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Malamute last won the day on February 15

Malamute had the most liked content!

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About Malamute

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    Certified Addict!
  • Birthday 12/10/1963

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    Denver, CO
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    Dec 2008
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  1. Malamute


    Also, even 'though the email may contain only the first 5 images, you can follow the link in the email to your 'dashboard' - where you can see ALL the mail due - as well as select to view all packages due, and when previous packages arrived. It is a great service, and often think of how hopeless the SA postal service is in comparison. Also, it isn't linked to the hold of mail while you are away - also free of charge - so the Informed Delivery service can continue into perpetuity if you want.
  2. Malamute


    FranetteM, as Shaun points out, landlords are entitled to place conditions on renting (including not alloweing pets at all, or certain breeds, size only etc). It is the same with aparment complexes, and insurance companies, who can place conditions, or not insure you etc. This is true for pets. There is a different ruling for service dogs, where your right to have a service animal in a home, even if the landlord does not permit 'pets' is protected under the Americans with disabilities act, and there is another ruling for emotional support animals. However these protections don't apply for most animals - i.e. pets. State law doesn't control those areas of law, but state law, county law or city law can either ban a breed (i.e. you cannot have that breed present in the state, county or city, or not. Sometimes the state doesn't have a law on it either way, but a particular county or city does. I'm sure you will be fine - people live all over with dogs of all types - and clearly you know the limitations of your own dog's sociability.
  3. Malamute


    As far as the ban on certain breeds of dogs - it isn't as easy as knowing a ban state by state. As you will see by the link SJ272 has posted, the ban can be by county and/or by city as well. Until about a year ago, the city I live in banned pitbulls. Denver itself still does, as do a number of other cities in the metro area. In addition to that, it is VERY hard to get an apartment lease with a pit bull in most places - or get a landlord to agree - even in areas where they are not banned - their insurance usually bans a bunch of breeds - I have had the same problem - although I don't have pit bulls. When I bought my house, I went through 6 or 7 home owner insurance companies before I found one that would accept my breed of dog. BUT - all is possible - so you will be fine - but your choices of where to stay etc may be limited to 5% of the available places. Many places have a total ban on pets, or a weight restriction - e.g. dogs under 20lbs only (this one makes no sense to me). Cats are even more restricted. SJ272 mentions that there is much more 'control' about dogs here - and it is a BIG change from how things work in SA, that a lot of people are not prepared for. Also, leash laws are a big deal here - and they ARE policed. It varies tremendously from place to place. There was almost nowhere I could walk my dog offleash in Atlanta, except for small dog parks teeming with other dogs. It was a lot better in the San Francisco area, and a sort of 'in-between' situation here in Denver. If you are used to taking long offleash walks on the beach in South Africa, for example, expect your options to do that here to be very much more limited. Picking up and bagging pet waste here is a must too. Lots of homes have no fenced in yards at all. Those that do - usually a low fence, often split rail so dogs can get through, unless you use galvanized iron. Again, will restrict your choices, but you will find something. On the upside - lots of very safe places to go walking with you dog - even on your own without any worries.
  4. Malamute

    Notes to maximise your credit score

    Didn't realize you could file tax returns on the site too! Good to know.
  5. Malamute


    On buying a car - a good 2nd hand is a great way to go (I'm still driving the 2002 car I bought in 2009 for cash). No, it doesn't help to build the credit score if you buy cash, but as I didn't yet have a job etc, I just decided it was the way to go, and focused on my credit score later. To be honest, it wasn't a big deal initially - I rented my first apartment based on my offer of employment - and once I was renting there, my credit built quickly with the utility companies etc - and eventually I did a secured credit card with the bank, which boosted it more. In retrospect, I should have done that earlier. (Tip: if you do a secured credit card, that means you hand over an amount to the bank, and they give you a credit card up to that limit. If you manage the card well, after a year, you get your 'security' back, and you have credit. Go for a high limit/high security deposit - e.g. $5 000 vs $100, as that will eventually help your credit score much faster). Mopeds are not a good option in most big cities - the trucks here are huge, and it can be pretty dangerous. Public transport is usually very good - in some cities like New York and San Francisco it is really by far better than a car. Also, in many places, due to weather, moped will be useless 6 months of the year. People here use UBER all the time - so if you need to do an ad hoc trip to the shops or to work, that is an option. As for registering a car and your license - the laws/timeline and rules are very different from State to State. Bear in mind that if you register a car in a state, you need to be resident in that state. If you subsequently move to a different state, you will need to register the car in that state - and it costs each time. Some examples from personal experience: In Georgia, I could buy a car without a local license, but had to have a local driver's license before I could register it - and the dealer had just 30 days to transfer the car to me - so I had to get my license pretty quickly to do that. In the meantime, I could drive it, as long as it was insured - only a few insurance companies would insure me, without a local license, and it was more expensive. Car insurance is typically 6 months at a time (you can pay monthly, but it is a bit more usually) - so by the time renewal came up, I had the GA license, and the premium came down. In California, I had to register my car within about 2 weeks of becoming a resident, if I recall, wheras in CO, I had 60 days etc. Important to research which state you will be registering the car in - and budget for the fees to register (depending on the car and the state, could be a couple of thousand $$$). All USA states will require you to do the driver's license from scratch - including the driving test, but once you have a license from one state, you can get one in a different state on that basis (sometimes you may still have to do a knowledge test, like in CA).
  6. Malamute


    FranetteM - good luck with everything - and it is pretty easy here with dogs. A few suggestions for initial accommodation with a dog: - Motel 6 - is is usually very basic, but Bed, TV, bathroom, but very basic price too - and pet friendly without a pet fee. Fine for a night or two. - La Quinta Inn - quite a bit nicer than Motel 6, more expensive, but still less than most 'fancier' hotels. Most are no pet fee, and some are with a low pet fee (e.g. $10 per night) - Marriot Towneplace Suites - great option for a longer stay (I stayed some weeks there with a large dog) - they have a $100 pet fee, which would be a lot for a 1 night stay, but if you stay 2 or 3 weeks, it works out next to nothing per night. These come with a fully equipped kitchenette, so would be a good option for a longer stay. There are many other brands which offer similar, so you will easily find something in your budget and in your location of choice. RV rentals can be expensive, and also bear in mind you can't go/park just anywhere with one, so if it is your sole form of transport, it will limit you somewhat. Fuel costs are also going to be high in an RV if you are going to do a lot of traveling. That said, it can be a really nice solution, but a car, and using Motel 6's for example, may be a much more flexible way (e.g. a camp site for a RV with hookups will be $30-$40 per night at least, and you can get a Motel 6 in most places for around $60 per night). Also, see a vet soon afer arrival for heartwork medications. Heartworm is prevalent in the USA, and is very nasty (fatal in the long term) - vets will pull a blood sample to test for it, and then prescribe a tablet that they need to take every month. It is less of a problem in the Northern (cold) states, but is rampant in the warmer states - mosquito borne. Nothing to worry about, but don't skip this step! Wise to speak to your financial advisor - they will be able to tell you how much you can take out of SA without doing financial emigration For an ordinary trip (i.e. as a tourist/visitor - you can take out R1 million each with ease). You can do more than this as an investment allowance, or, if you financially emigrate, much more. If you have retirement funds in a RA (e.g. at Old Mutual, or other similar) - the ONLY way you can release those funds is to do financial emigration. Once you cash out, you pay tax in SA on them. Any type of retirement fund in SA is not transferable to a similar product in the USA - it works differently here. You will have to liquidate the cash, and then re-invest them this side. Enjoy the ride!
  7. Malamute


    To add to SJ272's answer - you can certainly enter through Hawaii as your first port of entry, but if you are travelling on a SA passport, you will need a transit visa for Canada - which is a whole extra hassle in getting a visa. Once you have actually landed in the USA, and your visa is stamped, it becomes your temporary Green Card, and you are only then, at that point, a Permanent Resident of the USA. As a permanent resident of the USA, with a SA passport, you will no longer need a visa for Canada. (you will still need to get an eTa - a type of electronic visa)
  8. Malamute

    SA passport expiry to enter SA?

    Pleasure! It was actually my last trip that I went in - arrived in March, and SA passport expired in May. I had intended to try and get a new one while in SA, but I couldn't get to it on my first 2 days in SA, and then it would have been too late. So, instead I applied through LA on my return, and got a new one here 7 months later
  9. Malamute

    SA passport expiry to enter SA?

    No, the minimum validity period doesn't apply to a SA passport - you can enter up until midnight on the day it expires. The reason they have the validity rule, is that for foreign passport holders, they need to have a valid passport to leave SA again, and as many of them are admitted for 3 months, and can apply to extend etc, the general rule is that passports need to be valid for 6 months beyond the date of entry to avoid a foreign passport holder being stranded in SA with a passport that is no longer valid, and they can't leave. However, on a SA passport, there is no expectation that you would/need to leave again and no requirement to hold a valid passport while you are a South African in South Africa. I have gone in with less than 2 months remaining, and no problem.
  10. Just an update - thanks SJ272 for pointing out the change to a 'last in, first out' policy which means that this family's case should get heard in court within months and not years. That is a good thing, not only for this family, that will know one way or another whether they can build a life here in the USA, instead of waiting for years to hear whether or not they will be placed in deportation proceedings, but also for others considering this route, to hear quickly what the outcome could be. Of course, each case is unique. There are plenty of South Africans - and South African families - that have claimed asylum - so this case isn't a 'first'. Most of those are waiting - some for years - for their hearing, and with the 'last in, first out' policy, they could wait several years more, meantime, living and earning in the USA on work permits. I imagine it would be very hard on many of them to be told - years later - that they must leave. I see the lawyer representing this family has also posted some videos, and I was shocked at how uniformed they seemed to be about the situation in SA, when taking on a family claiming asylum, not to mention racially fixated. They quote 'a politician' (Malema) as a data point in the case for 'South African white farmers' to claim asylum (The EFF has only 25 of the 400 seats, and is not even the official opposition in SA), as well as the 'fact' that their farm is being taken away - they have been inventoried, and cannot sell anything. The consititution has not yet been changed to permit land expropriation, and neither is it likely to be, before the elections. The President has stated many times that the intent is not to have a land grab of going concerns, but to take vacant, unused land for distribution. If she is going to represent them, I hope she has more than these flimsy bits of information, as the burden of proof is on the asylum seekers. The lawyer herself states that it is very easy to pass the 'credible fear' interview - and she quotes that 95% of asylum seekers do.........but the hearing in front of a judge is a whole different matter. As SJ272 states, the majority of asylum applications are actually denied at that point.
  11. Indeed, compassion is needed for all victims of violent crime, and unfortunately there is a lot of that in South Africa - yes, the farmers, but also gang violence in the townships, gender-based violence etc - all too pervasive in SA society - no individual or group is immune. We don't know the particular set of circumstances of this family that sets them apart from that, which would give them claim to asylum. That said, the current Attorney General released a ruling in January last year stating: "The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes - such as domestic violence or gang violence - or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim." It is not unusual that this family was paroled into the USA - it appears to be pretty common, but the burden of proof that they have claim to asylum is on them, and the court will decide the merits of their claim, although their day in court is probably some years away. In 2017, only 20% of those claiming asylum were granted - so there is a high bar of proof, and a high refusal rate.
  12. That makes more sense, but makes nonsense of the claim in the title of the video "South African family granted refugee status in the US" , and verbal claims that they have been 'granted amnesty' and given an 'asylum visa' So, they, like many others have been TEMPORARILY paroled into the USA, where they can now APPLY FOR Asylum. Their application will be considered by the authorities and may or may not be granted. Similar applications have failed in the past. Video is misleading at best.
  13. Calling BS on this video: - Posted here by a GUEST in entirely the incorrect topic. - The person speaking uses the terms 'granted amnesty in America' 'granted refugee status in the USA, 'asylum visa' interchangeably. and the statements just don't add up. The person speaking claims to be very involved in this sort of thing - so surely they should know the difference. Amnesty, by the way, is forgiveness for a crime......... - The big claim is that this South African family crossed the US border on Thursday 07 Feb, were detained until Saturday 09 Feb, and then immediately granted refugee status in the USA - per the headline of the video This just isn't how it works. - Refugee status must be applied for from outside of the USA - and under USA law, a refugee is someone who is located outside of the USA. So, having entered the USA, they could not, here apply for refugee status - so where does this big celebration of their instant granting of refugee status come from? - Asylum status can be applied for from within the USA or at the point of entry - there is no 'asylum visa' as claimed in this video. You apply for this status - it isn't a visa , and it can take a long time to be adjudicated - certainly not 2 days while you are in detention, and then you are instantly granted 'refugee status' - which is a status only valid outside the USA. In addition, the YouTube channel etc is filled with hate speech - mostly from the followers, which is not the fault of the channel - except that they should evict people spewing such racist drivel!
  14. Malamute

    Passport Renewal

    Glad you received it - mine was about the same duration through LA. The delay isn't such a big deal if you plan for it, but so many people forget about it until they need it, and realize they sit with an almost expired passport - and then rant about it, and about the consular staff, when the problem is of their own making! As you explained after you spoke with them, it isn't in their control.
  15. Malamute

    One last step!

    Congrats! You are almost there. If you can, get the passport application all done at the ceremony - very easy to do - just fill in most of the form in advance but don't sign it. I received mine a week after the oath ceremony.