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Kallas

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Posts posted by Kallas


  1. [at]FranetteM I was there just for an interview and to meet the company. Then I came back, resigned, and started with the big trek. The final move is on Sunday, very long flightS back to Hawaii. Mixed bag of emotions on this side I must say.

    [at]Heidi556 thanks, we'll probably only be in Honolulu for the layover which is short, but I'm sure we'll meet up sometime since those islands don't seem too massive. Glad to hear you're having a blast - I hope the rain has subsided since we last spoke.

    • Like 2

  2. 20 hours ago, FranetteM said:

    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.

    Hi [at]FranetteM, thanks for the update. Glad you guys managed to settle in relatively quickly. We fly out on Sunday, very hectic times 😬 

    Regarding your SSN, how adamant were they about your unabridged birth certificate? If you recall, I ended up going through the entire DV process with only my abridged birth certificate and all was OK. I applied for my unabridged in June - I just off the phone with them (5 months later) and it is still "in process", apparently they're still looking for my records. So frustrating....

     

     

     


  3. Ok thanks, was hoping it didn’t come to that. I see there is an SSA office in Hilo so I’ll have to go as soon as I arrive. Not quite sure where my new company will pay my first week’s salary into...


  4. Hi all. I’m not sure if this question’s been asked before - how long, after first arriving in the USA and “activating” one’s immigrant visa, does it take for the SSN to arrive? Reason I ask is that I read on the “welcome letter” that it shouldn’t take longer than three weeks, however, I called the SSN office and I’m not on the system yet (it’s been just over three weeks). I was hoping to start to build a credit record by applying for a credit card, but it seems the bank needs the SSN for the application... 


  5. 22 hours ago, Heidi556 said:

    I just finished my entry at LAX, all good, normal foreign passport line, and it was quick, like 10 minutes. Kallas, I am in Honolulu tonight, and renting a car tomorrow, need to go buy some stuff, what are your plans? I started a stopwatch when I got in the car in SA, have now commuted 38 hours, only semi sleep on plane, and have another 5 hours to Honolulu 😜

    Are you in Honolulu for good now, or are you just coming to check things out?


  6. 8 hours ago, Heidi556 said:

    I just finished my entry at LAX, all good, normal foreign passport line, and it was quick, like 10 minutes. Kallas, I am in Honolulu tonight, and renting a car tomorrow, need to go buy some stuff, what are your plans? I started a stopwatch when I got in the car in SA, have now commuted 38 hours, only semi sleep on plane, and have another 5 hours to Honolulu 😜

    Awesome that you got in ok - crazy long travel time to Hawaii, no way of getting around that. I chose the quickest travel route and it still took me 32 hours to get here. I'm currently in Hilo, and fly back to SA on Thursday. Checking out the town tomorrow, areas to stay etc.


  7. Thanks for all the info. I got through JFK immigration quite quickly - followed the ESTA "first entry" signs. Took me about an hour. Officer was super chilled again, hardly any questions and very friendly. I'm currently in Honolulu and fly back on Thursday - by far the longest flights I've been on, super draining, but good to be here.

    • Like 2

  8. Thanks [at]SJ272. Yes I'm flying direct from JNB to JFK. The only problem is that the connecting flight is a different airline (Hawaiian Airlines) to Honolulu, and from what I can see there's only one flight a day. Not a train smash though, I have a friend in NYC who I could stay with for a night as a plan B.


  9. [at]SJ272 [at]JumpingJasonFlash [at]oscar Hi all, so I've got an urgent question that I hope someone can help me with. I'm on the verge of accepting a job offer, but the company first wants to fly me to them for a visit. I have very limited time so I'm trying to only spend a day or two there. My question is how long does it typically take to go through immigration once arriving for the first time with the immigrant visa? The connection flight gives me 3 hours layover at JFK - would this be enough to get through immigration? Hope someone can help since they want to book my flights for this weekend 😬


  10. On 9/2/2019 at 1:06 PM, Heidi556 said:

    That’s great news! Are you guys excited? Keep the passports and envelope safe. 

    Jip, well you clear customs here and my port of entry is Los Angeles, then continuing on to Honolulu. 

    Happiness!

    [at]Heidi556 did you also find that flights were cheaper via mainland to Hawaii? Seems we may be bumping into each other there. Things are looking promising for a job, but in Hilo, which is apparently the more rainy island - but I guess it should still be nice (at least based on the research I've done).


  11. Hi Dan, interesting read - thanks. I can say that I've partly done point 1 above: I could not get my unabridged birth certificate for myself in time for the interview, so I just took my original abridged certificate. Nothing was mentioned by the KCC nor in the interview and our visas were approved. That's about as much as I can contribute to your questions above. Good luck and I hope you get to reunite with the family on that side!


  12. Awesome news [at]FranetteM, sounds like you guys are A for away! 

    I haven't paid the immigration fees yet. As far as I understand, this only has to be paid before you go over, right? I'm planning on waiting a little longer, perhaps middle November, before going over so I'll pay the fees in the next two months or so.

    • Like 1

  13. On 8/6/2019 at 10:02 AM, FranetteM said:

    Sadly still a week (of stress) to go. So Heidi, how did you decide on which products to try and farm in USA? Is it intended for local use or export? Is any of these trade war rediculousnous influencing your decisions?

    How'd it go [at]FranetteM - hope it's good news?!


  14. Thanks [at]SJ272 and [at]oscar for your valuable inputs. Another timing challenge is that we have to be in the States before the first week in December (expiry of our visas). So if I don't come right with a job from this side, I'll inevitably have to go across, and then it may be worth the while that I then stay there and continue the job hunt. If the SSN is also a hurdle in getting a job, this means I'd anyways first hand to land in the US to "activate" our immigrant visas. Will keep the group posted in case anyone finds it useful.


  15. Going slowly [at]FranetteM... I'm doing as much networking as I can at the moment. Seems companies are reluctant to consider applications further, given that I'm currently in a different country. I guess it's going to help if I go through a recruiting agency, since they could then have this conversation with the potential employer. My plan B is to take the leap, resign from my current job and fly over to go for interviews etc... But I'd like to avoid this as far as possible.


  16. 37 minutes ago, FranetteM said:

    Wow! That is excellent news. Congratulations! What a relief hey?

    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.

    • Like 1

  17. 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!


  18. 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!

    • Thanks 1

  19. On 6/6/2019 at 10:19 AM, Heidi556 said:

    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! 

    [at]Heidi556 so all in all your interview process was around an hour long? Due to unforeseen circumstances I have to rush back to CPT asap, so I'm going to change my flight. My interview is also at 08:30, and the flight I'm looking at is at 13:10, which means I shouldn't leave the consulate later than 11:00 - do you think this is reasonable?


  20. Thanks Heidi, your words give me a bit of relief, let's hope for the best. Good luck with finding flights. Can't remember if you've already said so or not - have you received your passport back with the visa in?


  21. 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?

    • Like 1

  22. Not sure how I missed that, thx [at]Malamute and [at]SJ272. I also have the hand-written long form, I'll take it with to the interview (even though they definitely won't accept it), together with proof that I've applied for my unabridged certificate. Hopefully they'll put me on AP, and things won't be delayed too long.

    They're also asking for the I-134, but as you mentioned [at]Heidi556, I plan on providing my own financial support, hence I'll put together a "net worth" statement for my wife and I. Hope this suffices.

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