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  1. EmilyW

    The "been there done that" thread: life in the US after DV

    You can open a bank account without a SSN. I know because I did it through Bank of America.
  2. EmilyW

    The "been there done that" thread: life in the US after DV

    We got lucky in LAX too. Was processed in around 10-15 minutes. BUT, we had a connecting Qantas flight so we had airport staff escorting us the whole time.
  3. EmilyW

    DV 2019 Oceania Selectees

    $800 sounds reasonable given my first tax return in the US cost me over $1000! It's less now though. Tax returns aren't always straightforward for Aussies, particularly if you are holding onto assets in Australia, have sold an asset (the US will charge capital gains on anything over $250k for...
  4. EmilyW

    DV 2020 Oceania Selectees

    We will be naturalizing later this year. We will be keeping our Australian citizenship and passports: the US Government 'recognizes and permits Americans to have other nationalities'. https://au.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/citizenship-services/dual-nationality/
  5. EmilyW

    DV 2020 Oceania Selectees

    We sold ours and it was the right decision: the market in Melbourne was red hot and we sold it well above reserve... which meant more money to bring over here. We didn't care about moving back to the house: we fully intended to live somewhere else if we had to return. Bear in mind that CGT...
  6. EmilyW

    The "been there done that" thread: life in the US after DV

    Bank of America offer secured cards.
  7. EmilyW

    The "been there done that" thread: life in the US after DV

    Follow up question: how are you maintaining residency if you aren't living and working in the US?
  8. EmilyW

    The "been there done that" thread: life in the US after DV

    These questions might seem obvious but.... Are you applying in places where there are jobs? Is your resume in a US format? Are you following up with the recruiters post your application? I got a job within six weeks of being here with no US work history so it's definitely not that. Something...
  9. EmilyW

    DV 2020 Oceania Selectees

    To confirm what Susie said about schooling, we let our boys finish out the school year in December 2015 (2nd and 4th grade respectively) and then had them start when we moved across in February 2016. We enrolled them in 3rd and 5th grades and both did great (oldest one even won a President's...
  10. EmilyW

    DV 2020 Oceania Selectees

    TPot, we're in Charlotte, NC. Come and visit anytime!
  11. EmilyW

    DV 2020 Oceania Selectees

    Australian Bakery Cafe in Atlanta does the best pies I've found so far. And they run periodic specials through the year.
  12. EmilyW

    DV 2020 Oceania Selectees

    Boomerang is actually pretty good: I was surprised. I've resorted to driving to Atlanta to the Australian Bakery Cafe every couple of months to eat a classic pie and bring some home in the Esky.
  13. EmilyW

    DV 2020 Oceania Selectees

    Having been here nearly four years (in February), I can safely say that moving to the US was the best decision I/we ever made. There hasn't been a single moment of regret, other than the absence of pies.
  14. EmilyW

    Some question after getting my VISA

    Just to add, you don't become an LPR - and therefore able to get a Green Card - until you enter the US using the visa in your passport.
  15. EmilyW

    DV 2019 Oceania Selectees

    Oh man, this is awesome! Congrats @DougNNNN !
  16. EmilyW

    DV 2019 Oceania Selectees

    On the forum. It's rare.
  17. EmilyW

    DV 2019 Oceania Selectees

    From memory, there have only been 1 or 2 Oceania selectees rejected over the last five years. It's pretty rare.
  18. EmilyW

    DV 2020 Oceania Selectees

    People with case numbers over 1000 in the OC region?
  19. EmilyW

    Oceania Life in America

    It depends on state and/or insurer. Here in NC, they won't recognize any license other than a US or Puerto Rico license. So you're effectively a 16 year old and have to put up with three years of inexperienced driver premiums. We brought our VicRoads histories in the hope it would help. It...
  20. EmilyW

    Oceania Life in America

    It was 2.5 years before I leased my first. Insurance was marginally more expensive (perhaps $15 a month) leasing versus owning.
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