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CChalmers last won the day on May 21 2015

CChalmers had the most liked content!

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About CChalmers

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    Silver Member
  • Birthday 01/25/1976

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    Aug 2011
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  1. Great article, and very helpful as I wrap here in the USA and get ready to migrate to Europe in 3 weeks. It really does take 3 or 4 years to feel somewhat settled. We have been here almost 4, and now are going to have to go through this whole process again. As much as what the author says sounds like a no-brainer now, I know that I will need to be reminded again when the hard days come. However, having done it once, I do feel empowered and in fact excited to do it again....
  2. It makes me so sad that the new South Africa, has turned it's back on so many. All of us on this site know the stress and heartache of leaving and starting over, and then to hear an actual account of someone who has experienced xenophobia (reading about the attacks in the news always seem a bit removed) in our country just makes me even sadder. I wonder if there is anyone on SA soil that is exempt from being targeted - women, children, foreigners, the wrong race, farmers, the elderly, the poor, the vulnerable - it seems no matter what or who you are - you have no right to a safe, peaceful life in SA. When oh when will the world take notice of what is happening in The Rainbow Nation!!!! Cry the beloved country indeed......
  3. Some feedback that I received on this matter this morning .... The Kentucky Secretary of State can in fact assist IF the country of destination(in our case Germany) accepts apostillized documents of a third party country (South Africa). So if anyone has to go through this here in the USA, this is the way to go. Contact your state office, and they will be able to help as long as the destination country agrees. Will post further detail as I go along, in case anybody needs this info in the future!
  4. Thanks adventurer1... Sounds like that might be an option, my husbands family lives in Joburg and could probably help BUT..... they are asking for copies of the documents to be not older than 6 months - ours were issued a couple years ago. That would mean we would have to get "fresh" copies from Home Affairs, and I don't know if you can get a third party to do that while we are overseas? Problem is, he is planning to leave USA end July, and needs to get his Schengen visa in order to do so. So we have two months in which to then have new docs issued, and apostilled, and sent to the USA, and still have 4 weeks to apply for the visa safely...... Not sure this can be done?
  5. Thanks Superkruz - I saw this KY version as well, but I thought it would just be for US issued documents that were required for an overseas country. Do you think they would be able to "apostille" SA docs? Did you do yours through the SA Embassy in Australia?
  6. Clarence, Superkruz is correct. The work visa route in the USA is terribly expensive, time consuming and actually a huge gamble. We have been on a work visa for 4 years and it has been an intensely stressful experience. Have you heard of the Diversity Lottery which is open every year from about early October - early November? I realize it is also a lottery, but is free, and as long as you have a matric / senior certificate etc, you may enter. A number of people on this forum have won entrance to the USA that way. Be careful of scams, you don't need to use an "agent", the online entry form is very simple - the only slightly tricky part being the photo, but it is manageable. www.travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/diversity-visa/entry.html Good luck, be safe.
  7. Has anybody had to arrange an Apostille for their SA marriage and birth certificates here in the USA?
  8. SJ27 - Madam and Eve and of course Zapiro - as they say "a picture is worth a thousand words". I had just been reading the story you posted and I felt like I was reading something from another dimension - corruption in farm animals - just unbelievable. It is embarrassing that this is what is going on in our country. So sad, and for the life of me I cannot see what / who will change it.
  9. Janneman, I like your comments. I agree with the fact that H1B's might be hedging their bets and keeping an eye on SA in case of needing to return. I know it was certainly part of why we read the news. However, we had almost no respondents in the work visa category, almost all were PR / Citizen, so that is a little confounding (and that goes for Aus and Canada too!). I was actually surprised at the fact that most people were so settled, I would have thought many more would be in the work visa category? I guess 55 people is hardly a generalizeable sample! Yes, the site is quirky - but compared to the value it gives - I will take its quirks anyday
  10. Thanks Actually my hubby is the soccer dude hahaha - I am just the "footballer's wife".... Yes, soccer in the US is growing rapidly in size and quality. A huge reason for that (aside from sheer population numbers) is that the international college players have really raised the game to a much higher standard. There is still a long way to go before it can be on the level of Europe, and I believe it will always be an Americanized version, but the market is certainly ripe..... We have German citizenship, so either there or possibly somewhere further south as we are not fans of the cold winter - Kentucky has killed it for us!
  11. Boy oh boy did it come out of nowhere! The kids and I were planned to fly to Germany on 19 June for a holiday anyway, so now I guess we just wont return! Hubby will finish up his summer commitments and then join us end July / beginning August. So another rollercoaster year for us, but I must say that this one feels easier than leaving SA. I guess the first heartbreak is the worst Thanks for the well wishes everyone. I will stay in contact via the site .....
  12. So, just as we thought we were settling in to the USA way of life our plans have been flipped on their head! At the last minute we decided to forsake the Permanent Residency process, and put our time / efforts and money into setting up in Europe as my family has finally decided to sell up in SA and relocate to the EU. The lure of knowing we have citizenship, plus close proximity to family was impossible to turn down! As eluded to in previous posts, there are good opportunities in sport / diversity in the college realm and so we will be starting up a small sports management company when we settle (after summer). My husband has been coaching here, but is from a Sports Management / Marketing background and is keen to get back into his own business. Obviously one of the markets we wish to serve is the South African community, for those that are looking for opportunities in the USA through sports scholarships. As soon as the business is set up, I will let everyone know, and hopefully we can help talented youngsters take charge of their destinies! Thank you to all the members on this forum, especially the seasoned ones (Janneman, Treverly, SJ27, Malamute - to mention a few) whose wisdom has been worth gold. I only wish I had found this forum sooner!
  13. Thank you to everyone who participated in this survey. I tried to attach the whole paper, but unfortunately it exceeds 70kb. Then I tried to attach a smaller version (just the Results and Discussion) but for some reason I don't have permission. In a nutshell, we didn't have enough non-migrants or pre-migrants to constitute a decent sample, but we had significant results in the increase of news-reading frequency in the pre to post and pre to settled migrant phases. It seems as if news-reading increases over time, and our theory was that perhaps cognitive dissonance was a factor. Reading the news less when living amidst the problems of SA might be a way to avoid the uncomfortable feelings associated with the "should I stay or should I go?" debate that we are sadly all too familiar with. After emigrating, perhaps the news-reading frequency increases as we try to maintain our self esteem and "prove" to ourselves that leaving was indeed the correct thing to do. As I say, just a theory. We had a lot of fun, and learnt a lot, so it was very worthwhile for me. If anyone is interested in reading the full 15 pages, I would be happy to email it directly to you!
  14. CChalmers


    IrocZ, here is our H1B visa story - may help put things in perspective: 2 Jan 2011 - Received word that there was a job (college soccer coaching nogal) that was interested in having my husband apply (a contact that my husband had kept active since he came over in the '90s on a soccer scholarship) mid Jan 2011 - met with Grant Kaplan - SA immigration attorney based in Boca Raton FL, who visits SA every year to assist with immigration needs... mid Feb 2011 - interview, job offer March 2011 - began the process of H1B documentation collection mid April 2011 - submitted H1B and H4 (dependant) entries via Kaplan to the US departments May 2011 - USCIS requested further evidence (proof that the offer was valid and in line with state salary, plus hubby's US degree accreditation, plus job skills audit) mid June 2011 - received email from attorney saying we had been approved, just wait for package to arrive with approval docs and then make consulate appointment etc. end June 2011 - docs arrived by UPS and we did our online DS160's etc and made appointment for Joburg consulate in July sometime in July 2011 - had appointment and were told our case was not in the system and they couldn't help !!!!!!! Apparently an issue with their PIMS system (whatever that is) and our details weren't visible. They had to wait until their system was reflecting some other system before they could do our visas. mid August 2011 - Finally we were told our case was visible in the system, made appointment for next day 17 August 2011 - Had appointments, successfully granted H1B and 2 x H4's 18 August 2011 - Flew out to start work and new life in Kentucky. This was the single most stressful experience of my life - I wont lie. We were fortunate that we had a) a contact for a job, a US degree, and c) that we got in before they became EVEN stricter. During the process the College became increasingly irritated with US! that we didn't have our visas yet and the more we tried to explain that it was their government departments that had stalled things, the harder it became to keep them calm. It was frustrating, and really scary as you cannot call the Consulate and ask anything, you just have to wait. However, there is one thing we learned through this and our subsequent extension of our visa. Jobs in Higher Education or medial research etc. DO NOT fall into the 65000 cap once you have received your first visa. Maybe Malamute, SJ27, Treverly and other very experienced members can add / correct me here. So our saving grace has been that foreigners, specializing in soccer (I think the US has a big drive for soccer as it is lucrative and they have spotted the commercial potential), with a US degree was what even got us in in the first place as neither of us would have qualified any other way. Then the extension was pretty straightforward because we hadn't moved jobs, were in Higher Education and thus not subject to the cap, and we had already had an RFE done, we had no black marks against our name, and so they granted the extension. But having said this, it is expensive, hugely stressful and to be honest if you are not 100% happy with your sponsoring company you are fairly trapped unless you can find another job, which means a transfer of your H1B etc. However, it is all worth it, because we all know the reasons for leaving SA and you don't have to deal with those issues here - which is truly priceless. I hope I haven't put you off trying to find a job, but I do think that knowledge of this very complex process is key. All the best of luck!
  15. Thank you to everyone who participated in this survey! What was meant to be a simple survey has had 55 responses from this site, SAAustralia.org and SACanada.org. While there were some survey design issues that had to be fixed in real time, we should be able to get enough data to see if our hypothesis is supported or not. To read more about why we chose to do this survey, please see the attached Debriefing Sheet. Debriefing sheet (final).doc
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