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adventurer1 last won the day on August 1 2017

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About adventurer1

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  • Birthday March 22

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    Lower Fairfield County Connecticut
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    Surface Pattern Designer. Design, Kitchen & Bathroom design, Architecture, Travel, Volunteering, Movies
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  1. adventurer1


    Hi SJ272, no specific reason. Its a mere suggestion. Its a free service from Department of International Relations, (for countries that are part off the 1961 the Hague Convention) that not a lot off people are aware off. It doesn't expire, its a signed document with a waxed sealed ribbon on top off your certificate. - like I mentioned, its no cost to the applicant, just the time and effort to get it done. It might be good practice in a digital evolving world where authentication becomes questionable. But as you mentioned, its not a necessity
  2. adventurer1


    Hi Dreamland, I assume your priest / pastor did not give you a copy or the original off the handwritten certificate then? did you ever receive an Abridged Certificate? What have you used since 2006 to ''proof'' your marriage- for bank or loans etc? If you do not have any proof that your marriage has been registered, I would make use off an agency to sort it out. if you have some sort off proof (on paper- as above), it should take too long to receive back from DHA Congrats, we had our interview August four years back. (PS. as it is so ''close'' to the end off fiscal year, the consulate sometimes request copies off all the documents to be delivered to them 2-3 weeks before the interview) As you probably know, you can only make your medical exam approx 2 weeks before your interview, but if you leave it within 7 days off your interview, it might not be back to the consulate in time (which is not a huge hassle, it just creates extra unneeded anxiety- as the visa can't and won't be issued until that is received.) Seen that you are in Cape Town, I would suggest that you do it there prior to your interview in Jhb, giving the dr enough time to send up the docs Have you applied for your Police Clearances ? This takes approx 3 weeks. It is done in Pretoria. Suggestion that I can make, you have to be in Jhb August 23rd, if possible make arrangement to extend this with a day or two, do the effort to take all your Unabridge Certificates to get Apostilled in Pretoria at the Department of International Relations. This is a seal off authenticity that they apply and never expires. http://www.dirco.gov.za/consular/legalisation.htm Its free. You can take up to 5 documents and wait for it to be done (takes about a hour) Over 5 you have to pick up the next day. Make sure that you read the link and check the office hours etc. (think you have to be there before 12) Good luck and keep us posted
  3. adventurer1


    Congrats Heidi556 Unless this is a new requirement for all DV winners- an Affidavit of Support would usually only be required if you can't show your own means off support via enough financial funds (to support you in your initial settling phase when you will be searching for employment etc), your qualifications and work experience field could also be off benefit. (the officer will know which industries / fields off employment has higher chances off you getting employment.) In your case being unmarried and no dependable beneficiaries will mean that you require less financial funds than a say a family off 4 (https://www.uscis.gov/i-864p) This is just a guideline and cases as judged individually and case by case. Good luck with your journey
  4. adventurer1

    Florida July 2018

    Hi Althea Advise. Contact prospective schools (or at least the school district )in the area that you think you might want to live in. Though they won't place your girls without the proper validation off residency (for the school district etc)- you might want to find out exactly what is required. REMEMBER schools are address bound. In smaller communities you might have only one middle school (gr 6-8- some states incl Gr5) and one high school, but you most likely will find atleast 2-3 elementary school for your school district. Sometimes a street will be separated between 2 school zones. (do not assume that you are in a specific school zone, double check on your school district website etc). are you planning to ship over your household goods or buy new? Has your husband secured a job or will he be seeking? both these answers will influence the rest also if the girls would have to write placement tests (which grade is your 11 year old currently in?)- here is some helpful links Schools: The main schools you get: Public, Private (usually religious based- Baptist, Catholic etc- differs widely), Magnet(not lottery system- kids form outside feeding area can also attend) & Charter Schools. Their admissions policies all work differently. https://www.greatschools.org/florida/ponte-vedra-beach/ www.schooldigger.com http://www.co.st-johns.fl.us/GIS/SchoolMaps.aspx http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/accountability-reporting/school-grades/index.stml/ http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/schools/#k8 Estate Agents or brokers are not allowed by law to ''tell'' you which school zone is good. You will have to do your own research and confirmations. You will need a transcript from the current schools. And it doesn't hurt to have recommendation letters from teachers and any after school programs that your kids participated in. Also make sure that you leave the current school with an up to date school report and contact details. Somewhere on this forum is some info on the US grading system and how it differs from SA> Make sure you print out the comparison sheet when you visit schools. Your girls might be pushed forward 6 months or back 6 months. Be prepared for that. In some states there are NO school sports / teams in Elementary and even Middle schools. You join a town sport team. Say your girls play hockey (field hockey), they will join the Ponte Vedra Beach Hockey team. Renting / Buying (getting a roof over your head) Both Zillow.com and Realtor.com is great sites for rentals and buying You will most likely have to pay a deposit and 1-2 months off rent upfront. You might find it challenging in securing a rental during the summer (july - aug), as you are looking for property in a Holiday destination. You might have to stay in a long stay hotel or furnished apartment for a few weeks. (specially if you plan on shipping your belongings. Depending on this, if you do decide to rather buy all new (electrical appliances from SA won't work here anyways, not without a step down transformer), the US has a fast variety off furniture stores and outlets that cater for every budget and every style. (if you do not mind second had furniture - and boy can you find real good quality stuff sometimes(specially in older well kept neighborhoods)- keep a look out for estate sales in your area, https://www.estatesales.net/FL, and tag sales for smaller stuff (electrical appliances, bikes, seasonal goods etc.) If you are in the fortunate position to immediately buy, be sure that you choose your own BUYERS Broker (you can negotiate that they split the commission with the listing agent, don't double pay commission), this will usually be the real estate agent that shows you around or someone from their firm. The listing agent off a property are loyal to their seller. They are employed by the seller. They will NOT "look out for you". you will need a Buyers broker that you can trust. Most agents will want to sign a "sole agent" agreement with you, some even before setting a foot in the car (showing you around- rental and buy). But do make sure that you choose someone that you connect with well and that understands you and what you want. You need a 'party'' to look out for you at closing and inspection. That can negotiate with the sellers / their broker. It works totally different to SA. When signing a rental, sometimes the rental agent (if they are also selling agents or their firm sells)- will have a clause that states that for a duration (usually 12 months) from the rental agreement, you are bound to pay them commission when and if you decide to buy in the area that they have shown you. (this might be only one town or a whole county, double check this). This commission can be anything from 2,5-5%. You don't have to agree to this, but make sure you disclose 0% then, and if you are not willing to work with the said person or firm, don't agree to the clause. (you might think you will rent for 12months and then start looking, but you might as well find something you like before hand and plan to move in just after your rental agreement come to and end.) Most homes / apartments are rented and / or sold with Big appliances (even the dishwasher/ dryer and washer). Don't buy any off these until you know have a place secured. Cars (transport) Public transport will be mostly buses. Only in Metro Areas NY / NJ / CT etc will you find Metro (under ground) trains. Amtrak trains are more for long distance commute and works out expensive for shorter and day to day commutes. Uber is real. You might battle to lease a car without a credit record.- Leases require a down payment and usually is for anything between 24-39 months. The car doesn't become yours, you return it to the dealership. Don't look at the car value, shop for lease monthly payments. (remember that TAX will be added to the monthly payment:(). loads of manufacturers have specials running, when we leased my car, the manufacturer had a special running on the top model, which turned out more than $100 pm cheaper than the ''entry'' model I was looking at to start off. But you can buy (either purchase in full or do a normal purchase agreement as in SA- over 48-70 months, where you become the owner off the car). You will require a deposit. You might also battle to buy on credit but loads off Credit unions and banks are willing to do a purchase agreement if you can show them permanent employment. They might charge a higher interest rate though. AGAIN shop around. Ask around. Don't hesitate to negotiate. Get your US drivers license as soon as possible (unfortunately you won't be able to just convert your SA's). You can drive on your SA drivers for up to a year (in most states, do make sure on your local/ state DMV site. https://www.dmv.org/fl-florida/ insurance on an international drivers license is more expensive. (do get your international license from your nearest AA shop in SA). you will have to follow the links on the dmv site to make appointments. Some states require you to re do both your Learners permit (they issue you a Adult drivers permit), and the road test (driving) Insurance, it is billed quarterly. Meaning that you will fork out 3 months off insurance premiums once off in advance. Hence my comment above on getting your US drivers asap. Do bring your proof off no claim bonus and or drivers experience, some insurance companies give you ''discount'', though they would tell you that they only take US drivers experience into consideration. AGAIN shop around. And you can change after the quarter is up. Or renegotiate your premium. Arrival (port off entry)- this should go at the top. When you receive your VISA, you will receive a sealed packet- do not open. Take on the plane in your hand luggage. Your first US stop/ airport will be your PORT OF ENTRY, and this is where you will be ''processed". The US address you gave during the visa process (maybe your lawyers; employers or friend / family in US)- will be where your GC 's will be sent too. Though most people opt to have their SSN (social security number) issued as soon as you are ''processed'', this rarely happens in reality. I do suggest you visit your nearest SSN offices in the first 2 weeks from arrival. Just to make sure that its in process. Without this you / husband won't be able to start to work. (Ponte Verde FL's zip codes are 32081 & 32082 https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/ic001.do#officeResults Cellphones. When you take up a contract, make sure the provider has great coverage in your area. They differ. There are great packages- shop around. :Local phone calls and texts (sms's) for free and then you have even unlimited data- $40 a line/ number. The big companies are: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint. If you choose a month to month contract - ask that they report this so that it counts for your credit record. (its not automatic) I do suggest you DONT get a phone number / contract at the airport you enter, as even Mobile numbers are area code bound. Its not an issue, but your number will then not be a ''local'' area code. Its just easier if it is. Beds and Linen Bed sizes differ. If you plan on bringing your beds, buy enough back up fitted sheets and duvet covers and pillow cases. Or plan to buy new here. Don't be surprised when you rent / buy a house/ apartment and there's no curtain rails. Just blinds. In fact, I yet have to find curtain rails as we know it. You do get loads off Curtain Rods for sale. Those that take rings with hooks or eyelet curtains. Even then, its not custom to hang curtains. Furniture. As mentioned above, this will change with your initial decision. (shipping or not etc) Sadly enough, the American way of you get what you pay for is true in this case. Designer and or solid pieces have designer and solid prices. Again, your budget and needs will influence where you will shop. But great websites to peek around so long is: www.wayfair.com www.joshandmain.com www.birchlane.com Nice bargain hunt stores to look out for (they have seasonal goods, so it changes every week)- you get decor, furniture, bed linen, kitchen stuff https://www.homegoods.com/ https://www.homegoods.com/tjx/locator.aspx https://stores.worldmarket.com/fl/jacksonville-beach/950-marsh-landing-parkway.html https://www.athome.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-athome-Site/en/Stores-Details?StoreID=Florida-Orange Park https://www.pier1.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-pier1_us-Site/default/LocalStore?storeId=1353&s_cid=lsl0000001 Then you get you old trusty Ikea everywhere. https://www.ikea.com/us/en/store/jacksonville/indexPage Other branded franchises you can look out for is: Ethan Allen; Ashley's; Lilly August; Restoration Hardware (high end) and too many to name here Grocery stores The chains differ from state to state. BUT STILL NO WOOLIES HERE. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are your best alternatives http://locations.traderjoes.com/fl/jacksonville-beach/760/ https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/jacksonville and then the bigger Grocers comparable to PnP etc would differ from state to state. I think in Florida your best bets will be Publix. Other shops worth mentioning: Target (one off my fav); Walmart; Marshalls (branded clothing for 1/2 prices); Michaels (Craft store); Joanns (Craft and Fabric store); Bass Pro Shop (outdoor camping etc); Bed Bath and Beyond (personally I think they are over priced); and then the millions and millions of other options. Don't forget about AMAZING, I mean AMAZON.:) I do think amazon prime will come in very handy, atleast for the first year (2 day free delivery). This is what I could think off for now. Please feel free to ask more specific questions. and lastly, welcome
  5. adventurer1

    Hi Everyone , just starting out this journey.

    here's a link to the Canadian Visa process. http://onlineservices-servicesenligne.cic.gc.ca/eapp/eapp.do Depending on your personal info etc, you might be able to do an express process which takes just a couple off months, rather than 20-24 months. as well as a link to the SA Canada Forum just like this one http://www.sacanada.org/ (Hendie is the same Host for both)- join this forum too, I do expect it to be as helpful as this one The timeline and process to CA will be much easier and quicker- in my opinion. And as SJ said, while you live there you can continue the F4 process, as well a continue the DV lottery entries (if the lottery continues- many many roomers, but no confirmation) I would start with renewing the UK passports. having a British passport might even speed up the process and help you skip some steps and some ''costs'' (like the English Language tests) {sorry just checked - for Express Entry you still need to do the tests- } Get all your Legal Documents (Birth Cert, Marriage Cert etc)- which you probably have all since you have UK passport? If you have ever lived in the UK (or any other country except SA since age 18 (for Canada, 16 for US) you will have to apply for PCC's (Police Clearance Certificates)from each country you lived in as well as for SA. These are usually valid for 12 months, but some Countries state that they only accept it within 6 months.- just to keep in mind
  6. adventurer1

    Hi Everyone , just starting out this journey.

    yes indeed. They are RELOCATION agents. A lot of companies make use off relocation agents/ services, to help setup their Expats. but when you as an individual immigrates or relocate, these services are super expensive. they will not be able to help you to legally immigrate. They can only assist in the acquiring off the paperwork (documents etc), relocation services, accommodation search, schools, DMV etc all things , as SJ stated, that you can do yourself. Unless you have the money to splash around and don't have the time to invest
  7. adventurer1

    Hi Everyone , just starting out this journey.

    "Be over 18 years of age. Provide proof that you know how to speak and write in 1 of Canada's official languages (either English or French) Be a Permanent Resident (PR) Have lived in Canada as a PR for at least 3 years out of the 5 years before you apply" quick search
  8. adventurer1

    Hi Everyone , just starting out this journey.

    "Residents (PR) of Canada who are landed immigrants need a passport and visa to enter the United States, unless they are a citizen of a country eligible for the VisaWaiver Program (VWP). If they are a citizen of a country eligible for the VWP, they are only required to have their valid passport - coming by land or sea" Quick search
  9. adventurer1

    Hi Everyone , just starting out this journey.

    Don't know if Canadian PR's would need visa's to visit US, but I do know US PR's don't need visas to visit CA
  10. adventurer1

    Hi Everyone , just starting out this journey.

    I've just quickly checked out the website. It is done by a South African / Irish Couple it DOES seem that its more a RELOCATION service than an actually Immigration service i think they help people in the process off legal immigration(who is immigrating or relocating ''already'')- they can't help you TOO immigrate. if this makes sense
  11. adventurer1

    Hi Everyone , just starting out this journey.

    [at]DesignGuy Welcome to the forum. your other 'option' would be to immigrate to Canada- Vancouver side. Then you can start a life there. You will be close (across border) from your sister. You can keep entering the DV still (just a random lottery as everyone state- make sure you ONLY use www.dvlottery.state.gov website for entering- any other site, especially the ones stating you can enter year round, is bogus) I would suggest that if you don't have already a US Tourist visa (B1/ B2), you apply for this before you start the process off a Family Sponsor visa. They do tend to decline tourist visas if you have a Family Sponsor visa in the process (cause with all due respect- people overstay these when they intend to immigrate - which a Family sponsor visa shows intend to immigrate, if this makes sense) While living in CA, you can visit US on your B1/B2 visa. I'm not sure how long it takes to become a Canadian citizen, but if I understand correctly Canadian citizens easily gets work visas for the US, especially Canadians who work in the US but still live in Canada. Good luck with the journey. its not an easy one, but a possible one
  12. adventurer1


    Hi Dreamland We used a property value certificate (got our local Estate Agent to do this). As well as Stamped / dated statements from on the homeloan balance from our bank to show the equity. We also got balances / statements from pension funds This was efficient proof for the officer to see that we do have funds available.
  13. adventurer1

    Age for DV

    Noted. My mistake
  14. adventurer1

    Age for DV

    Also note that if one of the parents entries are selected, the 20 year old might age out before their process / visa is approved. (if 'then' 21 year old dependent is still unmarried, they can fall under F2A category- +- 2 year wait period. If married they have to apply under F2B which adds +- 5 years to the wait) If parent is selected and number becomes current but 20 year old will age out Before interview date (usually +-6 weeks from notice to interview date), consulate will consider earlier interview appointment (if requested) But its still all possible
  15. adventurer1

    2017 Draw Results

    [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)