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  1. 2 points
    Update: Replied on the RFE from USCIS with a copy of the original marriage certificate and another copy of the marriage certificate, clearly explaining that all the needed information is listed since it is the long form even without the word “unabridged” Case was approved on July 3rd. Yay!!
  2. 2 points
    One thing that we hadn’t encountered in SA but saw a lot here, is the use of software as a first filter on job applications. Today on LinkedIn I saw this article that gives some tips around this, and thought it might be useful for those of you entering the job market here - https://www.linkedin.com/feed/news/how-to-defeat-resume-sorting-robots-4680164/
  3. 2 points
    [at]Kallas, they don’t list financial documents because everyone is so different - what they need from a 24-year-old IT graduate will be very different to what they need from a 65-year old retiree, for example. You will need to show you won’t be a public charge in the US ie you can support yourself. As Heidi says a I134 is one option, they almost never used to ask about this in SA but seems they do more now (I am guessing part of the reason is that the rand has fallen so much that converting SA assets is much less favorable than it used to be). But any sensible approach will work - an i134 or job offer would be solid, or bring proof of your assets in SA that you will be able to liquidate and take (House, shares etc). If you have a degree and/or work experience in a field that should be easy to get work in, that will help of course even if you don’t have a job offer yet (most people don’t get one before they move). In addition to what Oscar says about income, if you have significant assets to liquidate- I would suggest try do that before you become a green card holder. If you do it afterwards, you may also be liable for capital gains tax in the US (probably not on your house as the effective primary residence exemption is much higher in the US, but possibly on financial assets. However if you start renting out your house after you are gone, you will afaik lose the primary residence CGT exemption both in SA and US so be aware of the tax implications of that. It may be worth getting a quick tax consultation on these issues before you leave.) Note that unless your SA income is particularly high, the double tax agreement (if you have paid tax in SA) and foreign income exemption (I think it’s around $100k a year, maybe a little higher now) should usually mean you don’t have to actually pay tax on it in the US even though you have to declare it to the IRS. Be sure to investigate all the nuances of the current situation about whether or not you need to financially emigrate, given that for now you plan to keep assets/have income in SA. good luck!
  4. 2 points
    There are years when they draw more people than they need to fill the quota of 50000 visas a year - when that happens, not everyone who has been selected gets an interview. Those are the years that high case numbers are risky. It happens every so often, it seems quite difficult for them to predict it accurately. There have also been years when they don’t fill the quota as not enough people process.
  5. 1 point
    [at]FranetteM Great. Yes that is the consulate in Sandton City. Cool, saw the Capital Empire, walked past it on the way, nicely done.
  6. 1 point
    Congrats Heidi. It’s pretty unusual to actually get a job offer before going over, but right now the US job market is strong so even going over with no offer (as many of us DV winners usually do) is probably no problem, as long as you’ve done some research about going to the right kind of region for the work you want to do.
  7. 1 point
    [at]Kallas Great stuff, it’s easy hey? Glad you got through with no hangups. But it was good to have backup plans. You probably have your passports back? What is the next step for you? [at]FranetteM How’s it going? You guys must be getting ready for the medical? Make sure to confirm your appointment on the consulate website, hey? And to go to the consulate, not the embassy, I’m sure that mistake has been made in the past. Exciting times. Anything you are doubting? And have you found your flights yet? I just got back from Transkei diving the sardine run, tons of sharks and wales, and even a few orcas in the water. But back now and waiting for good news, we can have 3 out of 3 cases successful from the help of others on this site. Happiness!
  8. 1 point
    About time. I knew a few people who never reported rental income.
  9. 1 point
    Congratulations, Kallas It can all start out to be quite daunting, and everyone seems to get VERY nervous about the interview (and there IS a lot at stake) - but for most people, like yourself, it is really almost anti-climactic, and so simple. People get themselves in knots about it, thinking it HAS to be more complicated, it HAS to be more difficult.....but it isn't. Key is being prepared with documentation, and the rest is really a breeze. Let the adventure begin!
  10. 1 point
    Yip, huge relief, now to recover from the financial knock from the medicals and interview fees! I only realised on Tuesday that it's $330 per person, and we're a family of four. Good luck [at]FranetteM, if you have all your docs you have nothing to worry about, they're really chilled.
  11. 1 point
    Hi all, just finished with our interview. Arrived at 07:30 and parked at Sandton Mall (very short walk across to the consulate). We were second in the queue. As [at]Heidi556 explained, first counter collects all documents and photos, then you go pay, and finally get called to the last counter for the interview. It went unbelievably quick - I gave my abridged birth certificate in and they said nothing about it. Took the oath, and the officer said she doesn't see any issues and will approve our visas today. The officer did not even look at my finance statements. All done now it seems. Exciting times!
  12. 1 point
    Kallas, everyone's interview time slot for that day will be 8:30. It is not individual slots. If I can suggest, be there early, as you are allowed IN from your position in the line outside. If 'interviewees' before you take longer than expected, it will sure delay you as well. Good Luck
  13. 1 point
    Hi, yes I think you will be fine. There is also a Gautrain to the airport that will save you time. I will then make sure to be in the queue at the consulate earlier to be in front of everyone. You should be fine.
  14. 1 point
    Glad to hear you're all sorted [at]FranetteM! Good luck with the rest. The link that Heidi sent above is what I used to confirm my appointment. Yes I've applied for my unabridged, and will take the receipt along, as well as the hand written unabridged certificate, just in case. I hope we don't get completely turned down because of that. [at]Heidi556 my only other concern is the financial side. How in-detail did they check all your stuff? They mention on the JHB confirmation that you should bring the I-134 along. I'm just going to print out our net worth and say we're not planning on relying on any financial support. You think this is fine?
  15. 1 point
    And on that linked page, there are more lists, and links to lists to double check that you have all the documents. So Kallas’ interview is next week, and you guys are in a month from now, exciting times! Shoot with questions if you have, a month ago I was so stressed out, it’s an important step this, and a time that we won’t forget.
  16. 1 point
    Congratulations, Oscar - and enjoy the change. I'm so glad I've moved around a bit in the States - I know of quite a few South Africans who moved to the States - and to a random city/state because that is where they got their first job etc, and just stayed there. Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, and now Colorado have all been very different, and it is quite liberating to reinvent your life in a new place - it is for me, anyhow. New York is a great springboard to get anywhere in the world - including hopping on the direct flight to SA - especially now that United will be starting direct to Cape Town too.
  17. 1 point
    I got a nice promotion at work so we had to move to be in the Head Office in NYC. This also works out well with the kids going to College in the fall. We have a nice condo on the 15th floor .With pool and garden on 30th floor. Been here for three weeks, and becoming a real city slicker commuting on the bus and metro. The car is in the basement gathering dust.
  18. 1 point
    I got my passport with visa in it 😁, it is a reality now. I also see the next visa bulletin is out, all regions are current with no exceptions. But that is irrelevant as we were all current two months ago. Kallas and Franette, have you guys looked at flights? I found a $900 = R13.5k return flight to JFK on Qatar airways. Returns are much cheaper per flight than one way. Thinking of making the return flight flexible option (like $100 more) so i can shift the date later on. No biltong 😬
  19. 1 point
    Good luck with all the planning and packing, Just remember to Disclose rental income on your IRS Tax return. From the date of arrival in the US. Once you become a green card holder or US citizen all income received from anywhere in the world is taxable.
  20. 1 point
    During my interview, the first (South African) interviewer asked if i had I-134, i said no i am taking financial care of mysef, then i said i have these finances to support mysef. The second interviewer (US girl) asked nothing about finances. Just asked what degree, and what field i will be working in.
  21. 1 point
    Thanks Kallas, ja so happy! Next step is to receive my passport via courier, it should be here in this week. I have been looking at flights, short term < month are at a premium, flights in September are better priced, around ~$1600 for a return to Honolulu. Interesting, if you fly via Abu Dhabi, there is a CPB immigration there, where you hand in your immigration docs, then Abu Dhabi to US is like a local flight with no customs. Ok, so much of the financial tips I learnt from SAUSA, and Britsimons blog. The principal is; you have to prove that you will not become a financial burden on the US. The safest way to do that is with a form I-134. It is a form completed by a US citizen or permanent resident, that say that they will be responsible for your finances if you claim financial assistance from the US. I did not, nor any South African I have heard of, did not have someone willing to complete a I-134. So in the absence of this I-134, you have to prove you will not be a financial burden to the state. This seems to be the norm at Johannesburg. I did this by summarizing my financials. My first page was a summary, and pages attached proving the finances. It included bank account savings amount and three months statements, investments, property valuation. I asked my auditors to make a persoonlike balansstaat, that’s it. The idea is to prove that you and your family will be financially ok in the US. A job lined up, degrees like yours mec eng(?) is desireable, so include that for sure, existing savings, liquid assets, saying you will sell your house for Rx. All that helps to show you have means to support you and your family in the US.
  22. 1 point
    Yes, they take and keep the original police clearance.
  23. 1 point
    😁 Ok, so they want original documents at the interview, and one set of normal copies of the originals. I had certified copies, but it was not needed. They kept the copies. The doctor wants four SA passport sized photos, and at the interview two photos US sized (50x50mm). But this info is in the instructions. Cool, I’m glad your documents are in order. So hopefully you will receive your 2NL from 15 to 30 June, or then 15 to 31 July, or 15 to 31 Aug.
  24. 1 point
    Hey! Yes, just finished my interview. Here is a run through for your info. My interview was at 08:30 this morning, just two hours ago, I arrived 07:45, and was sixth in line. It is orderly and nothing like a Mozambican border. I had coffee at the Discovery building across the road from the consulate, waiting for 07:45. The first security checks your name on a list, and that you have the correct photos. Through the heaviest door, to other secutity who hold your phone, watch. Next thing is to write name, case number, email on a slip, and they check your passport, and give you a number. Wait for about 30 minutes, called for first interview, where the person behind a glass window asks for passport, birth, police clearance, schooling, financials, and takes fingerprints. I asked to change my US address, changed no problem. Also asked for I-134(?), I replied I will be taking financial care of myself, and gave my financials (first page summary, with bank statements, investments, shares, business, property valuation), she was happy with that. Sent to cashier to pay $330 in $, I had cash, apparently they accept cash Rands unsure of the rate used, and cards. This is in an office building, there is a vending machine and washrooms. Take a seat and wait for 15 minutes. Called to the window, take an oath that all you say is true. Then the interviewer conducts a casual interview, verifying what you submitted, asks where you will be going, working. Very pleasant and friendly. And then she says “I am goingn to approve your application.” Blessed, jipee!
  25. 1 point
    Same, in fact the school district is more strict on what they will accept than what the DMV will accept for real ID!! My oldest is starting college in fall so we have just been through this..in excruciating detail lol. It’s both the school and the absolute score that count (SAT/ACT for example will be ranked according to national percentiles). My daughter’s school is a high performing one so they actually don't rank, but the school profile gives an average gpa, highest gpa, number of APs offered etc. This is both to compare you against your peers but also to highlight for those schools where kids just don’t have the same opportunities (for example: a kid takes 3 AP classes. That means something totally different if kid comes from a school that only offers 3 AP classes, or from one that offers 20. So a kid who does well at a poor school is not doomed by his school or the fact that his grades look bad vs people at better resourced schools.) it’s also worth pointing out that colleges get so many top scoring kids applying that it’s not just the academics that count, but what kids do extramurally, how they perform at those activities, volunteer hours, leadership, part time jobs, etc etc, as well as your application essays. (For example, my daughter got into a college that one of her classmates who has a GPA about 0.3 better than her got rejected from. ) The upside of the affluent area schools is that the schools are well known and the counselors, despite having hundreds of kids each to look after at the school, also generally know what they’re doing. A good number of kids from my daughter’s class got into Ivies/Stanford/MIT this year, and a good deal more into top 30 colleges. But with admit rates around 5-6% for the top universities and so many good applicants, it’s always a bit of a lottery anyway. A Harvard admissions dean has said that they could make up an equally qualified freshman class from the reject pile. The other side of the coin is that there are actually many good universities in the US - the “LACs” - that are not as famous as the ivies but are often considered close to being peers, and there are also many good big universities out there as well. USnews, which has the most widely used college ranking, also has a separate ranking for LACs, as well as regional colleges. For example, in the Bay Area there is Santa Clara university, that I had never heard of before, but you have to have a very good gpa to get in and it’s highly regarded locally. There are these types of regional colleges all round the US.
  26. 1 point
    That number of DV visas for South Africa up to the end of April is actually quite high compared to prior years, but should still not cause any concern. From 01 Oct - end April = 7 of 12 months = 179 visas For DV2017, a total of 215 visas were issued in 12 of 12 months (i.e. by end September) For DV2016, a total of 182 visas were issued in 12 of 12 months (i.e. by end September) For DV2015, the total was 197, for DV2014, the total was 211 (despite the fact that over 1 000 South Africans were actually drawn that year). (These numbers are the total for those with South Africa as country of chargeability, so includes not only those visas issued in Johannesburg, but visas issued to South Africans at other posts, such as London, as well as those already in the USA on some other type of visa - i.e. non-immigrant, who did a change of status) Also, these are the total DV visas, both the primary and derivatives. So, if over a 1 000 people were drawn, and only 211 visas issued (includes visas issued to spouses and children of those drawn), it shows how few actually pursue it.
  27. 1 point
    Congratulations... (I think...). I was selected in 2008 with a very high number, and I was already in the process of moving to the UK - so I did. My number became current - and only just with about 200 to spare - in the very last month, so I proceeded with the visa. However, I had settled very well into the UK, and was on the fence for quite a while before deciding to leave there and move to the USA. To be honest, still not sure I made the right decision, but I do feel the opportunities and outlook here have been excellent. I was in the UK for about 2 years before the actual move to the USA, so not long enough to get citizenship there, so no option of going back now. I presume you may have by now - so that will always be open to you. One of the things that made me really decide was how rare the opportunity to move - Green Card in hand - to the USA actually is, and clearly the universe was giving me a message. Perhaps, being drawn TWICE now - you are getting a message too! Good luck with it all, whatever eventually happens.
  28. 1 point
    .....and Breathe. We have been selected but with quite a high number. We won in 2014 but chose to stay in UK. Not sure about whether we will even become current with our number but you never know!
  29. 1 point
    Yes, scan and send the originals and take them plus copies to the interview.
  30. 1 point
    Here is a fun activity to do in New York for exercise.. visit the Vessel its free but you have to book tickets. https://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/discover/vessel https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=hudson+yards+vessel&view=detail&mid=DCA9B995EC9B7ACA1372DCA9B995EC9B7ACA1372&FORM=VIRE For rooftop dining visit Serra on the roof (Not at same address ) its at 200 Fifth Avenue Floor 14 https://www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/nyc-flatiron/serra-by-birreria/
  31. 1 point
    Judging from other forums it’s the usual issue of the server being overloaded for a couple of days. Good luck to all SA entrants!
  32. 1 point
    Hi Franette. My unabridged birth certificate also only has my parents name and date of birth. The email address KCC used to request documents was “KCCDV[at]state.gov”, with “Further DV Documents Required” in the subject line. So then I guess you have to wait for the police clearance, is there no way to expedite it? I still think once you get the police clearance, to send KCC the documents without waiting for an email requesting it. If I were in your shoes, I will definitely send the documents. Kallas, which states are you guys looking at? And are you going for a look-see-decide trip, or just emigrating? Franette, where are you guys heading first? The US is so huge, everything from subtropical, desert, big cities, to Freestate plains.
  33. 1 point
    [at]FranetteM, On the unabridged birth certificates, neither my husband’s nor mine had parent ID numbers. Mine had my parents’ birthdays, my husband’s only had the ages his parents were on the date he was born! I think they just take whatever was in the written record at the time and copy that. The key things are the parents’ names and your place of birth, I think.
  34. 1 point
    Yes, that’s correct. 1NL = “You have been randomly selected...”, it is what you will see on the ESC page now. 2NL is also on the ESC page, it just replaces the 1NL and appears after the email, and it gives you interview details, date, time, place. The email is just a link to the ESC page.
  35. 1 point
    Very true statement - it is that stupid <1% you need to watch for and they exist everywhere, not just the US. The worst part of that encounter is that my dog was super kid friendly and wanted to say hello to his about 7 year old son (Who was totally excited about that fact) but the father freaked, adding "to the "keep your viscous dog away from me" with Can't you see my son is terrified?". I am assuming that my laughter and sarcastic comment which was something about grown men being babies while his kid was cool was the reason he stormed off in a huff dragging his poor son with him. 👼 At least that is what my wife tells me!!!
  36. 1 point
    Thanks [at]FranetteM - you were correct. I phoned the KCC (who were very helpful), and they instructed me to enter "other" on the DS-260 form for our newborn's "travel document", just so that we can have the DS-260's completed. They said that, only after all of our DS-260's have been completed, the KCC will mail me requesting a copy of the passport biodata page - at least this buys us time whilst we await our daughter's passport.
  37. 1 point
    Franette and Kallas, all of our three case numbers is now current, jipee! May bulletin for June interviews is Africa 37200 🙂 From what I gathered, 2NL's gets sent from the 15th to the end of the month, and then interviews are on Tuesday or Thursdays in Johannesburg.
  38. 1 point
    keep trying - we won it on our 9th try!
  39. 1 point
    It's been many years since I last posted on this site. Life in Hawaii has been good to us. Climate is perfect Year round. My oldest 2 kids are getting close to finishing university and the youngest son entered college and my youngest daughter is still in school. My wife, at 48, is doing her nursing degree. I'm still flying an ambulance. Life's good. To top it all, my wife and I attended our USA Citizenship ceremony on Tuesday. We are Americans. "Life, Liberty & the persuit of happiness"
  40. 0 points
    On dogs...again...in the news yesterday, someone let their dog off its leash in a no-dogs area of a state park (even in areas they are allowed they have to be on leash at all times) and it killed an endangered type of seal pup...potential $11k fine in addition to the misdemeanor charge...and all entirely avoidable. Always follow the rules...
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