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, the 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 chance of being scheduled when their region becomes current later in the fiscal year.

14 thoughts on “Focus Just Shifted to DV 2020

  1. Have the 1.2 billion cash injection requested by USCIS received in order to continue the program

    1. Hi Zayzay:

      According to my knowledge, the request has not been granted. But the amount was NOT requested to continue the DV Program. It is meant to fund USCIS operations, instead.

  2. Hello,
    My question is now that were are May will the 2NL for July interviews be sent?

    Also,what are the chances of the Executive Order not being extended?

    1. Hi M.A., thanks for stopping by. You’re welcome to always to so.

      To answer your question, I would say these are NOT ordinary times. As such, the state of affairs of the DV Program is quite unpredictable. No-one can tell you presently what is going to happen in the coming days, weeks or months.

      Under normal circumstances, the first batches of NL2 for July interviews should be sent out by this time. But as I said, these are not normal circumstances. So, NL2 may or may not be sent out. The same goes with the EO. It may or may not be extended. All depends on the assessment (of the COVID-19 situation) by the U.S. Government.

      Things will only return to normal when the COVID-19 situation improves. Until then, almost everything about the DV Program has a 50 – 50 chance of occuring. All we can do is wait and see, and pray for the best.

      1. THANK YOU for quick response I have another question and it is;

        “Trump administration to extend border and travel restrictions related to coronavirus”

        Does this restriction involve immigration as well or “immigration restrictions” and “border/travel restrictions” are two different things and how does each affect the other

        1. Hi M.A. Glad to have you back.

          Sorry for the delay in responding. Have been quite busy working on other online projects.

          The answer to your question is YES, those restrictions definitely include immigration. The U.S. Administration believe that entry of people into the U.S. for any reason (including immigration) would result in a surge in COVID-19 infections. That’s why they’ve put in place the restrictions on travels and movements across their borders. So, yes, the restrictions do concern immigration as well.

  3. What is the chance for us whose cases became current for interview but were not scheduled for interview, with this virus situation?

    1. Hi Daniel, glad to have you here once again.

      To answer your question, I would say that there is still some chance for cases like yours. But it depends.

      I guess you’ve heard about the recent presidential proclamation banning immigration to the United States for 60 days. The fate of cases like yours lie in the hands of that ban. If the ban is blocked by court ruling (it is currently being challenged in court) OR if it is not extended beyond the 60 days, then you stand a good chance of being scheduled for interview. But if, on the other hand, the ban triumphs in court and is subsequently extended, you may never be scheduled. So, pray that the ban is either blocked or doesn’t get extended beyond the 60 days, to be on the safe side.

  4. Dear Trodvies,

    Thank your informative article. I do have two questions, how many instances had the DVs been exhausted?
    As my case number is very high (AF 70 xxx), what are my chances?

    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Luqman:

      Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment on our website.

      I’m not sure if I get your first question well. However, from what I understand, this is the answer. DVs are exhausted every year. There have been a total of 50,000 (now 55,000) DVs “on offer”, and every year, they are ALL issued to applicants. It’s like this: Every year, all DVs are issued, but not all applicants receive DVs.

      As per your second question, under normal circumstances, your case number is very high. But I advice that you do what is required, and wait and see. That’s because each fiscal year is different.

      There seems to be many gaps between case numbers in the AF Region this year. The “leaps” in cut-offs shown in the most recent Visa Bulletins seem to be suggesting that, which is good news for your case. But in case the Visa Bulletins “normalize” later in the fiscal year, be sure to have done your part as I recommended in this article, so that when the AF Region goes current later in the fiscal year, you may stand a good chance of being interviewed.

      Wish you all the best!

    1. Hi Daniel. Sorry for the delayed response to your question. Our system did not reveal the presence of your comment. We are just taking notice of it.

      To answer your question, there is no exact date for the VB to be published in the month. It depends on the reality facing the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the State Department during that month. Over the years, VBs had been appearing on the official website anytime from the 5th to the 15th of the month. But in recent months, they’ve been “delayed”, sometimes up to the 17th or 18th, like the currently expected January 2020 VB.

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