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SJ272

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Everything posted by SJ272

  1. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Molokai?! We did a snuba trip out there from Maui. I guess if you like isolation it’s a good place. Not something I could do. Beautiful, for sure.
  2. I have little faith that anything will happen, but have signed.
  3. SJ272

    DV-2019

    ^ my daughter was working in a coffee shop part time when she was in high school, she was getting local minimum wage which I think was $15/hour, with tips and after deductions she was usually taking home around $20/hr. So agree that if that is the type of thing a farrmworker has as alternative- which it is in Hawaii for sure - $10/hr will be a hard sell. You just can’t translate wages from SA for many reasons, for example, cleaners here (in my area) generally get around $20/hour, sometimes even up to $25, but bear in mind that unlike SA they mostly have their own cars and lets just say their housing conditions are a lot better than average in an SA township (so rent is much higher in rand terms too). Poor in the US and poor in SA, or a working class lifestyle in the US vs SA, are totally different things.
  4. SJ272

    DV-2019

    They also tend to say “store” rather than “shop”. and btw if someone asks you for your “autograph”, they are not being funny or cute, many use it interchangeably with “signature”.
  5. SJ272

    DV-2019

    And don’t tell your workmates you’ll meet them in the “canteen”...it’s the cafeteria. The canteen is what you drink from
  6. SJ272

    DV-2019

    ^ I think summer Friday’s are catching on more and more. At my husband’s previous company, they had them all the way from Memorial Day to Labor Day! It’s also a lot more accepted to do work from home here, at least in the Bay Area. Many companies officially have wfh Fridays. Friend of mine lectures at a local university (came here on a work visa to do so, so jumped right in) and also had a bit of a learning curve with words. I don’t think it’s that critical that you need to wait a few years, but getting a voice coach actually is a good idea if you want to do something like that. The other thing is to pronounce your Rs - like in water, forty, over etc where saffers tend to pronounce as though it’s silent/h! Otherwise you may get blank stares! Also, at a supermarket, they won’t know what you mean if you say trolley - it’s a cart! Lots of these little ones to learn. You can usually figure out what other people mean, but they can’t always figure out what you mean!
  7. SJ272

    DV-2019

    I think like with travel agents, the Internet has taken the place of a lot of recruiting business. Millions of candidates are on LinkedIn, zip recruiter, etc that HR departments can zero in on exactly what they’re looking for, whereas recruiters often do a “spray and pray” approach of tossing everything in hoping something works, or like the ones I mentioned above who send unsolicited resumes to companies advertising publicly. We used a recruiter at the company I worked for back in SA and I still don’t know why, they never did anything we couldn’t have done for ourselves imo. And almost all the senior hires were never advertised but interviewed through networking, of course the market in SA is much, much smaller so that’s easier.
  8. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Let me give an example why many companies say no recruiters: I had 4 different ones contact me about the same position - which I’d already seen advertised and decided against applying. It seems to me a lot of these guys are not retained by companies by like in SA, they just search the listings and then trawl LinkedIn hoping to get lucky, it also means they are not particularly invested in either the candidate or the company. So I’d limit it to the big recruiting companies like Oscar linked to, but bear in mind also a lot of companies just do the searches themselves. None of the companies my husband has worked at - 3 very big ones, two of which are international - use recruiters at all.
  9. SJ272

    DV-2019

    We do get flyers for companies that tailor make tours to both S.A. and other African countries, so the good news is there seems to be a market for that, the bad news is that there is already competition ...your target market is the wealthier population, like Oscar said you can’t compete if it’s a service people can do easily online. But custom tours are different to just booking airfare and hotel. I would definitely explore the corporate coaching options if I were you. One thing to be wary of with contract positions, is that they generally have no benefits. Make sure at least one of you has a job that provides healthcare insurance, because it gets stupid expensive if you’re doing it individually. Also bear in mind that working for yourself you pay the self employment tax, basically the social security and Medicare contributions, it can work out to quite a chunk - 15% and that’s over and above normal tax. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/self-employment-tax-social-security-and-medicare-taxes I think you’d also network much more and easier working in a company, and that’s better long term for your work imo.
  10. SJ272

    DV-2019

    It normally takes about a week and a half for SS cards to arrive these days, they send them much faster than the green cards because you need them not only for jobs (that’s only when you start a job btw - you never give it to anyone before), but also driver licenses, and some banks for opening accounts. So, also know that December itself does tend to be slow, many places are quite dead the last two weeks of December with winter breaks, Xmas etc. I’d say...land, plan to spend a month or two exploring and getting all your admin done, while looking for jobs and interviewing.
  11. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Experience is different to Oscar, my husband got poached for his current excellent job in the “quiet time”... he wasn’t even looking, lol! Talking of macdonalds, just about every single shop, restaurant etc around here and through the main parts of the Bay Area has “help wanted” signs, granted they are minimum wage or just above but still, they are genuine, my high schooler earlier this year, zero experience, found a part time job in a well known coffee shop literally within a day of starting to look and they wanted her to start training immediately. The unemployment rate in the US is currently at the lowest level it’s been since the late 1960s https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000 ... it really is not difficult to find a job at the moment. It may or may not be the ideal job for a new immigrant, but you should be able to get your foot in the door pretty easily. It may be regional too, the Bay Area is booming, nyc may be less so because globally there have been a lot of layoffs in the investment banking/finance arena and nyc is disproportionately affected for that. Again, understand where to look for what you do. Just remember to do a US style resume and understand how the auto filters work so that you word your cover letter correctly.
  12. SJ272

    DV-2019

    [at]Kallas, honestly, I wouldn’t bother with recruiting agencies. They are mostly a different animal here to what you see in the SA. It will be hard to get a job when you’re outside the US, which also means you will be highly limiting yourself in terms of opportunities. I know it’s scary, but my best advice is honestly to take the leap. Just do some research into areas that are good for your type of job. We had someone on the forum a few years back who battled to find work but he had gone to the place based on cheapest housing market he could find, but housing was so cheap because unemployment was so high there and there were no jobs. US is pretty hot jobs-wise at the moment, and if you are looking in the right region you should find something fairly quickly, I’d expect, bearing in mind many immigrants start out a little lower hierarchy-wise than when they left. My husband was pretty senior in his company on SA. took a cut in position when he moved over, now, 4 years later he is way more senior than the position he left SA at a fabulous company (nothing like it in SA). I hear similar stories like this all the time from our SA expats.
  13. SJ272

    Police Clearance

    - US immigration puts a one year expiry on all PCCs regardless of individual country domestic expiration dates - if you have an old one but have not lived in a country since you got it, they will accept it The turning 16 question is tricky, I’d personally probably get it for SA just in case, to be honest. I’d rather not need it and have it than not have it and need it....but that’s just me.
  14. SJ272

    DV-2019

    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.
  15. SJ272

    Tax Dogers

    About time. I knew a few people who never reported rental income.
  16. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Plus another $220 each now to get the actual green card... yes, it’s not a cheap process, especially in rands.
  17. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Fabulous!
  18. SJ272

    DV-2020

    Heidi, definitely some change. This is the lowest number of overall selectees I can recall seeing , and there are still big chunks in certain countries (Egypt 5.5k, DRC 4.7k, Albania 3.6k, Russia 5.1k, Ukraine 3.3k and a few over 2k, and some of those counties have high fraud/refusal rates. Also max per country is 3850 so not all those high selection countries can even get visas. I’d be very surprised if all countries don’t go current a couple months at least before fiscal year end.
  19. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Seems like a huge schlep to get blood tests and then vaccinate separately, but I don’t know what any of that would cost. We didn’t have vaccination records for the adults and I think he just gave us mmr and tdap. There were some exemptions from age, and we weren’t in flu season so no flu shot, and we had had chicken pox so no varicella. I am fairly sure though that we had had instructions from the doctor (the Cape Town one) not to get vaccinations done in advance.
  20. SJ272

    DV-2019

    I’ve been to Oahu and Maui. We heard a lot of bad press about Oahu because it’s “so developed”, but really that’s only in Honolulu proper (which we still found lovely anyway). The islands are gorgeous. I’m not sure I personally could live there as it’s just so far away from everything else. My one friend’s family comes from Hawaii originally and other than the grandparents everyone is in California now. However it really is gorgeous and I think if you don’t mind the “isolation” (I guess it’s a bit like living in Mauritius would be, just developed) I think it probably has a great quality of life.
  21. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Great price! When are you going? You were looking at Hawaii as a potential place to settle, right?
  22. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Take the handwritten long form, I think someone here once mentioned they managed to get their handwritten marriage certificate was accepted? But I know that when I asked (I also had a handwritten unabridged BC, and our marriage certificate was handwritten) I was told to get the computer printouts for both.
  23. SJ272

    DV-2019

    It definitely has to be unabridged (and machine printed in SA). This is also stipulated in the official website instructions which your selection letter linked to: Each applicant must submit a birth certificate issued by the official custodian of birth records in the country of birth, showing the date and place of birth and the parentage of the applicant, based upon the original registration of birth. Important Notice: You must submit a long form original birth certificate. Short form birth certificates will not be accepted. The certificate must contain the: Person's date of birth; Person's place of birth; Names of both parents; and, Annotation by the appropriate authority indicating that it is an extract from the official records. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/diversity-visa-program-entry/diversity-visa-if-you-are-selected/diversity-visa-prepare-supporting-documents.html Attend the interview anyway, they will place you on AP pending receipt of the required document. In your case I might use one of those “agencies”, much as I hate them, but you won’t have any time to waste on potential lengthy delays.
  24. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Randomly, cvs does home delivery here now, both prescriptions and general stuff from the store. I don’t know if it’s a state by state thing..
  25. SJ272

    DV-2019

    Sounds great, Oscar! We will probably retire to NYC (I understand this is opposite to what many do!) My older kid starts college there in the fall and we have family there, and spend a lot of time there anyway and now we will spend more, haha. Other than midsummer humidity, I love it.
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