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Everything posted by SJ272

  1. Well - this is effectively just SA being added to the list, all the others are already banned (even if Trump’s antics on leaving means Biden has to reinstate it) This new Covid strain in SA is pretty scary sounding to be honest. Hope it gets under control. Far too many people I know in SA are saying both they now all know people with it, and that people are not really social distancing etc much. And it’s going to be a good while before they can reach herd immunity vaccine wise there. We have had immediate family members there catch it too.
  2. SJ272

    Christmas 2020!

    Happy holidays oscar and everyone! Ah, saw the Parlotones live a couple of times back in the day. Once they were supporting a big international rock band but unfortunately I don’t remember which concert that was. My first responder and doctor friends have received the vaccination already - my dad should be in next group because of age and other conditions. Seems husband and I are way down the line - not sure what group specifically we are in but when we used that NYT tool from a week or two back we were equivalent of #88 of 100 people in line... Anyway.. here’s wishing everyone a really good 2021... I think it is going to be better than this year in just about every way!
  3. Are you looking to emigrate to the US, or just to emigrate in general? The statement that the GED is no longer accepted is not exactly true - it’s very widely accepted including by the Ivy League, though normally the people using them have not had a traditional education path, and the high school requirements for top colleges generally go well beyond the minimum required to complete high school which is usually what a GED is (the system is very different to SA... if you need a quick explainer, from someone whose kid did primary in SA and high school and now college in the US, let me know...) If you are still based in SA my first recommendation, if it is affordable, would be to send the children to a bricks and mortar international school there, whether American, British or IB, rather than online schools which vary widely both in quality and focus. If you do go online though, then the British curriculum is a good idea, as it is obviously understood in the UK but also well regarded in the US (as is IB), and in fact many colleges will give students college credit or higher subject placement for good performance in some A level subjects.
  4. My husband’s company (global name brand) has said effectively there will need to be vaccine access to the general population (not just the initial expected to first responders etc) before they are back at head office.
  5. Agree but, you know, there was still a big % increase in SA selectees from 162 last year to 510 this year. Hopefully that will lead to a few more selectees on here! I agree, it was usually fun (though sometimes also stressful and nerve wracking!) to read about people’s journeys.
  6. Yes, good luck! I think they may have improved more than marginally, as I think a lot of African entries before were from “agents” entering people without their knowledge. They won’t be able to do that any more. Ghana was a big “culprit” there and entries from Ghana dropped from 1.9m for DV2020 to under 300k (!!!] for DV2021, almost certainly as a result of that. Smaller but still significant drops in some other countries. Overall African entries dropped from 8.1m to 3.1m! The overall % of total DV entries picked from Africa will not change so that must raise the odds of those left with valid entries quite a bit vs what it would have been before, although of course the overall chance of getting picked is still very small.
  7. I find this puzzling. This was airmail obviously... what was this package doing flying around in the air for 9 days 😆 (I guess there is some kind of central facility at a transit point but even so ...? )
  8. I’m sure having tracking on it helps as “insurance” too if you know what I mean. Sending a birthday card today, interested to see when it will arrive. We have learnt not to send those fancy Papyrus type cards with stuff on the front anymore as they never reach the recipient ..I guess it looks too much like there is something included in the envelope. Normal flat cards seem to get there, albeit quite late sometimes.
  9. Wow! I filed as usual in April and I think I got my refund in July or August, it was really slow this year.
  10. ^ I485 is only filed if the applicants are already in the US and will adjust status. It is form DS260 that is filled in to get a visa for consular processing. About a year or so (depending how fast they are moving) before the priority date is current, the priority date will be listed in table B “dates for filing” in the visa bulletin. At this stage NVC will contact you all to submit documents (the DS260 from the applicant, affidavit of support from the sponsor, pay fees etc). Once all this is done the case is “documentarily qualified” and can then be forwarded to the embassy for an interview when the priority date is current.
  11. The priority date still needs to get current before you can interview - usually USCIS approval is a few years before that happens, especially for F3 and F4 petitions. Such a long wait!
  12. Wow, is that because of post office problems in SA or because usps use commercial flights? (I guess FedEx just uses its own cargo planes and so is not subject to the passenger plane restrictions?)
  13. Ah, excellent point about the third party services. Yes, that’s probably a big part of it.
  14. Students at my daughter’s college that live off campus are reporting renewing their leases for less than last year’s rental. Seems to me from a long term view this might be a good time to buy for those looking to get into Manhattan property at some stage.
  15. . Gee, I wonder if this sudden rush to protect DACA (which used to be terrible, remember) has anything to do with Texas becoming a swing state.
  16. Met Museum NY has said it plans to reopen 29 August.
  17. I tell you, the way this year has been going I wouldn’t be surprised to switch on the news and watch Godzilla taking out the Golden Gate Bridge .
  18. another congratulations! Re above -I think it’s partly that there just aren’t that many immigrants from SA to the US. DV selection has fallen to a couple of hundred a year, and total immigrant visas issued out of SA have been running around 800 a year. Forums typically have a fraction of actual immigrants on them so when numbers are low to start with I guess activity gets low too. There are some active Facebook groups of Saffers who have already immigrated, for all of the US and by city, but they vary in how useful they are (a couple of them seem mainly advertising vehicles). I personally no longer follow any of them.
  19. It’s density altitude - both altitude and heat matter for keeping aircraft aloft! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Density_altitude its generally not been a major issue for big commercial aircraft but I guess at this point where costs need to be tightened so much every little bit helps (like the cost saving on weight from silverware to plastic cutlery for economy class)
  20. Also nice option for people with family and friends in both Jhb and Cpt - means you just need an extra domestic one way rather than an extra return. If there’s anyone left to fly domestically by that stage ;/
  21. We had the same issue for a different process once in the US, the hassle involved for us in getting evidence led us to just do DNA (which was expensive but pretty quick and easy doing it all here in the US, and definitive). I have heard of people using evidence such as doctor records within a year of birth, medical aid records/registration after birth, christening records, etc. Basically anything “objective” showing child name & birthdate along with parent name within first year of birth is considered contemporaneous evidence. If you can get hold of anything like that I’d strongly suggest sending that in along with what you’re already planning to do. The only other insight i have is cautionary: I believe uscis usually take a couple of months to respond to evidence sent in, so you risk a long wait in case you then have to complete the dna process after first getting a response to that, but also that I have seen a few cases reported when the initial evidence is not acceptable that uscis don’t send another RFE but they just deny at that stage. Then the cost of either refiling or appealing (not sure an appeal is appropriate at that stage) starts possibly outweighing the part saving on DNA test cost?
  22. Other Texas centers have also been scheduling ceremonies and in fact San Antonio at least has already held some oath ceremonies since last week.
  23. Seen on another forum they’ve restarted oath ceremonies, what’s interesting is that two of the three I saw are for before official USCIS earliest date of 4 June reopening. 27 May in Austin TX, 3 June in KCMO, unspecified date in Salt Lake City UT. One reported details of notice - no guests, wear face covering, don’t come if you are sick! Certainly encouraging to see the ceremonies have restarted.
  24. List of colleges plans for fall. Updated regularly, over 600 included as of now. Over two thirds planning on in person, just 6% online, others undecided or hybrid model. All subject to change of course. https://www.chronicle.com/article/Here-s-a-List-of-Colleges-/248626?fbclid=IwAR1Pb8zviRw7yc3aw6faegZIryKA0VQAKGAq0YFjMOS-1VWXBXJISB-UGxw
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