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SJ272 last won the day on January 23

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About SJ272

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  1. So nice to have another direct to CPT option from overseas. We'll probably replace our current SFO-CPT route to go via NY than LHR when this takes effect, assuming prices are reasonable vs the BA route.
  2. SJ272


    Sure, but it’s the people whose dogs are being attacked that are the ones reporting the aggressor - it’s not up to them to get help for that dog’s behavioral issues, it’s up to the owner. People do feel they have the right to walk their own dogs without being attacked, and of course it increases the possibility of a human being bitten if you’re trying to protect your dog. This is a different situation to shaun’s “Don’t pat my dog” scenario. I have seen some people walking their dogs with a muzzle. 99% of the time everything is fine, but it’s the 1% that’s the problem. Hope you get everything sorted out with your doggie. Despite all the warnings above, the US is generally very dog friendly.
  3. SJ272


    This could be a problem too depending where you are. I know where we live, dogs that are aggressive to other dogs have been reported to animal control for checks too. Fencing ...very home dependent. For example in our town, most houses don’t have real fences or walls in front (other than for privacy on main roads) but just about all have their backyards fenced in for dogs. The flip side of all the above is that the US is very dog friendly in other ways, for example, many hotels allow dogs for an extra fee, the dog run parks etc.
  4. SJ272


    [at]FranetteMthis might help https://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/states-where-your-dog-might-banned.html/ interestingly some states have bans on some breeds and other states actually don’t allow bans on dog breeds. bear in mind that the US is generally much more “in control” when it comes to dogs - check your state laws - in the event that your dog bites someone, it may have to be reported to the police and/or animal control, who may take it away and euthanize it depending on the circumstances. (Any dog, not just pit bulls). Happened to friends of ours who ended up with a rogue Labrador - yes, a Lab - that bit a kid in the face bad enough for stitches.
  5. SJ272


    ^ the service Oscar is talking about is called usps informed delivery. It’s great, especially when you are waiting for stuff. There is no expiry by the way Oscar. And yes,most people get amazon etc left on their front porch, no walls etc around the houses! sometimes problems around Christmas time when people come looking to steal stuff as they know high value items arriving. The level of safety & comfort vs SA takes a while to get used to. Can you imagine in SA if SARS sent refund cheques in the post with the envelope labeled what they are.... but that happens here. Credit cards too. Etc. Mail system is mostly fast and overwhelmingly trustworthy. *btw I know hardly anyone uses cheques in SA anymore but they are different here. A check is effectively a one time debit order. You can deposit it by taking a photo on your banking app on your phone. Physical copies don’t need to go back to the bank.
  6. SJ272

    Notes to maximise your credit score

    We found the anxiety over credit scores a little overblown tbh. 2 credit cards each (paid down at least 80% every month but more usually paid in full, creditkarma helps you keep track of how your balances affect your score) and a car loan with both our names on it, and we had scores around the mid 700s within a year or 18 months, I don’t recall exactly but not longer than that. It’s not the top score, but it’s good enough for anything you need.
  7. SJ272

    Notes to maximise your credit score

    Creditkarma is quite a helpful site too.
  8. SJ272

    Follow Our Story As We Settle In The Usa

    Congratulations [at]stana!
  9. SJ272


    [at]Kallas, in addition to britsimon’s advice, I’d suggest sending an email to notify KCC that you’ll be adding the baby so that they have a heads up. IN case they schedule you before you get the update done they will be able to let the consulate know (once you are scheduled you won’t be able to update the DS260).
  10. SJ272


    1. SSN should (should) automatically arrive within 2 weeks after you land. Sometimes it doesn’t and you need to go into a SSA office. You may be able to get your number before your card arrives by going in - seems some offices do, some don’t. 2. You technically don’t need a SSN to open a bank account but it’s easier if you have one. Capital One are good for secured credit cards for new immigrants. 3. If you rent through an agency they might want a credit record. A private landlord will probably be more flexible. Absent a credit record, be prepared to put down a few months’ deposit or show a bank account with a few months’ rent in it. 4. Book for the tests as soon as you land. How long you have before you need it is state dependent, but better to get as soon as possible. Waiting times vary. (People here complain about the DMV a lot but compared to most traffic departments in SA it’s a breeze.) by the time you go in for the test you will need your SSN. Your stamped immigrant visa = temporary green card will be needed too if your plastci card hasn’t arrived yet. You will need proof of residence to take in too (varies by state, check local dmv website, and note the website dmv.org is not official , you need dmv dot state abbreviation usually) 5. This just builds up over time. You will probably have no score for 4-6 months as there won’t be enough history. 6. F350 rotfl. One parked next to me at the supermarket the other day. My car looked like a dinky toy next to it! 7. Phone and cable, utilities, school registration if you have kids. be aware Hawaii is wonderful but it’s also expensive and quite isolated from the rest of the US. I found it like a curious mix of the US and a bit of a third world feeling (but just a bit). Depending where you end up it can take quite a while to get to say a hospital or something, maybe watch some episodes of house hunters set there that give an idea of the pros and cons of lifestyle. One of my best friend’s family comes from Hawaii... all the younger generation left to the mainland. Hawaii and Texas are very, very different in almost every way I can think of. Spending some time in different places to try get a feel is probably a good thing.
  11. SJ272


    Hi Heidi - the graph kind of has a structural break in the year that Nigeria became ineligible (I don’t recall exactly when that was, maybe 5 years ago?) but that kind of halved the number of African selectees and had a big downward adjustment on the maximum case numbers too. So you can’t really compare like for like on the before and after. (It would have an effect on the gradient too because Nigeria was notorious for fraudulent entries, so they’d need more case numbers interviewing per successful visa.) re medical insurance - even for a saffer it is a minefield - it depends on state but also if it is private or via employer, for example when we first arrived and we had no jobs we paid around $1700 a month for what is called a silver PPO for a family of 4, we now have pretty much the same plan via my husband’s work and it is around $450 a month!! Huge difference. Also here you pay separately for dental and optical plans. Hawaii is a popular entry spot for Australian DV selectees, sounds like it’s usually an easy entry. And of course it’s gorgeous. If you enter any time in 2019 you will submit a 2019 tax return, by April 2020 (tax day is usually 15 April). And shamus - yes, as woekes says, it’s random. Your probability of being selected resets each year and for a SA entrant depends on the total number of entrants and what % of entrants are being selected for Africa.
  12. SJ272

    SA passport expiry to enter SA?

    Thanks, Malamute!
  13. SJ272

    SA passport expiry to enter SA?

    Does anyone know if a minimum passport validity applies to SA passport holders entering SA? Or is it ok as long as it’s unexpired? (I do know we would need to check transit requirements too)
  14. SJ272

    European Visa for US Passport holders from 2021

    Oh, apparently that site that Oscar linked to that looks official (I thought it was) isn’t, and the EU has clarified that it is indeed a travel authorization not a visa - this article specifically calls out that company for the misleading info. https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Americans-must-soon-register-but-not-get-visas-13675945.php
  15. SJ272

    European Visa for US Passport holders from 2021

    From what I understand it’s not really a visa as such even though that’s what they call it. It’s an advance travel authorization, like we (green card holders) have to do to fly to Canada now or like Europeans and other VWP nationals have to do ESTA to visit US. Its going to be required for Australia, NZ, Canada etc too by the way.