interview day

I did my medical and police checks in mid-August because I spent September and October on vacation in Colorado job-hunting. So by the time I got my interview date in mid-September I was all ready as far as paperwork was concerned.

I arrived in Sydney on Monday morning and had my new US-dimensions passport photo taken at Photoland on King and Pitt Streets, right by the theater exit of the MLC Center. It was $24.95 for two, but you only need the one. I had already tried the pharmacy inside MLC Center (level 7, food court) but because Monday was Veterans Day in the US, whoever was in charge of the passport photos had taken the day off.

Monday night I had a few “take-the-edge-off” cocktails at Opera Bar in Sydney Harbor before heading back to my hotel (Travelodge Phillip St, literally three minutes’ walk from the MLC Center). When I checked in the guy had asked me what I was doing in town and I said I had an interview at Martin Place. He said “US consulate? We get a lot of guests for that sort of thing.” so if you’re an out-of-towner and looking for decent close accommodation for a reasonable price, I’d recommend it.

My interview was scheduled for 9:30am Tuesday morning but I’m a nervy bastard at the best of times so I decided to just go in early and see if I couldn’t get through a bit ahead of schedule. On top of that I had a flight booked for 4:00pm and didn’t want to get caught up if it went for a few hours. I hit the Martin Place post office first for the required 3kg Express Post envelope for the return of my passport. Assuming you’re successful in being granted the the green card, they keep your passport to apply a temporary visa to it. They then ship it back after a few days.

I went to level 10 at the MLC Center, showed my ID and went through the metal detector sans shoes, belt, sunglasses and phone. They held the latter two but I was allowed to put my belt and shoes back on. After that I sat in a row of chairs until the elevator attendant called me and two others over. She hit the 59 button and we headed up to the consulate. Before the door there’s an official behind a window who checks your passport again before buzzing the door to let you into the room. You press the button on the machine for Immigrant Visas, which will print you out a ticket with C-### on it, and then you take a seat.

Inside is just like your average Medicare or Department of Transport office, only probably more nerve-wracking. The magazines are crap and there’s a pretty generic border-security video playing on the TV. Unless you take a book or the newspaper (DO THIS), you’ll be bored. I probably sat for the best part of an hour before my number (C409) was called. I went to my assigned window and a woman went through my paperwork pretty painstakingly. I was nervous even though I knew it was all in order (grade 12 certificate, university transcripts, police report, medical records, birth certificate, passport). I took bank statements showing I had savings but she didn’t even look at them before giving them back.

She gave me a ticket to show the cashier so I went to pay my fee ($US330 or $A363) – I took cash just in case the card machines were down, which they weren’t. After seeing my receipt the woman at the window finished off my paperwork, had me sign the DS-0230 form and then asked me to sit down and wait.

After about 10 minutes I got called up again. The interviewing officer took my fingerprints, make me take an oath that I’d be truthful and answer questions to the best of my ability and then she got stuck into it. Why do you want to move to the US? What work do you do here? What work do you intend to do in the US? How will you support yourself while you look for work? Where will you stay? Why did you choose there? How do you know the person you’re staying with?

Anyway after I answered her questions the interviewing officer looked at me with a deadpan expression and said “I have good news. You’ve been approved for the visa.” She handed me a slip of paper with my name and some basic instructions on it and said congratulations. After that I took off back downstairs to grab my phone and head out to consume six beers and a glass of celebratory bubbly before 1:00pm.

So that’s it! From door to door it took me two hours. I was out by 10:25am with a green card on its way. All I had to do after that was wait until I got the passport back because I had a ticket to return to the US on November 24. They say not to book anything until you get the visa in the mail, but buying a ticket last-minute wasn’t viable and I packed up my life and quit my job in anticipation for today. Based on the testimony of other people who’ve had Tuesday interviews, I was expecting to get it back Friday in the post and, sure enough, on Friday November 15 the embassy contacted me to say my visa was in the mail and on its way back to me. Quick turnaround for a government department!

Some interview advice:

a) Take something hard-copy to read. Seriously. The magazines suck.

b) Answer truthfully but don’t go overboard. One woman who interviewed right before me was obviously nervous and babbled incessantly about unnecessary bullshit and from where I was sitting I could hear the consular official getting frustrated.

c) If you didn’t put a US street address on your initial application (for where they’ll send your green card), you need to take one to the interview. It can be a friend’s place, or a hotel, or whatever. Make sure it’s somewhere safe though. The REAL advice here is: write the address down on paper! You can’t take your phone or laptop into the consulate, so if you haven’t got the address written down they won’t approve you on the spot.

d) Don’t be nervous! You got this far. Be excited!

If you’ve got questions about the process, don’t be shy – leave me a comment below.

40 thoughts on “interview day

  1. Hi and Happy New Year! Just wondering, did you get all your photocopied documents certified by a JP? It doesn’t say that is a requirement, but I’m not sure as they are official documents and you would normally need to for other circumstances.

    Also, seeing as you’re a journalist and I’m in a related field (graphic designer in publishing), how was it finding work over there?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Great blog by the way, I might be inspired to do the same if/when we do move! 🙂

    1. Hey Susanna, thanks for reading! I didn’t get my photocopies certified by a JP; I did have a moment of panic on the morning of the interview thinking I should have, but as you mentioned there’s nothing that says to do so. In any case it didn’t seem to matter.

      Honestly I couldn’t tell you too much about the publishing industry. As for journalism, I will say that there seems to be a lot of jobs going, but probably by virtue of the fact that it’s a much bigger country with more media markets. The industry still faces the same challenges that it does in Australia, but on a larger scale I guess.

    1. Where do you intend to stay when you first arrive? That’s pretty crucial and they’re certainly going to ask you that in the interview. You can nominate a hotel or some other form of address that’s not going to change, but since it’s not really known how long you’ll have to wait before it arrives (I don’t have mine yet, six weeks after entering the country) you don’t really want to be paying for a hotel for two months.

      Hotels do cost money and since you won’t have a job right away they’re going to scrutinise your living arrangements because you need to be able to prove you can totally support yourself until such time as you have a job. I believe that’s why mine was so easy – the address I provided belonged to a good friend whose house I was intending to live at until I found a job. The idea that I had a support system (that wasn’t the US Government), free rent and lots of savings was good proof that I wasn’t going to become a public charge, which is one of the key factors of the interview.

      If you want to discuss the address thing further (maybe we can figure something out) drop me an email – adrianjcrawford AT gmail dot com.

  2. Hi Adrian, nice blog and I hope you’re keeping warm over there! Forgive me if you’ve mentioned this and I missed it, but did you find your job at Augusta before or after you’d received a green card? Do you know how most people who migrate to the US go about finding work?

    1. Hey there, thanks for reading!

      Incidentally I had applied for the Augusta job twice when it had been advertised long before I got my green card. It turned out to be third time lucky – they readvertised a week before I got my green card so I jumped on the application again and managed to convince them to give me a look even though I had no experience in the US (although I had plenty in Australia, it’s still a big hurdle to leap I feel).

      Prior to that I’d struck out a million times with job applications for the US – I honestly think that someone with overseas experience and qualifications is a bit of a daunting prospect and a gamble for employers to roll the dice on (in this industry, anyway; I’m absolutely sure that it’s different in science, IT, engineering, health – all the “black and white” type industries where numbers are numbers all over the world). But I think now that I have a foot in the door things will be easier if I ever go on the job hunt again.

      I can’t say I really know how others do it – I think a popular method is to come out here on the Visa Waiver Program (tourist visa) in advance of their green card interview, do some job hunting and try to get noticed, then finalise the process once their green card is secured. However (in my experience) that can be a crap shoot too.

      Best of luck!

  3. So the questions they ask you seem basic enough, but do you mind giving saying what your answers were? In particular the two questions 1)Why do you want to move to the US? (Especially if you aren’t actually set up with a job yet?), and 2)Why did you choose the US?
    Is it as simple as : 1)Because I got selected for a green card! 2)The green card again!
    Thanks for the blog, would be great if you kept it updated with life in the US. I’m from S.A., hoping that they will do another one end of this year (2014). Fingers crossed.

    1. My answer to “why?” was twofold. Firstly because I’ve always enjoyed vacationing there and I wanted to give living there a shot while I was still young and unencumbered with responsibility, and secondly because my industry is way bigger in the US (by virtue of the fact that it’s a larger country with more media markets).

      The second question wasn’t “why did you choose the US?” but “why did you choose the particular place you’ll stay in”, which for me was Colorado. I said it was because I had a good network of friends there and because I’d spent the past three months there and loved Denver.

  4. Good and informative blog indeed! I am Rwandese and am waiting come 1st May 2014 and will check for the yes or no…

  5. Loving your blog mate. Extremely informative and helpful. I’m from NZ and have been selected for the 2015 round of the lottery. Apologies is you’ve answered this somewhere else but I was wondering how current the police record has to be? Also, my case number is in the 6 hundreds. Any idea how to tell when the interview might be? I will probably be out of the country in October.

    1. The police record check just has to be current mate – I think the Aussie ones last a year. And for reference I was a low 300 and I interviewed in November – you won’t be interviewing until the new year at least so don’t fret about October.

  6. G’day Adrian. Your blog is a godsend and an awesome read – thanks for demystifying this process for other people from Aust. going through this like you have. Can I ask a more personal question – is there a recommended amount you need to have saved to show you’re financially secure? Just wondering what is considered an acceptable minimum.

    Also you’ve mentioned elsewhere that you took your high school certificate and university transcript to the interview. What if I can’t find my highschool cert – can I just take my university degree?

    Thanks again for this hugely invaluable blog!

    1. Hey Leah, thanks for reading. As far as savings are concerned, I don’t think there’s a set number. Basically they’re going to want to know how you intend to support yourself without becoming a drain on the US. If you show up, shrug your shoulders and say you’ll figure it out, then they’re probably going to be wary and may want to see proof of financials. I personally had $25k in the bank, but I think what worked better in my favor was that I told my interviewing officer that even if I couldn’t find career work, I was willing and ready to find retail or hospitality work to support myself in the meantime.

      As for the university degree standing in for a high school certificate, there have been mixed reports of whether that works. Honestly I wouldn’t take a chance – you can get copies of your certificate from your state’s education department. Mine was like $20 I think.

      1. Hey Adrian. Thanks very much for your reply and information. Keep up the great posts, you have a fantastic writing style, very personable. Cheers.

  7. Hey Adrian. Just a question regarding additional trips to the US. I submitted my online DS-260 form in May and have since gone to the States for 6 weeks in June/July for a holiday so this trip wasn’t noted on my form as a prior trip. When you had your interview did you bring any evidences of your trips to the US after you submitted your forms (e.g. hotel reservations, flights etc) or would the stamps in your passport suffice? Would they even ask me about the additional trip at the interview? Cheers

    1. Hey Andrew. I didn’t even list all of my prior trips on the initial form – there were six, I had room for maybe three – and it never came up. I think the interviewing official looked at the stamps and asked me when my last trip was, which ended about two weeks prior. I think hotel reservations etc would be a huge amount of overkill.

  8. Hello Adrian,I’m so glad that I have found your blog,it is extremely helpful and I would like to ask for your advice.First of all,I’m a university student studying food engineering and I just started uni life mid September this year.I am from Hungary and I am a young 18 year old male.It has long been my dream to move to the United States so I applied for the DV-2016 programme,the first ever in my life(and yes,my country is eligible) early October.I believe I speak English really good so I would not have any problems with making myself understood.Moreover,I finished secondary school with really good marks this June so I also possess a high school diploma.However,I’m afraid that my main hindrance would be finances if and this is a big if I am selected for the green card.You see,I’m a student and have no source of income and I live with my parents.I personally have some money that I collected over the years,approximately 175 dollars.Would it prove to be a big problem down the line? I really don’t want to borrow money from my parents and I highly doubt that they would actually give me money.Perhaps my grandmother could give me some money but I’m not really sure.Moreover,they would not be happy if I dropped out of university just to go to the US.However,I have an alternative plan.I believe that I would be able to join the US Military with a green card and thus I would be able to collect some money so that I can live somewhere in the US.I am physically really fit because I work out so I doubt that military training would pose problems for me.
    I would really,really be happy if you would be so kind as to provide me with your advice.
    Greetings from Hungary.

    1. Hi Bence,

      I’m glad the blog has been helpful. I must warn you, though: I don’t think you’ll like my answer to your question.

      One of the main things that the interviewing officer at the consulate is looking for is your ability to financially support yourself and not become “a charge of the state,” or in other words a welfare recipient. For Australians there was no formal requirement to prove you had savings or financial stability, but it differs depending on your country. I don’t know whether or not it’s necessary in Hungary. If you can’t prove that you will be living off your money and not the government’s, why would they let you in?

      But ask yourself this, my friend: Let’s say hypothetically you are successful and get a green card. How are you going to afford to fly over with your $175 in savings? How are you going to afford accommodation? Food? Transport? You won’t just be strolling into an Army recruitment office and being sent off to basic training that afternoon. You need a place to stay, you need all these other things. Without a job, people with rooms to rent aren’t even going to look in your direction, because you have no way of paying the rent. Even if your parents or grandparents give you money (which you don’t even believe to be a certainty), you still need to survive off whatever you get. What happens when that runs out?

      For reference, when I left Australia I had in my savings account the equivalent of what I earn here in one year. That way I could afford to buy myself a car, pay a security deposit on an apartment (one month’s rent) plus the first month’s rent, furnish and stock the apartment with furniture and food, and get myself set up. My savings, which were in the five-figure range, disappeared very quickly.

      Have you ever been to the United States? I’m sensing that you probably haven’t. Even if you’ve been here on vacation, moving here is vastly different. Moreover, the green card isn’t for use as a free ticket to the U.S. for a couple of years – it’s meant for people who are moving their entire lives to the States on a permanent basis. I would strongly advise you against hinging your whole life on hoping the military will take you.

      I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality is this is an enormous step in life. I’d advise you to finish your university degree, or at least get a part-time job, and get saving. If this is truly your dream, it’s not going anywhere. Save up until you have the ability to do it properly. If you come here unprepared financially, you could very quickly find yourself broke, or worse, homeless, and with no way to afford a ticket back home.

      1. Well,I guess I was expecting this for answer.I don’t know,my mother is always telling me I’m naive.Sometimes I just feel like giving up everything,including university,so as to move to the States.Oh well,things are not like they were in the 1900s anymore,when you would just waltz right through Ellis Island.The truth is that I stayed only once in the US,namely in NYC but I was probably 2 years old and actually we were going to head up to Toronto to visit some relatives.On the one hand,finishing uni seems so distant to me plus I’m not even sure whether this is the course that suits me the best but I don’t want to drop out.On the other hand,if I manage to survive and finish university,I may have a better chance of landing a job in the States.I don’t know what else to say.I might as well just get a degree and save up some money.Also,I’m not really sure if this is inappropriate to mention and pardon me if it is but my father died a year ago and he had a tiny apartment that is currently being advertised in hopes that someone may buy it.Its value is around 8300 USD and if it is sold I will receive that money(hopefully) but even then after reading your comment it seems that it just wouldn’t be enough.I have done some research on which states are the cheapest and it seems that it’s the southern ones like Arkansas,Mississipi,Alabama and midwest ones like Nebraska,etc that’s quite interesting.As far as military service is concerned,I think I’m going this route if I don’t get a job in the distant future.
        Last of all,thank you very much for your input,you have brought up some relevant points.Still,it seems really romantic to just leave everything and everybody behind and see what life’s like over there.
        One more thing.Another interesting thing is this.It was actually my father’s elder sister who moved to Canada in the early 1980s to escape the economic crisis in Hungary.Although Canada doesn’t really rock my boat,my grandma is actually supportive of me visiting them and now I’m pretty sure that she would also be supportive if I were to go to the US because she had once told me she would pay for the flight but again this scenario is hypothetical.

      2. It might seem “really romantic” to leave, but the reality is that being broke, homeless, 18 years old with no formal skills, qualifications or experience, in a country that’s not your own, isn’t “romantic” at all.

        Even if Grandma pays for your flight, it’s a drop in the bucket, my friend. You would still need money to live off for an undetermined period of time while you look for work and accommodation. And if you don’t have accommodation lined up before you get to the U.S. (which is virtually impossible in your situation), you’re going to have to stay in hotels or hostels. That’s $40+ per day, plus meals, transport and other things.

        Like I said, it’s not a requirement for Australians to show proof of financial stability, but if it is for Hungarians, you’re going to run into a lot of problems even if you do get drawn out as a lottery selectee. What do you think immigration officials are going to say when they interview an 18-year-old kid with no work experience and no savings? How are you going to support yourself in the U.S.? I had $40,000 in the bank, eight years of work experience and dozens of friends in the U.S. whose couch I could crash on if things went badly. I even gave myself a six-month deadline – if I hadn’t found a real job after six months, or my savings dropped to 25 percent of what I came with, I was going home to Australia. If you don’t have money, you don’t have options. If you don’t have work experience at all, even McDonald’s is more likely to hire a local high school graduate than it is to hire you. I’m sorry, but that’s the reality of the situation.

        And regardless of the cost of living in cheaper states, you still NEED MONEY. I live in Maine, where the cost of living and housing is quite low, yet I still spent more than $10,000 getting myself settled in an apartment and buying half a car. My first month’s rent and security deposit alone cost me $1,200, and I had to pay that three weeks before I ever got a paycheck. I lived for over a month on my savings before my first paycheck came in. Like I said, no one is going to rent an apartment to someone who can’t show proof of income or savings, and that’s if you get THAT far.

        My advice stands. Finish university, get your degree, and in the meantime get a job and save some money. I would bet $100 that you’ll look back on this “plan” in three years’ time and think “wow, that was silly of me. How did I think I was going to afford that?”

  9. All right then Adrian,I’ll follow your advice.I don’t really have any other options besides university anyway,also I don’t want to disappoint my parents.Again,I really appreciate that you helped me out on this matter.I’m looking forward to a brighter future,someday I may meet you, who knows?

  10. Reading your blog has given me some much needed optimism!

    I’m heading to the Sydney consulate on Tuesday and I am SO NERVOUS. I couldn’t possibly be more prepared than I am right now, and flying from Brisbane at 5am isn’t the best thing in the world, but I just wanted to thank you! I just hope I’m not forgetting anything …

    Is it a good idea to take university transcripts? And did you just take your QCE/QCS results for your high school education documentation?

    1. Hey Ali,

      Take deep breaths. You’ll be alright! Although with daylight savings in New South Wales, I think I’d be fair shitting myself if I was flying in the morning of. That seems like a pretty big gamble, if you’re banking on Australian domestic airlines and Sydney public transport to get you there on time. But as I said, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

      I don’t know whether my university transcripts were necessary, or whether the consular official even looked at them, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. I used an official copy of my grade 12 transcripts (from QTAC, cost me $30 or so?) to prove my high school education. That may have included my QCS results, but I’m not 100 percent sure. For peace of mind it might be worth seeing if you can get a copy from QTAC.

      Good luck!

      1. Thank you so much!

        Yeah, I have my original Year 12 QCE and transcripts with the gold embossing — you know, the works. I’m like you though, so lucky to only need the birth certificate, high school stuff and copies of the above, and the national police certificate proving my residence in Toowoomba/Brisbane my entire life, sweet!

        I hope you were checking over your documents every single day like I am. I can’t wait for this to be over because it’s driving me mad with anxiety. Oh and how you mentioned the transport on the day-of? Not the best idea I’ve ever had, I’m waiting for something to go horribly wrong with the flights that morning. Hope there’s nothing I’m forgetting, thanks for your help mate.

        Here’s to the States!

      2. I actually tried not to overcheck my documents too much in the build-up, so I didn’t psyche myself out. Of course, that lasted until I got into the room, at which point I checked 400 times and made myself panic on about seven different occasions.

        Fingers crossed for you – let me know how it goes!

  11. Hi Adrian

    This blog is a life saver! Really appreciate all the information for us trying to get over to the US.

    I won a place in the 2016 lottery with a case number in the low 300s. Given this, I wanted to get my application in asap, which I did. The issue is that my current passport (and the one that I used on the forms) expires in July 2016. Have you heard of anyone who requires a new passport straight after their interview? I’m hoping my interview will be in October or November and I will leave for the US immediately(ish!). I’m yet to get my head around what visa I travel on for the first over there .. so take my current passport to the interview, and then travel on the new passport? All the forms stated that my passport needed to be valid for at least six months from when I want to depart.

    I was hoping to be a straight forward case (28, not married, no criminal history etc) but I have a feeling I’ve put myself in a pickle.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Cheers

    1. Hey Penny,

      Thanks for reading, and I’m glad it’s been a useful resource for you!

      If I recall correctly, your passport has to have six months of validity to enter the U.S. (or even leave Australia, I thought). If you can, I’d try to have your passport renewed before your interview, so that you can take both and have all your bases covered.

      As for what visa you’re entering the U.S. on for the first time post-interview, you’re entering on the I-551, which is a temporary visa that’s good for a year and is applied directly to a page in your passport. You still have to enter through the “visitors” gate at Immigration, but once you get to the desk they take you for further processing. Since your I-551 will be applied to your passport, you’re going to want it in the one you’re traveling on.

      In short, I’d renew your passport early and use that for the interview. You’ll still need to take the old one (for proof of visits to the U.S., if any) to the interview, but you want them to apply the visa to the book that’s going to be used for the next 10 years.

  12. Hi mate,

    Greeting from Sydney….

    Really good blog, so much useful info to calm down the nerves. Got a couple of quick questions:
    1) I got a new passport, shall I amend my DS-260 or just take both passports with me?
    2) I got a misspelling on my DS-260 form (I have an extra R on my last name). This is coming from when I was registered for the lottery program and because the name is carried forward to the DS-260 form I’m not able to amend it (I can’t edit the name section). I sent an email to KKC but the answer was really generic (amend the form if mistake was made) so no real help as I can’t edit the name section.

    I read on some blogs that you can always clarify these two things at the interview, as long as your are not concealing something it should all go well…… what are your thoughts???

    I really appreciate your insights

    Thanks,
    Carlos

  13. Hi Adrian,

    I ended up sending an email to unlock my form so I can try to fix the misspelling on my last name and update my passport as I got a new one (still waiting for the form to be unlocked). Could this cause any delays in my interview/process? my number is SA9*** so my interview should be scheduled for March/April 2016….. Do you think I could experience delays??

    Thanks for the feedback mate

  14. Hey Adrian,

    I was drawn out in the 2015 lottery and had my interview today… I’m now a fellow recipient of the green card!!! YAY.
    Can you give me more information about the requirements of moving over to the US? I understand the medical is only valid for 6 months – but I have been told that as long as you visit before it expires you can come back to Australia and then move permanently at a later date. Is this correct? I am hoping to move over around June/July in order to be more financially prepared. I realise I will need to get a new medical to go back the 2nd time. Would really appreciate if you can provide any advice.

    Thanks,
    Gee

    1. Hey Gee,

      You shouldn’t really need a second medical check. You have until the first check expires (six-month span from the examination) to enter the U.S. to activate your permanent residency. After that entry, you can leave for up to 12 months before your PR status is invalidated. You don’t want to wait until the 12th month to move permanently really, because then it starts look shady to INS, and they can knock you back if it seems to them that you’re not serious about being a permanent resident of the U.S. So my advice would be to enter the U.S. on vacation sometime in the next month or two (assuming your medical was done around August), which starts your 12-month clock by the end of October. Then you’d have a solid buffer between now and next June to save, as well as a solid window between next June and when your 12 months of eligibility outside the country expires.

  15. Hi Adrien,

    For proof of high school education, did you need your QCE certificate, or just the official Senior Statement one that has the gold writing on it and such?

    1. Hey Sarah,

      You need the official transcript, not just the “ceremonial” certificate. I contacted QTAC for a copy; you’d have to check to see whether that’s still who’s in charge of Queensland tertiary admissions.

  16. Hi Adrian,

    Well it’s now May 2017 and you can probably guess why I’ve found your blog!

    I was advised that I’ve ‘won’ the lottery, and have been selected to begin the application process, starting with the submission of a DS-260 based on my case number. I’m currently trying to chase down the exact details of the information required to accurately answer all of the questions so I don’t ruin my chances with a simple error!

    My case number ends in the mid 600’s (6XX), so I’m not sure how this will influence the outcome: either way I think it would be prudent to submit my DS-260 ASAP.

    A bit about myself: Late 30’s, and work in a science related field in Sydney. 15 years ago I spent some time working in the good state of Colorado on a J1 visa, and have been captivated with the place ever since. I have also worked in Canada for 3 years, so I’ve been lucky enough to travel throughout North America a fair bit.

    I was pretty stoked to find this blog: it has certainly put me at ease hearing about your experience and realising I wasn’t at it alone. For this I thank you.

    1. Hey Campbell,

      Congratulations! The best initial advice I can give you is, take it slowly. It’s definitely important to get your forms in as soon as you can, but it’s more important to fill them out accurately, because once you’ve submitted them, it’s a pain in the ass to deal with the Kentucky Consular Center.

      Take this with a grain of salt, but based on your case number, you’re virtually a lock for a green card. I was 30x and I had my interview in November, and they seemed to jump about 150 case numbers per month in 2013. I haven’t personally kept up with the case number cut-offs over the years, but by a rough estimation, you might be looking at an interview in February of 2018 or thereabouts. So you’ve got plenty of time to get your supporting documents in order, and the more of those that will help make your case, the better. I had bank statements and my university transcripts, even though they aren’t required, but they went towards showing my consular officer that I had the means to support myself and the ability to find work.

      Let me know if you have any questions along the way!

      1. Thanks for your quick response Adrian, it was reassuring hearing that my 6XX number has a chance.

        I’ve collected all my information for the DS-260 and will be sending it today. A useful site I found relating to occupations in the US was O*NET Online, which provides info on the state of the labor market in the country. I was stoked to see that my occupation, Forensic Science Technician, will experience 14% growth over the next ten years, and this is something that has boosted my confidence for the interview. Reading your blog and others I’ve noticed that one of the integral parts of the interview is that the applicant is being pro-active in finding employment, and has a plan to reflect that. I guess they are not interested in letting dreamers into their country, especially on a permanent basis.

        Anyway, thanks for your guidance and take care.

      2. Honestly I think it’s less about knowing what the labor market is like and more about being willing to do whatever it takes. My consular official asked me what I planned to do for work, and what would happen if I couldn’t find a job. I said I’d work in retail or the service industry or whatever I had to do to pay the bills. Frankly with my situation (and yours) the interview is basically a formality to make sure the applicant is who they say they are and that they didn’t fuck up the paperwork. She was scribbling on my temporary visa form before I even finished a sentence. You’ll be fine as long as you’re careful with your paperwork and preparation.

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