DV 2019 Oceania Selectees

Mathew540

Registered Users (C)
Quick question for those that have completed their journey - how long did the point of entry process take? I guess a better way to ask is how long should I wait to book a connecting flight? I was planning on flying into LA (landing at 7:10am) and then onto my final destination - flight leaving at 10:30am. Is that long enough?

btw - I got my passport back today, 2 day turnaround is pretty impressive!!![/QUOTE
Thanks everyone for the advise, I know previously I've 2.5 hour stop overs in LA and I do remember it being a pain to get from one end of the airport to the other but I always made it with time to spare. That said I think I'm going to change to an earlier flight into LA (6am) and stay on the 10:30 connecting. If for some reason I don't make it through in time or am delayed there is a later flight that I can either get bumped to or just buy another ticket if I need to.
We are staying overnight in Hawaii, then fly onto Seattle.
 
Hey DV gang!

I'm Binh, brand new to the forums but I browsed it practically daily when I was applying for the green card. I'm born and raised in Melbourne, studied Directing in Sydney and I'm currently living in Alice Springs, NT directing local TVC spots.

I thought I'd share my story in case it helps someone in the future / bond with other recipients / get some advice :) I applied for the DV lottery ages ago and never expected to win but here we are! Now I just need to figure out where I want to live.

DV APPLICATION
First steps / Problems

A little back story which was a little problem during my interview -- after university, I did a j1 work and travel holiday visa in the USA. I spent some time in San Diego and I would cross back and forth into Mexico pretty frequently since I had such a great time. After my j1, I travelled Mexico on a 3-month visa before returning home to Melbourne through LAX on the visa-waiver agreement.

Flash forward to a few months ago... I checked my status and lo and behold, I was selected for further processing!! I smashed everything out (documents, police certificate, photos, etc) as soon as I could. I'm pretty on-board with these things. I was assigned a number in the 6XX's and apparently there's a bulletin for you to check but I didn't realise at that time so I would call up the KCC every 15th of each month and listen to the extremely long pre-recorded phone message (it went for like ten minutes) before being put through to an operator. Later, I just pressed a random number on my keypad and it would skip it.

I found you have to be super proactive and switched on regarding dates during this phrase.

I did encounter a little hiccup. Supposedly, they introduced a new vetting process where they asked you to send documents beforehand. You were supposed to receive a confirmation email letting you know that the files have been approved. It would take a few days to process the documents they said. Since it was the first year introducing this step, they had technical issues and I had to send the documents at least three times (waiting for a week's interval between each email) before they confirmed that they had been received.

Then I continued the waiting until during one memorable call, the lady ecstatically told me that I was approved and awaiting an interview at the Sydney Consular. She said she would send me an email with all the details.

Interview Preparation
I looked at my email and the interview was scheduled in a month on the April 2nd!! It was re-donkulous. They declined an extension of the interview date. There was information all over the place regarding documents and things to do / bring before the interview. During this period I was extremely confused. After reading the website for the fifth time, I also discovered we had to do a medical examination from an approved physician in Melbourne or Sydney. This wasn't mentioned in the email or anywhere for that matter but I guess if you frequent this forum you would have realised. It was also recommended doing the medical at least two weeks before your interview.

I decided to do my medical examination in Melbourne since I hadn't seen my family in months. In case you guys didn't know, flights out of Alice are ridiculously expensive; even more so considering the short window I had. ASP to MEL or SYD is around $700-900AUD. You could fly to other countries for that amount.

Medical Examination
You had to bring a few documents (photos, passport) for the medical - most importantly your vaccination history. A quick check on the MyGov website told me I was never vaccinated which was completely wrong. I called my mum and luckily for me, she kept it in a box in her room. So if you can't find your vaccinations, definitely check with your mum.

I used the Medical Centre in Melbourne (I forgot its name). They measured my weight / height / eye test / took a blood sample / urine test. I've put on a bit of weight in the past few months which wasn't an issue. Then the doctor asked some super quick questions regarding health / etc. Surprisingly mental health diagnoses like bipolar / depression / etc are things that could potentially hinder your chances at this visa which makes a little bit of sense but is extremely unfair in my opinion. He checked my lungs and looked at my teeth.

I'm pretty certain I received my second shot of measles but since I didn't have the records, I had to pay ($120) for another shot. Then he sent me off to a radiology lab nearby to X-Ray my chest to check for tuberculosis.

The medical clinic provided the postage to send to the consulate.

All up the medical examination was like $700-800AUD. If for some reason you never received your vaccinations or you don't have your vaccinations, be prepared to pay heaps more for your shots which they do on the day.

Interview
I received a confirmation that the documents were sent to the consulate. Then it was play the waiting game for my interview.

On April 2nd, I entered the consulate building.

All my paperwork was in order (originals and copies of everything). I printed out a sheet with all the required documents in the order that it suggested, plus a heap more back up materials which I put behind the required documents (rental history, pay slips, letter-of-offer from work, my car purchase receipts, bank statement, etc).

I was greeted by an security guard who made me turn off my phone. I had to hand it over to him so he can check that it's completely off.

When I entered the first room (security / clearance room), there were two ladies standing to the left who processed me. "What visa?" "DV Lottery," "Please give me these documents," They put all the required documents into a folder that they provide.

I then had to be cleared by security. The guards scanned my items and belongings before putting it in a shelf. They give you a corresponding numbered card to collect when you're finished. I walked through the metal detector before being directed up the lift to another floor.

There, I collected my number and waited for it to be called. First, I had to talk with an Australian lady. She asked me to hand over all the documents and express envelope. She then asks me to go to another counter to pay for the visa ($470AUD).

The lady before me spent about 30 minutes talking with the officer about her marriage before he approved her. Although she was applying for another visa, he asked heaps and heaps of questions so I was a bit nervous. Then I was called up the counter with another officer who asked me to raise my hand and made me promise to only tell the truth.

The interview went for about twenty seconds.

"What visa are you applying for?"
"I won the DV Lottery."

"What is your highest level of education?"
"My highest level is a Graduate Diploma in Directing from the Australian Film Television Radio School."

Then he asked about my history in Mexico which made my heat rate irrationally shoot up.

"Have you ever lived in another country?"
"I did a j-1 work and travel visa in the USA; although I left early."

"It says you've been to Mexico a lot. Was this through Australia?"
"No, it was through the USA."

"Why were you travelling there so often?"
"At that time, I was interested in travelling."

"Have you ever been married?"
"No."

"Do you have any children?"
"No."

"You have been approved for the visa. You will receive your passport back within two weeks."

Those few moments were an absolute rollercoaster!!! I've never been overwhelmed with so much joy.

Hopefully my story can help others looking for experiences or advice. Today I received my package in the mail with my passport and a temporary visa! :)

Now I actually need to choose city / get job / house / friends / dog / phone / SSN / etc!

The End?

By the way, does anyone know if you can activate your visa through Hawaii? I don't plan on moving to the USA immediately. I requested the green card be sent to a friend's address in L.A. who will forward it to my Australian home but like I mentioned earlier, flights from Alice Springs are prohibitively expensive and Hawaii is a lot cheaper than the mainland. Some advice would help me so much!

Anyway, thanks for reading my story. Keen on making friends and meeting you guys stateside. Let me know if you guys have any questions or need some advice.
 

Aidyn

Active Member
And an update for those of you that are interested...

Seeing as I'm not a patient person (doesn't help for this process) I have booked my tickets to the US for later this month. I am not doing an activation trip, so my next 2 weeks are pretty hectic. To top it all off I have the busiest 2 weeks at my work as well as trying to pack up a house and relocate adult children to their new homes.

I managed to get a flight with a 4 hour stopover in LAX and I only need to go from TBIT to Terminal 3 so all things going smoothly I should be fine, if not I'll rebook on a later flight - I don't wanna wait in LAX any longer than I have to!
 

Bob22

Active Member
And an update for those of you that are interested...

Seeing as I'm not a patient person (doesn't help for this process) I have booked my tickets to the US for later this month. I am not doing an activation trip, so my next 2 weeks are pretty hectic. To top it all off I have the busiest 2 weeks at my work as well as trying to pack up a house and relocate adult children to their new homes.

I managed to get a flight with a 4 hour stopover in LAX and I only need to go from TBIT to Terminal 3 so all things going smoothly I should be fine, if not I'll rebook on a later flight - I don't wanna wait in LAX any longer than I have to!
Hey I'm with you. I'd have totally booked my flights and left already if it wasn't for my kids school. Term finishes June here and then we are off. Patience is overrated!
 
I wonder if the May VB will be released later this week or will the wait be till next week? :)

Seeing as I'm not a patient person (doesn't help for this process) I have booked my tickets to the US for later this month. I am not doing an activation trip, so my next 2 weeks are pretty hectic. To top it all off I have the busiest 2 weeks at my work as well as trying to pack up a house and relocate adult children to their new homes.
OMG! That is so exciting!
 

Aidyn

Active Member
Did u only stay the one night? I am trying to decide whether to stay one or two nights.
Yep, flew Brisbane to Sydney on Monday afternoon, return flight was booked for 7:30pm Tuesday but manged to get them to put me on an earlier flight Tuesday afternoon at 2:30pm.

I had thought about maybe spending the afternoon wandering around Darling Harbor but to be honest I was really tired as I didn't sleep well the night before (nervous excitement) and I just wanted to get home. Plus, Sydney hasn't changed since last time I was there so nothing new for me.
 
Yep, flew Brisbane to Sydney on Monday afternoon, return flight was booked for 7:30pm Tuesday but manged to get them to put me on an earlier flight Tuesday afternoon at 2:30pm.

I had thought about maybe spending the afternoon wandering around Darling Harbor but to be honest I was really tired as I didn't sleep well the night before (nervous excitement) and I just wanted to get home. Plus, Sydney hasn't changed since last time I was there so nothing new for me.
What did u do with your luggage and belongings when you went to the consulate (I am assuming you had to vacate hotel before you went for interview)?
 
I have my interview next week and I’m getting very excited! A few last minite questions..
Should I bring my last few tax returns or just a couple of pay slips to verify employment?
Would they care if I plan to do an activation trip first then move early next year?
Do you need to do an ESTA for an activation trip?
And most importantly.. Any tips on what to wear?!
 

Aidyn

Active Member
I have my interview next week and I’m getting very excited! A few last minite questions..
Should I bring my last few tax returns or just a couple of pay slips to verify employment?
Would they care if I plan to do an activation trip first then move early next year?
Do you need to do an ESTA for an activation trip?
And most importantly.. Any tips on what to wear?!
If you have your high school certificate you wont need employment stuff. If, like me, you need to rely on work I can tell you that I was asked what o-net I was qualifying under (Have this printed out - it helps) and then for my resume, he then asked several questions around where I was employed, how long I had been there and what my job title was. I did show him through the glass other documents such as industry specific memberships however he did not seem interested in them. I also had over 2 years worth of payslips showing my job title but he did not request those.

Whether you do an activation trip or move over in one go is irrelevant to your interview - that choice is yours. If it comes up during your interview it would be more of a conversation item as to anything that would be used for your approval/denial.

You do not need an ESTA, thats a visa waiver, you have a visa :)

My suggestion would be smart causal.

Good luck next week, I certainly know the anxiousness and anticipation you are feeling. Best advise I can give is, be prepared and answer truthfully. If you've met all requirements you should be fine :)
 
If you have your high school certificate you wont need employment stuff. If, like me, you need to rely on work I can tell you that I was asked what o-net I was qualifying under (Have this printed out - it helps) and then for my resume, he then asked several questions around where I was employed, how long I had been there and what my job title was.
Just to clarify as I'm also qualifying under employment did you have any other supporting documents like letters from your employer, relevant qualifications, awards etc?
 
I have my HSC then went on to do a 2yr traineeship with my current employer (over 20yrs service) so have that certificate as well. Sounds like I won’t need it though
 
Top