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About caligal

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  • Birthday February 21

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  • Landed
    May 1997
  • SA Location
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  1. Hi Liezl, Why do you want to use an immigration attorney. They just charge tons of money and the process is super simple to do yourself. I can give you the name of an immigration site that has lots of helpful tips. Let me know if you want the name of the site.
  2. Getting your drivers licence does vary from state to state, when I first moved to California from SA, I had to do both the written and driving, passed both of them first time. Then when I moved from California to Connecticut, all I had to do was hand in my CA drivers licence and they gave me a Connecticut licence. The thing that took the longest was standing in line waiting to tell them at the DMV what I wanted because Connecticut doesnt let you make appointments. Dont worry about driving out here, when I first came here someone told me just follow the car in front of you. It has worked for me so far
  3. Just wanted to update you guys and let you know my mom and dad arrived last week Tuesday - feb 15th at JFK. They travelled via London and did not need visas. I just wanted to extend a HUGE thanks to Malamute for all the advice you gave with regards to this, and also to Woodie for confirming also not needing a visa. I think it is a complete waste of money and that South Africans are being taken advantage of for something that is not necessary. Now we all get to kick back and have fun for the next six months!!!
  4. caligal

    Arriving Soon

    Best reply I have seen for a long time. Our fur babies are part of the family, and make coming home at the end of the day worth it, when you see that tail wagging and them howling and running off to find a toy for you. Bring your animals with you for sure, just make sure you do your homework and leave the details to the professionals.
  5. I renewed my passport through LA about 2 years ago and the girl that helped me was great. The turnaround time was about 3 months.
  6. So, Malamute how do my parents go about asking for/getting the Direct Airside Transfer? Their tickets are JHB>London>Newark> Newark>London>JHB They have valid visas (obviously)and their tickets to and from SA to the US. My mom is going to call the UK embassy when they get back from their vacation on Tuesday, what should she ask them, or is the DAT done at Heathrow. Will they go through customs at Heathrow, if they are arriving on Virgin and leaving on Virgin just a couple of hours later. Damn it is so confusing, I don't want them getting to Heathrow and having a problem, but I also don't want them spending R2000, just to spend a few hours at the damn airport. Thanks so much!!
  7. Hello fellow fourumites, I have another question regarding my parents travelling from South Africa to the US. It's a question about the new visa requirements for South Africans flying via the UK. My parents are flying via Heathrow on Virgin, and then onto Newark NJ. They are at Heathrow for six hours, and don't leave the terminal. I have read the UK borders website, and it says people in transit don't need a visa if they are there less than 24 hours etc etc etc, but that South Africans do. My mom tried calling the UK embassy, they were closed because of the holidays, so she called Virgin and BA and Flight Center in SA and they all said they don't need visas. It is so freaking confusing. Has anyone had family fly via the UK since the new rules (July 2009) with a similar timeframe of just six hours at Heathrow. What was your experience and did your family need visas? So irritating and such a waste of money. My folks get here on February 15th, so time is marching on, if they have to get the visas. Thanks so much and Happy New Year to everyone.
  8. Ask the bank you opened your account with to give you a secured credit card. When I opened mine with Bank of America they gave me one with a $500 spending limit, but I had to put down a $500 deposit, once I had it a few months and had used it and paid it off, they gave me the $500 back, and raised my limit to a ridiculous amount. I also went to Capital One and got one from them, they are a very conservative lender, so their limit was also small to start off with. It didn't take long before I started getting tons of offers in the mail, all of which I shred. Even today, I still get tons of offers. I have used Capital One since then to buy my cars and they have given me a far better rate than the dealers ever could.
  9. I called the NY consulate today and asked a few questions I had about retaining my citizenship, and I was told it takes about six weeks to get the letter, and she said it doesn't matter if you have already applied for US citizenship as long as you get the SA retention letter back before you are sworn in. I can apply in Feb 2011, so I am wondering if I should apply for mine now, because of the holidays etc, or leave it until the new year. I had some questions about my application because I want to revert to my maiden name when I get my citizenship and I was wondering how it would affect my SA retention, she said it wouldn't affect it I must just apply in my married name, and then apply for a new SA passport once I have my US paperwork back in my maiden name. A bit confusing, which is why I called, but she said they go by our SA ID numbers. I know this doesn't affect the guys applications, but I thought it might be helpful for any girls in the future with regards to name change.
  10. caligal

    My Current Situation

    Hi Spex, I wanted to add a few things to Malamutes post. I don't know your situation as to why you are in SA and your dad is in the US, but that means you are not living together. If your dad has supported you finacially in anyway over the last 18 years then that means he has legitimatly agreed you are his son in the eyes of US law. So he can still sponsor you, and it need not have been done before you turned 18. You and your father will just have to prove you have a bona fide relationship, which shouldn't be difficult seeing as you said you have stayed with him numerous times over the years. Also Maluamute mentioned that you should go ahead and complete your studies because the process takes about 5 years, this is incorrect, with a relative visa there is no limit on the amount of visas that are issued each year, so if you qualify you dont have to spend time waiting for an immigrant visa once your application is approved by the USCIS. These types of visas take between 6 and 8 months to be approved. If I were you I would get working on this ASAP, because you only have until the age of 21 for your dad to sponsor you. So chat with your dad and get the ball rolling and maybe you could even study here in the US rather than back in SA. I have done lots of research on my own immigration journey and contribute a lot on another family based immigration site. Please don't hesitate to ask more questions if you have any. Good luck!!
  11. caligal

    Visa Interview

    Hi again everyone, Thanks so much for your replies, I have passed it all on to my mom and dad. They got an email to say the interview date has been changed to next Friday, so we still have a week so wait, I am sure all will go well though. I will let you know how it goes, and then I start the countdown to when they get here
  12. Hello people, I know this has nothing to do with the GC lottery, but I need help for my dad, who has to go to the JHB embassy for an interview for his visitors visa. This will be the first time that they are interviewing in JHB, the last time they interviewed, when they got their last 10 year visa was in Durbs, so this is all new for them. They have done the whole phone thing with the pin you have to buy from Pick 'n Pay, and filled in the form online My dad has his interview date for October 5th. First question is where is there parking which is closeby, I am terrified of the thought of them walking around in JHB. Second question is there anywhere close by where my mom can wait (a coffee shop, somewhere safe) while my dad has his interview, because moms visa is still good so she wont be able to enter the building (I am assuming) but I know my dad wont go to JHB by himself. I also know he cant take a cell phone etc etc in their with him, so can anyone give me an idea of how long the interview will take, so they can make a rendevous time for after the interview. That is all I can think of for now. I am so nervous about them going to JHB and not knowing the procedure for them to get into the building etc etc. Please add anything else you can think of so I can pass it on to them. Thanks so much
  13. The answer to 4 is yes anyone can buy property in the US. I would think you would not be able to enroll your kids in school while here visiting, I may be wrong though.
  14. caligal

    Lots Of Questions

    I would also like to add to Oscar's message, it does vary drastically from state to state. In California, I had to the driving and written test. Here in Connecticut, I didn't have to do either, I just had to hand over my Cali licence and they issued me the new one. In most states you are required to wear seatbelts and crash helmets (on motorcycles) here in Connecticut helmets are not required. In New Hampshire whose state motto is "Live Free or Die" you don't need to wear either, and they have very laid back rules of the road. Also be aware that the speed limits vary from state to state as well, so look out for that when travelling to avoid a moving violation, which will add points to your licence and cause your car insurance to go up. Car insurance is also mandatory in most states. Each state is like its own mini country, you just have to do as much research about your state as soon as you are settled. Good luck in your new adventure!!!
  15. Hmmmmmmmmm, we might consider making the drive, if there will be other Saffers from this board to meet up with, wouldn't it be nice if we could have our own meet up there?
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