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Everything posted by Janneman

  1. Hallo Folks, I've been MIA for a long while now due to health issues... but I'm still here! 😀 The big news is that we have become citizens at last - 14 years after our arrival on H1B and H4 visas. It took 9 years (2 years shorter than expected) to obtain permanent residency, and of course, it took another 5 years before we could apply for citizenship. We did not go the dual-citizen route, because when visiting South Africa, one is required by (South African) law to enter on your SA passport. That means that you are a bona fide South African citizen for the duration of your stay and if anything happens to you, the American embassy cannot help you. One can actually be pressed into military service if needed. So, after all these years, immigration is finally done and dusted. 😀
  2. A very good option. I've been to Vancouver and it seems like a great city sporting the second largest Chinese/Asian population outside of China/Asia - San Francisco being the largest. You will find some familiar South African/British goodies there, like Castle beer, Marmite and Smarties. There is also a large importer of South African groceries in Vancouver. The climate is typical of the Northwest and a lot like Seattle where your sister lives. And, don't let a bit of rain and snow discourage you. That is nothing compared to conditions that (apparently) lie ahead for South Africa. Good luck!
  3. Hi Calypso, compliments of the season to you as well.
  4. ...which means that we've been lied to by a staff member of Verizon all those years ago!
  5. Moving2018, your mobile provider question reminded of something. One of the most difficult "situations" to deal with, is the fact that you will have no credit record - no credibility - when you arrive in the US. It does not matter how good a financial record you enjoyed in SA, here you start from scratch again. A mobile contract will help you to build your credit record. A credit card will do the same, provided that you keep the balance at zero, meaning, use it and clear the balance as soon as possible. But, and this is a big but, you will find the banks to be very reluctant to issue credit cards to people with no credit records, and if they do, the credit amount will be very small. But, it will be a start.
  6. Moving2018, al wat ek kan sê is: Baie, baie geluk! En nou, laat die mallemeule-rit begin! Moeilike dae lê voor - laat daar nie twyfel wees nie - maar soos wat die tyd verbygaan, en soos 'n mens meer vertroud raak met dinge en mense rondom jou, só raak die dae al hoe beter, makliker en lekkerder. Alle sterkte vorentoe!
  7. It is your right to have an opinion, but this forum is not the place to be judgmental towards others.
  8. Janneman


    That is the best strategy. Moving here is like trying to replace all your CD's that were stolen. If you try to replace them all at once, it will lead to endless frustration and big expenses, but if you bide your time the collection will be built up again. Don't be shy to visit thrift stores like Goodwill - people from all walks of life shop there! At the Dollar Store/Dollar Tree you can for example buy crockery at $1 apiece. It's not going to last you forever, but it does not matter. It's cheap and for now that's all that matters. At Goodwill you can find expensive clothing marked down to very affordable prices and very often the tags are still on them which means it's brand new. And they have crockery, cutlery, furniture, etc. Check out your local Craigslist for bargain offerings and even free ones. Best of luck!
  9. Janneman


    Old, perhaps your wife could apply for South African citizenship - just to be on the safe side. On the other hand however, a period of 3 years is quite a long time for you make up your mind about staying or not. I turned 50 as well shortly after arrival and our boys were almost 11 years old. It was somewhat difficult for two predominantly Afrikaans speaking kids to adapt in the beginning, and they had their share of bullying, but they came through unscathed. They were also young enough not to have formed "deep" friendships at school in South Africa and I think the same will apply to your daughter. My wife and I had a long discussion before we decided to start the process, and we asked ourselves why we would consider such a monumental step. We concluded that this would be a great opportunity to provide our kids with a better chance in life and we reminded ourselves of that fact every time when we became despondent or homesick. And we survived. We have also decided beforehand that if we really couldn't make it here, we would cut our losses and go back to Cape Town. See, if you don't give this a try, you'll always wonder in future if staying in SA was the right option. Things look pretty bleak over there from what I can gather. Old, it's a tough decision. There are SA's who moved here with high expectations, only to return home not long after because things didn't work out. Thousands of others made it and are now happy citizens. There is no guarantee that you and your family will succeed in the US, but give it a try if you can, otherwise you will always wonder...
  10. Thanks Figjam, you're welcome!
  11. Compliments of the season to each and all!
  12. Janneman


    That's very true. It's been said over and over on this forum, leaving your country (comfort zone) is not for sissies. But we South Africans are made of stern stuff and we are familiar with "vasbyt". So, come on over and "byt vas".
  13. How about this: Click here
  14. Perhaps this will help: Where to file your application
  15. When one considers that in Oregon some high schools house between 2500 and 3000 students - from all walks of life - then a few bad apples are to be expected.
  16. Yes, SJ27, I have to agree with you. It's sad, but it's reality. And the question is, when is it going to stop?
  17. Janneman

    Power Of Attorney

    Shaun, getting documents notarized can be tricky business with nasty consequences if you're not careful. I would suggest that you visit your bank and talk to one of their notaries about your situation. One thing though, the person(s) signing these documents need to be physically present and positively identified. Thus, if your wife's signature is also required... However, if it is only going to be you giving her permission to act on your behalf (power of attorney) then you can have such a document drawn up, notarized and sent to South Africa. In fact, have more than one copy notarized and send them over - the originals, of course.
  18. Yes, a drivers license is universally accepted as credible proof of name and (especially) address. Be careful when you do the "written" test on the computer. A passing score is 80%, but the test might only have 25 questions - thus, each wrong answer counts for 4%. "They" also try to confuse you, so, read carefully and rather select "pass" if you are not completely sure about an answer and return to them later.
  19. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) could also be of great help
  20. Five years after LPR (Legal Permanent Residency, a.k.a. Green Card) status was granted, applications can be rendered for citizenship. One thing to remember though, and please correct me if I'm wrong, when people want to apply for citizenship, periods spent outside of the US can/will come into play. Thus, if the applicant has been outside of the US for extended periods of time, this time can/will be added to the initial five years.
  21. Congratulations Lizekie, and welcome to SAUSA. Yes, friends and family can be the proverbial fly in the ointment, but it is your decision to make, not theirs. Best of luck!
  22. Janneman

    Happy 4Th Of July!

    I spent a lovely day with fellow SA expats, a few Americans and three visitors from Cape Town. We braaied, talked, laughed and had some wine and beer. The Oregon weather threatened to be be nasty, but eventually the sun broke through and all was well. My wife and our two boys are currently vacationing in SA, so I was the sole representative of our household - our 12th 4th of July celebration (as well).
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