What is the DV Lottery?
The US government makes available around 55,000 Diversity Visa's for applicants who meet strict requirements from countries that have low immigration rates.
The Diversity Visa gives successful applicants permanent residency in the United States, also known as a green card.
After missing the registration period for the DV Lottery in 2011, I waited and waited for the next registration period to open the following October, 2012.
I applied early in October, 2012 (yes, that long ago) via the online registration portal. Then the wait. The wait until May 1, 2013 when the portal would re-open for applicants to check if they were randomly selected for further processing.
As an optimist I was feeling confident about my chances, although the odds were against me, around 125,000 in 13 million applicants. When you really break it down, in the past the Oceanic region has only received around 2000 allocated visas, applicants who are selected but have higher numbers still sometimes miss out. I'm sure you can see, slim.
They select more applicants than there are visas available to allow for people who do not pursue their application or become ineligible. Being successful does not guarantee a green card, obviously I was over the moon however cautious I still may not actually get the green card.
Applicants are allocated a case number. Each month the government releases a bulletin of the numbers that are 'current' for processing. The lower your number the sooner you will be interviewed. Oh and if you do not get interviewed before September 30, sorry, you will have to apply again.
My number was in the low 600s so I was feeling good that my interview would be well before the September cut off.
Mid December, 2013 I was notified that my interview was scheduled for February 2014. Oh my goodness, this is actually happening.
I had already posted off my life history to the Consulate in Kentucky to process. Success so far, they had accepted all my paperwork. Finding someone to take American sized passport photos was a nightmare! I had to renew my passport, order a new police check, get more photos, book in for a medical and gather a million documents to take with me.