It turned out my initial application was returned because, while I had attached a police certificate that proved I didn't have a criminal record, I hadn't attached fingerprints. Apparently, according to the DHS, the Australian police force is not yet advanced enough to have thought of prosecuting crimes using fingerprints. The Americans, therefore, needed a set of prints to make sure I hadn't got away with any crimes that had slipped past my homeland's investigation system, which consists mostly of shoving suspects against walls and yelling "YOU CALL THAT A KNIFE?" until someone confesses.
The Aussie equivalent of Huckleberry Finn.
Fine. Do it again, fingerprints attached this time. Now we advance to...
Step 2: The Fuck-Up
Time: 3 months
When it comes to the American immigration process, there will always be a fuck up. With this much paperwork, this many incomprehensible instructions, and a DHS workforce that apparently spends all its time arranging competitions about which immigrant hopeful sent in the funniest passport-sized photo, this is inevitable.