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Reichette

3 Years In Texas Now!

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Well you guys have been absolutely amazing and helpful. At least I know what to prepare. I wan't to get everything ready for if we win so that we are not on our back foot when it does happen. One more little question please... Is the police clearance required at the interview, or did you just take it along? Also in terms on Bank accounts... do you just take account statements of accounts held with your banking institution or do they ask you to provide proof that you don't have other accounts at all banks in SA? Also, on the police clearance... How long is it valid for and how long does it take to get it?

Thanks again

Lee J

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Well you guys have been absolutely amazing and helpful. At least I know what to prepare. I wan't to get everything ready for if we win so that we are not on our back foot when it does happen. One more little question please... Is the police clearance required at the interview, or did you just take it along? Also in terms on Bank accounts... do you just take account statements of accounts held with your banking institution or do they ask you to provide proof that you don't have other accounts at all banks in SA? Also, on the police clearance... How long is it valid for and how long does it take to get it?

Thanks again

Lee J

 

 

 

Hi LeeJ I have not yet won the DV but have been browsing and reading this forum and others since I entered for the first time in Oct 2013 accordingly these are the steps I have taken to prepare myself for when I win the DV lottery (positive thinking!!!).

 

 

I have obtained the following documents :

  1. Highest educational qualifications certificates for both my wife and myself in English.
  2. Unabridged marriage certificate
  3. Unabridged birth certificates for both my wife and myself.

Further to the above the only other things a person can prepare in advance is possibly saving up as much as you can which you should be doing even if you don’t plan to immigrate and maybe research different places in the usa in terms of schools, employment opportunities and taxes.

 

I have also decided to take my education further so that even if I am not successful in the DV I could one day immigrate to either the usa or other countries as a highly skilled immigrant and the best way for that to happen is to hold a Master’s degree in your field of expertise.

 

Now all I can do is apply at every opportunity and when I win I will worry about the rest later, my reasons for this are as follows:

  1. Police clearance certificates – As far as I can remember are valid for only 6 months so depending on what your case number is if you win there will be enough time to apply and obtain these after you are notified that you have been drawn as a winner. Even if you have a low case number the earliest your interview can be after the draw in May is in October of that year so that gives you at least 5 months.
  2. Medicals – this again is either valid for 6 to 12 Months (people seem to have different opinions about this) a medical should only be done once you have a confirmed interview and as close to your interview date as possible to ensure they are still valid.

There will be many more things that a person would need to put in place, It is great to plan and be aware of these however the critical thing is to win the DV first then maybe worry about the rest later.

 

Hope the above helps you and good luck, next year this time you may be as anxious as I am waiting for the results on May 5th.

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Questions on Texas...

Can anyone living in Texas (and surrounding areas) give me an estimate on:

 

Is water and electricity included in your rent - and if not how much to budget for electricity and water

How much should a smaill family (2 Adults + 1 x 6 year old boy) budget for in terms of groceries

How much is taxes in Texas

Is a rent deposit requested as here in SA?

Thanks

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Hi LeeJ I have not yet won the DV but have been browsing and reading this forum and others since I entered for the first time in Oct 2013 accordingly these are the steps I have taken to prepare myself for when I win the DV lottery (positive thinking!!!).

 

 

I have obtained the following documents :

 

  • Highest educational qualifications certificates for both my wife and myself in English.
  • Unabridged marriage certificate
  • Unabridged birth certificates for both my wife and myself.
Further to the above the only other things a person can prepare in advance is possibly saving up as much as you can which you should be doing even if you don’t plan to immigrate and maybe research different places in the usa in terms of schools, employment opportunities and taxes.

 

I have also decided to take my education further so that even if I am not successful in the DV I could one day immigrate to either the usa or other countries as a highly skilled immigrant and the best way for that to happen is to hold a Master’s degree in your field of expertise.

 

Now all I can do is apply at every opportunity and when I win I will worry about the rest later, my reasons for this are as follows:

  • Police clearance certificates – As far as I can remember are valid for only 6 months so depending on what your case number is if you win there will be enough time to apply and obtain these after you are notified that you have been drawn as a winner. Even if you have a low case number the earliest your interview can be after the draw in May is in October of that year so that gives you at least 5 months.
  • Medicals – this again is either valid for 6 to 12 Months (people seem to have different opinions about this) a medical should only be done once you have a confirmed interview and as close to your interview date as possible to ensure they are still valid.
There will be many more things that a person would need to put in place, It is great to plan and be aware of these however the critical thing is to win the DV first then maybe worry about the rest later.

 

Hope the above helps you and good luck, next year this time you may be as anxious as I am waiting for the results on May 5th.

Don't just go with yiur highest educational qualification if you win - I also have a master's, they wanted to see both that *and* the matric certificate.

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Agree with SJ. Remember, the main qualifie is the matric certificate. So, get all your qualifications into one file and carry along.

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It's been a while since I last popped in here last and since I started this thread.

 

(Been to Australia for a month during the Summer holidays since to visit all the family there for the first time. We had a wonderful time together! Will I ever consider changing Texas for Australia? Not easily! ;-) )

 

[at]LeeJ, herewith some answers to your questions on TX (while noting that it really depends a lot on where you end up as expenses even differ from county to county, city to city, etc.):

 

1) Water is generally listed with your apartment rent bill, while electricity and natural gas you have to sign up privately for with your own choice of Service Provider. Natural gas in TX is relatively cheap and the preferred energy source for heating in winter. How much to budget all depends on the size if your unit, how well it is insulated, whether it is heated in winter by electricity only, what kind of electric heating mechanism, etc. It also depends on the contract (and its terms) that you have with the Provider, whether you signed up in winter (cold months when demand is higher) or summer, etc. Electricity unit costs can fluctuate. While in the apartment, we paid anything between 7.5c to 15c per unit (we signed up for 3-month contracts at a time with the Provider due to job insecurity reasons). To give you a better idea: In our first apartment (2 Bed, 2 Bath) our Natural gas bill varied between $25 and $55 per month, depending on the time of year. Our electricity bill varied between $42 and $135 per month. At the 2nd apartment (3 Bed, 2 Bath) there was no Natural gas available and only electric heating was available. There our electricity bill varied between $70 and $275. Water is generally cheap, about $30 per month for a family of 3 in an apartment.

 

2) One's definition of "groceries" could be quite different and will depend on one's lifestyle as well. We work on about $1,000 per month, but that would include diapers, etc.

 

3) Max. general sales tax in TX is 8.25%. Certain food products doesn't have any sales tax imposed on it (as far as I know) and certain other items could be taxed at 6.25% only. You'd be better off Googling it to find out the finer details, but work on 8.25% worst case. In the wonderful State of Texas there is no State Income Tax applicable, so you end up paying Federal Income Tax only. This is a big claim to fame for Texas (and only a few other States) that attracts lots of business to the State. However we pay more i.t.o. property taxes (approx. between 2.1% and 3% of house value, depending on where you live), whereas in states that have State Income Tax, property tax rates would be much lower. Federal taxes are not as bad and it all depends on your taxable income amount. I guess $100k annual income might be about 12% nett tax, but again, you should Google that for yourself rather. There are some excellent calculators available online with which to calculate Federal tax estimates.

 

4) Yes, a rent deposit is generally applicable. It is made up of various components, eg. security deposit, pet deposit, etc. And since you're likely not to have any established credit record upon first arrival, you might end up having to put down as much as a full month's rent by means of a bank issued check as a security deposit. You get it back 30 days after the end of your lease only.

 

And don't ever pay late for anything in TX! The old sayin', "Don't mess with Texas", gets very tangible meaning very quickly, if you do... :-)

 

Hopes this helps.

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LeeJ - we lived in Austin texas. We had to pay a deposit of $500 for our two bedroom apartment. 5 mins from city centre.. Large and beautiful. Our water and rent was together but electricity and gas were separate. Elec was about $100 give or take and the gas was about $20 I think! Might be wrong as can't remember. Rent was pricey.

 

Depends where you thinking to go. Gave you decided yet?

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Look at some of the sales fliers for the shops. Walmart, Hroger, Target, Aldi, Best Buy, Sears, Rooms to Go, Ashley Furniture

For apartment rental Rent.com apartment.com

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