DV 2015 winners from Europe

Britsimon

Super Moderator
Hi,

My case number is EU 24***, I assume my interview is coming up in April/May/June. As I prepare the docs for it, I am wondering about the following point:

I am hopeful regarding the outcome of my interview, but what are the most common reasons for getting turned down in the interview? I'm from a western European country, my documents all seem to be in good shape. Is there anything else that lets people fail the interview?
If you have read and followed the instructions then you have very little chance to get refused.

  • People fail to meet the qualifications such as chargeability, education or so on (result denial)
  • Have made serious mistakes (like wrong names, incorrect country of chargeability, claiming to be single when they are married) etc on the eDV entry (result denial)
  • Fail to meet public charge (result will be AP until finances are proven)
  • Attempt some sort of fraud (fraudulent papers or relationship)
That is about it - really - hard to fail, but many people do....
 
If you have read and followed the instructions then you have very little chance to get refused.

  • People fail to meet the qualifications such as chargeability, education or so on (result denial)
  • Have made serious mistakes (like wrong names, incorrect country of chargeability, claiming to be single when they are married) etc on the eDV entry (result denial)
  • Fail to meet public charge (result will be AP until finances are proven)
  • Attempt some sort of fraud (fraudulent papers or relationship)
That is about it - really - hard to fail, but many people do....
Thank you so much for the answer! I don't see how these criteria would be an issue in my case. But then, you never know. I'm cautious by nature... My following two questions I am sure have been asked over and over but I can't find the exactly relevant posts here.

1. I am still not 100% clear about the exact timing of the interview. Does it only depend on case number, or also on when DV260 was submitted? I submitted DV260 1 or two days after the system started accepting the forms, and haven't heard anything from Kentucky regarding missing or unclear info on my forms. Does that mean that - unlike several cases here in this thread where the DV260 submission date did influence the interview date- this will not be an issue in my case? Bear in mind that with case # 24***, my interview won't be for another 4-6 months anyway.

2. Public charge: Are $50,000 for a single considered enough?
 

Britsimon

Super Moderator
Thank you so much for the answer! I don't see how these criteria would be an issue in my case. But then, you never know. I'm cautious by nature... My following two questions I am sure have been asked over and over but I can't find the exactly relevant posts here.

1. I am still not 100% clear about the exact timing of the interview. Does it only depend on case number, or also on when DV260 was submitted? I submitted DV260 1 or two days after the system started accepting the forms, and haven't heard anything from Kentucky regarding missing or unclear info on my forms. Does that mean that - unlike several cases here in this thread where the DV260 submission date did influence the interview date- this will not be an issue in my case? Bear in mind that with case # 24***, my interview won't be for another 4-6 months anyway.

2. Public charge: Are $50,000 for a single considered enough?

1. Some people submitted "late" and had low case numbers. For them, the timing of submission was the limiting factor. However, your DS260 was submitted early and you have a medium number - so for your case the date of submission won't be a factor at all.
2. That is more than enough.
 
Hey guys!
So my interview has been scheduled and I would love to have your opinion on how and what I should prepare:

I assume that I do not qualify with education because I do not have a high school diploma : I dropped out from high school in my eleventh year (was boring!). However, I do have a Master in Computer Science as this kind of professional university degree can be obtained without having an high school diploma in my country (France). I studied for 5 years, including one year in an american university through an exchange program with a F1 visa (the 4th year of the cursus)).

So as I do not believe that I qualify with that (tell me if i'm wrong! :)), I am trying to build up my case through work experience, but that's not that easy either...
I have worked as a software engineer for one year in Malta, and I then went back to France where I created my own company to work part-time as a freelance developer for other companies and to work on a new product the rest of the time (a really cool interactive video platform :)). My company is now 2 year old.
I need to prove that I have worked 2 years in a qualifying position. My one year contract does the trick for one year, but I'm worried about the second year:
It's quite hard to give an estimation of the time I spent working as a consultant as most of my invoices are referring to the completion of a project and are not specifying any project duration. It's also quite impossible to prove how much time I spent working on my product ...
I'll bring with me all the invoices I have, but even converted to man-hour, that doesn't sum up to a full year of work.
How could I valuate the time I have worked on my product? Could I ask another tech expert to write a general estimation of the time it would have taken to build it?

Any opinion and advice appreciated. I'm not sure that will work out but that's worth a try :)
 
Awesome - thanks for that extra information. The difference between 2 and 3 (in a sense) is that option 3 is providing vocational training as opposed to the ongoing education (general education) offered in 2. Again, I'm glad you were informed/prepared. That could have caught others out...
Indeed, this a good one... Your blog post http://britsimonsays.com/education-or-work-experience-qualifying-for-the-dv-lottery/ mentions that vocational education is excluded and you also copied in the link that lists the USA high school diploma equivalents that are accepted. For Hungary the high school diploma that you get at the age of 18 is listed there very correctly as 'érettségi bizonyítvány' and that is exactly what you are awarded at the end of the vocational high school studies, but not at the end of the lower level vocational school, so let's bear in mind there can be exceptions to the rule depending on local education systems as it can mean different things.
 
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Hey guys!
So my interview has been scheduled and I would love to have your opinion on how and what I should prepare:

I assume that I do not qualify with education because I do not have a high school diploma : I dropped out from high school in my eleventh year (was boring!). However, I do have a Master in Computer Science as this kind of professional university degree can be obtained without having an high school diploma in my country (France). I studied for 5 years, including one year in an american university through an exchange program with a F1 visa (the 4th year of the cursus)).

So as I do not believe that I qualify with that (tell me if i'm wrong! :)), I am trying to build up my case through work experience, but that's not that easy either...
I have worked as a software engineer for one year in Malta, and I then went back to France where I created my own company to work part-time as a freelance developer for other companies and to work on a new product the rest of the time (a really cool interactive video platform :)). My company is now 2 year old.
I need to prove that I have worked 2 years in a qualifying position. My one year contract does the trick for one year, but I'm worried about the second year:
It's quite hard to give an estimation of the time I spent working as a consultant as most of my invoices are referring to the completion of a project and are not specifying any project duration. It's also quite impossible to prove how much time I spent working on my product ...
I'll bring with me all the invoices I have, but even converted to man-hour, that doesn't sum up to a full year of work.
How could I valuate the time I have worked on my product? Could I ask another tech expert to write a general estimation of the time it would have taken to build it?

Any opinion and advice appreciated. I'm not sure that will work out but that's worth a try :)
Hi AzAnt, congratulations on being selected! You are right, you will need to prove your work experience due to the lack of high school diploma. Britsimon has put together a great blog post with the supporting documents that could be useful in building your case:
http://britsimonsays.com/education-or-work-experience-qualifying-for-the-dv-lottery/
Also, another tech expert's confirmation is a great idea, I think anything that constructs that 1 more year you need will be helpful. Your company's foundation certificate, recommendations from customers even, etc.
 
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Britsimon

Super Moderator
Hey guys!
So my interview has been scheduled and I would love to have your opinion on how and what I should prepare:

I assume that I do not qualify with education because I do not have a high school diploma : I dropped out from high school in my eleventh year (was boring!). However, I do have a Master in Computer Science as this kind of professional university degree can be obtained without having an high school diploma in my country (France). I studied for 5 years, including one year in an american university through an exchange program with a F1 visa (the 4th year of the cursus)).

So as I do not believe that I qualify with that (tell me if i'm wrong! :)), I am trying to build up my case through work experience, but that's not that easy either...
I have worked as a software engineer for one year in Malta, and I then went back to France where I created my own company to work part-time as a freelance developer for other companies and to work on a new product the rest of the time (a really cool interactive video platform :)). My company is now 2 year old.
I need to prove that I have worked 2 years in a qualifying position. My one year contract does the trick for one year, but I'm worried about the second year:
It's quite hard to give an estimation of the time I spent working as a consultant as most of my invoices are referring to the completion of a project and are not specifying any project duration. It's also quite impossible to prove how much time I spent working on my product ...
I'll bring with me all the invoices I have, but even converted to man-hour, that doesn't sum up to a full year of work.
How could I valuate the time I have worked on my product? Could I ask another tech expert to write a general estimation of the time it would have taken to build it?

Any opinion and advice appreciated. I'm not sure that will work out but that's worth a try :)

Are you interviewing in Paris? They can be a bit strict sometimes.

I think the way to approach your case is the first of all attempt to qualify on education. Show the masters qualifications and shut up. Some COs will look at higher level degrees, and approve the case. Others will (correctly, frankly) ask for proof of High school level education. If that happens you obviously need to present a work experience case.

So - you would present a case that sounds like a story. Something like this.

"I trained in Computer Science which lasted X time and I obtained the Masters. From there I started work, first taking a position as a software engineer in Malta and then I formed my own company where I continued as a software engineer doing a combination of development projects and third party contracts." Show high level proof about that (CVs etc) but try to avoid showing too much detail (because you turned up expecting to be approved on your education).

So, at this point the CO may be trying to figure out how to explain that a entrepreneurial software engineer with a masters degree in computer science and 3 years of experience is not qualified. That is a tough position to take - and hopefully the CO will be reluctant to make that determination.

To be honest I think you should avoid taking very detailed quantified evidence trying to prove the time you have spent UNLESS it is categorically clear that you will "win". If it is borderline you just provided a quantifiable way to pick an argument and rule against you. Your call, obviously - I am just saying how I would play it.
 
Thanks Britsimon ;) Yes, I know that the education that’s called ‘vocational’ in the US is not accepted for the DV visa but I think the issue is that something is lost in translation with this word when you look at the 3 options that a student has in Hungary – where I’m from - after finishing primary school (at least in my days):

1. High school – standard high school, usually 4 years from age 14 to 18, after final exam (similar to UK A levels) you can go to uni

2. Vocational high school – same as high school but also specializes in a non-manual profession or subject such as economics, etc. Usually 4 years from age 14 to 18, after final exam (similar to UK A levels) you can go to uni

3. Vocational school – not considered “high” school, specializes in a manual trade such as hairdressing, machinery, etc. Usually 3 years from age 14 to 17, can not go to uni after this

So I attended the 2nd type of school and of course I did not expect the consular officer in London, where I interviewed, to know anything about the Hungarian education system but in Hungary, the US embassy in Budapest accepts the first 2 types of high schools for green card applications but not the 3rd one – I know of many people who kissed goodbye to their visas because they only had that 3rd type of education. Oh well, I’m just glad I could point out that phrase and my case was approved. Would have been more straight forward though to do the interview in Hungary :)

I am a dv2014 winner, originally I am Lithuanian, but won this lottery being in UK, and had my interview in London, and I have that 3rd type of school education (Lithuanian). But in my country with this school certificate you can go to college or uni. CO who interviewed me was ok with it and I was approved :)
So as I see here all depends just on CO :)
 
Hi AzAnt, congratulations on being selected! You are right, you will need to prove your work experience due to the lack of high school diploma. Britsimon has put together a great blog post with the supporting documents that could be useful in building your case:
Also, another tech expert's confirmation is a great idea, I think anything that constructs that 1 more year you need will be helpful. Your company's foundation certificate, recommendations from customers even, etc.
Are you interviewing in Paris? They can be a bit strict sometimes.

I think the way to approach your case is the first of all attempt to qualify on education. Show the masters qualifications and shut up. Some COs will look at higher level degrees, and approve the case. Others will (correctly, frankly) ask for proof of High school level education. If that happens you obviously need to present a work experience case.

So - you would present a case that sounds like a story. Something like this.

"I trained in Computer Science which lasted X time and I obtained the Masters. From there I started work, first taking a position as a software engineer in Malta and then I formed my own company where I continued as a software engineer doing a combination of development projects and third party contracts." Show high level proof about that (CVs etc) but try to avoid showing too much detail (because you turned up expecting to be approved on your education).

So, at this point the CO may be trying to figure out how to explain that a entrepreneurial software engineer with a masters degree in computer science and 3 years of experience is not qualified. That is a tough position to take - and hopefully the CO will be reluctant to make that determination.

To be honest I think you should avoid taking very detailed quantified evidence trying to prove the time you have spent UNLESS it is categorically clear that you will "win". If it is borderline you just provided a quantifiable way to pick an argument and rule against you. Your call, obviously - I am just saying how I would play it.
Yes Britsimon, I'll be interviewing in Paris and I believe that most applicants interview there with their high school diploma in hand so I'm afraid that it will be the first thing CO would want to see.
But I still agree with you and will try to qualify through education first. If asked about high school, I'll try to elude the fact that I don't have completed it and say that I believed the master would be enough and states that I 'also' qualify through work experience.
I believe however that I should also bring as many professional evidence as I can find and be honest by saying that I wasn't totally sure that my education was sufficient. I feel more comfortable explaining my story with some proofs.
I still have some time to think about my strategy !

Thank you guys for your answers and advice, i'll keep you updated.
 

Britsimon

Super Moderator
Yes Britsimon, I'll be interviewing in Paris and I believe that most applicants interview there with their high school diploma in hand so I'm afraid that it will be the first thing CO would want to see.
But I still agree with you and will try to qualify through education first. If asked about high school, I'll try to elude the fact that I don't have completed it and say that I believed the master would be enough and states that I 'also' qualify through work experience.
I believe however that I should also bring as many professional evidence as I can find and be honest by saying that I wasn't totally sure that my education was sufficient. I feel more comfortable explaining my story with some proofs.
I still have some time to think about my strategy !

Thank you guys for your answers and advice, i'll keep you updated.
My point was take proof, but don't hand them any mathematical formula that they can tweak and use against you. Most interviews last 2 to 5 minutes - you want yours to last just slightly longer than that.
 
Simon, I have a question regarding the validity of Police certificate. 10 years ago I lived in UK, so in July I got a Police Certificate from UK since I didn't know when my interview will be. Now, I know that I may be current in Aug/Sep. By that time, the Police Certificate will be over 1 year old. Considering the fact that I haven't been back to UK since I left 8 years ago, should that Certificate be valid? Or should I get another one prior to the interview.On the US Embassy website in Skopje, they don't show which documents are needed for interview.
 

Britsimon

Super Moderator
Simon, I have a question regarding the validity of Police certificate. 10 years ago I lived in UK, so in July I got a Police Certificate from UK since I didn't know when my interview will be. Now, I know that I may be current in Aug/Sep. By that time, the Police Certificate will be over 1 year old. Considering the fact that I haven't been back to UK since I left 8 years ago, should that Certificate be valid? Or should I get another one prior to the interview.On the US Embassy website in Skopje, they don't show which documents are needed for interview.
IN a sense, a police certificate has no period of validity - not even a day. You could have a clean report yesterday and get caught robbing a bank today. BUt getting the report after you left a country is pretty compelling evidence that you could not have done anything of concern since the report was produced. So - COs have been known to accept old reports when you can show you have not been back to that country since the report was obtained - BUT they may ask for a new one anyway - and if they do you will be put on AP until you provide it which will cross a month end (meaning your visa slot will be reallocated). People coming off AP then have to be reassigned a visa and toward the last few months of the year last year that caught some people out. For the sake of a few pounds and a stamp, I would not introduce that risk - but its your choice.
 
IN a sense, a police certificate has no period of validity - not even a day. You could have a clean report yesterday and get caught robbing a bank today. BUt getting the report after you left a country is pretty compelling evidence that you could not have done anything of concern since the report was produced. So - COs have been known to accept old reports when you can show you have not been back to that country since the report was obtained - BUT they may ask for a new one anyway - and if they do you will be put on AP until you provide it which will cross a month end (meaning your visa slot will be reallocated). People coming off AP then have to be reassigned a visa and toward the last few months of the year last year that caught some people out. For the sake of a few pounds and a stamp, I would not introduce that risk - but its your choice.
Hi Simon. I have a similar question:
do i have to get a police record in England having stayed for 12 months, 14 years ago? I was studying at college but not on a student visa, it was an accompanying (family) type visa.

p.s. I have proof of GNVQ and AS-level certificates
 
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Britsimon

Super Moderator
Hi Simon. I have a similar question:
do i have to get a police record in England having stayed for 12 months, 14 years ago? I was studying at college but not on a student visa, it was an accompanying (family) type visa.

p.s. I have proof of GNVQ and AS-level certificates

Yes it sounds like you need the police cert. There is certainly no harm in having it ready!
 
IN a sense, a police certificate has no period of validity - not even a day. You could have a clean report yesterday and get caught robbing a bank today. BUt getting the report after you left a country is pretty compelling evidence that you could not have done anything of concern since the report was produced. So - COs have been known to accept old reports when you can show you have not been back to that country since the report was obtained - BUT they may ask for a new one anyway - and if they do you will be put on AP until you provide it which will cross a month end (meaning your visa slot will be reallocated). People coming off AP then have to be reassigned a visa and toward the last few months of the year last year that caught some people out. For the sake of a few pounds and a stamp, I would not introduce that risk - but its your choice.
Simon, I've sent an email to the Consular in Skopje, asking them about my case and the validity of police certificate. This is their response:

"Dear Mr. XXX,

Thank you for contacting us. Since you have not visited the UK after the issuance of the police certificate, you may submit the one that you already have.

Kind regards,

Immigrant Visa Unit"

Any chance they may change their mind? Or the CO interviewing us may request the newer certificates?
I'm asking this because it took us almost 3 months for me and my wife to be supplied with UK police certificates. They made mistakes on our certificates (they ended up sending 3 certificates for me and 3 for my wife - first two had mistakes on it). Mail here is not very reliable, especially coming from abroad. Considering the fact that KCC sends the 2NL between 6 - 8 weeks prior to the interview, i was wondering if I can just print the Consular's response and take that with me to the interview?
 

Britsimon

Super Moderator
Simon, I've sent an email to the Consular in Skopje, asking them about my case and the validity of police certificate. This is their response:

"Dear Mr. XXX,

Thank you for contacting us. Since you have not visited the UK after the issuance of the police certificate, you may submit the one that you already have.

Kind regards,

Immigrant Visa Unit"

Any chance they may change their mind? Or the CO interviewing us may request the newer certificates?
I'm asking this because it took us almost 3 months for me and my wife to be supplied with UK police certificates. They made mistakes on our certificates (they ended up sending 3 certificates for me and 3 for my wife - first two had mistakes on it). Mail here is not very reliable, especially coming from abroad. Considering the fact that KCC sends the 2NL between 6 - 8 weeks prior to the interview, i was wondering if I can just print the Consular's response and take that with me to the interview?
The email is pretty clear, but the CO can always do as they see fit.

If it were me - I would take the old certs, take the email AND apply for the new certs. If they come, great, if they don't, you didn't lose anything.
 
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