welcome to wikas’ dv2005 experience – POSTED AUGUST 28, 2005


























December, 2003

We each enter DV-2005, our 6th attempt

April 19, 2004

NL dated March 23, 2004 arrives at home address in USA with case number 2005OC120X. Called KCC.

April 23, 2004

Sent all documentation back to KCC via UPS

November, 2004

Employer initiates extension of H1B work visa (expires early 2005)

December, 2004

We each enter DV-2006

February, 2005

H1B renewal is approved

April, 2005

We get married

April 26, 2005

Sent updated documentation to include my Prince Charming, to KCC via UPS

April 27, 2005

We receive 1st vaccinations of TD, MMR, Varicella

May 2, 2005

Called KCC who confirmed my Prince Charming was added to my case number today.

May 14, 2005

Prince Charming sends off request for German Police Certificate

May 28, 2005

Prince Charming receives German Police Certificate. Record is clean

June 13, 2005

Visa Bulletin Volume 83 released and OC cutoff for August is 1275… we have finally made it!!!

June 18, 2005

We send off requests for Australian Police Certificates

June 20, 2005

Called KCC and found out interview date

June 20, 2005

Booked flights back to Australia

June 20, 2005

Scheduled H1B visa interview online after GC interview in case the latter was unsuccessful

June 20, 2005

Called Dr Anthony Millar to schedule Medical Exams in Australia

June 22, 2005

We receive 2nd vaccinations of TD, MMR, Varicella

June 24, 2005

Friend in Australia includes money order and sends off Police Certificate request to Australian Federal Police

June 29, 2005

Called KCC and found out 2nd package was sent today

July 6, 2005

2nd package dated June 20, 2005 arrives at address in USA

July 11, 2005

Received letter from US Consulate in Sydney advising that we need to submit form DS-2001 showing we are documentarily qualified for the interview

July 12, 2005

Australian Police Certificates have arrived at friends address in Australia. Records are both clean

July 12, 2005

Called US Consulate in Syd asking them about the inability to find a government issued version of form DS-2001. Gave them my name, address, telephone and was told I'd hear from them soon

July 12, 2005

Received an apologetic call from US Consulate in Sydney saying the document was sent in error and to ignore it

July 29, 2005

Depart USA for Australia

August 1, 2005

Attend Medical Examinations

August 3, 2005

Dr calls to advise that we have passed our medical exams. Prefers we pick up the results

August 9, 2005

Picked up medical results.

August 10, 2005

Successful GC Interview

August 12, 2005

Passports arrive in the post with immigrant visa

August 20, 2005

Successful POE at Los Angeles Airport

August 26, 2005

Received welcome letter from the Department of Homeland Security

August 30, 2005

Received plastic Green Card



I am an Australian who moved to the USA in 2001 after being sponsored for a H1B work visa. My Prince Charming is German and moved to the USA in 2000 after being sponsored for a H1B work visa. We entered the Diversity Visa Lottery via instructions found at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/



When the Notification Letter arrived in April 2004, we thought it was a hoax. We had known from previous years that NLs are sent between May and August. As it looked official, we were excited yet skeptical.


I called the KCC and was greeted with a “Congratulations”. After 6 years of entering, I had finally won. The KCC rep urged me to return the completed docs as soon as possible.


I honestly had no idea of the existence of “regions” and the relevance of the case number. I thought that because my number was so low of the 100,000 that were notified, my interview would be soon. How wrong I was!!!


To complete the documents, I made 2 photocopies of DSP122 and DS230. I had not discovered the message board at this stage so any concerns I had with any of the questions were directed to the KCC via many phone calls. They helped me out immensely. The first copy I completed in pencil and had someone check it. The next I completed in pen and had someone else check that. Finally, I completed the original in pen and had a different person check that. I made sure that during the checking process, my friends had the necessary documents, eg. birth certificate, academic records etc... at hand, so they could cross check the information. I also photocopied the final copy for my personal records.


After sending the completed docs and photos, I was concerned that I’d have my CP interview during scheduled holidays in September 2004. I called the KCC and discussed my concerns when the rep informed that I may not be granted an interview until August/September 2005. I was SHOCKED!! I asked for an explanation. The rep pointed me to the Visa Bulletin website at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html and walked me the through the Current Bulletin and explained the significance of “cutoffs”. Basically, for a given bulletin, the cutoff listed is the number the KCC will process upto for the respective region. By understanding this and going through all the Archived Bulletins, I put together a little table with Oceania cutoffs. Although the OC region had reached CURRENT for the 3 years prior, I honestly felt my chances to get the GC vanished into thin air cause my number was so high. In addition, would there be visa numbers still available at the end of the DV fiscal year? And could I honestly be expected to wait 16 to 17 months for my interview?


Today, there's a much better source of cutoffs at http://www.clalar.dk/dv-lottery/dv-lottery-faq.php. Here you can analyse cutoffs for each region since 1995 and get an idea when your interview will be. This method is assuming cutoffs move at the same pace as they did for previous years.



As I was living in the USA, I had the choice to pursue my DV win via CP or AOS.

I didn't even give AOS a second thought. I was familiar with the bureaucratic crap that you have to go through dealing with the USCIS and how long everything takes. This is thanks to two H1B extensions and an employment based GC sponsorship. My first H1B extension should have only taken 45 days; instead it took 7 months and caused me to stay in the USA on an expired H1B which meant I couldn't leave. This was extremely stressful. My employment based GC was a joke!!! It's been 2.5yrs since it was lodged and it's still going through its 1st phase (Labour Certification). There's no end in sight even with my case moving to the backlog reduction centre and as of my POE, there’s still no sign of the 45 day letter. Obviously that has now been cancelled.

Having been on the messageboard for so long, I'm glad I chose CP, HANDS DOWN!!! With so many people on the board constantly posting about how they're waiting for the different phases of AOS to complete and how they have to engage their local politicians to push the USCIS offices etc... I could NOT deal with that kind of stress again, ESPECIALLY with such a high cutoff number for my region.

With CP, you're given a date and your fate is decided that day. I preferred the predictable nature of CP very much.

In addition due to choosing CP, I would be able to see my family/friends and claim all my expenses on my tax return the following year. Getting a GC allows me to continue working in the USA so it's definitely a "work expense" which I confirmed with our accountant.


The photos we submitted for our NL were as they were requested.

All other photos required for the interview and medical exam were as per http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/guide/composition/composition_874.html



I discovered the messageboard at http://www.eskimo.com/~parents/ in May 2004 and was amazed at the wealth of information. For days on end, I kept hitting the “Next 20 threads” button and read and cataloged relevant information in a word document. I remember my first post was “what does current mean?” Checking the board on a daily basis became essential. Continuing to log relevant information, especially those relating to the OC region became addictive as I had to learn as much as possible.



One of the most crucial posts I read on the board was in December 2004. It was posted by Steven (info@greencards.com.au) and described how important it is to marry before the interview. To me it seemed like the most unbelievable legal loophole. Basically, if you want your partner of the opposite sex to join you in the USA, you should get married before the interview so that they can ride on your application as a dependant. Otherwise, if you come to the USA and try to sponsor your partner, you need to become a citizen first which can take 5-6 years. Who wants to wait that long for their loved one to join them? We discussed this and as we had been together for so long, made the decision to marry. As we had time on our hands due to my high case number, we had the luxury of planning a special day.


When it came time to add my Prince Charming to my case, I wrote up a cover letter stating a change to my family circumstance, made reference to my case number, pointed out that I was not changing my family name and resubmitted DS230 Part I for myself and DS230 PartI&II and photos for my Prince Charming. I also included an unnotarised photocopy of our marriage license.



We concluded from 2005 OC experiences in Australia, that 3 weeks would be required for CP. At the time, we had to factor in the Medical Exams, fingerprints for our Australian Police Certificates and Interview. As you’ll read later, this was narrowed down to the Medical Exam and Interview only.


Week 1 – Attend medical exam and obtain results

Week 2 – Attend interview

Week 3 – Buffer week to deal with any issues arising from interview.


By knowing this time frame, I knew exactly what dates to book our flights to Australia when I found out my interview date.



As we were living in the USA, it was imperative that we get as much done in the USA for our medical examination in Australia.


Once again, we concluded from 2005 OC experiences in Australia, that we’d need to be vaccinated for Tetanus Diptheria, Measles Mumps Rubella and Varicella (Chicken Pox). As 2 shots were required of each - 8 weeks apart - we commenced our first round of vaccinations April 2005. The second round of vaccinations were done June 2005. Getting this done ahead of time meant that we would eliminate delays in getting our medical results. Also, it’s wise to get any required vaccinations where you currently have access to health insurance. That’s another reason why we got our vaccinations in the USA.


The medical examination in Sydney was very easy, fun and efficient. We chose Dr Anthony Millar and both he and his secretary had us in fits of laughter. They were both so funny!!


Our appointment was at 11am. We turned up at 10:40am and were asked for our passports, 3 photos, vaccination records and the medical forms from the 2nd package. We paid the Doctors fee of AU$121 each with our Credit Cards.


I was asked to provide a urine sample via a visit to the ladies toilets. Prince Charming had to pee in a bowl in the Dr’s office.


The exam was straight forward. He went through a Q&A of the questions in the medical forms. I then undressed to my underwear, where he checked flexibility, height, weight, skin and vision. I then dressed and my Prince Charming went in for his exam.


Once done, we were sent to Level 1 for our chest X-rays to check for tuberculosis. This cost AU$60.50 each which we paid via CCs. While waiting for the X-rays to process, we went to Level 2 for our blood test for HIV and Syphilis. This cost AU$43.20 each which we paid via CCs. Back down to Level 1 to pick up our X-rays and then our final stop at the Doctors. We passed our X-rays and were told to pack them into our check-in luggage upon our return to the USA.


Finally, as our interview was the following week, the secretary requested that we pick up our results. I received a call 2 days later that our results were a success and ready for pick up.


The day before our interview, I popped into the Doctors and the secretary went through and described the paperwork and results. She then inserted them into individual envelopes and sealed them. She was kind enough to provide copies of the vaccination records and blood test results for our personal records.



US PCs are not required. In the 2nd package, it clearly states that “Present and former residents of the United States should NOT obtain any police certificates covering their residence in the US.”



As I was residing outside of Australia, we had to request our PCs via the Australian Federal Police. The biggest obstacle was supplying fingerprints. For the longest time, I thought we could only have the fingerprints done in Australia. As some 2005 OCers had delays in receiving their PCs, I became concerned and made enquiries to the AFP about whether I could supply the fingerprints from the USA. In my opinion, I had to get the check started and have the certificates returned before we flew back to Australia. After several emails and phone calls to the AFP, I explained my dilemma about time constraints and they happily confirmed that it was perfectly fine to send the fingerprints along with the completed form found at http://www.afp.gov.au/afp/raw/Forms/Crimhistory/Crim01.pdf


My local police in the USA were able to help with the ink fingerprints. Each finger was fingerpinted and then four fingers (index to pinky) on left and right were taken simultaneously. It was filled out on a very official looking form.


I attached this to the above completed form and the AFP voluntarily suggested the following answers for 2 of the questions;


On the Consent to Obtain Personal Information page of the form for Question iii) Consent to - you write 'SELF' and  Question iv)Specify Entitlement - you write 'OVERSEAS VISA - UNITED STATES'.


I then sent off the completed paperwork, fingerprints and photocopies of our passports to my friend in Australia. They then inserted the Money Order for AU$103 (NAME & FINGERPRINT where fingerprints are supplied), stamped self addressed envelopes and sent it off to the AFP. The AFP gave you the option to choose where you’d want your PCs to be returned. Naturally, I wanted them to stay in Australia and had them returned to my friend. They arrived with a clean record a month before our interview. That was one less thing to worry about when we actually got to Australia.



My Prince Charming required a German Police Certificate. We followed details on how to obtain this at


It was straightforward and the PC could only return to our current address in the USA. It did so 2 weeks after posting.



Prince Charming's birth/police certificates were in German. So we had to have them professionally translated. We consulted our local German Consulate and they provided references to recognised translating services in our area.



Receiving the 2nd package finally brought home the reality of our DV win. There were two lists, one by the KCC and another specifically from the Sydney Consulate. I chose to use the latter and although the following isn't the entire list, this is what I submitted at our interview;


1        2 photos (Primary & Dependant)

2        Valid passport (P&D)

3        Education or Employment Records (P. Only the primary winner has to meet this requirement)

4        Original Birth Cert & Translations (P&D)

5        Original Marriage Cert (P)

6        Original Police Certs & Translations (P&D)

7        Evidence of financial support

-        12 months of bank statements (P&D)

8        Medical Results (P&D)

9        All expired passports (P&D)


As stated in the 2nd package, I created individual piles and photocopies were placed directly beneath originals.


As we had 16 months to prepare for the interview, we decided it was feasible to ensure we had at least US$16K each in savings. We consulted the 2005 Poverty Guidelines at http://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/files/I-864p.pdf and concluded that if a 2 person household required US$16037, then we would have that amount EACH as we both work and are not dependant on each other. This was a personal decision to have this amount each as we had the time to save it.


The following were not requested by the consulate but I chose to bring them due to the many CP experiences I had read on the board. For me, it was imperative that I bring along as much as possible in order to maximise chances for a successful interview;


10      Asset

-        house deed + market analysis showing current value + mortgage owing

11      Employment

-        letter of employment (P&D)

-        12 months of payslips (P&D)

-        all W2s (tax returns) (P&D)

12      Evidence of Relationship

-        Printed log of email correspondence

-        Photo album of our relationship & wedding


All documents from 1 through 11 were photocopied. Make sure you know where everything is in the pile you submit at the interview. I had put little pieces of sticky notes on the originals pointing out what everything was. In the end, this really helped finding the specific docs the interviewers asked for.



A week before the interview, an overwhelming calm settled in. I became so confident with our case and the paperwork, that I felt success was the only option on the big day.


We awoke on a crisp Sydney morning and arrived at the MLC centre at 7am. For those future OCers who want to find budget accommodation in Sydney, we stayed at a fantastic youth hostel http://www.wakeup.com.au/. We ate breakfast downstairs at the MLC and by 7:20am, were the first ones waiting to go up to the US consulate. A few people started to gather and I kept trying Level 10 but it wouldn’t light up. At 7:45am we finally got up to the 10th floor. We made sure we were the last ones in, to be the first ones out. We went through a security check and had to take a seat. The guard then informed us and a guy to return to the lifts. Up we went to the 59th floor and again, we were the first ones out. Another security check, where I had to check in my digital camera and a mobile phone with a built in camera. Mobile phones that don’t have a camera are permitted through provided they’re turned off.


Once through the glass doors, we selected “Immigrant Visas” and received ticket number 001 at 7:55am.


At 8:05am, we were called up to window 2. I was so amazed to see the DSP122 and DS230 docs in a folder with my name on it. It was such an unbelievable sight to see my hand written documents travel across the globe to the consulate. The interviewer asked for my documents and we submitted our individual piles. She then started going through all the documents and returned what was not required, eg. old passports. She then created two piles again and bound them with an elastic band. She confirmed the address we wanted to have our GC sent to. She then told us to head to the cashier’s window and pay our fee.


At 8:15am, the cashier explained the breakdown in cost. Our combined cost was US$1510 (on the receipt it says AU$1963) and we paid with via Credit Card. We were given the receipt and told to hang onto it. We then took a seat and waited for our number to come up.


At 8:35am, we were called up to window 1. A different interviewer had all our docs and asked for the cashiers receipt. First question was when we intend to enter the USA. I said Saturday August 20th, 2005 and she looked straight up stunned by how soon it was. I then said we had to return to our jobs in the USA on the 22nd. She then asked if I was a part of a known terrorist organisation? No. She then noticed my expired H1B work visa and asked if I have a valid one. I replied that the interviewer at window 2 had given back the Notice of Approval to extend the H1B visa and asked if she would like to see it. I nearly had my head bitten off as she said sternly, “Maam, all I wanted was a yes or no answer. Do you have valid H1B?” Technically, although I didn’t have a valid one in my passport, I had the notice of approval and so answered, “Yes”. She then asked for confirmation of the US address where we wanted our GCs sent to. She then turned her attention to my Prince Charming and asked if he was part of a known terrorist organisation? No. Then she asked for an employment letter and a payslip. (See how important it is to read the board, take notes, be prepared and simply take as many relevant documents as you can?) As it was in our “additional material” folder, I had to bend down and pull out all the additional paperwork, unclip it and extract a copy of the employment letter and latest payslip. She thanked us for having all our paperwork available and in order. We were then asked to take a seat. About 5secs later, I got called up to window 1 and was questioned about the Express Post satchel. I indicated that I did not wish to fill it out just yet. She replied that I could discuss it with the Consulate Officer. About 5secs after that, the same lady called out for my Prince Charming and asked where his passport was issued. It was clearly written in the passport but in any case he replied, Germany.


At 8:50am we were called upto window 5. This time we were faced with an American male who had all our docs. We started off by swearing an oath to tell the truth. He then took digital fingerprints of our index fingers. He noticed that we already live in the USA and asked for our annual salaries. Asked my Prince Charming if he had ever lived in Australia. Yes. He then asked how long we had been married. My Prince Charming replied 4 months and it sounded so short that my heart started racing, although I had nothing to fear. He looked up and asked how long we had known each other. 8 years. He then asked why we married. As we knew this was going to come up, we had rehearsed our answer so as not to fumble over each other and we simply said that it was already planned. The consulate officer was flicking through our docs back and forth and we sensed he was not satisfied with the answer. I was bursting at the seams to pull out our photo album and copies of emails dating back 8 years that I had meticulously prepared, when I restrained myself and remembered all the other CP experiences to never offer up more information than they ask for. But my Prince Charming bravely jumped in and indicated that we had bought a house 2.5 years ago. The officer then asked to see any evidence of this and I handed over the house deed which ironically, I had taken to show as an asset. We handed this over and suddenly he was relaxed. He then asked for my employment letter. (Again, this was not on their list but was taken due to other CP experiences.) Following this, it was smooth sailing and he struck up a great conversation with my Prince Charming. I completed the Express Post satchel and the officer made us realise that our H1B work visas would be cancelled. We said this was a fair swap for an immigrant visa. With that, the officer thanked us for our time and that the visas would be printed and sent the following day.


Finally, I told the officer that I had a non-immigrant H1B visa interview scheduled and wanted to know how to cancel that. He asked for the appointment letter which I happened to bring and he promised to take care of it.


By 9:10am, we were done. We returned to our seats where we had left our winter coats, asked the crowd whether anyone needed an Express Post satchel (I had bought 4 to help out others), sold two of them, collected our belongings from security, went down to the ground floor where I proceeded to run out and yell at the top of my lungs with happiness. We embraced with feelings of sheer relief and couldn’t believe it was all over. Wikas had finally made it to the other side J



Our Point of Entry was Los Angeles International Airport. So many times before, we had stood in the “Visitors” line and what a great feeling it was to stand in the much shorter line for “Citizens and Permanent Residents”. At 10:00am we got called over to the next Immigration Officer and handed over our passports and sealed yellow envelopes. He opened both up, examined them, scanned our passports and told us to go ahead, collect our check-in luggage and return to an area off to the side with chairs. He indicated he had some documentation to sort and complete. We did as he said, and he called us up where we took fingerprints of our right index finger on a form for the request for the plastic Green Card. We then signed it.


He was an extremely friendly officer and wished us all the best and at 10:25am, we were done.


We were home.



The DV experience tested my patience and sanity. Having to wait 16 months for my interview only to have our fate decided in 1 hour seemed unfair but very fair. But that’s how it happened. In those 16 months, I learnt an enormous amount from the message board and have made life long friends with some of the other OCers. Together with their help, an OC report was created of the 2005 winners detailing medical, police and CP experiences. This report can be found at http://www.clalar.dk/dv-lottery/oc-region-lottery/index.php


Winning the DV is truly an emotional rollercoaster.


My advice to all of those who have won and will face the experience, is to simply be prepared. Read as many posts on the board as you can. Make sure you start collecting all the required paperwork in reasonable time ahead of the interview AND if you find documentation that you think may be beneficial to your interview but is not included on the list, make a copy and put it into a folder titled as “additional material”. There are so many of you who come onto the board and ask whether you should include document X or Y. These questions are pointless. If you have the document, translate it if required, photocopy it and take it. There’s no harm in taking additional paperwork.


Thank you to Steven, my fellow OCers and all of you from around the world who helped contribute to my success.


Thank YOU for following my DV saga and taking the time to read my DV experience.


Finally, a big THANX to my Beloved Prince Charming who endured months and months of after work discussions about the latest saga unfolding on the message board. Towards the end, I became so consumed with the DV experience and preparing our paperwork, I drove everyone crazy.. including myself!!! So don't be surprised if it happens to you :)

Good Luck :)