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Why should a green card lottery winner read the visa bulletin and how to do it correctly

Visa Bulletin (Visa Bulletin) published monthly by the US Department of State. It reflects the current and projected data on various types of visas, but we are interested in information for the winners of the DV lottery (lottery for the drawing of green cards).

Photo: Shutterstock

The visa bulletin is published between the 8th and 15th of each month and reflects the plan for “in a month”. For example, in the first half of January, February newsletter, which reflects possible interviews on March.

Visa bulletin can be found at this link... The page contains links to current and future newsletters.

Winners of the green card lottery may be interested in the newsletter, as it reflects the situation around the next appointments for interviews. For example, below we will consider newsletter February 2021 - it reflects the possible appointments of interviews for the issuance of green cards for DV-2021, scheduled for March 2021 years, which, in turn, are sent from January 15 to the end of the month (but most often occur between the 20th and 24th of the month).

The newsletter itself reflects a lot of visa information, but we are interested in the sections dedicated to the DV lottery, namely section C, dedicated to the next month (в February 2021 Bulletin it's March):

Photo: screenshot travel.state.gov

This table displays the so-called cut-offs (top bar of cases) for each region (and sometimes countries within the region). What does this mean? All applicants whose DS-260 questionnaires have already been processed (a request for scans has been received and the KCC has confirmed their processing) and whose case numbers are below the given numbers are likely to be invited for an interview this month. However, this is not necessary, since a queue may be organized among such applicants at the embassy (especially in the face of staff cuts during a pandemic) - then such applicants will be invited based on the date the form was submitted.

On the subject: Errors in the application form for the green card lottery, which can lead to visa denial

If the cut-off says Current, this means that absolutely all cases in this region are admitted to the interview, that is, there were enough visas for everyone (or there is no need to segregate the queue), it remains only to wait for the processing of your form (in this case, the date is of decisive importance filing the DS-260 form and processing scans). This happens quite often, but there were years when cut-off in the European region reached only a case of 25000. In other words, everyone who had cases higher than this figure, unfortunately, did not have enough visas. You can see the table with the history of cut-off of the European region in recent years here.

Let's take a look at how to read the Visa Bulletin using a specific example:

Let's say you are from the European area (EU), your case 9200 and you sent your DS-260 questionnaire two months after the news of your winnings. Your profile has been processed long ago and you are waiting for an interview appointment.

Take for example January 2021 Newsletterwhere the data for February was displayed.

Photo: screenshot travel.state.gov

As we can see, in January newsletter marked cut-off in 8200 for FebruaryThat is, you should definitely not count on an interview this month with the 9200 case. However, in the new visa bulletin for February reflected data on March - and there:

Photo: screenshot travel.state.gov

Good news! On March cut-off in Europe - 9400, which means you are number 9200 passed... Get ready and wait for the interview appointment letter in the second half of the month. It's actually just an email asking you to check your winning page. If you are not sure that you will receive a letter, you can simply check towards the end of the month lottery page - if you schedule an interview, you will see the date, time and place of the interview there.

Of course, this is not a XNUMX% chance, since at a particular embassy there may be a queue for interviews among already processed applications, however, practice shows that if your case number got into the cut-off, then there is not long to wait.

On the subject: The 'public burden' rule: what a green card applicant needs to know

Thus, by following the visa bulletin, you can analyze what is happening, and better understand how soon you will expect an interview.

It should be noted that for the winners of DV-2022 (the drawing was held until November 10, 2020), the first interesting bulletin will be - Septemberwhich will be released in August 2021 and will reflect the first interview data that is assigned to October... All ballots and cut-offs are now for the DV-2021 lottery.

Read also on ForumDaily:

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Why USCIS may reject a family reunion petition: reasons and solutions

How to get illegal immigration status in the USA: all the ways

Six popular misconceptions about the green card lottery

Other Educational program green card lottery Immigration in the USA
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