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  2. Ah, ok I don’t tend to hang out on the SA Facebook pages, or I might have been better prepared. Oh well... this whole process has been so expensive anyway, what’s another few hundred dollars 🙄
  3. If you are a South African passport holder, then there is nothing to stop you entering and leaving SA as often as you wish. SA would still be your primary country for residence for tax purposes. If you have a valid B1/2 visa, then there is nothing to stop you arriving at the US border as many times as you like and requesting entry. Usually they will grant you the 6 months, but they have no obligation to do so, and no obligation to admit you at all. You are likely to have not problems, in getting 6 months at a time a few times, but as all arrival/departure records are now electronically visible to the border agent assessing your entry, a pattern of staying 6 months (or therabout) each year will soon raise eyebrows, then questions about what you are doing for so long each year in the USA etc. At some point, it is likely they will not admit you - but probably not for the first few times. The only Don't - and it is an obvious one - is don't overstay in the USA at any time. If you find that you want to stay more than 6 months, then apply for an extension - that is usually given - but use that wisely - applying each time for an extension will also raise a red flag. Crossing for a short while over to Canada or Mexico, for example, does not reset the ability to enter for another 6 months
  4. Haven't experienced that - but have certainly heard about it - and quite a few South Africans on the SA Facebook page report having to do exactly the same for the same reason - i.e. birth certificates issued too long after birth - and lawyers weighed in and said, yes it is quite often the case.
  5. Has anyone stayed/traveled in the USA for about a 6 months period (summer) and then leave for about 6 months (or less) and then return to the USA for a about 6 months again. (B1/2 Visa) Any issues with that? (We retire soon and do not want to be bound to SA all the time for long periods) any do's, dont's
  6. Holy moly. Like many others, we only got long form birth certificates for the kids for visa purposes (we had actually asked at the hospital for one for the youngest but they messed it up and we got the short form). Well, I applied for my under 18 kid’s passport at the same time as mine a few weeks back after I naturalized. I just got a letter from the passport dept saying that because her birth certificate was issued more than a year after her birth, I need other evidence that she’s actually my child! The fact that she got her visa/green card as my child seems irrelevant??! We don’t still have any of the secondary documentation that they’d use as evidence (medical, insurance etc records with both her name and mine as parent around the time of birth)... we didn’t think we needed to bring decade old Discovery Health bills along when we immigrated 🙄 ..so it looks like we’ll have to a dna test as proof. I can barely believe how insane this is. Has this happened to anyone else?
  7. Last week
  8. Final Update: My inlaws had their interview today at Johannesburg Consulate and visas were approved. They will be joining us later this month. The process took 15 months in total. Merry Christmas and Happy holidays!
  9. Earlier
  10. Some questions/answers about what may happen in event of cancellations etc (though some is specific to purchases made in SA) https://www.traveller24.com/TravelPlanning/what-to-do-when-your-flight-gets-cancelled-20161110
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  14. [at]Shaun, fabulous! You seem to live in one of those places with quick processing times, so lucky!
  15. My wife (Finally - 10 years after my citizenship) did her application and it was "done and dusted in 8 weeks!! From the time the application was mailed in to the oath ceremony was literally 8 weeks (And could have been 7 except she had an appointment she could not break). Granted she is originally a Brit (Lived in SA for some 23 years) so MAYBE that helped but we were astonished at how quick it was! Currently waiting on her passport so she will have both UK & USA citizenship.
  16. Thanks - have been on global entry a few years already, it is the best thing ever, but I will need to update the doc from green card to US passport. Apparently that change has to be done in person at an airport. They told us to wait two weeks before going to SSA office - there is one not far from me, a couple towns over, hoping it will be quick and easy.
  17. It was almost exactly a year (less one working day) to interview, and then another 6 weeks for oath ceremony. That last bit seems luck of the draw - some people at SF FO interviewing not long before me got oath within 2 weeks of interview date, most seem around a month.
  18. Yaaaaaay! Congratulations at long last! What was the wait in the end? 13 months or so? Either way the hard part is over and there is one less (gigantic) thing lurking in the back of your mind. Congrats again and welcome to the club
  19. Congratulations! The journey from DV to Citizen done and dusted! It feels good to travel on that blue passport! I also did the Global Entry once I had it - makes arriving back in the USA so quick and easy. Don't forget to go to the SS offices to update your status to citizen. I did it in San Rafael, and I was in and out in about 45 mins. You obviously just missed out on voting this November, but you are all set for the big one next November! Congrats again.
  20. Just a Heads up! South African Airways will be having a massive strike this coming weekend scheduled for Friday 15 and Saturday 16 November. SAA has canceled all its domestic, regional and international flights scheduled for Friday, 15 November and Saturday, 16 November 2019 to minimize the impact of disruptions for its customers. https://www.eturbonews.com/418590/south-african-airways-union-strike-could-spell-the-end-for-airline/ https://simpleflying.com/saa-strike-bankrupt/
  21. Took my oath today! Registered to vote and passport application done.
  22. Fabulous update! Thank you for posting!
  23. (I posted under DV Lottery as well so ignore if you have already read this) I cannot believe how quickly 2019 has passed by and the year is coming to a close. With the 2021 DV Lottery entrance applications complete, I wonder how many from our neck of the woods will be joining us in the USA. This may well be one of the last DV Lotteries. I want to share with you our progress to date. (After 8 years). This year has been good for us here in Hawaii. We have started on another building project on an adjacent piece of land we bought and the idea is to use the place as an Airbnb. Work wise, I still fly an ambulance around Hawaii and received a few work promotions this year. I've been in this job for 6 1/2 years. Annalise (my wife at 50) continues getting 4.0 GPA in the nursing program and finishes in May 2020. Its been a difficult 3 years for her, studying and running this household as a mother. Michael (24) has his BSc. In Aviation Management and is just finishing up his Commercial pilots license in Florida. He also works as an aircraft fueler to support himself and has been a Zipline guide for 4 years. Siobhan (22) has 2 degrees in English and Communication this year through University of Hawaii. Yesterday she went through MEPS medical selection process to join the US Coast Guard and is hoping for an Officer selection position. She has supported herself as a tour guide & ground crew with a helicopter company and as a Life Guard. Dylan (19) joined an exclusive Aviation Maintenance company in Everett Washington last week and plans on doing his Commercial pilots license while qualifying as an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. He has learnt to weld and earned an income working as a Zipline guide. Jessica (16) continues at school but also works at a veterinary clinic 3 times a week to fund her pilots license. She has about 10 hours of flying time. Additionally she is a Sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol. (If you don't know what this is, google it & you need to get your teens enrolled) looking back to 2011 when our feet hit USA ground, I never in my wildest dreams thought that this family could achieve so much in so few years. America has opened doors and possibilities for my kids certainly not available in Africa. I write this so that you can see the abundance the USA has given us and be encouraged by it. Granted, like many of you, we went through the fire, but life has a way of showing you the path. Take it, you have nothing to lose. "Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it's the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
  24. I cannot believe how quickly 2019 has passed by and the year is coming to a close. With the 2021 DV Lottery entrance applications complete, I wonder how many from our neck of the woods will be joining us in the USA. This may well be one of the last DV Lotteries. I want to share with you our progress to date. (After 8 years). This year has been good for us here in Hawaii. We have started on another building project on an adjacent piece of land we bought and the idea is to use the place as an Airbnb. Work wise, I still fly an ambulance around Hawaii and received a few work promotions this year. I've been in this job for 6 1/2 years. Annalise (my wife at 50) continues getting 4.0 GPA in the nursing program and finishes in May 2020. Its been a difficult 3 years for her, studying and running this household as a mother. Michael (24) has his BSc. In Aviation Management and is just finishing up his Commercial pilots license in Florida. He also works as an aircraft fueler to support himself and has been a Zipline guide for 4 years. Siobhan (22) has 2 degrees in English and Communication this year through University of Hawaii. Yesterday she went through MEPS medical selection process to join the US Coast Guard and is hoping for an Officer selection position. She has supported herself as a tour guide & ground crew with a helicopter company and as a Life Guard. Dylan (19) joined an exclusive Aviation Maintenance company in Everett Washington last week and plans on doing his Commercial pilots license while qualifying as an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. He has learnt to weld and earned an income working as a Zipline guide. Jessica (16) continues at school but also works at a veterinary clinic 3 times a week to fund her pilots license. She has about 10 hours of flying time. Additionally she is a Sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol. (If you don't know what this is, google it & you need to get your teens enrolled) looking back to 2011 when our feet hit USA ground, I never in my wildest dreams thought that this family could achieve so much in so few years. America has opened doors and possibilities for my kids certainly not available in Africa. I write this so that you can see the abundance the USA has given us and be encouraged by it. Granted, like many of you, we went through the fire, but life has a way of showing you the path. Take it, you have nothing to lose. "Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it's the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
  25. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    [at]Heidi556We really struggled to get a place to rent. I was organizing it from SA. They don't seem to be willing to help once they know you don't have a credit score. I wanted to settle with the doggy as soon as possible, so that was my biggest battle, which I won with help from an expat Estate Agent in Atlanta. We had to settle for a year lease though, but only paid one month's extra rent as deposit. We haven't had much opportunity for sight seeing, and have only bought the very basics, like inflatable bed, kitchen stuff, 2 bar stools, a fold-up table and 2 chairs. We like the neighborhood though - it is very quiet, not far from shops. Most of the things we need is in an 11 mile radius from where we live. People are real friendly here. We gave up our rental car and using Lyft to get around. A lot of places deliver, so we are finding that very helpful while we research banks, cars, credit cards, phones/technologies, etc. Yes, overall we're settling in nicely. I love Savannah so far. (The weather has also been fantastic!) Good luck in Hawaii!
  26. SJ272

    DV-2019

    [at]Heidi556sounds like you are a settled-in local! [at]Kallasgood luck for the final move!
  27. Kallas

    DV-2019

    [at]FranetteM I was there just for an interview and to meet the company. Then I came back, resigned, and started with the big trek. The final move is on Sunday, very long flightS back to Hawaii. Mixed bag of emotions on this side I must say. [at]Heidi556 thanks, we'll probably only be in Honolulu for the layover which is short, but I'm sure we'll meet up sometime since those islands don't seem too massive. Glad to hear you're having a blast - I hope the rain has subsided since we last spoke.
  28. Heidi556

    DV-2019

    Hi everyone! My experience with social security card; it did not arrive automatically, had to go in to SSAdministration (there is one in Honolulu and Hilo), and you just complete a form, bring passport, did not need birth certificate. And it was in the mail two weeks later. Kallas, no mail gets delivered in rural Hilo/Mountain view, call USPS or ask locals, so find an address that you know works, this is also NB for green card. Regarding the green card; mine was sent to an address in Hilo, undeliverable, and was sent back to the mainland, have a new address now, so will hopefully arrive soonish. Otherwise all is well, been surfing, diving, hiking, running, and loving Hawaii. [at]Kallas When are you back on the islands, have you found a house, car, yet. Toyota or Ford? Shout if you and your family are in Honolulu, I’ll show you guys around a bit. [at]FranetteM Great, so it all went well for all of us on here this year, are you guys settled in, and finding the new place interesting?
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