Entering the Green Card lottery was always going to be a gamble. But somehow, against all odds, we were both chosen.

Congratulations! You’ve been selected for further processing.

And with that, you’re on the roller coaster ride from hell for the next period of life. You’ll experience the highest of highs and lowest of lows as you come to the realization that life is about to dramatically change (hopefully for the best). You are not actually guaranteed a Green Card at this point; so don’t run out looking for flight deals just yet. You’ll need to be audacious, lucky, healthy and not have a criminal record to even get a look in.

Like any major life event, there’s a period of adjustment and that period is dictated by your case number, so let’s start there.