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Everything posted by grantmc

  1. Hi all! It's literally been years since I last roamed these forums! I hope everyone is still doing well! For us, we have now past the 5 year mark of living in the USA and we want to go ahead with applying for US Citizenship. It's really expensive ($680 each) so my question is: If my wife and apply (and hopefully get) US Citizenship, does our one son (6) automatically become a US Citizen too? I doubt he would be required to take any Citizenship test etc. Or do we also need to apply and pay for his application separately? Has anyone else crossed this bridge yet? Thanks!!!
  2. grantmc

    Container Costs

    we arrived here 3 years ago with 5 suitcases and a baby's carseat! So we bought everything from scratch and actually enjoyed going buying furniture and appliances again To be honest, we rented a furnished apartment first, and then just over a year later, we bought a house, and that's when we did all the furniture/appliance shopping and had it all delivered to the new house before we moved in. We did have a few trunks shipped over for us containing some crockery and silverware - and of course, the rest of our son's toys It was like Christmas in June for him when the trunks arrived!!!
  3. grantmc


    Congrats Hett!!!!! Life is about to start for you
  4. When I applied for my renewal, I took the forms to my local police station to get my fingerprints taken. They obviously had never heard of this, or done this for anyone else before. But after a little explanation they were happy to help! I sent my forms to Chicago, and the new passport arrived about 6 weeks later!
  5. No, all notification letters come in the regular mail.
  6. Actually it is probably easier for a single person to be successful at obtaining the green card. Once you have qualified for a green card, the US Consulate only really needs to confirm 2 things. They are: A ) your level of education, and B ) the financial resources you have available to move to the USA. Being a family unit or a single person does not matter to them. At the interview, the US Consulate needs to ensure that you will not become a ward of the State, meaning that you will have enough financial resources to support yourself while you settle into the US until you find a job. They generally use the US Poverty Guidelines, which specifies a $ amount that is considered the minimum one needs to survive a year. For a single person, that amount is a significantly lower than the amount required by a family of 5! If you want more info about the US Poverty Guidelines, just search this forum and there are a few discussions around that.
  7. Henry, theorectically everyone has the same chance of winning. However, if a person and their spouse enters the GC lottery separately, and either one of them wins, the other automatically qualifies for a green card too. SO in essence if a person is married, they have double the chance of winning than a single person. Hope that helps
  8. Today, March 30 2009, officially marks our 3 year anniversary of living in the USA. Quite frankly, I think these years could even qualify as the best 3 years of our life God has blessed us with a very easy transition from SA to USA, and we are now settled down in Cleveland, OH (snow and all), in our own house Of course, this forum was instrumental in helping us get to where we are today, and without it, the ride would have been a lot more bumpy!! So thank you to everyone who contributed, we really appreciate all the encouragement, advice and humor from you :ilikeit: Viva SAUSA, Viva We love the USA and have made it our home. And so far, we do not have one single regret for moving across the Atlantic! God is good!
  9. grantmc

    1 week to go !!!

    Congrats Justme. We were in your position just over 3 years ago, and haven't regretted one thing about making the move! This forum will serve you well when you land in the USA and start to set up a new life for your family
  10. Welcome Mark. I know what you mean in your post. Some Americans don't know how good they have it! I have a friend here who told me his school bag was stolen from his car which was parked outside the one night. I sympathized with him and asked him if they did any damage to the car, such as damaged the locks with a screwdriver or broke a window to get his bag. "No," he replied, "the car wasn't locked!" Ja-Nee! Good luck with all your plans!
  11. grantmc

    Flickr Group

    Janneman will need to show us how we can put the © Our Name on each photo
  12. Welcome Squirrel!! Just curious.. If you are a Canadian citizen, why do you want to move to the USA? I would assume that the lifestyles are similar?
  13. or writing his name in the snow Welcome to North America :ilikeit:
  14. I can try and answer some of the questions for you: 1. Yes, it expires 10 years after being issued. 2. Yes, it is renewable, however most people I know chose to become US Citizens after 5 years. Then you don't need the green card any longer. 3. Once your green card interview is successful, and you get an immigrant visa in your passport, you have 6 months to move to the USA. 4. The only thing to do (to keep the card, since it doesn't need to be "activated") is live in the US for an extended period. If the authorities pick up that you have only been to the USA for a couple of weeks, then lived abroad for a long time after getting your green card, they can take away your permanent resident status - since it does not appear you are residing in the US. 5. Yes, you could return to South Africa to finish up some business etc, after receiving your green card, but I would not return for more than 6 months or 1 year max. Refer to point 4. You may also require special permission from US government to do that. 6. Unfortunately not, only US Citizens have that right, and then it's a very long process to do as well with long waiting lists! Hope that helps. There is a wealth of information on this site - so if you search for it, you should be able to find a lot more details regarding the Green Cards. Good luck!
  15. grantmc

    where to start?

    Yeah - I saw that too - you would think that they should have applied for PR. But as I said - it's a friend of a friend, so don't know all that much about him. Thanks for asking your friends
  16. grantmc

    where to start?

    Jacques_A_Wooldridge_08_09_29_for_Dell.docHi all, I have a resume of a friend of a friend. He and his family have been in the USA before on a H1B Visa. His work came to an end and he had to return to South Africa, but since they had been here a while, they had quite a lot of stuff. So he has left a lot of his furniture etc in storage here while he is back in SA. He is desperately trying to come back to the US, but is in need of a new H1B sponsor. I feel bad for him, since I know in this economy it is highly unlikely that a US company would be willing to pay the extra expense of sponsoring someone's visa. Do you have any tips or know of any websites where I can post his resume in the hopes he might get lucky? He is an experienced IT manager and has worked for the Computer Society here (in the USA) before leaving for SA, Can anyone offer some advice? I have attached his resume if anyone can use it to help him! Thanks
  17. I guess you should check with your doctor before sinking your teeth into that!!!
  18. Wow.... that's a big decision to make! Personally, I could not move from a first world country back to a third world one. Like the others said - go for an extended holiday first, and perhaps you will realize that South Africa is not the same as it was 10 years ago. You will quickly realize that you will have to sacrifice a lot of things that you may be used to, such as freedom. It may sound odd, but in South Africa, you have to live behind high walls, electric fencing and burglar proofing if you want to try and be safe. You will always need to be on the lookout for suspicious activities when you go for a drive, check if you are being followed, and making sure there is no-one hiding near your gate when you return home. I also remember becoming very nervous when a armored van was parked nearby, because you never know when and where some criminals might try to get the money. It could be a mall or even while driving along a highway! Of course there is no concern for innocent bystanders! The crime might be down, slightly, but the level of violence associated with the crime is still alarming. Muggers won't think twice to pull a trigger, just for your cell phone! I could never move back there and live like that again. As for not having a SA Passport, if you have no way of proving that you are a SA Citizen (maybe a birth certifiate will be sufficient??) I am guessing you would need to get a Visa if you want to live there permanently. Just my opinion use it, don't use it, it's your choice Good luck!
  19. grantmc

    Happy Holidays

    Have a safe trip Oscar and enjoy the time with the family! May you and yours have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful 2009!
  20. grantmc


    It's a wonderful feeling knowing that everything has been approved and it is just a matter of time! Now sit back and enjoy your last HOT Christmas
  21. grantmc


    Introducing the newest member to the SAUSA family - and first US Citizen of the Mc Carthy family Joshua Craig Mc Carthy arrived Friday, November 21 2008 [at] 9:35pm Everyone is doing very well, although still not quite used to the lack of sleep
  22. From my perceptions after living here for the last 2.5 years, it seems like Gulf Coast States, such as Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida - as well as some of their neighboring States, Georgia, South Carolina and sometimes North Carolina are hit by hurricanes. Hurricanes also strike the New England States, but not as frequently as the Gulf coast. By the way, Ohio was hit by the "left over" winds from Hurricane Ike, and had some major damage caused to thousands of homes. In fact, Ohio had the 2nd highest damages total from Ike after Texas! And we are pretty far from the gulf where it originated from..... There are tornadoes, and these are especially prevalent in the Mid-West. Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri come to mind as states that have recently had major damage caused by Tornadoes. That said, tornadoes can form in virtually any part of the country under the right conditions! We have had a couple of tornadoes up north in Ohio too. Then there's the earthquakes, which the west coast is prone to. However, there hasn't been any major earthquake there in years (decades?) but you do live under the threat of "the big one". California has also had some major wildfires recently that get out of control and destroy thousands of homes. So from my point of view the safer states in terms of natural Disasters are the northern ones, but then the safety will be offset by severe winters..........
  23. It all depends on what your number is. Obviously the lowest numbers get their interview dates first. Interviews will start in October 2009 and go through the end of September 2010.
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