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Today is October 4th and the U.S. Government’s diversity visa program (aka Green Card lottery) is now open for applications. It is this exact program that enabled me to make the move to New York, and this time each year reminds me of the wonderful things that can land in your life when you throw caution to the wind.
It was on a holiday to the U.S. in 2008 where serendipity in the East Village led me to learn about the visa program that eventually delivered an opportunity too good to refuse. Upon my return to Perth after four weeks skipping around the U.S. east and west coasts, I knew a relocation was on the cards.
I had already filled out the Highly Skilled Migrant Visa questionnaire on the U.K. website to see if going back to live in London was an option (but oh, the rain—could I really?), but my points fell just short. I’d missed my opportunity for a Canadian visa by a whisker and heard it was pretty tough to get work there. I knew Sydney would be a fun choice, but if you’re going to uproot and relocate, I thought why not really challenge myself and move somewhere completely out of my comfort zone?
With new knowledge in hand, courtesy of friendly stranger (now, a friend) in said East Village bar, the rest of the application process is history.
For those curious about the deal this year. The Consulate appear to have officially shortened the application period from two months to one this year, hinting that perhaps they are getting more applications than previous years. Considering 13million people applied in 2008 when I did, I’d hate to guess the numbers now.
Also, last year’s applicants went through a bit of pain when the Consulate realized they had messed up the ballot, so I’m sure they’ll be more on the ball this year. Australia is still on the list of eligible countries and they have added Poland, and removed Bangladesh.
I’m not saying that a move to the States is right for everyone. What I am suggesting is that if you had ever thought about it, or were just curious, that submitting your application is free, doesn’t take too long and if you do get through the tough ballot/lottery part and decided you didn’t want to take it further, that it doesn’t hurt your chances down the track.
This post is somewhat of a celebration for me about learning to say yes, daring to dream and trusting that the things that are good for you will come to you, if you really open yourself up to them.
For anyone interested, here’s the official application link: