DV 2019 Oceania Selectees

Thanks Bob22. On the topic of an activation trip, am I right in understanding that you are subject to tax in the US on worldwide income from the first day of your activation trip? So I would be taxed in the US on Australian income earned after returning from activation trip and prior to moving permanently over?


Active Member
Yes that is true. You should file a tax return or you will probably get a fail to file penalty. Plus if you owe tax you will also get a fail to pay penalty.

However you are allowed to earn a certain amount before they tax you, I cannot remember the exact amount as its complicated.
Bought ourselves a house here yesterday in San Luis Obispo, CA. Australian dollars aren’t going very far these days! The process is more complex than in Australia - but the realtors sort of run the show anyway. 30 Day settlement - then we’ll actually have a place to live outside of air bnb. One of the trickiest aspects of our first two weeks has been getting the basics established before you have a proper residential address. You really need to rely on a friend who will lend you their address for a while. We looked into using ‘UPS’ etc but im not sure that would cut it at the Bank or the DMV. By the way the DMV is pretty difficult. SLO is not even taking appointments and the waits can be very long.. I have been using OFX for funds transfer for years - without them, the house buying process would have been very tricky...Jim..


Well-Known Member
Is that tax on all overseas income or just up to a certain amount?
I don't know if there is a specific cap BUT, the first year we were residents (and spent 8 months back in Oz getting packed up), my taxable income was well into the six figures and we didn't have to pay anything to the US government.

Where Aussies need to be careful in terms of income is:

a) capital gains tax - the US doesn't offer a break on the principal residence. So, if you earned more than $250,000 in capital gains as a single, or $500,000 as a couple, the US will tax you on every dollar over that threshold, even if the property is in Australia; and

b) superannuation - the US does not recognize superannuation as a pension / retirement fund. To them, it's an investment account and has to be accounted for in your tax return accordingly.

I always recommend new residents use an accountant, at least for the first year.


Active Member
Does anyone know if you can add your families cases to your My USCIS account? I have setup mine, updated a mailing address etc. Would like to just add the rest of my families cases to my own? I remember when i paid the greencard fees they had their own case numbers so I'm really hoping I don't have to make four separate accounts just to track everything and update the mailing address.
Hey Guys,

Finally had my interview last Tuesday and all went relatively smoothly!

We had to fly in on the red eye flight from Perth as I had an exam earlier in the day to attend and that was the first flight over I could take. We were a bit worried that the flight would be late however it was early so got in around 6:15am. Once we got our bags we caught the train into the city (expensive one way trip!) and dropped our suitcases off at the hotel. Fortunately we had around an hour before the consulate opened so we spent some time wandering through Hyde Park before going to the MLC building and waiting in the lobby until 7:50am.

We went up to level 10 (marked consulate at the bottom of the lift panel) and sat in the waiting area as they were still closed. Shortly after the security guard called everyone up that had an interview and asked us what our visit was for and we said diversity visa. He checked to make sure our phones were off and handed us a bag to put our phones in, then we went around to the left so the ladies at the counter could check our documents and place these into pouches. Then we were ushered through security where we had to remove our jackets and everything in our pockets and moved through the scanner and checked our electronics into storage. Once through we had to wait in a little seating area for the lift and were escorted by security up to the interview area.

After going through the security door we took our number from the ticket machine and sat down and waited to be called up. Which was immediate as we were the first ones there and had our first meeting with a lady to check all of our documents. As I was applying via job experience she checked over the paperwork and handed back the example job listing I included. I'll list all the documents I included in this later. We had our fingerprints scanned and I was given my passport and an amount to pay which I had to take over to the payment area. This is the part where my credit card company rejected my payment and I had to be given a pass to get out, I went back out through security grabbing my phones and called them. This process took 15 very anxious minutes but thankfully the lift on US currency payments got lifted and I was able to successfully make the payment.

I took the receipt back to the lady who first served me and was advised that everything was ok and to take a seat as I'd be called up for my interview next. As the payment had taken some time the consulate was no longer empty so we had to wait a while whilst I nervously watched the people at the counters to see if they had my paperwork. We saw a few happy people walking away during this time and one person that had missed out due to the wrong country of chargeability. Finally we were called up, we held our hand up and made an oath that all our information was truthful and had our finger prints scanned again. The interview was relatively short and simple, just went through and confirmed our details, whether we'd been married before, if we had any other children and what my job was. I'd answered with my job position and how long I'd been working in that role for, he confirmed my recent job change and then advised us that we'd be receiving our visas in the mail. We stood there dumbfounded and asked if we were successful and if there was anything else, he replied no and we just left.

We had our interview on the Tuesday and we've received the passports back on Thursday. Overall that was extremely anticlimactic.

In terms of paperwork I brought for my work experience.

Job offer letter from current role
O*Net listing
Letter from previous employer detailing duties and length of tenure
Letter written by myself listing experience, job titles and income levels
University enrolment and results

Now we just need to decide where we're living and when we're going!
Hi guys! Longtime listener, first time poster here.

I'm wondering if any DV Oceania winners from Perth have any insight into how fast their passports were returned to them after their interview?

I have my interview on Tuesday August 13 in Sydney and am trying to gauge whether I can book an international flight for a work trip the next Tuesday.

Any help much appreciated!