(i/v = interviewer) OK, so citizenship.
OK,so you wanna live in the United States, you wanna become an American citizen.
So, whatabout the process? How is it? How does it work? (Me) Right, so.
I’ve been here 8 yearsand I initially came here on a student visa.
I completed a Masters degree.
And then afterthat I got a job and I had a H1B visa.
So with that visa you can have the intentionof wanting to stay in the USA permanently.
So you can have what’s called “dual intent”so I was working but was also able to have the desire to want to live here permanently.
And then I had that for a number of years and it was apparent that.
Normally when you havethat type of visa you have to rely on your employer sponsoring you for a green card andthat wasn’t an option in my case.
So unless, you know, I found some other way to obtain a green cardI was gonna have to leave the country, go back to Australia and all of that.
So I entered the Green Card Lottery which is a lottery in which they give out 50,000 green cardseach year.
But you are competing with a lot of other, you know, millions of other people.
I entered that once and I won.
And that’s how I become a permanent resident.
Now whenI won the Green Card Lottery it wasn’t a matter of, you know, they sent me a green card inthe mail.
It was still a long process.
It just meant I won the right to apply withoutmany restrictions.
(i/v) I see.
So the process? How long it took? (Me) It took, like, abouta year, I think.
I became a permanent resident last year in 2014.
I received notificationthat I’d won in 2013 and I think I applied in 2012.
So it took a long time.
And theneven after I won I still had to wait and then I had some problems with the laywer that washelping me.
So, you know, it was only finalized in around about June/July of last year (2014).
So I’ve been a resident for one year.
So the next step is to become a citizen.
Now how long will that take? (Me) So I have to be a permanent resident for 5 years andyou have to live the majority of that time in the United States, not continuously butI think it’s something at least three or four years out of the 5 years that you have tobe living here.
So that’s what I am currently working on.
And that’s the reason I reallycan’t go live in another country for another year because it would interrupt that wholeprocess.
(i/v) I see.
Now is there a way of accelerating that waiting period? (Me) I don’tthink so.
It’s just 5 years.
You have to wait.
I think if you are married.
If you marry aa US citizen before you’re a resident maybe you only have to wait 3 years, maybe that’sthe only exception.
(i/v) I think so, I think I heard that.
(Me) But I don’t know whetherthat applies once you’re already a permanent resident.
So I don’t know.
(i/v) I heard aboutsomething like that.
I’m not really sure but I think it accelerates the process if you’remarried to an American citizen.
(Me) I’m just not sure if that applies once you’re alreadya permanent resident so I don’t know.
So basically I’m looking at least another 4 years before I canbecome a citizen and the reason I want to become a citizen is so that I can have thefreedom to travel without having to worry about, you know, where I am gonna end upliving.
Also, I’d be able to vote in the United States because currently I can’t vote andvoting is important to me because I have a lot of opinions politically.
And I’m not ableto vote in Australia anymore because once you’ve lived out of the country for 5 years thereyou can’t vote.
So I can’t vote anywhere.
So I don’t really feel like I am a citizenof any country.
(i/v) So that’s a feeling that I would say all immigrants feel, actually.
(Me) Yeah, it’s really weird because I feel disconnected from Australia because I haven’tlived there for 10 years, I can’t vote there, and none of my life is there.
Now I live herebut I’m not a citizen, so I’m not really, I’m not American, I wasn’t born here, so it’sjust this kind of very weird place of limbo where I’m not really a.
I’m just a floatingcitizen of the world, not of any country.
(i/v) So do you consider yourself an immigrant?(Me) Well, yeah, I’m an immigrant.
But, I don’t know, it’s wierd.
I don’t really feellike that Australian but I don’t feel American.
I don’t know what it is.
And then, you know,sometimes when I like, write a line or I participate in stuff on facebook, CNN pages or stuff likethat, people will you know, go to my profile and see that I was born in Australia or whateverand go, “shutup you’re Australian, we don’t care what you think” so it’s just like.
Thingslike that just remind you that well, yeah, I’m not really.
(i/v) But you know, see,it makes you wonder why you left Australia? I mean Australia has a very good economy, there are a lot ofopportunites over there, I’m guessing, I mean.
(Me) Well that’s a whole long story.
There’s alot of Australians, especially at that age of 20s, just go out to other countries becauseAustralia is, kind of, so cut off from the rest of the world.
So it’s a common pathwayto travel overseas, especially to go to England, you know, stay there for a couple of years.
It’sjust that most poeple end up going back to Australia, I didn’t, so I guess that’s thedifference.
It wasn’t that unusual that I travelled or left.
(i/v) So it’s not economicreasons at all.
It’s just to get out or go somewhere else? (Me) Yeah.
Experience somethingdifferent in life.
So anyway, yeah, I’m gonna be waiting a while to become a US citizenand I guess just in the meantime I have to work out what I want to do whether I wantto stay in New York or whether perhaps I want to live in a different city in the country.
I don’t know, I haven’t worked it out.
(i/v) So you have quite a while to think about it?Well, you know time goes flying so, it’s gonna go flying.
(Me) OK, thanks.