adventurer1

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About adventurer1

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  • Birthday March 22

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    New Canaan CT
  • Interests
    Design, Interior Design, Travelling
  • First Name
    Ilze
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    Midstream Centurion
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  1. [at]dreamland, you usually receive your Passport with visa printed/pasted in it after 3 days (you do have the option (pay) to have it couriered to you) You will receive a go ahead immediately after interview(if approved) at the consulate with instructions (picking up or courier option)
  2. Know some Saffas that had to evacuate their homes You are all in our thoughts and prays.
  3. Hi adventurer 1.  Thank you for you response.  Which price range were you at when you went for first consult/costing.  First exam, exrays, manufacturing and check ups, full bill came in at R14000.00, lets say USD1000.00.  Shock me!

  4. Thank you I see the $455 fee is waived if the Green Card is still valid After you turn 16. Also see that it is suppose to be filed within 30days after turning 14- we are a month late The instructions are very confusing I must admit
  5. If a child turns 14, they have to renew their green card. If the "original" green card expires AFTER their 16th birthday, they need to only pay $85 for the Bio Metric fee. If their green card Expires Before their 16th Birthday they have to pay the $455 Renew fee and $85 Bio metrics They need to complete Form I 90 via Mail or online. And wait for Bio Metric appointment notice (form I 797) at your Application Support Center. The form can be submitted before the child turns 14, I have contradicting info on how long before (3-6 months) https://www.uscis.gov/i-90
  6. [at]SJ272, if I remember correctly one off your girls are 14+, right? Was she under 14 when you arrived? Do we need to take the kids for Bio Metrics when they turn 14? I think this question was answered or asked a year or so ago. I can't remember if any one had actual experience in this regard? I just actually want to know if you have to make an appointment or walk in, and if it can be done at your local USCIS "Field" / Immigration office and what you need to take
  7. Yes, the list was originally on a SA/ Australian Immigration Forum- but it did come in handy Obviously some points won't be applied to a US move (washing machines serviced etc) We've been dragging our feet on the driver license road test, maybe we are already in violation, - hope not. We have converted our state ID's to Adult driver permits, you actually have to drive atleast for 90 days with the Adult drivers permit before being allowed to do the road test. (in CT).
  8. Another note: Apostille of Documents: An apostille is a certification provided under the Hague Convention of 1961 for authenticatingdocuments for use in foreign countries Legalising documents means that official (public) documents executed within the Republic of South Africa for use outside the Republic of South Africa are affixed, sealed and signed either with an Apostille Certificate (where countries are party to The Hague Convention) or with a Certificate of Authentication I still don't know if this was totally unnecessary but we got all our original unabridged birth/ marriage certificates "apostilled" at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria http://www.dirco.gov.za/consular/legalisation.htm this is a FREE service, you walk in (no appointments needed), and if the documents submitted before 12, you can wait for it. This might be an over kill, or it might come in handy one day.
  9. Moving2018, Most important would be not to open your packet that you received from the consulate, and take that in your hand luggage on the plane. You Could ask your current insurer (house and car) for a reference on how many years you've been insured. if you have a no claim bonus etc. Some US insurers will use it others don't. It hugely differ from state to state Here is a list that we worked from (this is copied from another forum- not my personal list) Shutting up Shop process 58. Change postal address of all accounts to a reliable friend or family member two months before you go (so you can see which companies did not make the change, and you have enough time to sort it out before you go - things like telephone account, DSTV & MNET, City Council, Security company, insurance - both short term and life, Bank (all accounts - some bank’s you have to change it for each account!), Medical Aids, Shopping Cards, Memberships, Doctors, Specialists etc.) 59. Set up a free email account like gmail and start using it two months before you leave. Then you can see who is still emailing your old email address. Remember when you cancel your ISP you will lose your email address. 60. Start obeying the South African speed limit and road rules. Takes time to get used to watching that speedometer and the cars behind you edging you to go faster. Australia works on the Drivers license point system. Too many speeding fines will see you losing your driver’s license. 61. Get a reference letter and client code from your bank. 62. Sign a fax indemnity with your bank. This allows you to give faxed instructions for transactions etc. 63. If you don’t already have internet banking, get it set up and test it. 64. Get a reference letter from your short term insurance detailing your no claim bonus etc. 65. Cancel Telephone account (Do this in writing and keep proof - applies to all cancellations) 66. Cancel cell phone contracts (all three VC, MTN, Cell C contracts require 3 months notice). 67. Cancel ISP 68. Cancel DSTV / MNET 69. Cancel Security Company 70. Cancel SABC license 71. Make the decision whether or not you will continue paying your policies (Life Insurance, Annuities etc) from Australia. Speak to your broker about the effects of early cancellation. 72. Cancel your medical aid (read the fine print - they may require 3 months notice) 73. Close your store accounts. 74. Cancel all membership debit orders etc that won’t continue. 75. Get all you kid’s immunizations up to date and have it recorded on their immunization cards. (To attend day care and school in Australia it has to be up to date). 76. Get a letter of membership and involvement from your church. Advise them that you are leaving. 77. Get a reference letter for your family if you were involved in volunteer work. Volunteering is big in Australia and if you were involved in volunteering, it goes a long way - also, when you want to get involved again in Australia, you will need references. 78. Back-up everything on your computer (photos, documents, inbox, sent items etc) and take the CD’s or removable hard drive with you on the plane. 79. Make certified copies of ALL important documents (passports, visas, ID books, birth certificates etc) and leave it with a reliable friend or family member. Even better yet, have it scanned and leave a copy of the disk - take the other one on the plane with you. 80. Update your will and leave a copy with a reliable friend/family member. 81. Give a reliable person power of attorney to attend to your business on your behalf. Make sure they have details of all your bank accounts, policy numbers, contact persons etc. As well as copies of all important documents. The banks require a special POA and do not accept a general one. 82. Get transfer cards from your kids’ schools and their latest report cards or a progress report. 83. Get reference letters from your kid’s activities e.g. ballet report, etc - this will assist in placing them in the right group when they take it up here. If your child performed in anything, get proof. You WILL need it! 84. Take the whole family for a medical check-up, have their eyes tested, go to the dentist, get that filing etc. Dental and optometry is very expensive. 85. Get the contents of your medical files from all your doctors and specialists. Saves you from going through the whole process again. Aus doctors don’t take your word for it! If you have a special condition, let the doctor write a letter. If you have contacts or glasses, get your script. 86. Get scripts for all medication your family is currently using - especially chronic. You can bring 3 months prescription medication if you have a written script. Take it on the plane with you in case your container is delayed etc. (Also bring some general medication that your family use regularly if it is anything stronger than panado or if it is something specific such as anetheine cream, myprodol, etc). 87. You do not need an international drivers license but make sure that RSA drivers is not about to expire. You will require a current RSA license is convert. 88. Leave your flight details, first accommodation details etc with a family member/friend. 89. Also leave the details of your next of kin with this person. 90. Write this persons contact details in the back of your passport. 91. Service your washing machine and dryer if they haven’t had one in the last 12 months. 92. Pay your UIF and de-register. Give your employees their UIF documents as well as a letter that they no longer work for you. (UIF does not only accept the UIF document - they also require a letter that they no longer work for you). Get your domestic worker to sign that they have received their severance package. Keep proof of all of this. Give your employees reference letters and assist them in finding work elsewhere. (Advertise with you school, church, neighbours etc that they will be available from a specific date etc). Pay them their last salary, notice pay, leave and pro rata bonuses. Keep proof. 93. Go to the AA travel shop and buy some SA to USA plug adapters. Pop them in your hand luggage! Then buy some mulitplugs. The kind with 4 or 5 plugs on a cord. Then when you get there replace the main plug with your USA plug - you can then use your old SA plugs in the multiplug. 94. If you haven’t yet sold your house, but are planning to do so, get an electricity certificate before you leave. Give it to your agent or the person who will be handling the sale of your property. Keep a copy. 95. Inform your tax consultant that you are leaving. He will still have to complete a tax return for you for the current tax year. Then he may need to deregister you as a tax payer at some point and arrange a tax clearance certificate. In which case you might need to sign papers before you leave. 96. Help the older members of family set up Skype before you leave. Buy them a microphone for their computer as a gift. Install it for them. 97. Take photographs of everyone and everything, your friends, family, the neighbours, your pets, the kids friends (give your digital camera to your kids to take to school for a day). Take photographs of your house, neighbourhood, church, school, street.... This is all you will have of your life in South Africa. It may not seem important now, but when your kids, or grandchildren one day, want to know what life was like, you’ll have more than enough visual memories to share. 98. Have a farewell party at least 3 weeks before you leave. Less tears & emotion than having the goodbyes at the airport!! 99. Sell your cars. 100. Arrange your transport to the airport. ON ARRIVAL: (this is from personal experience) Some Pediatricians (seems that kids go to them up to age 18) may ask for medical history others are happy to just have all the immunization details (still bring your SA Immunization card together with the VISA Medical paper). - if you are with a medical insurer by then, make sure if you have to use network dr's or anyone. (Our network program will also state if a dr takes in new patients or not, which dr's charge average and above average costs) In our state (Connecticut)- every child needs to have a Health assessment done before they can attend school. This need to be done by a US Medical professional on US soil. (Don't bother getting it done in SA) Here's a link to PA's school health requirements. (if I remember correctly you mentioned you will be settling there, right?) http://www.health.pa.gov/My Health/School Health/Pages/default.aspx#.WX9AbYTyupo Each school district have their own extra set of ''rules'' too. Just make sure that you know exactly what's needed to eliminate running back and forth to the dr. ( example: if your child will need a sport release form on top of the Health assessment, make sure to have these completed by the dr during the same visit, otherwise you will be charged again- even if you phone in later to get it filled out and faxed/ emailed) Drivers license: though you can drive up to a year with your SA drivers, it is a good idea to get your International license from a AA shop. Its only valid for 6 months. (if PA's requirements are at all like CT's- you can't convert your SA license to a US one, you have to do a learners permit, 8hrs of Adult Drive ED videos and your road test again- 8 months in, and we are still on our Adult Learners Drivers as we did not yet come around to sit for the 8 hours videos[ 2 x 4hrs only after 18h00 during weekdays or give up your Saturday- not an issue, but more logistical issue when you have kids ] You can apply for a NON Drivers ID card from your local DMV as soon as you arrive and has establish residency- this will help a lot and means that you don't need to walk around with your green card or passport. Check out their website to make sure what documentation requirements they might have. http://www.dmv.org/pa-pennsylvania/apply-license.php Please feel free to ask any questions, I've been through it all twice- this does not make me an expert, but we did make costly mistakes that could be avoided. Good luck, this is not just an adventure, its a life changing journey- try to enjoy it. 6months down the line, you will be relieved that you did take the plunge, and any obstacles you might encounter along the way will be worth it
  10. Hi All This is for info sake (maybe everyone knows this already) To save on Prescription Medicine costs, visit www.goodrx.com for coupons and best prices on your prescription meds. Our pediatrician prescribed a tropical cream for our teenagers skin. The Rx was phoned in to our local Walgreens, when we picked up the meds, the charges/ costs were $500 for one months supply. After we asked that the Pharmacist apply a coupon (yap put your pride aside and ask)- it came down to $300. As this is still absurd in our eyes, The pharmacist ''suggests' that we bring in another coupon if we are not ''happy'' We returned later (after finding this website) and got the meds for $160. (we did have to pay cash/ by card- but as our medical insurance have a savings card options, we pay our co pays and meds from that account)
  11. We JUST went through the braces situation. My 14 year old's braces was fitted on Saturday. Off cause we were roasted for taking so long (seems that its not out of the ordinary to get braces around 9-10 [to help with the formation of the bones as they grow] and then a second round later as teenagers) Different ortho's do it different ways. We got 2 different opinions with basically 2 different ''quotes. the Ortho that we opted for at the end turned out to be the more expensive one, BUT he is doing re-lining and expansion of the jaw (and overbite)as well as straightening the teeth. ALL without surgery and only with braces (as we know them) [at]moving2018 you can PM me if you- need more info on prices etc. (if you google average brace costs you will get estimates for straight forward brace work- when if gets more complex it goes up a bit north of that - not double though)
  12. Wells Fargo does secured credit cards too. Our security (deposit) was return after exactly one year. Funny enough, my credit limit was raised 60% after that year, and my husbands' stayed the same We still have 'prepaid' Mobile contracts or month to month. It's deducted monthly from our Credit Cards. We are leasing cars now, but initially bought a new car through International Auto and a "pre-loved" car from our local Toyota dealer. Our internet/ cable service is also month to month- no long term commitments- with optimum.
  13. [at]Moving2018, or should I say Moving2017;), It really depends on school to school, and the attitude of the staff. When we first moved in 2015 (our son finished Gr5 in SA Dec 2014), we automatically assumed he would go to Gr 6- Middle school. The area's middle school wanted him to write an entry exam, (they were horrified to find that some of his grades on his SA Report were below 85%- you could try to explain grade averages and tougher examinations, dont get bullied like we did) but before we could do that we had to provide a rental agreement (this rushed us to rent a house that we would not have normally even looked at- thus said, it was middle of winter and the rental market was very low on stock). Eventually when we had the paperwork in order, the school was on winter break. another week past. by the time he got to write the maths, they felt that he would be too far behind to catch up 6+ months of work in the 3 that is left. They did not want to help. He was pushed back to Grade 5 in Elementary. He was devastated, he was the tallest and biggest boy in the whole school (note that he is still today, and that we have realized that the average American is actually short). He was the only kid who turned 12 that year (some only turned 10). He was irritated by the immaturity of his peers (it does matters when you are the early adolescent), but after the initial shock he settled in well. He was "promoted' to advance classes and the Spanish teacher even took him before school in the mornings to help. He soon felt at home, and as the other kids grew ''older'' the gap didn't matter. Because of circumstances, we had to move back to SA. Here he was placed back with his friends in his original grade. (Meaning that he had to catch up 6 months of lost work in the 5 months left). He excelled, great grades etc, the following year he even got selected to the student body. Not the end...When we learnt that we will be moving back to the US, we started preparing him to be able to be pushed 6 months ahead. He received advanced math tutoring for the next grade, Spanish tutoring for beginners etc. And we read up on US history. We were fortunate enough to be able to visit schools etc ahead off our move. We only looked at houses in our preferred neighborhood and the Public schools that would allow him to be pushed forward. It has not been without any challenges, because we had to stay in furnished accommodation while we waited for our shipment to arrive, we had to place him in a private school(they are not neighborhood bound) for the duration of this school year- as the apartments we could rent was in a city district with terrible school districts. (We knew this would have a significant financial implication and planned accordingly- this might not be an option for everyone.) But it did help with the catching up off work and having a smaller setting- he will start his next grade in Public school in Aug. I am not sure on where your family plans to reside, if you will be fortunate enough to move over with a job prospect (this made our second move back possible) and if you are planning to both work, but keep in mind that it is possible to home school your child for a few months( you will have to look up the associations and requirements), until you are settle in the right area etc. Remember that a lot of schools will not ''allow'' you to do a school visit/ tour- explain to them that you are moving from abroad - even if you are already here- and don't get bullied. At the end, we do this for our kids. They just want to belong, and be accepted. They do experience life less complicated than we do.
  14. Hi All noted thank you
  15. Morning All In my search for jobs for a family member, i came across this company It seems legit and might be a viable option for some http://www.ifers.org/index.html They help (at a fee) with placements for internship and traineeships for students / recent graduates (18-33), at us companies. its for a max 12months (intern) and 18months for traineeships.