Shift of Focus to DV 2020















As was mentioned in our last article, the end of July marked the official end of processing of Diversity Immigrant Visa cases for Fiscal Year 2019. With the arrival of the month of August and the consequent publication of the Visa Bulletin for the Month of September 2019 (which shows cut-offs which will apply in the month of October 2019), all attention now focuses on DV 2020.

Visa Bulletin for September 2019 Released

As you may know at this point, the September Visa Bulletin has always been one of great interest, as it publishes the first cut-off numbers for the new fiscal year. In other words, information regarding interview scheduling for the first batch of DV cases in any given fiscal year features in the Visa Bulletin for September.

The September 2019 Visa Bulletin (just released by the State Department) is no exception. As expected, those with very low case numbers in their regions will have their interview in the month of October. See excerpt of the September 2019 Visa Bulletin below, showing the DV Category rank cut-offs which will apply in the month of October.

DV Rank Cut-Offs for October 2019

Region Cut-Off Regional Exception(s)
AFRICA 2,500 Except: Egypt 1,500
ASIA 1,300 Except: Iran 750

Nepal 1,000

EUROPE 2,100



This release also confirms the end of case processing for DV-2019. A number of DV-2019 applicants had been hoping to still receive their NL2. But there is no more reason to hope. That’s not going to happen. No new DV-2019 interviews will ever be scheduled. All institutions concerned with DV case processing henceforth have their attention fixed on DV-2020.

To DV-2020 Winners

If you are a recent winner of the DV Lottery (May 2019 results), I guess by now the excitement that comes with winning has gone away or at least reduced. So kindly let me ask you the following questions, considering the cut-offs posted above:

– How high / low is your case number in your region?

– What stage in your preparation are you currently at?

– Have you already filled in and submitted your DS-260 online form?

– Have you been sent and consequently responded to your NL1.5?

What You Must Do

Your attention should firstly be drawn to your case number. If you have a low case number within your region (i.e. if your case number falls below the cut-off number listed above for your region), then you have to act promptly if you already haven’t done so yet. Take the time to entirely read your NL1 (the letter which informed you that you had been selected for further processing in the DV-2020 Program), and carefully follow the instructions in it. Click on the link provided in it, in order to fill in and subsequently submit your DS-260 form, for a start.

The Process

The preparation process is pretty much the same for applicants every year, and it’s summarized in our latest article. By this time, applicants with low case numbers are expected to have filled in their online DS-260 form by following the link provided in their NL1. Low number cases are also expected to have responded to their NL1.5 (the letter asking them to send in required documents to KCC).

With the release of the VB for September, therefore, those applicants who satisfy both of these conditions and whose case numbers are current (i.e. fall below the cut-offs for their region for the month of October as mentioned above) would receive their NL2 (the letter providing them with details about their DV interview) from now to the very end of August, inviting them to said interview on a specified date in the month of October.

Higher Case Numbers

Those whose case numbers are above the regional cut-offs listed are encouraged to act accordingly, depending on how close they are to the “current” range. The closer you are to the current case numbers range, they more advanced you are to be in your preparation. That is how it works. You will also need to keep your eye on the DV section of the monthly Visa Bulletin or follow it in the tables in our article on Visa Bulletin.

Those who haven’t, also have to process and/or put together their documents for sending to KCC ahead of time. Such is the approach applicants should have who are serious about their application process: always ready to favorably respond to any notification. In that way, they will not miss out on this great opportunity at the end of the processing period close to a year from now.

Early Low Cut-Offs Trend Continues

The September 2019 VB also “maintains” the drop experienced in recent years in regional cuts-off numbers at the beginning of the fiscal year. A couple of years ago, regional cut-off numbers at the beginning of the fiscal year were relatively high. Fiscal Year 2017, for example, began with 8,000 for Africa, 400 for South America, 2,100 for Asia, 8,500 for Europe and 300 for Oceania. Comparing that to the following year (FY 2018), one observes a massive fall, with Africa being the only exception.

This trend of low cut-offs numbers at the beginning of recent fiscal years is excepted to go on for a number of years until there’s a major procedural change in how the Program is administered, at which time a new trend will be established. This phenomenon however does not negatively impact the “flow” of the conduct of interviews within the fiscal year, as the low cut-off experienced at the beginning is always “normalized” some time mid year.

No Need To Worry

There is therefore no need for those with particularly high case numbers regionally to be worried or go about asking whether they will even be interviewed. They should only do their part, and do it on time, as advised above. In that way, they have a high change of being scheduled when their region becomes current later in the fiscal year.

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