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JumpingJasonFlash

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JumpingJasonFlash last won the day on April 23

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About JumpingJasonFlash

  • Rank
    Silver Member
  • Birthday 05/17/1977

Profile Information

  • Location
    AZ
  • First Name
    Jason
  • Last Name
    Palmer
  • Landed
    Jun 2013
  • SA Location
    JHB & DBN
  • Language
    English

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  1. JumpingJasonFlash

    Retention of SA citizenship

    Malamute is spot on! As usual 😁 We got our retention letters just this week. Took almost exactly 4 months! Not sure what’s up with DHA or the Consulates, but everything seems to be taking an unusually long time. A friend in Texas has been waiting over 10 months for her husband’s and their two children’s passports! Which concerns us because my wife has a new passport application in since Feb... that puts us in to 2019 territory, messing with our travel plans for next year. The uncertainty is such a rash!
  2. JumpingJasonFlash

    Florida July 2018

    As usual excellent advice from everyone. My two cents... 1. Change of address: Expect things like accommodation to be fluid for the first few weeks, months or even years after you arrive, you’ll more than likely move between rentals and accommodation before finally settling in to something more permanent. How ever that may, or may not, work out for you, be aware that non-us citizens MUST report any change of address (AR-11j to the USCIS within 10 days of moving. Thankfully, this can easily be done online. It’s a silly little thing that can easily be overlooked during the first crazy weeks and months, but has the potential to cause issues later down the line if/when you file for Naturalization and you have to note all the places you have lived within the last 5 years. 2. South African affairs: Sort out, cancel and tie up as much as you can before boarding your flight to the US. Be it closing bank accounts, cashing out policies, canceling cellphone contracts, terminating your SABC TV license, getting a SARS Tax Clearnce Certificate, or just making sure you have a small supply of notarized copies and duplicates of your Birth certificates, Marriage certificates, ID book/card, and even Passports. The number one rash for all of us living abroad is trying to deal with anyone or anything back in South Africa. Cancelling certain things can either go really smoothly, or be a living hell! Between the red tape, the bureaucracy, the difference in time zones, the pain and expense of phoning during SA business hours, and anything that involves the Dept of Home Affairs, you’ll be very glad you did as much as possible back in SA when you could.
  3. JumpingJasonFlash

    Dv-2018

    As far is I know, neither house in Congress has passed any new legislation on the DV lottery and POTUS has not signed any new immigration laws or signed any executive orders affecting the lottery. Trump would be tweeting the high heavens if he/they had. Especially if it meant the end of the DV lottery. So that means the next draw should go ahead in May as planned under Federal guidelines and law. We are also coming up on six months from the next mid-term elections, and I’m not entirely sure anyone in Congress (on either side of the aisle) is willing to risk or has the political will to tackle drastic immigration reform this close to such a hotly contested and important election. Immigration is a highly devise, hot-button issue, which politicians here prefer to talk about and campaign on before and during elections in favor of actually acting on and risking their respective seats. Cynical, I know, but history has yet to prove otherwise... thus far.
  4. JumpingJasonFlash

    Hi Everyone , just starting out this journey.

    If your sister is a US Citizen she can sponsor you for a visa in the Family Fourth Preference (F4) category. This is, unfortunately, quite low on the preference list for family-based visas and with a numerical limitation (only 65,000 visas each year) and the backlog is substantial. The latest Visa Bulletin indicates that the currently priority date for applicants is something like Sep 2004. Which puts you at the back of a seriously long queue! It might not take the full 14 years, but 7-10 or more is most likely. If you want to hedge your bets, you can apply for that Visa now and get in line, then enter the DV Lottery every year while you wait.
  5. JumpingJasonFlash

    Hi Everyone , just starting out this journey.

    Hi and welcome to the forums. As SJ272 said, if you have immediate family living in the US (brother, sister, parents etc.) then they could sponsor you and you can apply for a family-based visa. Even then, you are literally looking something like a 12-14 year waitlist, which is probably not in your 5 year plan. Employment-based visas are another option, but it’s absolutely no walk in the park, with few guarantees, and even then, we’re taking a looong and difficult path to even Permanent Residence, let alone Citizenship. If you are a seriously talented Graphic Designer, and from a Graphic Designer / Art Director myself, I’m talking top tier, next level, the absolute brass bollocks good... you may, maybe, might, possibly, just have a shot at a Visa. That is if an agency, media outlet or some business with the time, money, and resources to spend wants you enough and is willing to go out on a massive limb and sponsor you for an employment visa. But that is another huge hurdle to clear on its own. Even then, expect a long, bumpy, and rocky road with no certainty or guarantees. In all honesty, the DV Lottery is your best bet. It’s free to enter and your chances aren’t the worst either. Entries open again in October, with the corresponding draw May next year. Even then, and if you hit the jack pot, and all the stars align, the absolute soonest you’ll be looking at getting here is Q4 2019 or sometime during 2020. That timeframe moves back a full year every single time you miss out on the draw and have to re-enter for the next draw.. A lot of members here have been through the DV process (including myself) and can give you or point you to all the info you need should you decide that is the route for you and your family. Unfortunately, as you may have come to realize,, the US is a notoriously difficult place to emigrate to, with few to no quick or easy routes, especially if you have no close family or business ties. Countries with points-based immigrant programs, or certain skill shortages are often a more fertile environment for Saffers looking for the ol’ “Plan B”. Good luck and shout if you have any other questions...
  6. JumpingJasonFlash

    Financial Emigration

    I know it’s not what you wanted to hear, but I have literally, just this week, finalized my Financial Emigration through FinGlobal and I couldn't be more happy with the results! From start to finish their service has been absolutely top notch. Took about 5 months for my specific situation. It can get a bit pricy if you have lots of policies and assets to cash out, but it’s probably a mere fraction of the cost of flying back to SA and spending weeks to months sorting out the mess and jumping through the ridiculous hoops necessary to get the process moving along. I caught a really lucky break and got my payout and Forex transfer right when the Rand hit its recent high, which effectively paid for itself, as I was going by a much higher exchange rate back when I started out If your financial situation is super simple, you bank with someone who is able to process your MP336(b) without you physically walking into a branch, and you use SARSefiling, then you may be able to do it yourself. But there are a lot of regulations, moving parts and a very specific order that needs to be followed. The process also takes quite a while, even with pros doing most of the heavy lifting. One screw up or delay and you could be set back weeks... probably months.
  7. JumpingJasonFlash

    EB4 Petition

    I think this happens more often than you would expect. After we were drawn in 2010 we applied for our certificate ages in advance to avoid any issues. It took 2-3 months to get my wife’s birth certificate (I already had mine years earlier). We figured we’d just go and pick it up and then wait for our Marriage Certificate to come through some months later. When the lady went to fetch my wife’s birth certificate she came back and asked if we had any other certificates outstanding, because she had just seen a Marriage Certificate with my wife’s name when she was looking in the filing cabinet! LOL!
  8. JumpingJasonFlash

    Dv-2018

    Congratulations, Angel! Good luck to you and your family for the rest of your journey! It’s quite a ride!
  9. JumpingJasonFlash

    N400 Application and Continuous Residence

    Lucky you! I emailed them with a query a week after I filed my application and have heard zip from them. They also never answer their phones. I made very sure to send them a bank check and self addressed return envelope. I’m sure I’ll get them soon enough, I guess i’m just not used to good ol’ SA service anymore. Nothing like a small dose of Home Affairs to remind you of home
  10. JumpingJasonFlash

    N400 Application and Continuous Residence

    Awesomesauce! And congrats to you guys! Thanks so much for thinking of me! We're still on track for filing our application mid-March. Going to go through the N400 form next week after I'm done filing my US taxes! Our application for retention of SA citizenship went in 5 weeks ago and we're still waiting on a response from the Consulate in LA. We've decided to proceed with our N400 application regardless. If DHA get their act together in time for our citizenship, great! If not. So be it! We're not chasing after slapgat SA government institutions anymore. We've done our best and are leaving the ball in their court. Thanks again for the update! J.
  11. JumpingJasonFlash

    RAISE act and family sponsorship

    Right now the government is barely functioning. The partisan divide is bigger than ever and we are now in another election year with HUGE stakes for both parties in the House and the Senate! Yes, immigration reform is in the headlines and Congress can see almost nothing else right now, but it’s DACA where the fight is happening. It’s the only reason so much discussion is happening and it is the bargaining chip that both side are going to use to gain leverage, because it is in fact a very popular act with huge support on both sides. Dems will more than likely give Trump money for a wall to save the Dreamers, but I doubt they’ll vote for anything else that touches on comprehensive immigration reform before the Dreamers have a guaranteed path to citizenship in a straight up separate vote. Which would take DACA off the table when it comes to the rest of immigration reform. Trump and the GOP were fools to tie immigration reform to spending for the wall along with DACA. If they had tied border security and the wall to the gargantuan defense budget or infrastructure instead, they wold have got it without a fight and then still had DACA as leverage for comprehensive immigration reform! Now they’re going to have to choose between getting a wall and border security spending or getting comprehensive immigration reform in return for DACA and my guess is Trump being Trump, he’ll opt for The Wall because it “sells” better to his base. This would be a win-win situation for both parties, as the GOP and Trump can go into the mid-terms with another major campaign promise fulfilled and Dems can go in and declare that they saved 800,000 Dreamers. Also bare in mind that comprehensive immigration reform would also most likely have to include a variety of other aspects like the introduction of truly skill-based visas and priorities to STEM applicants over the current flawed H1B system, along with all kinds popular and unpopular changes to student visas, migrant worker visas and the like. Trump is certainly very vocal about family-based immigration and the DV lottery, but he’s not going to be able to throw out the bath water without the rest of the baby, not with such a divided political process as it is right now. Dems and Republicans will also be looking to November any day now. The GOP would rather retain their power for 2 more years, than fight an unpopular battle on immigration this year. Dems will want to regain the majority and begin impeachment proceeding as soon as possible. So immigration reform will take a back seat if they can get DACA sorted out in the coming weeks in a straight up vote. I won’t even get into the potential train wreck that is the Mueller investigation. Which is already neck deep inside Trump’s most inner circle and tightening around the President himself like a python! That could blow up any week now and you can bet, one way or the other, if that happens it will stop all of Congress in its tracks, suck all the oxygen out of the room and become THE number one issue and priority for every member of Congress.
  12. JumpingJasonFlash

    Retention of SA citizenship

    It’s $25 per application. Got two check for our applications on Friday. Mailing them to LA Consulate tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes...
  13. JumpingJasonFlash

    South African Post Office mail tampering

    Yup! Last package I sent a year ago took 5 days to get to JHB, then another 5 weeks to get to Durban.
  14. JumpingJasonFlash

    N400 Application and Continuous Residence

    Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! It’s really helped a lot and helped put my mind worries to rest! We’re going to hedge our bets and fill out our applications this week and then file on March 10th. That would be 90 days from our final arrival date and will put us just outside any margin of error should we get a particular sticky case officer. It should also give us enough time for our SA Retention of Citizenship certificates to arrive from Home Affairs. We sent off our applications last week. It’s only another 2 months wait and barely 7 later than our earliest possible application date. No too bad in an otherwise long process that started when we were selected waaaay back in 2011. It will also give us enough time to get the rest of our ducks in a row, like my wife’s new SA passport etc. Will let you all know how everything plays out as things pick up pace again. In other news, it really doesn’t seem like Trump isn’t letting go of immigration reform and trashing the DV Lottery. He’s been incredibly vocal about it and immigration seems to be next in the crosshairs after the Republican successes in Tax reform. I’ve be highly optimistic about it staying put in light of the many stumbling blocks when it comes to large pieces of legislation like immigration, but after 2017, and the Tax reform bill that got brutally shoved through Congress against all odds, I’m beginning to question what is and isn’t possible before the midterms in Nov!
  15. JumpingJasonFlash

    CRYPTO TALK

    Good stuff! Hope those babies pay you handsomely! Get in, get something out, leave some behind, rinse and repeat = free money :-)
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