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Hello!

Hoping for a little advise from all of you DV experts :)

I am an Australian living in America on an E1 visa. (When I first applied for the 2015 DV lottery I was also living in America but on a J1 visa)

My case number became current in April of this year but I had to cancel my appointment at the consulate in Sydney as it was scheduled for the week after I was home visiting family (really bad timing!). When emailing the consulate to cancel my appointment they suggested I just contact my local USCIS here in Texas to apply for a change of status. Seemed pretty straight forward.

After having no luck making an appointment online at my local USCIS office (Just came up saying appointment unavailable) I called today to speak with an actual person about my options. The lady I spoke with (after repeating myself 3-4 times) told me that because I am on an E1 visa I am not eligible for any kind of permanent residency. She wouldn't elaborate, didn't ask for my case number and said she wasn't going to waste my time going into details, the answer was no and that's that. (Her words)

Apart from the fact that she was really rude... I am so confused now as to whether or not I am able to change over to the green card or not? Would it just be that I can't change my status here in the US? I know some people are required to return home which is fine, but I don't want to make the trip if it is the case that I am just going to be turned away because of the visa I am already on. Or that I jeopardize the chance of getting my visa renewed if I am not approved for the green card.

Does anyone out there have any experience with E1/DV visas that could offer some advise/assistance??

Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Sharna

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Thanks for the quick reply NigeriaorBust!

I have read through all of the information on this link but I am still not 100% convinced that I am going to be eligible - If it as easy as this site suggests then why would the lady from USCIS I spoke with today have told me that I am not able to apply? I was thinking it could have something to do with the intent to stay in America side of things as an E1 visa is meant to be for people who start a business in the US with the intention of eventually having American nationals run the business whilst I return home to Australia...

I don't want to post out $1400 worth of checks for something that I may not be able to pursue... Do you know of any E1 visa holders doing this?

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Thanks for the quick reply NigeriaorBust!

I have read through all of the information on this link but I am still not 100% convinced that I am going to be eligible - If it as easy as this site suggests then why would the lady from USCIS I spoke with today have told me that I am not able to apply? I was thinking it could have something to do with the intent to stay in America side of things as an E1 visa is meant to be for people who start a business in the US with the intention of eventually having American nationals run the business whilst I return home to Australia...

I don't want to post out $1400 worth of checks for something that I may not be able to pursue... Do you know of any E1 visa holders doing this?

Plenty of people adjust from non-immigrant visas via DV, many F1 students for example, and J1s too. It's possible you just spoke with someone uninformed, this does happen with USCIS from time to time... Her comment sounds incredible to believe, it implies if you marry a U.S. citizen you would not be allowed to stay!!! But the first question to ask is, have you informed KCC that you want to do AoS rather than consular processing?

It really is a shame you couldn't extend your stay in Australia to attend the interview. For anyone else reading this, it is always suggested you make it work when you have an interview date set. It's generally a bad idea to cancel an interview, even if it seems like plan B should be straightforward.

Edited by SusieQQQ

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Hi SusieQQQ,

I hope I just spoke to someone uninformed as you suggest. I can't even say 100% that she totally understood what I meant about the Diversity Visa but she wouldn't allow me to explain anything.

I haven't notified KCC that I intend to do an AoS. Will that be a problem?

I also contacted the Consulate in Sydney today asking if they would reschedule my interview for when I am home again in August and they have said if I contact them on May 30th when they open up August interview bookings, they will schedule something for me. Would you recommend I do this instead? And if I do, how long would they be likely to hold my passport for as I will not be able to stay in Australia for more then a week, maybe two...

Really appreciate your thoughts :)

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Hi SusieQQQ,

I hope I just spoke to someone uninformed as you suggest. I can't even say 100% that she totally understood what I meant about the Diversity Visa but she wouldn't allow me to explain anything.

I haven't notified KCC that I intend to do an AoS. Will that be a problem?

I also contacted the Consulate in Sydney today asking if they would reschedule my interview for when I am home again in August and they have said if I contact them on May 30th when they open up August interview bookings, they will schedule something for me. Would you recommend I do this instead? And if I do, how long would they be likely to hold my passport for as I will not be able to stay in Australia for more then a week, maybe two...

Really appreciate your thoughts :)

Yes KCC need to know, because whoever does the interview needs your file from KCC. I presume it is currently sitting with Sydney as you had an interview booked there. At the moment it would seem to me that as Sydney appear to be one of the few consulates who do reschedules, take their offer for August,unless you call USCIS and again and find someone more helpful. But consular processing tends to be much faster. But try book at least two weeks in Australia. Apart from the interview, you will need to do medicals there too, so I'd estimate that you need to be there at least a week before and a week after your interview is scheduled. Also double and triple check you have everything required for the interview as you clearly can't afford any delays. For example if the embassy don't have your medical results by the interview, your visa issuance will be delayed.

I have no idea what business you are in, etc, but is it really so urgent that you can't take another few days that may mean the difference between you getting the green card or not? Or do you not actually care so much about it because you have an E1? Most people bend over backwards twice over to ensure they get their GCs...

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Hi SusieQQQ,

I hope I just spoke to someone uninformed as you suggest. I can't even say 100% that she totally understood what I meant about the Diversity Visa but she wouldn't allow me to explain anything.

I haven't notified KCC that I intend to do an AoS. Will that be a problem?

I also contacted the Consulate in Sydney today asking if they would reschedule my interview for when I am home again in August and they have said if I contact them on May 30th when they open up August interview bookings, they will schedule something for me. Would you recommend I do this instead? And if I do, how long would they be likely to hold my passport for as I will not be able to stay in Australia for more then a week, maybe two...

Really appreciate your thoughts :)

Even though you're eligible to file AOS, regardless of what you were told on the phone by the USCIS rep, I don't think you you will be able to handle what it takes to go through a DV based AOS process. I'm not trying to sound judgmental, and if I come across as such, then I apologize in advance. I'm just shocked at how you decided to cancel an already scheduled interview simply because the interview date is a week after an already planned trip to visit family members back at home. Considering the fact that the interview notice comes out roughly about 2 months before the interview date, most people would have done anything to attend the interview including rescheduling a planned family trip if it comes to that just so thy don't miss their interview.

The DV based AOS process can be stressful and nerve wrecking especially as the applicable FY draws to an end. So considering the fact that you don't even know anything about the process at this stage, (it's not a simple matter of booking an appointment online), KCC has already sent your case file over to Sydney - which means they've more or less hands off your case, Sydney appears willing to reschedule you, I think you're better off sticking with CP. and be prepared to stay back for more than 1 week, if need be.

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Thanks for the input on this guys...

I didn't go too much into the details of my appointment being cancelled as I didn't expect that to be the main focus point of my question... It wasn't as simple as me calling up and cancelling.

As soon as I had my E1 visa approved and knew that I would be living in America once the interviews started to happen, I contacted the consulate in Sydney to find out what I would need to do. I had plans to be home in Melbourne in March/April of this year and they suspected that my case number would be current in March 2015 so advised me to contact them when I knew for sure and they would schedule my appointment for the time that I would be home.

When they released the information for my case number (current in April) I contacted the consulate to request my interview and they replied saying that they would schedule me for the first Tuesday in April (they only do Tuesday's) and they would email me with the details (time etc.) once they started allocating interviews for that day.

I received my interview details on the 2nd week of March but my interview was scheduled for the week after I had discussed with them which was going to mean me having to move A LOT of things around with my business and change flights/medical - everything (which I would have done). So I contacted them to confirm that they had changed the date and that I was not on the Tuesday they originally said they would put me on. They were very apologetic and advised that due the Easter Public Holidays in Australia messing up their usual scheduling, they were not able to get me on that day. It was actually the consulate at this point who asked me if I had considered applying for an AoS here in the US and provided me with the website link to look into it.

I asked them what would happen if I was not able to apply for an AoS (And I mentioned I do have another trip planned home for August 2015) and they said they would be able to reschedule my appointment in Sydney if I could not/ did not want to take the AoS option.

So yesterday when I spoke to someone in the USCIS office and they advised me that I am not eligible to even apply for a green card got me worried. I had not heard of this before but then again I have also not heard of any E1 visa holders who have won the DV so I have nothing to compare my situation to. I will take your advise SusieQQQ and stay with having my interview in Sydney. I am able to extend my stay in Australia by a week or two if I need to but if it the case that they hold my passport for a few months that would be a whole other story... Is there a way to know what the timeline would be on this?

To answer your comment Sm1smom about not being able to "handle" a DV application... I applied for an E1 visa for myself and my partner and against all odds, was approved for 4 years. There is no forum for E1 visa applicants with helpful information from people who have been there and done that. Just negative articles about all the people who have tried and failed and lawyers requesting $5000 per applicant to "look into" your case with a 10% success rate. I spent 100's of hours over 3 months ensuring I had every detail covered before I sent in our application. My DV application is ready to go with the exception of my medical and it was a walk in the park compared to what I went through last year. I don't know the process for an AoS application because until a week ago, I had no intention of applying for one. Everything I need for my DV interview is ready to go with the exception of my medical - I was fully prepared to interview in April before the consulate suggested the AoS option. So I am sure I will be perfectly fine. Thank you for your concern though...

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They would never take your passport if they expected to hold onto it for "months". Visa issuance should be a few days at most. If there are missing documents, they will issue after they get those. If there is some problem that they expect will take any length of time to clear up, they will not keep your passport but return it to you and ask for you to send it back after its resolved. This kind of situation would be highly unusual for an Australian applicant, I might add.

Just bear in mind that August doesn't give you a lot of time especially if later in the month to sort any issues out. DV2015 visas must be issued by 30 September 2015, or you lose out.

So again, for all sorts of reasons, triple check the instructions and make sure you have all your ducks in a row for the interview.

Incidentally, you seem to have taken umbrage at sm1smom's post. I have read about DV AoS and it can be incredibly stressful, especially as it's quite rare and (as you have already discovered) people come into contact with USCIS officials who are pretty clueless about DV. It is much easier and quicker to do at a consulate.

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To answer your comment Sm1smom about not being able to "handle" a DV application... I applied for an E1 visa for myself and my partner and against all odds, was approved for 4 years. There is no forum for E1 visa applicants with helpful information from people who have been there and done that. Just negative articles about all the people who have tried and failed and lawyers requesting $5000 per applicant to "look into" your case with a 10% success rate. I spent 100's of hours over 3 months ensuring I had every detail covered before I sent in our application. My DV application is ready to go with the exception of my medical and it was a walk in the park compared to what I went through last year. I don't know the process for an AoS application because until a week ago, I had no intention of applying for one. Everything I need for my DV interview is ready to go with the exception of my medical - I was fully prepared to interview in April before the consulate suggested the AoS option. So I am sure I will be perfectly fine. Thank you for your concern though...

Oh! Ma bad for commenting on your post

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