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  2. oscar

    Kruger National Park

    Thanks Adventurer!
  3. adventurer1

    Kruger National Park

    Hi Oscar Contact Antonie Wildenboer at Reservation house. info[at]reservationhouse.co.za They do SanParks bookings, directly on the SanParks system. Tel: (011) 678 8870Fax: (011) 678 2575
  4. oscar

    Kruger National Park

    We are planning a trip to Kruger National Park later in the year for a couple of days . We have not been there in over 30 years .Looking for suggestions of places where to stay that are reasonable. Any suggestions appreciated
  5. Just an update - thanks SJ272 for pointing out the change to a 'last in, first out' policy which means that this family's case should get heard in court within months and not years. That is a good thing, not only for this family, that will know one way or another whether they can build a life here in the USA, instead of waiting for years to hear whether or not they will be placed in deportation proceedings, but also for others considering this route, to hear quickly what the outcome could be. Of course, each case is unique. There are plenty of South Africans - and South African families - that have claimed asylum - so this case isn't a 'first'. Most of those are waiting - some for years - for their hearing, and with the 'last in, first out' policy, they could wait several years more, meantime, living and earning in the USA on work permits. I imagine it would be very hard on many of them to be told - years later - that they must leave. I see the lawyer representing this family has also posted some videos, and I was shocked at how uniformed they seemed to be about the situation in SA, when taking on a family claiming asylum, not to mention racially fixated. They quote 'a politician' (Malema) as a data point in the case for 'South African white farmers' to claim asylum (The EFF has only 25 of the 400 seats, and is not even the official opposition in SA), as well as the 'fact' that their farm is being taken away - they have been inventoried, and cannot sell anything. The consititution has not yet been changed to permit land expropriation, and neither is it likely to be, before the elections. The President has stated many times that the intent is not to have a land grab of going concerns, but to take vacant, unused land for distribution. If she is going to represent them, I hope she has more than these flimsy bits of information, as the burden of proof is on the asylum seekers. The lawyer herself states that it is very easy to pass the 'credible fear' interview - and she quotes that 95% of asylum seekers do.........but the hearing in front of a judge is a whole different matter. As SJ272 states, the majority of asylum applications are actually denied at that point.
  6. Earlier
  7. Indeed, compassion is needed for all victims of violent crime, and unfortunately there is a lot of that in South Africa - yes, the farmers, but also gang violence in the townships, gender-based violence etc - all too pervasive in SA society - no individual or group is immune. We don't know the particular set of circumstances of this family that sets them apart from that, which would give them claim to asylum. That said, the current Attorney General released a ruling in January last year stating: "The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes - such as domestic violence or gang violence - or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim." It is not unusual that this family was paroled into the USA - it appears to be pretty common, but the burden of proof that they have claim to asylum is on them, and the court will decide the merits of their claim, although their day in court is probably some years away. In 2017, only 20% of those claiming asylum were granted - so there is a high bar of proof, and a high refusal rate.
  8. I’m sure everyone here has the utmost compassion for all victims of violent crime, no matter their race. It’s one of the main reasons for emigration.
  9. One should show compassionate towards South Africans such as this family that have been through such a lot. South African farmers have been tortured and murdered the last few decades. Let's not nitpick here. Scott is not an immigration expert. He has compassion for the plight South Africans are in and is trying to help, so he might inadvertently use the incorrect terminology. He isn't deliberately misleading anyone. My previous posting quoting the actual immigration attorney clarifies the situation.
  10. Yup, highly misleading video if that’s the case. “As of July 2018, there were over 733,000 pending [asylum] immigration cases and the average wait time for an immigration hearing was 721 days.” https://immigrationforum.org/article/fact-sheet-u-s-asylum-process/ They have moved to a last-in-first-out type process for asylum hearings due to the upsurge in frivolous applications in the last couple of years, so their case will probably take somewhere less than average. Hopefully we’ll be kept updated on the outcome of this one - I can guess at what the basis for the asylum claim will be. As malamute says, many cases have been denied. The same source linked above notes just under 62% of asylum cases denied in FY2017.
  11. That makes more sense, but makes nonsense of the claim in the title of the video "South African family granted refugee status in the US" , and verbal claims that they have been 'granted amnesty' and given an 'asylum visa' So, they, like many others have been TEMPORARILY paroled into the USA, where they can now APPLY FOR Asylum. Their application will be considered by the authorities and may or may not be granted. Similar applications have failed in the past. Video is misleading at best.
  12. The family is being assisted by an immigration lawyer, working pro bono, who stated: "I am happy to report that a white South African family was allowed to enter the US to apply for asylum after approaching the southern border to ask to apply. They had first flown to Mexican on Mexican visitor visas and then went to the border. US officials held them for three days while determining whether their case was strong enough for a possible asylum claim. They passed the credible fear test and were paroled into the country."
  13. I haven’t looked at the video but asylum claims take months to years to adjudicate here, so it’s clearly BS if the claim was 2 days. So sad that our beautiful country manages to produce such hate-filled people amongst all the good ones.
  14. Calling BS on this video: - Posted here by a GUEST in entirely the incorrect topic. - The person speaking uses the terms 'granted amnesty in America' 'granted refugee status in the USA, 'asylum visa' interchangeably. and the statements just don't add up. The person speaking claims to be very involved in this sort of thing - so surely they should know the difference. Amnesty, by the way, is forgiveness for a crime......... - The big claim is that this South African family crossed the US border on Thursday 07 Feb, were detained until Saturday 09 Feb, and then immediately granted refugee status in the USA - per the headline of the video This just isn't how it works. - Refugee status must be applied for from outside of the USA - and under USA law, a refugee is someone who is located outside of the USA. So, having entered the USA, they could not, here apply for refugee status - so where does this big celebration of their instant granting of refugee status come from? - Asylum status can be applied for from within the USA or at the point of entry - there is no 'asylum visa' as claimed in this video. You apply for this status - it isn't a visa , and it can take a long time to be adjudicated - certainly not 2 days while you are in detention, and then you are instantly granted 'refugee status' - which is a status only valid outside the USA. In addition, the YouTube channel etc is filled with hate speech - mostly from the followers, which is not the fault of the channel - except that they should evict people spewing such racist drivel!
  15. South African family gain refugee status in the US!!!!:
  16. SJ272

    Possible Pregnant Wife - Dv Lottery 2017

    You can access /update the DS260 (by emailing KCC to ask them to “unlock” it) until you have an interview scheduled. If the baby is born too late for that, then yes just inform the interviewer (maybe call or email the consulate ahead of time to “warn” them, it can’t hurt). Be sure to apply for a long-form birth certificate and passport as soon as the baby is born. Sounds like you have a very exciting year ahead of you
  17. Kallas

    Possible Pregnant Wife - Dv Lottery 2017

    Hi all, Funny enough I'm sitting in this exact boat - my DS-260 has been finalised, and I would hopefully be hearing about my interview date soon. My wife is due in about 4 week's time, so I can't go back and add the newborn before the interview. So my question is whether Tarka's strategy is the best way to go about this (informing the interviewer that we have a newborn that wasn't included on the DS-260)? Thanks in advance!
  18. sen

    Consequences of not filing tax returns

    The confusion is due to whether or not we need to submit returns or not. Even with 0 SA income, we are apparently supposed to report our worldwide income to SARS, even though we will owe them nothing. Technically, it looks like we can be fined for this, but in practice, from what I’ve managed to gather at least, this has never occurred. A) SARS doesn’t know what your worldwide income is and B), chasing down people who don’t owe any taxes and fining them isn’t a good use of resources.
  19. sen

    Consequences of not filing tax returns

    Thanks all. After talking to an SA accountant about all this, his take was that FE is not necessary for me (because I have no RA or substantial cash/assets there). It’s a gray area about the returns, but I am not considered to be owing any returns or any monies right now (an accountant can query SARS about this with your tax number, BTW). Also, the 2020 ruling is for tax-residents only, which should exclude those of us who are clearly not that tied to SA. In my situation I own a US home, have US citizenship, and have spent maybe 2 months in SA in the last 15 years. There appears to be a lot of scary misinformation being spread right now, particularly by companies that profit from providing FE services.
  20. oscar

    Passport Renewal

    Thank you, I was expecting the six month period. I must say, I found the SA Consulate staff most helpful with the process and they did call me to say they had received my passport and were putting it in the mail. Its amazing how quick passports expire our US passports expire next year. its strange to think that we have been here for so long. So just a friendly reminder to all to be very aware of expiry dates. I was a little slow on the mark with renewing mine and the weeks and months can go slipping bye very fast.
  21. SJ272

    Passport Renewal

    Glad to hear it’s on the way, Oscar. One thing I will rant about is an unexpected closure of the consulate - when they decided to take an entire week off rather than just the 2 public holidays in that week, with no notice on the website or anywhere else. Likely cost Oscar a week of his wait. Cost us the chance to get it all done at the consulate rather than getting fingerprints, notarized statements etc elsewhere. (And yes I did email to ask /check they’d be open, 3 times to 3 different email addresses within the consulate, with no response from any of them. Security guards in the building told us a number of others had also had to be turned away.)
  22. Malamute

    Passport Renewal

    Glad you received it - mine was about the same duration through LA. The delay isn't such a big deal if you plan for it, but so many people forget about it until they need it, and realize they sit with an almost expired passport - and then rant about it, and about the consular staff, when the problem is of their own making! As you explained after you spoke with them, it isn't in their control.
  23. oscar

    Passport Renewal

    Just a quick update on my Passport. Application submitted at Consulate August 2, 2018 Passport issued in Pretoria December 21, 2018 Received passport from Consulate January 31, 2019 processing Time 182 days ... (6 months)
  24. Adder

    Retention of SA citizenship

    Thanks SJ272 for clearing that up. I have read so many articles that pretty much scare you into believing all hell will break loose if you did not formally emigrate. The tax resident status test sorts that one out. Good stuff.
  25. moving2018

    DV-2019

    Welcome. This is a very exciting time. Whattsapp Michelle of Team Visas and Travel. If she is still allowed she can get it out quicker. Do not call her as she spends her time in consulates etc and unable to take calls. 0763756931
  26. Shaun

    Retention of SA citizenship

    Well that clears it up thanks. Seems for those of us who live in the US permanently there is no issue despite the scare mongering I have seen on some sites and in Facebook.
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