When Carmen was only 9 years old, she already started dreaming about a life in the USA. Thanks to winning the Green Card Lottery, her dream has now become a reality! In her Green Card review she tells us all about her new exciting life in the USA.
Why did you join the Green Card Lottery?
My desire of living in the USA at some point began at the age of 9 and has not diminished since then. When I was 19, I first went to Texas as an AuPair for one year. Then my rose-colored love became reality. And for the first time I got an insight into what life in the USA feels like. After the year one thing was clear: America is and remains my dream.
Unfortunately, several years passed in which I applied for the Green Card Lottery on my own. Then I decided (slightly reluctantly) to try it with an organization: The American Dream. At the first time I didn't succeed. Then one year later the "invitation" came to apply again.
The profile already existed, just one mouse click and that was it. However, in the meantime my circumstances had changed and I wanted to marry my fiancé in the following year. But somehow I clicked the "send" button.
What was your first reaction after receiving the winning notification?
With The American Dream I won on the second attempt! Before that I had tried applying on my own for a few years - with no success. When I saw the winning notification in my email box, I just couldn't believe it. I actually was visiting friends and family in the USA at that time.
I immediately sent an email to The American Dream to be sure. Then I called my dad. I don't think I've ever been as happy as I was that day. Even when I tell people about it today, the joy comes back again.
How did you experience the Green Card application process?
The application form was long and I really had to focus a bit, just to be sure I didn't make careless mistakes. But thanks to TAD's brochure, everything was actually no problem.
Even in the embassy everyone was so super friendly. My current husband and I were only engaged at my interview date. The embassy official said that if I wanted, I could put my application on hold and as soon as we were married (which was 3 months after my embassy appointment), I should send an email and make an appointment for my husband. Everything went smoothly.
How did your activation trip look like?
My husband and I went to NYC because his parents and most of his siblings live there. His parents had renewed their vows and we took the chance to activate our Green Card. This was the first USA trip for my husband...
Where do you live now and what are the differences to your everyday life in Germany? What do you like most about living in the USA?
The last 2.5 years we had lived in Oklahoma. My brother-in-law lives in Tulsa and said it was the best place... Well for me, as a big Texas and Florida fan, Oklahoma wasn't the first choice. However, I must add that Tulsa is not a bad place to start in the USA. Cheap rents, hardly any traffic and hot summers can be endured with so many beautiful lakes. Oklahoma has more "shores" than the east and west coasts put together.
Now we moved temporarily to Connecticut because of my husband's job. And maybe we'll go somewhere else afterwards.
Life in the USA compared to Germany can best be described as follows: "Same, Same. But different." Too much comparison is pointless. What is really great in Germany is perhaps a bit questionable here and the other way around. Germany could copy some comfort from the USA though.
What I particularly like about the USA is the freedom. Everything is so unattached. Get into the car and just drive away if you want. So many different terrains, from deserts to dense forests to beautiful sandy beaches. In only one country everything is available.
Looking back, would you decide to move to the USA again?
Looking back, I would always dare to take the step of emigrating again. But then a little different...
Would you recommend The American Dream service to other USA fans?
I would recommend The American Dream at any time! No doubt about that.
Do you have some advice for future winners?
First of all, it is important to be financially secure. But if you're not too sophisticated to work something different at the beginning, you won't have any problems gaining a foothold quickly. It is and remains the land of opportunity.