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6 Months On.

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Hi All

 

Long time since I've posted. Takes loads of courage to write this mail.

 

Some of you know my story, hope this helps anyone.

 

3 Months ago we came to a cross road where we had to make THE most difficult decision.

We were on the edge of moving states (we were on the East Coast, PERMANENT work was scarce and the cost of living very very high).We opted to pack up and move down to one of the southern states (to be closer to dear SAFFA friends, and were supposedly there was more work).

We also had a few very concerning family crises on hand. (back in SA)

 

We had to do the move during the summer holiday- less distributive to school going kids. We gave notice for the rental house.

After getting quotes to move all our goods a few 1000 miles down. We realized that it costs almost the same as it would to move our household back to SA.

With no permanent work prospects in plain sight, and burning through our ZAR's, and the added family crisis on the horizon, we decided to temporarily move back to SA!

applied for Re entry permits (thank Goodness we did!)

 

We first thought of putting up our stuff in storage and just move back for awhile. (I really wish we did do this). To battle back in SA without our "stuff" and not knowing how ''long'' we will be here, we decided to move back - lock stock and barrel. Husband couldn't secure a permanent job in US, but the SA market seemed to be different. Though the industry he's from is going through a very tough time- he managed to get job at a multi national.

 

With in the first 3 days back in SA, we already had huge remorse, tried to stop the shipment - but too late.

 

Family and friends were very happy to have us back. Felt like we never left, except, in the 6 months that we were not here, things surely did change. We felt that the country is up in ''flames''. The electricity crisis, 3 biggest economic industries ''crashing'', crime is on the rise.

 

just in the month that we were back, all 5 malls in our local areas were armed robbed.- one during the same time that we were casually in the movies.

 

3 months down, and I still wish we didn't have to. Wish things worked out differently. Though having a nice summer braai with all our friends, watching WCR , having laughs and kids running around, makes you almost forget all the bad things. You can almost ''live'' here again.

 

If it was up to me, I would have been back to US already, I don't want to be here, family or no family. friends or no friends. I just permanently feel there is something better out there.

 

Who knows how long it would be before we set foot on US soil again.

 

I just hope that it will be someday.

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Very sad for you, but I hope it all works out eventually and that one day you will be back.

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Hi All

 

Long time since I've posted. Takes loads of courage to write this mail.

 

Some of you know my story, hope this helps anyone.

 

3 Months ago we came to a cross road where we had to make THE most difficult decision.

We were on the edge of moving states (we were on the East Coast, PERMANENT work was scarce and the cost of living very very high).We opted to pack up and move down to one of the southern states (to be closer to dear SAFFA friends, and were supposedly there was more work).

We also had a few very concerning family crises on hand. (back in SA)

 

We had to do the move during the summer holiday- less distributive to school going kids. We gave notice for the rental house.

After getting quotes to move all our goods a few 1000 miles down. We realized that it costs almost the same as it would to move our household back to SA.

With no permanent work prospects in plain sight, and burning through our ZAR's, and the added family crisis on the horizon, we decided to temporarily move back to SA!

applied for Re entry permits (thank Goodness we did!)

 

We first thought of putting up our stuff in storage and just move back for awhile. (I really wish we did do this). To battle back in SA without our "stuff" and not knowing how ''long'' we will be here, we decided to move back - lock stock and barrel. Husband couldn't secure a permanent job in US, but the SA market seemed to be different. Though the industry he's from is going through a very tough time- he managed to get job at a multi national.

 

With in the first 3 days back in SA, we already had huge remorse, tried to stop the shipment - but too late.

 

Family and friends were very happy to have us back. Felt like we never left, except, in the 6 months that we were not here, things surely did change. We felt that the country is up in ''flames''. The electricity crisis, 3 biggest economic industries ''crashing'', crime is on the rise.

 

just in the month that we were back, all 5 malls in our local areas were armed robbed.- one during the same time that we were casually in the movies.

 

3 months down, and I still wish we didn't have to. Wish things worked out differently. Though having a nice summer braai with all our friends, watching WCR , having laughs and kids running around, makes you almost forget all the bad things. You can almost ''live'' here again.

 

If it was up to me, I would have been back to US already, I don't want to be here, family or no family. friends or no friends. I just permanently feel there is something better out there.

 

Who knows how long it would be before we set foot on US soil again.

 

I just hope that it will be someday.

That is a sad story but as you said, luckily you have applied for re-entry permits so you have kept your options open pretty well. I hope your family crises get resolved soon, and that you can go back to trying to make longer term plans. Best of luck and hope it all works out.

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thanks girls

 

We have a 1-2year plan to get back.

 

 

For those who need to apply for re entry permits- do it well in advance. You cant leave the US without having done the bio metrics (digital finger prints), from application to your bio appointment letter, takes well up to 3 weeks (then your bio is scheduled 3 weeks in advance).

At the end, we went into the local Bio office without appointments, asked to be helped (as we haven't received the letters yet, but only notice that we will).

Fortunetly they were friendly enough and the office was not that busy.

 

Then it takes well up to 3+ months before the permit is issued.

Make sure that when you apply (from start)- you use your forwarding address or the US consulate in the country that you move back to (SA).

Our adult daughter applied before we considered. So her forwarding address was our home address in US. We didn't live there anymore by the time they wanted to deliver the physical document.

HUGE stress. But the system works and the document got forwarded to our forwarding address.

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Vasbyt, adventurer!

 

Things will all work out in the end. I personally know a couple of DV winners that had to also do a 'soft reset' before settling in happily and for good back in the States. No one ever claimed that emigrating was easy, but as they say, "some things really are worth fighting for!"

 

If living in the U.S. is one of those things for you, then it is meant to be (and will be!) and if you end up staying in South Africa indefinitely (something also worth fighting for, I might add), then so be it. At least you can say that you tried and gave it your best. You have lived and learned.

 

I have Saffa friends all over the world. Some of whom have returned from the Australia, US, NZ, Sweden, UK, Indonesia, Canada, Mali and even Israel. Only to find, despite all the the current drama, despair and apparent lack of hope, that there is still no place like home in South Africa.

 

The long and short of it is that they build us tough in Africa! That's why us Saffas can live and thrive ANYWHERE in the world and why, even if the big ol' wheel of life brings us full circle and back to our land of birth, we STILL manage just fine in good old South Africa.

 

I'll leave it there for now, and before I run out of catchphrases!

 

Good luck either way, Adventurer! And thanks for all the info regarding the Re-entry Permit! Good info to have at hand should anyone need a 'soft reset' of their own or should South Africa call them back for some some or other reason.

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...Adventure...the main issue in the US is Permanent jobs. If a person gets a good permanent job, all things just fall in place as in a jigsaw puzzle. To make matters worse, many employers do not take SA University degrees as qualifications. I have three University degrees from the Number One SA University, but I have never worked in a single office or good job through them. It's a factory or retail outlet that employed me since I landed. I earn the same wage as a person who does not have any qualification. Do I regret having left SA? No; a thousand times NO. I am trying to change things right where I find myself and make good out of the difficult situation I find myself. I came with some thousand ZARs when I came; but they evaporated like steam in a cappuccino and was left to work for the few weekly paid dollars. What I can tell you now is that, I am going to turn this situation around and make tomorrow better than today. Yes I like SA; it's my country of birth and will visit it, as regularly as it is practically possible. SA is beautiful, the weather, the people, family and friends. Should I also say, a good job with a degree. But for now, the US is where I stay. Will I relocate back home one day???.....well, the future will decide that. Thanks for reading this post and good luck Adventure. I support any decision you take....and am sad that things penned out on the worst side for you and your family.

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Shatale, two questions: do you mean UCT, and have you had degrees evaluated for US equivalency? In my short time here I have met a lot of SAffers working professional jobs - and two employed as academics in local universities, including one of the top global ones - all on the basis of their SA qualifications. My husband also had no problem with his though to be honest I think his experience and references from SA played a bigger part in his landing the job he wanted.

 

I'm not a UCT alumnus, but I've been surprised at the recognition it has here... I have met no less than 3 people whose children have spent an exchange year there, and another who did so himself.

 

I do get the impression a lot of this has to do with where one ends up, whether by luck or design, to be or not be in a place where (1) there are jobs in your field and (2) your SA qualifications are recognized. I have also become increasingly convinced that, especially for new arrivals without a job lined up, there is a big advantage in heading for somewhere with lots of immigrants, as it seems to me that both different people and different country qualifications have a higher chance of being accepted. Agree 100% with Shatale that getting a permanent job makes a massive difference as to how quickly and easily you can settle and integrate.

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And Shatale - great positive attitude, hope it works out well for you!!

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I have to concur, Shatale's attitude is great, however, things won't always work out to the individual's satisfaction. It would be like saying, "80-year old ran Comrades Marathon, what's wrong with you?"

 

Some people have the means to weather the storm, others simply don't

 

But, having said that, I admire Shatale's positive outlook.

Do I regret having left SA? No; a thousand times NO. I am trying to change things right where I find myself and make good out of the difficult situation I find myself

 

One should extensively exhaust all possibilities before the decision is made to "surrender" but, having said that, remember that each person's situation is different.

 

And, If it does not work out for you, it does not work out for you - it's that simple.

 

But still, give it your best shot, whoever you might be. Our country (RSA) is going backwards at an alarming rate. The USA - with all it's shortcomings - still has more embedded opportunities than our beloved South Africa.

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SJ27; you guessed right, UCT and have a Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering from Stellenbosch (in Renewable and Sustainable Energy). My Masters degree was also in Energy Studies (UCT). Well, that aside for a moment.

 

Let me share with you an insightful discussion I had with one recent arrival from Iraqi, who stays in my street. He is an unemployed engineer, so we were chatting about jobs in general, particularly in our field. He said, he went to another place around our City looking for job. He got to this place and they made him a job offer on the spot. They asked him, when will he like to start. He said tomorrow. They said ok, come tomorrow morning. Then he asked; "what kind of job will I be doing", they said, loader. He then told them that he was an engineer and asked, is there no other job they could offer him. They said they do have another job, which he can consider; cleaning job. He turned this one down as well.

 

This does not mean opportunities are not there. We are "choosy" and expect a walk in a park in a foreign land. We need to start somewhere. Clinch one job and build your resume. Remember, the needs of the US economy are different from those of SA. As I write this, I am surrounded by my text book and papers for my Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program. I am branching into that field until I get something in my field.

 

When I decided to immigrate, I never thought when I arrive in the US there will be no people, only me and some immigrants from all over the world. No! There are native American Citizens and immigrants who arrived here before me. Who have worked hard and it will take me time to catch up with them.

 

Let me wrap up, before you get bored. Ask an architecture, s/he will tell you that when you want to build a tall building, a Skyscraper, you must dig deeper for the foundation. But when you want to build a two bedroomed RDP house, you need a one feet foundation. I am still digging the foundation for my Skyscraper.

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Shatale you hit the nail on the head and is one my hubby and I have been suspicious of for some time. We have noticed that Saffas (and other immigrants) with what was probably (invariably, for lower income families would likely fall along the wayside when the heavy costs mount up) a good quality of life, decent home, cars and good job relocate to the states and expect a job of the same standing. They miss the point that just getting any job is better than no job, even if it is working at Gap in retail, and being able to pay the bills to keep the wolves at bay. We have noticed amongst a lot of people that move to the UK from SA that they are very choosy when trying to get that all important first job. "I want to earn £50k and won't settle for less..." isn't unheard of, which is so short sighted when they're at the same time complaining that they're burning through their savings... It takes years to rebuild back to your old life, and in some cases over here you will never rebuild to the same level because properties are SO hideously expensive for tiny little homes.

So yeah, well done on calling that out shatale. Couldn't agree more. Hard work and a bit of humility can make all the difference. ;)

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Hi SJ27;

 

... sorry I forgot to answer your concern around evaluation of my qualifications in my previous post. I enquired about the evaluation of my qualification and discovered that the US, does not have something like SAQA, which they have in SA. May be you may advise me so that I can take the issue up once again. There are three institutions/places that deal with recognition and/or evaluation of foreign qualifications, besides private agencies, namely; (a) The school or University you are applying to, (B) a licensing board in your State for professions that require a licence and, © the employer you are applying to. It is at their discretion to evaluate your qualifications or refer you to a private agency to do that for them. I found some information also on the website of the US Department of Education. The other thing is that, my State is small, with few academic institutions and non-existent large employers. The population of our State is about 1.8 million with a tiny immigrant population. But, I am an certain that something big is going to come up out of this State. And in that big something, I will be part of the equation.

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Well, if you're certain that the small state is the place to be, that's fine, but I am guessing you can probably see the connection between the kind of jobs you're being offered and the size of the local population and industry?

 

As for evaluation, again if you're a small state with few immigrants then potential employers probably have no idea if your SA degree is worth anything at all, which places you at an immediate disadvantage vs an American applicant, so getting a company like WES to do an equivalency for you might be worthwhile - as well as for your neighbor. If you don't have this on your CV it may also be why companies are not taking the qualifications seriously, especially if (I'm unclear on if this is the case) you don't have much work experience on your CV as well. Yes they can *ask* you to do it "at their discretion" like you said, but unless there is something else to place you above American applicants whose degrees they already know are acceptable, why would they bother with that extra step? On the other hand if you can attach the official WES (or whoever) certification of your equivalency that may put your CV on the "consideration" pile rather than in the bin. I'm not trying to be too harsh here - but these are the realities of searching for a job in a country where there are many applicants for jobs and where the general % of people who have graduated university is much higher than in skills-scarce SA.

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Shatale you hit the nail on the head and is one my hubby and I have been suspicious of for some time. We have noticed that Saffas (and other immigrants) with what was probably (invariably, for lower income families would likely fall along the wayside when the heavy costs mount up) a good quality of life, decent home, cars and good job relocate to the states and expect a job of the same standing.

There are also those South Africans who think the "quality of life" of a big house and garden trumps that of no burglar bars ...

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There are also those South Africans who think the "quality of life" of a big house and garden trumps that of no burglar bars ...

Indeed. I'll never understand it myself but each to their own I guess...

Edited by Pickles

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