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FranetteM

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FranetteM last won the day on November 5

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About FranetteM

  • Rank
    Bronze Member

Profile Information

  • First Name
    Franette
  • Last Name
    Marais
  • SA Location
    Langebaan
  • Language
    Afrikaans/English

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  1. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    [at]Heidi556We really struggled to get a place to rent. I was organizing it from SA. They don't seem to be willing to help once they know you don't have a credit score. I wanted to settle with the doggy as soon as possible, so that was my biggest battle, which I won with help from an expat Estate Agent in Atlanta. We had to settle for a year lease though, but only paid one month's extra rent as deposit. We haven't had much opportunity for sight seeing, and have only bought the very basics, like inflatable bed, kitchen stuff, 2 bar stools, a fold-up table and 2 chairs. We like the neighborhood though - it is very quiet, not far from shops. Most of the things we need is in an 11 mile radius from where we live. People are real friendly here. We gave up our rental car and using Lyft to get around. A lot of places deliver, so we are finding that very helpful while we research banks, cars, credit cards, phones/technologies, etc. Yes, overall we're settling in nicely. I love Savannah so far. (The weather has also been fantastic!) Good luck in Hawaii!
  2. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    We fly out on Sunday, very hectic times 😬 Good luck [at]Kallas. Am glad that part is over for us! It is only a blur now. We packed until half past 5 the morning before our flight and they came to collect our dog at 7am. I honestly don't even remember much of it. At some points when unpacking, I was quite surprised by what I had managed to squeeze in. And other times I think to myself - how could you not have brought THAT!? 😂 Enjoy the adventure, good luck and let us know how it went!
  3. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Hi [at]Kallas! I thought you were in the USA already. No, you don't have to present your birth certificate. My husband and I went together and all he asked for were our passports, but because they have to fill in all the details as on the unabridged birth certificate, my husband just gave his to the administrator when it was his turn. I had to write everything down on a piece of paper, because of the spelling. Think - what is your mother's first names - Susanna, Johanna, Francina - see what I mean? I could have just handed him the birth certificate instead of writing down everything. They only want to know that and where you were born basically. Very easy.
  4. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Yes, we did register for the loyalty points before we arrived. All the Choice hotels are included. We also stayed at a different one - can't remember now which one it was in Florence, SC, but that was even worse than the Motel 6! Will choose Clarion Inn any time.
  5. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Thank you so much SJ272! We also stayed at the Clarion Inn in Fredericksburg for only $10 more then Motel 6 per night. The room was clean, the beds were great, the staff was great, it had room service and our buffet breakfasts were included on the rate! We made use of the room service option, as we were really exhausted. The food was fresh, good value for money and the breakfast was incredible! Can definitely recommend them.
  6. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Just to let everybody know that we arrived at JFK on 17 Oct and it was easy and relatively quick to pass through immigration. The only thing that held us up was that we were on the same plane as a lot of refugees. Our fur baby was waiting for us at SAA cargo, already cleared through customs. Unfortunately the staff there were very rude (I intend to lodge a complaint) and they definitely also didn't even give our dog any water. But all's well that ends well and we managed to get a home leased in Savannah (it was hard work). We drove down from JFK and stopped over at Motel 6 in Philadelhia (they will never see us again), then Clarion Inn in Fredericksburg (Excellent!!). WE spent the weekend with our friends in Raleigh, NC and from there drove to Florence. We arrived in Savannah the next day and our house was ready to move into! The fur baby has been to the Vet and has passed the heart worm check. We are all settling in nicely. We received our SSNs yesterday (after we had to apply again locally) and now we're ready to open bank accounts and get the secured credit cards. Thank you again for all of your input and advice. It would have been much more difficult without it!
  7. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Hi Kallas, not sure whether you have been sorted by now. We had the same problem. We arrived 17 Oct and when we went to the Social Security Admin after almost 2 weeks, we were told we're not in the system yet. We had our passports with us and also our unabridged birth certificates. That is basically all the info they ask for. It was really quick to apply and we received our SSN's yesterday, which is basically a week later.
  8. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Ok, so our tickets are all sorted. We're flying on 16 Oct! Can hardly wait, but the house is in a terrible state! 🙈
  9. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    No, she is travelling on the SAA flight, so will arrive 2 hours before we do. We decided to use JFK rather than Atlanta, otherwise she would have had to fly with KLM with a stop-over in Amsterdam. I asked the consultant from the pet travel agency and she said the JFK route would be the least stressful for our doggie. That's why we're also driving down instead of putting her on another flight to Savannah. We're just hoping that she doesn't have to wait too long for us to pick her up at cargo.
  10. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    That's great [at]Kallas! We are also going to clear customs at JFK, but decided to take Emirates instead this time round. That SAA flight is gruelling. Thanks for the info re ESTA - we'll look out for that. Let us know how the interview went. Good luck!! We've decided to settle in Savannah, GA for the first few months at least. Will drive down from JFK with the fur baby, seeing as we can't do anything without the social security anyway.
  11. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Very very excited! Yes, and don't forget about the x-rays that you need to keep with you as well for customs. Good luck Heidi - are you all packed up and ready to go? How long are you going over for initially?
  12. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Hi everybody, got our passports back today. It's really happening! 🤠 [at]Heidi556 are you also clearing customs at JFK, or do you have a direct flight to Hawaii? Thank you to everybody here that shared their knowledge - without you we would definitely not have made it to the interview, as we would not have known the process has changed for submitting of forms! Also, the information regarding pets and pitbulls have really helped a lot. Everything you've shared really - thanks so much. Is anyone here familiar with Pennsylvania? Do you know of any Saffas there?
  13. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Thanks [at]SJ272 - that is a big concern. Will definitely follow up. We're supposed to receive them back next week.
  14. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    We got a reasonable quote from Biddulphs for a part load in a 20 foot container. I'm also going to ask for a quote from Laser Logistics. We're not taking any furniture.
  15. FranetteM

    DV-2019

    Yes, the Consulate should receive my passport today, so basically we've just been delayed by a week. Well, not really delayed - it's just going to take a week longer to receive our passports back. [at]Kallas and [at]Heidi556 have you completed your immigration forms and paid the immigration fees yet? We would ideally like to go over first or second week in October. Not sure if we'll get everything done by then, but can only try our hardest. Selling all our furniture and have to sort out through boxes still not unpacked from the previous move, to decide what we're taking with. Will feel like we're starting with brand new stuff! 😂
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