This May Stuart McBrien was just one of 22,000 US diversity visa applicants who were told, in error, that they were eligible to apply for a green card, and eventually become a US citizen. His hopes of achieving the American Dream dashed McBrien has added his name to another 36 plaintiffs from around the world who plan to sue the State Department for their error.
Speaking to the Irish Voice McBrien, a native of Antrim, said “It was a real kick in the teeth from a country that I have genuine respect and admiration for.
“I just can’t help thinking what would happen if the situation was the other way around - if the Irish government had made a commitment to a bunch of U.S. citizens - I’m sure they would bend over backward to make sure they honored it no matter what.”
McBrien reached out to other Irish people who received the erroneous message and have had their plans to move to the US ruined.
Irishman sues State Department over diversity lottery glitch
Here are their testimonies:
1. Damien – from Dublin, Ireland
I applied for the DV lottery on the October 5th 2010.
On the 1st of May 2011 I was notified that I was amongst the happy few selected for further processing. I could not believe my luck and re-checked my status several times. I was overjoyed that this had happened, and began seeking advice from KCC and past winners on what case numbers meant and how things would progress. I couldn’t sleep properly as my mind was racing all during the day and at night playing out a thousand different scenarios. What could be? Where to go? What this would mean for my next generation.
I printed out my documents and filled them in and rechecked several times to make sure it was clear and readable and that there will be no reason to reject my form.
I sent all the paperwork within the week by courrier, I had even asked for guidance from the KCC as of what the best steps to take were and they advised me to send my paperwork immediately and at no point was the issue raised about the IT glitch or that the DV Lottery might be cancelled.
At this stage all I had to do was to wait for the interview notification and I believe my chances of getting the green card were really good. I had arranged for my employer to look into the possibilty of a transfer to the US branch.
I was doing a brief research on the 13th May to see if any of the winners were sharing there experience online when I saw the announcement stating the lottery results were void.
I was absolutely gutted as my dreams and plans that I have made have suddenly been blown away. As I read my heart sank like no other feeling I have had before. This was my dream smashed to pieces. If there was outside interference I would have accepted it, but I cannot accept it as the Department Of State have admitted it was their mistake. How long before hand did they run the lottery and review the results, I couldn't get my head around it. I have not been able to sleep since and its always to the forefront of my mind.
What are the odds of being selected again knowing that some people have been playing for years without success.
This new life, new adventure, this fresh start, was there, the dream came true for just as long as a dream lasts...
2. Mavis – from Dublin, Ireland
I decided last summer to apply for the DV2012 lottery. I was in a long distance relationship with an Irish guy who is living in the US. My boyfriend returning home was not an option no matter how much he wanted to. We had looked at different types of visas and the only option that was viable was to enter the lottery so in October 2010 I filled in the forms, uploaded my picture and sent everything off with as much positivity as I could muster.
From that day I researched all I could to do with the lottery, when I was selected I wanted to be prepared. I didn’t want any surprises that would stop me at the last hurdle. I also spent a lot of time researching where I wanted to live, types of accommodation available, what college courses I could do to help further my career in the US, which course\university\school would suit my needs. From January 2011 I put my social life on hold; if I was going to move to the US with no job lined up I was going to need money to support myself and so since then I have saved as if my life depended on it.
May 1st was a Sunday, so the first thing I did was log on and checked the results. I had been selected for further processing. I couldn’t believe it. I was shaking, I logged off and back to recheck just in case I’d made a mistake. Nope, I definitely got selected. I was overjoyed; it had all been worth it. I started telling people, friends, and family, posted on facebook.
I was aware that it didn't mean I had the Greencard but I suddenly had a 50/50 chance of living my dream.
I followed the instructions filled in all the forms, got photos done and had everything sent off to Kentucky by 1:30pm the following afternoon. Now all I had to do was wait another 6 weeks or so for a letter back with an interview time and date in the US Embassy. I had been checking different on line forums about how log it takes what the process is once you "win". From what I had read, my number was 930, I believed I should have an interview by September/October and all going well I could be heading off to start my new life in January 2012.
Then on Sunday May 15th I read on line that the DV2012 Lottery results were void. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I checked the US Embassy website in Dublin, (see error message here). I read it in disbelief, what did it mean, how could they make such a simple but huge mistake.