The Visa Bulletin for the month of March has been released, and it shows an unprecedented and unexpected increase in the regional cut-off numbers for the month of April. The increase, effected in the three big regions at more than 100% in some cases, means that a considerable number of 2022 applicants have just become current.
How Cut-Off movements are determined
Usually, the monthly cut-offs are increased to allow for the ‘admittance’ of more applicants when – for the upcoming two months – there seems to be more visas / visa numbers available than there are existing visa ‘demand’.
In other words, when it seems that the number of applicants available for interview in the coming month or two will be less than the visas available for that same period, the cut-off numbers are moved forward to incorporate other applicants (with higher case numbers) who had been excluded by the cut-off of the previous month.
The other way around
And if it seems that there are so many applicants ready for interview whereas there’s a lower number of visas to cover them, the cut-off for the region concerned is either left as it was for the previous month (no new inclusion) or moved forward only a few points (just a few new ones). There are times when the numbers are even regressed – to exclude a number of those ‘accommodated’ the previous month.
That is how the cut-offs numbers in the Visa Bulletin have always worked – as a function of the number of available visas compared with the anticipated ‘requests’.
“No more document” Effect
For the recent few months, visa demand had outnumbered availability as a result of the removal – on December 9 – of the document procedure from the DV-2022 program. The removal meant that all 2022 applicants (selectees who had submitted their DS-260) instantly got eligible for interview. With more than 119,000 selected for the 2022 program, one can be sure that tens of thousands have already submitted their DS-260 by this time of the year – which translates an extremely high ‘demand’.
Is the Increase normal?
Considering the explanation provided above, such high increase in the April cut-offs is therefore unjustifiable which made it seem unlikely for the rest of the program year. However, that is what has been done and announced by the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the State Department. Applicants concerned should therefore take note and act accordingly. We can not say what the motive behind this unjustified move on their part is, but it remains to be seen how this move on the part of the Bureau of Consular Affairs is going to positively impact the ailing 2022 program.
Good news or not?
Such announcement will generally be celebrated as good news among Diversity Visa enthusiasts. But it may not necessarily be. Or at least, not for everyone. Those who will benefit from such a move are those whose case numbers have just become current and who by this move will be lucky enough to get scheduled for interview. The move also plays in the favor of 2022 applicants who are currently in the United States. This is their chance to file for adjustment of status. But for other applicants, their chances of being scheduled for interview have just been reduced.