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US Greencard Through Diversity Lotto

  • 23-03-2010 6:03pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ MossNyc


    Hey Everyone

    I wanted to write down my story here as i sure someone will be in the same situation as me some day and i wasn't always able to find information

    So to tell the end of the story first I got approved for the green card today :)

    I was picked in the diversity lotto last summer( which i had applied for the year before in November ). I applied through the official US Website. All us government sites have the .gov in them. This is free. You dont need to pay anyone to apply for the diversity lotto and all those sites that advertise to keep you in the lotto for 3 years are a scam. They may put you in but its best if you do it yourself as you got a number which you can use the summer after to see if you have won

    http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html

    The application is simple to do with the only difficult part being uploading the photo but if you read the instructions you should be fine.

    I found out i had won when i received a letter from the visa processing center in Kentucky which gives you a case number and the applications you need to fill in. I did these with an attorney as i wanted it to be smooth and then i sent them back to the processing center in Kentucky completed. That was in July. I didn't hear anything again until i was called for my interview ( got letter from Us Embassy in dublin ). This letter gave the interview date and everything i would need for the via interview which were in my case:

    I also received another letter from the us embassy in dublin with a list of everything i would need for the interview and confirming the date and time for the interview

    Original Birth Cert
    Police Cert: Can get from your local Garda it simple to get but can take some time
    Medical Report: You have to do a special medical and get certain vaccinations for the US. There are only 4 docs in ireland that do it and its about 350 euro to do the medical
    Education certs; The minimum you need is the leaving cert which you need to pass. Although any fas certs etc or any college degrees count as well
    Proof of income: You need to show you have some money(Bank Statements and what type of job you want to look for in America. You need to prove your not going to go there and then go on social welfare.
    Application Fee: This is broken up but what you need is a bank draft or postal order for $775.
    Big Envelope: You need an envelope with 8 euro worth of stamps on it as this is what they will send your passport and documents back to you in. You DONT get your passport back on the day if your successful

    What I had:
    All of the above ( including photocopies of everything) Its much better to have way more than you need in case they ask
    I also had copies of all my older visas to the US. I am currently on a H1b visa so i brought my pay stubs etc from the company i work for . I also had a J vis and some B visas which i brought. While the embassy may be able to see this on their system dont assume they will and bring any old visas you have. You need to be able to prove any time you spent in the US

    The interview:
    My interview was for 1 oclock but this means you are in afternoon time slot with other people as well. I began to queue up at 12.45 and was the 3rd person in the queue. You have to go through security and they will take your phone off you and put it in a cubby hole and collect it on the way out.

    You will then go to a room which for all purposes is like a bank(with windows with glass) with seats. You get a ticket number and are called in order of your number

    The first window you go to the lady took all my paperwork on the list and the medical report which the embassy sends to you and the cheque for the $775
    I then sat back down and waited to be called for the actual interview

    2 couples were ahead of me and they did their interviews and got on fine

    The actual interview itself is very straightforward you go up to the window ( your not in a private room or anything like that) You do your fingerprints and you swear an oath to tell the truth

    The lady then went through all the documents i had given her and i could see she had the application i sent back to kentucky.

    She asked me where i was born and what year
    She asked me about the medical
    She asked me about my college and what i did there
    She asked me had i lived anywhere else other than the US
    She asked me how i planned to support myself in the US

    She was very pleasant and professional and the whole interview took all of 2 minutes. Mine was pretty straightforward as i was already living there legally.

    She then told me they would finish processing the visa and that once it was issued i would have 6 months to activate it by going to the US .

    This was all today so i haven't got my passport back yet and will update the post when i get it and the package .

    Hope this helps someone out

    Moss


«13456748

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 815 ✭✭✭ CaliforniaDream


    Great post. It should be very helpful for someone wishing to apply.

    I've also got my greencard successfully and it was a near exact experience to the above poster. I think the only questions I got asked on the day were, where was I born and what year. They didn't ask me anything else at all. In fact, I had to ask the girl when she was finished if I had actually been successful! Very straightforward although there were months of worry beforehand making sure I had everything and it was all perfect.

    This was in December so I have the envelope back. It took about a week to get it back.
    I still have my x-rays from the medical which I'm told I need to bring to the airport with me. My passport with a temporary 'greencard' in it was in the envelope.
    Also there is a plain white A4 size envelope inside too. I was told under no circumstances was I to open this at all. I have to bring it to the airport and hand it to the customs officer. If you open this yourself you render the application/greencard invalid.

    I have my flights booked for May so I'm not sure on the process at the airport. Myabe we can have someone else fill in that part?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,897 Kimia


    Do you have to live in the US straight away and for how long? Can you wait to move over so that you have lots of money saved?


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ MossNyc


    The girl at the embassy told me that once the temporary greencard is stamped in your passport you have 6 months from that date to travel to the US to activate it. The greencard itself is for 10 years and is sent to the address you specify in the greencard application

    Its for permanent residency so id be a little apprehensive going for 2 months then coming home again and going back a few months later . I would check with us immigration or an attorney to be sure


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ MossNyc


    This was in December so I have the envelope back. It took about a week to get it back.
    I still have my x-rays from the medical which I'm told I need to bring to the airport with me. My passport with a temporary 'greencard' in it was in the envelope.
    Also there is a plain white A4 size envelope inside too. I was told under no circumstances was I to open this at all. I have to bring it to the airport and hand it to the customs officer. If you open this yourself you render the application/greencard invalid.

    Thanks for the post Delighted you got on well. I wasnt told to bring the xrays to airport. Was that in the pack they sent you?

    Im heading back to the states as soon as i get the passport back so Ill post here to let you know what happens


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 243 ✭✭ jimmypitt


    MossNyc wrote: »
    Hey Everyone

    I wanted to write down my story here as i sure someone will be in the same situation as me some day and i wasn't always able to find information

    So to tell the end of the story first I got approved for the green card today :)

    I was picked in the diversity lotto last summer( which i had applied for the year before in November ). I applied through the official US Website. All us government sites have the .gov in them. This is free. You dont need to pay anyone to apply for the diversity lotto and all those sites that advertise to keep you in the lotto for 3 years are a scam. They may put you in but its best if you do it yourself as you got a number which you can use the summer after to see if you have won

    http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html

    The application is simple to do with the only difficult part being uploading the photo but if you read the instructions you should be fine.

    I found out i had won when i received a letter from the visa processing center in Kentucky which gives you a case number and the applications you need to fill in. I did these with an attorney as i wanted it to be smooth and then i sent them back to the processing center in Kentucky completed. That was in July. I didn't hear anything again until i was called for my interview ( got letter from Us Embassy in dublin ). This letter gave the interview date and everything i would need for the via interview which were in my case:

    I also received another letter from the us embassy in dublin with a list of everything i would need for the interview and confirming the date and time for the interview

    Original Birth Cert
    Police Cert: Can get from your local Garda it simple to get but can take some time
    Medical Report: You have to do a special medical and get certain vaccinations for the US. There are only 4 docs in ireland that do it and its about 350 euro to do the medical
    Education certs; The minimum you need is the leaving cert which you need to pass. Although any fas certs etc or any college degrees count as well
    Proof of income: You need to show you have some money(Bank Statements and what type of job you want to look for in America. You need to prove your not going to go there and then go on social welfare.
    Application Fee: This is broken up but what you need is a bank draft or postal order for $775.
    Big Envelope: You need an envelope with 8 euro worth of stamps on it as this is what they will send your passport and documents back to you in. You DONT get your passport back on the day if your successful

    What I had:
    All of the above ( including photocopies of everything) Its much better to have way more than you need in case they ask
    I also had copies of all my older visas to the US. I am currently on a H1b visa so i brought my pay stubs etc from the company i work for . I also had a J vis and some B visas which i brought. While the embassy may be able to see this on their system dont assume they will and bring any old visas you have. You need to be able to prove any time you spent in the US

    The interview:
    My interview was for 1 oclock but this means you are in afternoon time slot with other people as well. I began to queue up at 12.45 and was the 3rd person in the queue. You have to go through security and they will take your phone off you and put it in a cubby hole and collect it on the way out.

    You will then go to a room which for all purposes is like a bank(with windows with glass) with seats. You get a ticket number and are called in order of your number

    The first window you go to the lady took all my paperwork on the list and the medical report which the embassy sends to you and the cheque for the $775
    I then sat back down and waited to be called for the actual interview

    2 couples were ahead of me and they did their interviews and got on fine

    The actual interview itself is very straightforward you go up to the window ( your not in a private room or anything like that) You do your fingerprints and you swear an oath to tell the truth

    The lady then went through all the documents i had given her and i could see she had the application i sent back to kentucky.

    She asked me where i was born and what year
    She asked me about the medical
    She asked me about my college and what i did there
    She asked me had i lived anywhere else other than the US
    She asked me how i planned to support myself in the US

    She was very pleasant and professional and the whole interview took all of 2 minutes. Mine was pretty straightforward as i was already living there legally.

    She then told me they would finish processing the visa and that once it was issued i would have 6 months to activate it by going to the US .

    This was all today so i haven't got my passport back yet and will update the post when i get it and the package .

    Hope this helps someone out

    Moss

    Lucky b*stard!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 180 ✭✭ macca1983


    Did it matter you are currently on a HB1 Visa in terms of getting the green card? Or is it totally a random lottery if that makes any sense?


  • Registered Users Posts: 815 ✭✭✭ CaliforniaDream


    MossNyc wrote: »
    Thanks for the post Delighted you got on well. I wasnt told to bring the xrays to airport. Was that in the pack they sent you?

    Im heading back to the states as soon as i get the passport back so Ill post here to let you know what happens

    They never took the x-rays off me at the embassy or even looked at them. Simply told me to take them home and bring them to the airport with me as hand luggage. They said the customs officers would take them off me and check them. Not sure what the reasoning behind it is, but not gonna chance anything and leave them behind!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,829 lil_lisa


    May I ask what they are x-rays of? And if they mentioned exactly why they require them in the first place? Just to make sure everything's working medically?


  • Registered Users Posts: 815 ✭✭✭ CaliforniaDream


    lil_lisa wrote: »
    May I ask what they are x-rays of? And if they mentioned exactly why they require them in the first place? Just to make sure everything's working medically?

    It's a chest x-ray that you get done as part of your medical. Didn't mention why you needed it in the first place. Maybe someone else can shed some light on that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,496 ✭✭✭ lonestargirl


    It's a chest x-ray that you get done as part of your medical. Didn't mention why you needed it in the first place. Maybe someone else can shed some light on that?

    The chest x-ray is to prove you don't have TB. They use a blood test for some people (Mantoux) but since we get TB vaccinations as children we come up positive on the blood test.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ MossNyc


    macca1983 wrote: »
    Did it matter you are currently on a HB1 Visa in terms of getting the green card? Or is it totally a random lottery if that makes any sense?

    The lottery is totally random. I have been applying for the last few years. Its a case of if your not in you cant win really so its definitely worth a shot


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 180 ✭✭ macca1983


    MossNyc wrote: »
    The lottery is totally random. I have been applying for the last few years. Its a case of if your not in you cant win really so its definitely worth a shot

    I am in all right! I WOULD LOVE IT (Kevin Keegan style) if my name pops out in June and basically my story went like yours. Off to LA and sunshine all year round!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,511 dave2pvd


    Almost the exact same process I went through. All the way back in 1993/1994. Apparently, it's a lot more expensive now. Plus, I recall getting the medical done was easier; more docs could do it.

    I also had to bring the x-rays. NO idea why. They live in the attic now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ MossNyc


    dave2pvd wrote: »
    Almost the exact same process I went through. All the way back in 1993/1994. Apparently, it's a lot more expensive now. Plus, I recall getting the medical done was easier; more docs could do it.

    I also had to bring the x-rays. NO idea why. They live in the attic now.

    So did they even ask to see the xrays at immigration ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,511 dave2pvd


    MossNyc wrote: »
    So did they even ask to see the xrays at immigration ?

    Nope. I was so disappointed. My lungs make a very impressive photo :)


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 21,507 Mod ✭✭✭✭ helimachoptor


    Thanks for the post Mossnyc, I've applied for the lottery myself this year.

    My aunty has been applying each year for 20 years but a friend applied 2 years ago and got it first time.

    I presume you're living in NYC, how do you find it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ MossNyc


    Great post. It should be very helpful for someone wishing to apply.

    I've also got my greencard successfully and it was a near exact experience to the above poster. I think the only questions I got asked on the day were, where was I born and what year. They didn't ask me anything else at all. In fact, I had to ask the girl when she was finished if I had actually been successful! Very straightforward although there were months of worry beforehand making sure I had everything and it was all perfect.

    This was in December so I have the envelope back. It took about a week to get it back.
    I still have my x-rays from the medical which I'm told I need to bring to the airport with me. My passport with a temporary 'greencard' in it was in the envelope.
    Also there is a plain white A4 size envelope inside too. I was told under no circumstances was I to open this at all. I have to bring it to the airport and hand it to the customs officer. If you open this yourself you render the application/greencard invalid.

    I have my flights booked for May so I'm not sure on the process at the airport. Myabe we can have someone else fill in that part?

    So I am back in the very sunny USA as a permanent resident :)

    I did my interview on a tuesday and i received my passport and the green card package( which under no circumstances should you open!!) the following tuesday from the US embassy by registered post. In the passport you get a full page stamp with your pic and all the info in it that servers as a temporary green card.

    I then waited another week and flew back to the US through shannon airport

    I flew with continental as you can clear immigration at shannon and get the whole process over with. I queued up at the new immigration and customs hall and waited to be called. I explained to the officer that i was using my green card for the first time.
    Now i was stopped once in shannon traveling to the US as the officer said i was using the visa wavier system too much( to be honest i prob was but the officer took a real dislike to me and decided she was stopping me ) . I was asked about this i answered honestly. I was also asked about my H1b and why i wanted to live in the US.

    Also i was never asked for the xrays which we spoke about in this post before.

    I was then taken to secondary inspection to process the visa. I was happy enough at this stage but then things got a little slow then. I was taken into a room and fingerprinted old school style and had to sign my name. The officer then said i will just stamp your passport and get me moving. However they then pulled my bag and made me open it and got through all the contents ( i had some white pudding which they took off me ) I then waited another 20 minutes where the officer went back and forth with my passport to another room. Eventually with the number of people behind me building she stamped my passport and send the doors over there (thought i might get a congrats or welcome to the US !!) All in all i was 45 minutes getting the passport stamped

    I happily went through the doors and hopefully that will be the end of having to answer loads of questions at the us border again . All they do is stamp the temp greencard with a date stamp and then that is valid for 1 year to travel. You should receive your actual card in 6 months or so. Looking forward to getting the card

    Anyway as i have been through the mill with different visas and eventually the green card i prob know as much as anyone about trying to do the whole process the correct way. Also just to note i have definitely spent well over $8000 in visas over the space of 5 years with application fees and attorney fees.

    The main question i have after all of it is it worth all the time and effort you put into it ???

    Ill let you know the answer to that when i figure it out :)

    Moss


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,829 lil_lisa


    That's gotta be Post of the Day!

    Thank you for your info, sounds slightly nerve wrecking but pretty straight forward for what its for. 45 minutes seems like a short time. I always get paranoid in those situations, worried that I've done something wrong or forgot some paperwork.

    Well congratulations and welcome to the this side of the pond!!!

    You're in NYC?


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ MossNyc


    lil_lisa wrote: »
    That's gotta be Post of the Day!

    Thank you for your info, sounds slightly nerve wrecking but pretty straight forward for what its for. 45 minutes seems like a short time. I always get paranoid in those situations, worried that I've done something wrong or forgot some paperwork.

    Well congratulations and welcome to the this side of the pond!!!

    You're in NYC?

    Yeah been here 5 years in total now on and off. I wanted to put the whole process up here so people know what to expect, although i assume everyone will have a different experience. My issue with US immigration was that there was no comeback if they refused you. Who do you complain to etc..

    Are you in the states ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,829 lil_lisa


    Yeah, I'm down in California on an intern visa, have several options in front of me so we'll see which one pans out!

    I have to say every time I've gone through customs in the US they're pretty relaxed with me, ask basic questions about previous trips and my future plans here. Its all just the screening process.

    Hopefully others who receive a green card through the lottery will share their experience too.

    Moss, did you have to wait a certain time in Ireland between being notified of winning and getting your green card and coming over?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ MossNyc


    lil_lisa wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm down in California on an intern visa, have several options in front of me so we'll see which one pans out!

    I have to say every time I've gone through customs in the US they're pretty relaxed with me, ask basic questions about previous trips and my future plans here. Its all just the screening process.

    Hopefully others who receive a green card through the lottery will share their experience too.

    Moss, did you have to wait a certain time in Ireland between being notified of winning and getting your green card and coming over?

    Yeah i applied for the lottery in 08 , got notification in the post around june 09 and got called for the interview in march 10. so there is a bit of time between stages


  • Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭✭ shtory


    I applied for the lottery last November. What date in June do they publish the results?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,829 lil_lisa


    Wow, that's a long time to keep yourself busy!

    The results come out on July 1st: http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 36,648 ✭✭✭✭ Ruu_Old


    I remember giving my visa packet to the immigration officer, it was the same guy every time I flew to the US over the last few years! When I handed it to him he said "ah one lucky visa applicant, be right back". He went into a room and then I was promptly called to sign and get finger printed. The guard also yelled over to my wife "this is his last chance, no going back now!". He was dead on, he said to make sure she knew he was joking, shook my hand and welcomed me to the United States. This was preclearing through Dublin. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭ MossNyc


    Ruu wrote: »
    I remember giving my visa packet to the immigration officer, it was the same guy every time I flew to the US over the last few years! When I handed it to him he said "ah one lucky visa applicant, be right back". He went into a room and then I was promptly called to sign and get finger printed. The guard also yelled over to my wife "this is his last chance, no going back now!". He was dead on, he said to make sure she knew he was joking, shook my hand and welcomed me to the United States. This was preclearing through Dublin. :)

    Yeah i only did pre clearance once in dublin and it was a pleasure.. the officer was sound out. Shannon is always a drama or pain in the ass..you feel guilty even if you have done nothing wrong ..With the motorway the whole way from dublin airport to waterford now i think ill be flying from there from now on


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭ starky


    dave2pvd wrote: »
    Almost the exact same process I went through. All the way back in 1993/1994. Apparently, it's a lot more expensive now. Plus, I recall getting the medical done was easier; more docs could do it.

    I also had to bring the x-rays. NO idea why. They live in the attic now.

    Yea, mine are buried somewhere. I felt like a right fool carrying them though Dublin airport when I moved over here in 2008.

    > So did they even ask to see the xrays at immigration ?

    Moss, no one even looked at them when I was doing the immigration stuff, but I would make sure to have them to hand.
    Congrats on the GC, your experience was identical too mine. When are you planing on moving over?


  • Registered Users Posts: 334 ✭✭ thenobody


    shtory wrote: »
    I applied for the lottery last November. What date in June do they publish the results?

    If selected you will get a letter in May from Kentucky Consular Center and it will be sent from Sweden.
    The letter should be dated around mid April but usually arrives over a month later.
    By mid June if there is no letter - then not picked.

    I went through the whole thing and have move here less than a year ago.

    You will have a case number and will based on the EU. You will need to check the visa bulletins that come out each month from September on and if the number released for europe is greater than your case number your interview would be about two months later than the bulletin.
    Numbers for europe generally stop around 26000 so if your case number is higher most likely wont be called for the interview.
    There is a few luck of the draw things and the first one is being picked in the first place.
    Oh, your police cert needs to be within 6 months at the interview and your medical needs to be within 6 weeks at the interview.
    Medical was around €380 and the interview fee (in 2009) had to be paid in US dollars (using euros they will charge you a terrible exchange rate - get dollars cash from a bank instead). No other method allowed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,829 lil_lisa


    Really? Like, next month? Wow, I didn't realise it was so close. Do you have to be in Ireland when they send out the letter? Like, do you have to take any action straight away?


  • Registered Users Posts: 334 ✭✭ thenobody


    lil_lisa wrote: »
    Really? Like, next month? Wow, I didn't realise it was so close. Do you have to be in Ireland when they send out the letter? Like, do you have to take any action straight away?

    Your best bet is to get it done and completed and sent in immediately. Not that makes your chances better but allows for more processing time.
    You will need to fill out forms and will need two 2"x2" photos to send with it. Everywhere will rip you off for these. €15 i think i remember.
    You have to get the application in by the time the program starts which is september. So send it right away.

    After the bulletin the notice of interview arrives 6 weeks later - about a month to month and a half in advance of the interview


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  • Registered Users Posts: 334 ✭✭ thenobody


    @lil_lisa

    is that SD in Kildare/SD where i think it is?? Where i might be? Where you have may felt the earthquake a week and half ago?


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