The Green Card (not the 90s movie with Andie McDowall and Gerard Depardieu) is America’s permanent residency visa. It’s also known as the DV or Diversity Visa. For thousands of foreigners living in America, it’s the security they’re looking for that temporary working visas can’t offer. For millions around the world, it’s the golden ticket – a chance to live and work in the USA – the land of the free, the northern hemisphere’s lucky country.

We first heard about the green card lottery through banner ads. Skeptical of their legitimacy, we put it down to a pipe dream. The original plan was to move to London for better career opportunities, but after the GFC (and possibly serving as an early warning sign of their Brexit mentality), visas for Australians became much harder to get – even for professionals with Masters degrees.

As the year progressed, we both separately heard about it again in discussions with workmates. It seemed so unlikely. With 14,633,970 applicants in our year and anywhere between 50,000 and 140,000 visa issued (including derivatives/family members), it was truly lottery-like odds. It seemed so unlikely, that we applied with intention, but with no real hope of either of us being selected.

That was soon to change. And by soon, we mean a year and a half long process.