explanation in the forum somewhere. I'll look it up. Bottom line - this won't be your DV year.
     
  2. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

  3. DanE1978

    DanE1978 Member

    Hi Simon and all,
    Do you have any thoughts about a possible influence of the new policies implemented by the new administration, dramatically increasing scrutiny? (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/20/...column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news)
    One might think that more AP would lead to a higher denial rate, and to higher case numbers being reached, as long as the clock doesn't run out...
    Was there any change in the AP/denial rate at the end of the 2017FY?
     
  4. SusieQQQ

    SusieQQQ Well-Known Member

    The introduction of form DS-5535 has already delayed some DV applicants. As the form is pretty new there is no real precedent for determining how long those DV applicants on AP due to needing to respond to this form, will take.
     
  5. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

    You are assuming that more scrutiny leads to more refusals. That is not necessarily the case. More/longer AP might affect the applicants with higher case numbers, but because of the lead time before interview , that typically just means more cases that time out (remain in AP on September 30). But the system is not agile enough to turn that into more interviews. So - if there is an impact, it won't be significant enough to dramatically alter case number progression.

    The other factor that people wonder about is the travel ban. If KCC were to know **for sure** that all or most or the selectees from the banned countries could not get their visas, they could ignore those cases, and VB progression could be faster in certain regions (Asia in particular). However, they don't know **for sure**. The ban could change, the selectees might qualify for waivers and so on. So - they are continuing to schedule banned cases and the VB is progressing as normal. It remains to be seen whether KCC switch gears later in the process or not. For now, we can only speculate - and that is as arbitrary as tossing a coin.

    Lastly, in general I think we (outside of KCC) assume there is more focus on "filling the quota" than actually exists. Some people even suggest that KCC are somehow going to be punished if they don't give away all the visas. That is nonsense. KCC apply their procedures and are probably happy to see the quota filled, but I think they are just as happy if the quota is not filled. So - apply that mentality to the process and VB progression becomes more about embassy capacity and not exceeding the quota, rather than all the factors we would like to think are included to squeeze every last GC out of the quota. When I apply that mentality (and have access to the CEAC data) I have become quite accurate in predicting VB progression. I make mistakes (like missing the 50k AF cutoff in DV2015) when I forget the simple mentality and assume they must be wanting to give away all the visas possible.
     
    DanE1978 likes this.
  6. DanE1978

    DanE1978 Member

    Lastly, in general I think we (outside of KCC) assume there is more focus on "filling the quota" than actually exists. Some people even suggest that KCC are somehow going to be punished if they don't give away all the visas. That is nonsense. KCC apply their procedures and are probably happy to see the quota filled, but I think they are just as happy if the quota is not filled. So - apply that mentality to the process and VB progression becomes more about embassy capacity and not exceeding the quota, rather than all the factors we would like to think are included to squeeze every last GC out of the quota. When I apply that mentality (and have access to the CEAC data) I have become quite accurate in predicting VB progression. I make mistakes (like missing the 50k AF cutoff in DV2015) when I forget the simple mentality and assume they must be wanting to give away all the visas possible.[/QUOTE]

    That does make a lot of sense, but if you assume (correctly, I think) that the bulletin numbers are motivated primarily by the desire to regulate embassy capacity, why on earth would KCC decide to go current, especially early on like last year, instead of just doling out case numbers until the end of the year? If they have the capacity to go current in May, embassy capacity wise, as they did last year (even if this eventually turned out to be TOO early), and have a buildup of unused visas due to more cases going to AP, it would seem rather callus of them to ignore that and end up with an unfulfilled quota.

    For my own case (Asian high case number), I wonder if this might tip the scale more towards doing AOJ instead of CP. The way things are going, it is either that the pace of visa progression will pick up, OR they will have an unused quota towards the end of the year, either of which seems to favor AOJ, no? On the other hand, things at the USCIS seem to be going from bad to worse...
     
  7. DanE1978

    DanE1978 Member

     
  8. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

    That does make a lot of sense, but if you assume (correctly, I think) that the bulletin numbers are motivated primarily by the desire to regulate embassy capacity, why on earth would KCC decide to go current, especially early on like last year, instead of just doling out case numbers until the end of the year? If they have the capacity to go current in May, embassy capacity wise, as they did last year (even if this eventually turned out to be TOO early), and have a buildup of unused visas due to more cases going to AP, it would seem rather callus of them to ignore that and end up with an unfulfilled quota.

    For my own case (Asian high case number), I wonder if this might tip the scale more towards doing AOJ instead of CP. The way things are going, it is either that the pace of visa progression will pick up, OR they will have an unused quota towards the end of the year, either of which seems to favor AOJ, no? On the other hand, things at the USCIS seem to be going from bad to worse...[/QUOTE]

    I's hard to say why they went current so early. There is a natural pace enforced by the DS260 submission/processing, but they clearly made a mistake in going current too early and losing control of the pace. I think part of that might have been uncertainty about needed processing times due to the new loose canon sitting in the WH. They would have been unsure of the next stunt he was going to pull and they probably judged that they needed to give some cases post interview additional time by interviewing as early as possible. However, when they pulled that trigger, DS260s were still being submitted and they got caught with additional caseloads they didn't expect.

    By AOJ I assume you mean AOS. No - I think AOS is a riskier option for high number cases. If you look at AOS cases from last year, there were a number of people that found visas were not available to them, because visas had effectively been exhausted. That is because AOS cases are not allocated a visa in advance of the interview, as IS the case in CP. So - CP is arguably a safer route for high case numbers. If you get current and get scheduled, at least you know there is a visa for you (as long as you don't get AP or reschedule your appointment).
     
  9. DanE1978

    DanE1978 Member

    Right, AOS. I guess I'll just have to "wait and see" which way the wind is blowing. One thing I couldn't figure out though - if they go current, does that mean that they assign interview dates for all of the people whose DS has been processed? Clearly that can't be the case, I guess.

    So if for some reason AS somehow reaches high numbers towards the end of the year, there is a chance that CP would be lagging behind, unfulfilling its quotas, while AOS gets a windfall in the form of many unused visas, or something like that, no?

    (something very weird is happening to the quote thingy in my post)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2017
  10. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

    I edited your post for the quote issue.

    This year won't go current.
    AOS doesn't get a windfall.
    You need to make sure you have decided between AOS and CP - and stick with it.
     
    DanE1978 likes this.
  11. SusieQQQ

    SusieQQQ Well-Known Member

    Yes, current means they assign interview dates for everyone whose DS has been processed. I don't understand why you say that "clearly can't be the case" - what else do you think it could mean??

    And no, CP wouldn't lag behind, remember they schedule CP 2 months in advance. If it looks like they have capacity to fill all the numbers, they will - drum roll!! - announce the numbers as current in the last couple of VBs. Lot less nerve-wracking than having a high CN and doing AOS - it's true that most manage it successfully but if you look back at past AOS threads there is always a lot of stress involved, because it's up to the FOs to schedule their own interviews and some are, um, a bit more ...relaxed.... about that than others.
     
  12. DanE1978

    DanE1978 Member

    So that's the thing I'm not getting - when they went current at May last year, they must have had a pretty large number of processed DSs at hand - were ALL of them immediately scheduled an interview in the following month? If there is indeed a limit to embassy capacity, and I understand Simon as saying that this is not only the case but is in fact the primary factor in visa progress, then it seems impossible for them to fit several month's worth in one month. So how exactly does that work?

    Also, I understand Simon to be saying that KCC will not necessarily go current, EVEN if they believe that they have the ability to fill all the numbers (which might actually happen, due to the travel ban and an increase in the effects of AP), since they are guided more by the question of embassy capacity than by wanting to fulfill the quota, meaning that they will basically under-perform. If people do get AP/denied at a higher rate this year, and this seems to be the case, giving out the same number of visas will naturally require more interviews, and, as Simon says, CP doesn't seem to have the sufficient agility for doing so. Not sure what the question here is, though, just a puzzle.
     
  13. SusieQQQ

    SusieQQQ Well-Known Member

    The embassies with capacity issues get different cut-off numbers. (They do it by country but it’s really determined by the embassy capacity that will process most of those.)

    In DV2012, when the error led to low issuance, a couple of months after current was declared, they actually started contacting people who’d been selected but not submitted DS forms yet to ensure that they knew they had the option.
     
    DanE1978 likes this.
  14. Kalybaev25

    Kalybaev25 New Member

    Hello Simon,

    My EU # is at 25***.. Do you think that my number might be current in 2 month? I know it is not for sure and you only give predictions based on previous years and of course anything can change at anytime, but what would you think of my EU 25*** number?

    I would really appreciate your thoughts :)

    Thanks,
     
  15. Xarthisius

    Xarthisius Active Member

    Monthly visa issuances for 11/2017 have been released. 3208 visas were issued this month, and 5981 in total.

    AF 1338
    AS 465
    EU 1290
    NA 0
    OC 46
    SA 69

    Updated charts are available at https://dvcharts.xarthisius.xyz/
     
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  16. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator


    When they go current towards the end, they would presumably have dealth with the majority of cases. This all makes perfect sense really - I think you are overthinking it, and somehow not understanding it. And to be honest - this year will be different anyway - so why worry about understanding last year.
     
  17. DanE1978

    DanE1978 Member

    Worrying about my inability to make sense of the past is what I do best!

    Looking at Xarthisius' presentation does show a spike in visa issuance following the decision to go current - in some regions visa numbers almost triple during June, which seems to show that, unless their estimates were gravely miscalculated, that embassy capacity isn't THAT much of a concern, and that they are able to successfully accommodate a much larger number of cases per month, if need be.

    Totally unsure why this is at all of interest to me, since, as you say, this has very little bearing on this year, but still, there are worse ways to waste one's time.
     
  18. SusieQQQ

    SusieQQQ Well-Known Member

    “Visa numbers almost triple” is meaningless without absolute numbers if you’re talking about capacity. The embassy I interviewed at could probably handle a 20x or even more increase in issuance. Cairo can barely handle any increases at all. You need actual numbers to make sense of capacity issues.
     
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  19. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

    When you say "some regions" you are talking about OC and SA - not the big 3. So OC going from 40 issued visas to 120 (which is about 75 interviews), hardly gives reason to make a statement such as "embassy capacity isn't THAT much of a concern". Just to be clear, that is 75 OC interviews spread over a month, mainly in OC region, but also among all the embassies in the world. So - take a look at AF, EU and AS.
     
    DanE1978 likes this.
  20. DanE1978

    DanE1978 Member

    I was actually referring to AS, that went from 487 to 1306, more than doubling the amount. But it is all just my ramblings - I agree both with you and with Susie that looking at the overall trend doesn't tell us all that much. But what else can one do except drive oneself mad with projections when trying to make a decision with so many moving parts? I still need to decide whether to go ahead and file the DS, risking my current NI visa, especially since I have to leave the US for a few days, entangling me with the new and improved 90 day rule.

    On that note - given all that has changed with the visa processing and progression, do you still believe it is safe (for AS11xxx) to wait until April before filing? I guess then I will know whether there is any sense in going through with any of this, and also move beyond the 90 day period (I'm reentering late December). Thanks!
     

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