Thursday, December 11, 2014

How I won the Green Card (Diversity Visa Lottery)

As a majority of you know I was successful in getting my Green Card approved last week.

YES!

I have now been asked by several people "how" I won it - So here is the process!

I have applied twice for the Diversity Visa Lottery  (more commonly known as the Green Card) - once in 2011 and again in 2013. I was successful on the second attempt. I have heard some people applying up to 15 times (once a year for 15 years!) and still not being successful. So I do feel incredibly grateful.

Here are the official websites for the Diversity Visa Lottery (Green Card):

https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ 

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/diversity-visa/Diversity-2015-Instructions.html

There are many sites online asking you to pay for the process - DO NOT USE THESE. They are scams and the official process does not cost anything until you actually win the lottery and need to pay the processing fees (which is only $330 after you have your interview and another $135 when you immigrate to the States).

The Diversity Visa Lottery application process opens once a year from October 1st to around November 2nd. I would recommend for anyone who is eligible to apply every year! You've got to be in it to win it!

Which brings me to another important note: you will need to see if you are eligible to apply, dependent on the country were born in. Unfortunately for my Canadian friends, you are not currently eligible because according to travel.state.gov:

"For DV-2016, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born)..."

Sorry guys!

But for my Australian friends you are in luck!

Here is the link for eligibility for the 2016 process (2015 and 2016 applications have actually already closed but I just put this here for your information.)

http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/DV-2016-Instructions-Translations/DV_2016_Instructions_English.pdf

The next round will be open on October 1st 2015 for the 2017 Diversity Visa Lottery (Confusing huh!?)

The whole process from start to finish took about a year and a half. I applied in October 2013, and found out on May 1st that I had been selected in the lottery (You can check the status of your application here as of May: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/)

I then had to fill out another few forms - DS260 and another which I can't remember the name. Make sure you get your forms in as soon as possible. I got my forms in the day they were accepted and still had to wait 5 months to get my interview notice. Your interview will be determined what Case Number you have - I am not entirely sure how the case number is selected - I think it is random along with the lottery draw.

Also the Diversity Visa only allocates 55,000 visas per year, but they actually choose 125,000 people in the lottery round (May 1st), meaning if you don't get your forms in fast the 55,000 visas could actually be filled and the remaining 70,000 people miss out! 

Make sense? It is a little confusing.

In saying that not all people selected in the lottery round will pursue the process, their circumstances might change and they decide they don't want to move to the States anymore, but either way just get in fast.

So after I was given my Case Number and got my forms in, in May - the waiting began!

It took 5 months for me to hear back from them regarding when my interview would be (you have to have a formal interview to get your Green Card approved). They contact you via email and you will be linked back to the Entrant Status website to review when your interview is.

My interview was held in Montreal, Canada because I applied as an Australian but living in Vancouver and the only city in Canada that processes the Green Card is Montreal.

Make sure once you know when your interview is that follow the instructions very clearly. You will need to provide a bunch of documentation at your interview: you will have to do a medical exam ($280) by a official Green Card approved physician, get your original birth certificate, high school records, vaccination records, university degree records (if you went to university), a police record for any countries you have lived in etc.

Then you go to your interview, you pay the fees and they ask you a few questions and making sure you meet the criteria and have provided all the correct information you might just get approved! From there your interviewer will say "Welcome to the United States of America - you have been approved for your Green Card." You will smile like you've never smiled before and walk home in a surreal but ecstatic daze!


I hope this information has been useful and not too confusing, I just wanted to share my experience and help out anyone I can. As an actor, winning the Green Card has been like a dream come true.
I plan to move to Los Angeles, California in February and continue pursuing my acting dreams.

Good luck to anyone else who applies :)



Meisha






Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shadows and Light

Across the horizon she saw the Truth
But a shadow of herself stood in her way
Every turn she took, the shadow followed
A dark reflection of herself, mimicking her every move.

Beyond herself, she saw the Truth
How could she push her shadow aside?
How could she push it back into the darkness
Away from sight, away from sound?

"Bring light to your shadow"
The wind whispered to her
"Drown the shadow in light
and it will become you."

She stood and wondered...
Had she been trying to hide it away
When all it needed was to be acknowledged
The darker side of herself was not to be feared.

Like yin and yang,
With shadow must come light
But bring light to the darkness
And you will shine.

Meisha Lowe (C) November 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Truth



The only thing I am striving for is truth.

To follow my dream, to experience life on a greater spiritual and creative level.

Beauty lies in those who strive. Something emits from within them and glows, an internal ray of light. A light that never distinguishes, even years after they are gone.

What mark will you make on the world?

In the words of John Keats, "'Beauty is truth, truth beauty' that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

Truth is beauty.

Strive for nothing less.

*

Meisha





Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2 Years in Canada


In a week I'll be celebrating 2 years in Canada.

It's hard to believe that time has flown by so quickly and I am already on to my second visa. I remember getting off the plane after my 14 hour flight, to get into my cab on the wrong side (because the driver sits on the opposite side in Canada). The cabbie thought I was trying to steal the taxi and I deliriously told him "I'm from Australia!! I'm sorry forgot!".

Once I got to the apartment I was supposed to be staying in (thank you again Brendan!), the cabbie dropped me off, drove away and I couldn't find the actual apartment number. I stood in the middle of the parking lot, with my suitcase in one hand and my phone in the other (which didn't work in Canada) and just started crying because I had no idea where to go or what to do.

I felt completely alone in a new country.


With only $150 Canadian cash and no cell reception I was convinced I had made a mistake on moving here alone. But I wiped away my tears, saw the groundsmen and asked him if you knew where unit 868 was and he said with his thick Canadian accent (I thought at the time) "I'm not sure, but I think it's behind you." And he was right. In my haze I hadn't noticed the numbers had changed around.   I walked towards the unit and prayed that the key would be under the doormat where my friend said his friend would leave it for me. And thankfully it was there! From there I had a shower, laid down on the bed with no pillow or blanket and slept with a towel over me to keep me warm.

I lived alone in that apartment for three months, and boy did I get to see some darker sides of myself! As with any of life's journey's I have had my up's and my down's but overall I wouldn't change it for the world. Here's what I have learnt about myself and this beautiful country...
**Aussie to Canadian translations will be provided ;)

1. I can survive the cold and rain for more than six months straight!

As I child I hated the cold! And that's an understatement. You would catch me wearing shorts, a singlet (tank top) and thongs (flip flops) even as winter approached. I was stubborn. I would get bored being inside and wanted to be out in the sun. Since moving to Vancouver, I have realised that one must learn to occupy their time when it rains for such a long time continuously. I have taken to playing my ukulele a lot more and can gladly say my skill has increased. The grey clouds can definitely be a little soul sucking but the upside is there are three local ski/snowboarding hills in the area which are easy to access. Not to mention "Little Australia" (Whistler) is just up the road.  And when the sun does come, boy does Vancouver change! It's like everyone is energised by the sun and the city becomes alive again! It really is beautiful in the Summer.

2. I realise more than ever the importance of family and friends.

Again, as a child, I never thought I could live so far away from my family. In the beginning I enjoyed the freedom of being here completely alone. I had no ties to anyone, didn't have to report to anybody, but now as time goes on I realise how much I miss my family and friends back home. Even simple things like driving up the coast to stay in Maleny where it truly feels like home. I must admit that with distance the heart does grow fonder. I now realise and appreciate how much they support me and my career choices and the sacrifices I make by being away.  I miss out on birthdays, Christmases, engagements and gatherings all in the knowing that in the future it will all be worth it. I can't wait to see them all again person.

3. Seeing the world is eyeopening and really makes you appreciate what you have.


I haven't had to learn another language to live in Canada but there have been some other significant differences  in comparison to home. Living here has made me realise how lucky we are in Australia. The minimum wage is a lot higher and getting by is not as expensive back home and saving money was a lot easier!  Living abroad has also made me want to travel Australia. Growing up there I took for granted the beautiful landscapes, the outback and essence of what Australia truly is. But now that I've been away I can't wait to go back and see it all again from a new perspective.

4. I am strong.

I have really come to realise my own strength as a person and woman over the last two years. I don't feel like a girl anymore. The initial homesickness made me stronger and wiser and I feel I have more to share with the world now that I have travelled outside of my comfort zone. Whether it's from being away for so long or not, I feel I have developed more of an independence and I definitely feel stronger within my core. It's a nice feeling to know that I will be okay no matter where my career takes me in the world. You begin to get used to moving and enjoy overcoming the challenges when they arise. Now I find myself getting itchy feet and wanting to travel more.

5. Canada is stunning and the people are just as friendly as they are in the movies.


Even the signs on the buses apologise for when they have too many passengers on board "Sorrrrry! Bus is Full." Everyone even says thank you to the driver when getting off the bus. All round friendly people.

I have made a lot of friends here and have really felt at home because of it. My living situation couldn't have worked out more perfectly and I have made a lot of good friends through my work and acting class.  And Canada really is a beautiful country. I went to Jasper National Park last year and snowboarded the Rocky Mountains. I will never forget looking back from the ski lift, to see this amazing expanse of snowy, rocky mountains for as far as I could see. It was truly breathtaking and an experience I will never forget. I have travelled through Alberta, up to Calgary, to Jasper, Banff, Hope,  Whistler, Squamish, The Island, Tofino and earlier this year ducked down to the States and checked out Seattle and Portland. All places beautiful and unique.


So all in all it's been a wholesome 2 years in Canada and I am grateful for every minute of it. We are blessed to have the freedom to travel and I recommend it to anybody. Pack up your bag, get rid of your things and see the world for all it's beauty.

Meisha












Monday, April 7, 2014

Ready

~Ready~

For the first time in a long time she feels at peace
Things may not be happening the way she once wanted
But she feels content in knowing it will all be okay.

No more forceful fear, she is surrounded by love
There is silence, but she is always singing
She used to sit and wait, but now she sits and just is.

She feels the support surround her
It's been a long time since she's felt this way
On her own, but with the world to back her.

The world is her playground
The stars her audience
And this beautiful country her stage.

She is ready.



(C) Meisha Lowe 2014




Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oceans Apart

Oceans Apart

Dreams of green fairy fields
Skies of blue and white
Oceans of beauty
Oceans apart
Friends and family
The Land of Sun and Sea
Oh how I miss thee...

(C) Meisha Lowe  2014



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Not Welcome

Fear you are not welcome here.

Opportunity has arisen

And you are not allowed to get in my way.

Fear you are not welcome here.



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Impatient

They tell her to surrender
They tell her to let go of all that is inauthentic
But where does the true beauty lie
If not in her own heart?

She would be twenty three when she met him
Twenty three when she met the man
Who she would finally give her heart too
But twenty three is fast disappearing.

She is anxious, unfulfilled and tender
She has only just planted the seeds
And is impatient to pick the fruit
She must learn to wait her turn.

(C) Meisha Lowe 2014



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Meish-Mash's Mish Mash of 2013

2013 went off with a bang!

I spent two weeks on the road in Alberta with my Canadian gal-pal, Miss Sara, enjoying the festive season and my first White Christmas. We had a blast visiting her family and friends. I felt so grateful to be adopted by her family over the Christmas break. I missed my family and friends back home in Australia but felt very honoured to experience a White Christmas with such a lovely family. Their generosity will never be forgotten.




With the lead up to any New Year, I often find myself thinking about the year almost past and what " I achieved and didn't achieve".  On the acting front I didn't "achieve" as much as what I had hoped when I first moved to Canada. But I think my expectations were too high. I now know that it takes time to establish oneself in a new country both mentally and career-wise, and things don't just happen cause you want them too. You have to work for it!  And the more I think about it, expectations are killer anyway! All around I think I did the best I could - I got my first role in a Canadian independent feature film based on Eadweard Muybridge, did various short films and trained for 5 months with a great acting teacher.


So instead of thinking about what I had hoped to achieve and "didn't achieve" lets think about the positives...I did a lot of travel!


I calculated that I went on 11 road trips across Canada in the passed year and a bit since moving here. That's almost one every month!  I got to see some amazing parts of the country. I went to Whistler four times, drove to Banff with Sara and Crocholiday, camped in Squamish twice and partied with some crazy Irishmen, went to Jasper and snowboarded in the Rocky Mountains (amazing!), partied in Keats Island and most recently road tripped around Alberta, up to Gull Lake and ended the trip at the Jasper Fairmont Lodge (thanks Steve!).

So as much as I didn't "achieve" what I wanted to with my career, I had many amazing experiences which in turn will make me a stronger human being and a better actor anyway!


I am excited to see more of the world and do a few more road trips to Seattle, Portland and Tofino before my visa is up in September. It is looking more and more like I will reapply for the Canadian working holiday visa and continue to pursue my acting career from here. I am about to sign with a great agent and I am excited for what the year will bring. I believe this is the year of fruition. I planted my seeds over the past four years, and now it is time to bear the fruit!

Now it's about knuckling down, saving as much money as possible, focussing on my fitness, staying in shape and start auditioning again!





































To 2014 and beyond!


Thank you for all I have received...

Always,
Meisha




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"Take life in steps; each one is a journey to learn from." ~ Meisha