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Do you know anyone who has won the lottery?

Trekkie

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The diversity lottery, that is. ;-)

I love South Africa but the long term outlook is not looking great. It's not so bad for me because I'm coloured/mixed race. However, my husband is a white male and our country's affirmative action policies (which we wholeheartedly support, btw) are making it increasingly difficult for him to advance in his career. He is an award-winning research scientist (genetics) and every year he sees his students getting wonderful jobs that he is better qualified for in terms of education and experience but unable to apply for because of his race. Many of these jobs pay two or three or even four times what he gets paid, for less work, less responsibility and less travel/time away from family. It's disheartening, to say the least.

There's more, like the violent crime and the racial prejudice but we're mostly ok with that. We almost view it as the price of admission for living here. However, I am growing increasingly concerned about raising my son (and possibly other children) here. I still love South Africa and would hate to leave, but more than that I hate seeing my brilliant husband's career ambitions stifled because of something he has no control over.

Sooooo. DH and I are kinda/sorta/maybe/tentatively thinking of perhaps entering the US diversity lottery.

Do you know someone who has done it? Did they win? I've done a lot of reading on the process itself and it seems quite straightforward, but there isn't much out there about what happens when someone does win. Is it easy for them to settle in the US? What is life like, for them? Was it easy to find a job? A place to stay?

I have to say at this point, we don't even know if we'd enter. We have a great life here. A full time maid, a nanny for our son, fully paid off cars, a nearly paid off house, cheap healthcare, relatively cheap university education etc. Our families are here, we have no close friends in the US (a few acquaintances, friends from school, but no one especially close). Even if we do win (which is of course not guaranteed), and sell up everything to go to the US, our currency is practically worthless so we'd effectively be starting afresh. I don't know if we'd be able to do that, seeing as my husband is already 42 and, if we were to win, would probably be 45 already by the time we arrived in the US.

I'm rambling a bit, sorry. But, apart from the navel-gazing, I guess I'd like to know if there's anyone here who would like to share about their immigration experience? Or perhaps a friend's?
 

missy

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Trekkie, I am sorry that you guys are dealing with this and have no helpful info in this area but wanted to just say if you decide to come here you will have at least one friend welcoming you with open arms. Me! In the meantime I hope whatever is best for you and your dh and family works out and hugs.


I clicked onto this thread thinking it was going to be about winning lottery $$$ which would be so nice as there is a gorgeous diamond I want but way too out of my budget. However I digress. Sending you bucket loads of good luck dust for your Brest solution whatever that ends up being, :wavey:
 

kipari

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Hi Trekkie,
Sorry to hear about this situation. I don't post often, but I just wanted to say that our neighbours did win the diversity lottery three years ago, after having tried for 10+ on and off.They were in their fifties and after hesitating for about a week, they just did it. They are extremely happy they took the plunge.
Both of them were self employed as architects and couldn't imagine working for a company. So the lottery was the perfect option for them.

A good friend of ours, however, is a researcher (same general field as your husband) and has held research positions in the US several times. Each time the hosting faculty took care of all formalities and there were several job offers from US employers each time during their stay. From what I understood at the time, a highly sought after expert like your husband might just be able took take a job in the US and the employer takes care of the formalities (sometimes including spouse/family). The offers were pretty tempting financially compared to research, so that their risk would have been minimal, even in case the job didn't work out and you'd face a transitional period without payment....

As a EU citizen (children born /raised abroad included), you always keep the right to benefit from our excellent and free educational system. So my BIL and SIL, who haven't been living here for the last decade and a half will be sending over my nieces and nephews (who hold their parent's resp. EU nationalities and their birth country's) for their free university education.
I don't know SA policies on this, but maybe it's worth looking into....slightly more complicated and highly individual for each country, but there are options for the healthcare system also...
 

Trekkie

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missy said:
Trekkie, I am sorry that you guys are dealing with this and have no helpful info in this area but wanted to just say if you decide to come here you will have at least one friend welcoming you with open arms. Me! In the meantime I hope whatever is best for you and your dh and family works out and hugs.


I clicked onto this thread thinking it was going to be about winning lottery $$$ which would be so nice as there is a gorgeous diamond I want but way too out of my budget. However I digress. Sending you bucket loads of good luck dust for your Brest solution whatever that ends up being, :wavey:
Oh, Missy! Thank you sooo much! You're so kind! I suspect that IF we do enter and IF we do win, closer to the time I'll be bombarding everyone with questions about how thing work in the US. Property taxes, tipping, taxes, all those things that will no doubt mystify me! :lol:

And wouldn't a financial lottery be great?! :D


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Trekkie

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kipari said:
Hi Trekkie,
Sorry to hear about this situation. I don't post often, but I just wanted to say that our neighbours did win the diversity lottery three years ago, after having tried for 10+ on and off.They were in their fifties and after hesitating for about a week, they just did it. They are extremely happy they took the plunge.
Both of them were self employed as architects and couldn't imagine working for a company. So the lottery was the perfect option for them.

A good friend of ours, however, is a researcher (same general field as your husband) and has held research positions in the US several times. Each time the hosting faculty took care of all formalities and there were several job offers from US employers each time during their stay. From what I understood at the time, a highly sought after expert like your husband might just be able took take a job in the US and the employer takes care of the formalities (sometimes including spouse/family). The offers were pretty tempting financially compared to research, so that their risk would have been minimal, even in case the job didn't work out and you'd face a transitional period without payment....

As a EU citizen (children born /raised abroad included), you always keep the right to benefit from our excellent and free educational system. So my BIL and SIL, who haven't been living here for the last decade and a half will be sending over my nieces and nephews (who hold their parent's resp. EU nationalities and their birth country's) for their free university education.
I don't know SA policies on this, but maybe it's worth looking into....slightly more complicated and highly individual for each country, but there are options for the healthcare system also...
Thank you for your response, kipari!

We've tried applying for a few jobs in academia that looked like a good fit, but sadly nothing has come from that. We were told by a few of my DH's academic collaborators based in the US that universities don't want to do the paperwork, it's too much trouble, prefer to hire locally etc which is why we thought at least with the green card lottery, we'd have the paperwork taken care of so a job might be easier?

Good thinking about sending the kids back to the home country to study! Our universities are still in reasonably good shape, despite what seems like endless protest action, so if the universities don't get any worse I'd have no qualms about sending my son to university here. However, state schools are mostly in a terrible condition. Textbooks go undelivered and are later found dumped in rivers, teachers just don't show up for class and guess what? The pass mark is 30%. Yup. 30%. You can fail 70% of the paper and still pass.

Good education is one of the major draw cards to living in the US. MAJOR.

Add in the low cost of living and lower taxes and it almost makes up for the lack of maternity leave and healthcare, lol.

I am a little bit concerned about the Trump situation, but not overly so. I mean, even if he does win, he can't REALLY prevent potential immigrants from entering the US, can he?


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leukolenos

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Hi Trekkie!

I'm not sure if I count, but I'm a US national who has spent my adult life living in the UK & Europe, married to a UK citizen. We have recently (a couple years ago) relocated to the US on a sort of trial basis (on a secondment with work) to see if we might want to shift here permanently, given that we have children now. It's really hard to make these kinds of decisions, so I am totally sympathetic. I was about to start a thread myself on deciding where to live! I'm a lot like you in that I really, really love the UK and all of our family is there and I hate to leave permanently, but I can't deny that I'm almost 100% positive it will be better for my children to base ourselves in the US. We are also in the position that deciding to stay here permanently we will take a sizable financial loss.


I do know (only casual acquaintance) a couple from New Zealand who won the lottery. I'm wondering if your husband might be able to pursue employment opportunities in the US without doing the lottery? He might be able to find something given his exceptional background and be eligible for a EB-1. My husband doesn't require one since he is married to me, but it sounds like we are in similar positions (high achieving husbands), and we have lots of friends in similar walks of life (top tier technical types) who have found employment here on EB1's and 2's, national interest waivers etc. None of them have had issues starting afresh as it were.

I feel like I have a lot to say about this but can't seem to get everything typed in an organized fashion! :???: Anyway, I'm happy to answer any questions and chat more about it.
 

Trekkie

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leukolenos said:
Hi Trekkie!

I'm not sure if I count, but I'm a US national who has spent my adult life living in the UK & Europe, married to a UK citizen. We have recently (a couple years ago) relocated to the US on a sort of trial basis (on a secondment with work) to see if we might want to shift here permanently, given that we have children now. It's really hard to make these kinds of decisions, so I am totally sympathetic. I was about to start a thread myself on deciding where to live! I'm a lot like you in that I really, really love the UK and all of our family is there and I hate to leave permanently, but I can't deny that I'm almost 100% positive it will be better for my children to base ourselves in the US. We are also in the position that deciding to stay here permanently we will take a sizable financial loss.


I do know (only casual acquaintance) a couple from New Zealand who won the lottery. I'm wondering if your husband might be able to pursue employment opportunities in the US without doing the lottery? He might be able to find something given his exceptional background and be eligible for a EB-1. My husband doesn't require one since he is married to me, but it sounds like we are in similar positions (high achieving husbands), and we have lots of friends in similar walks of life (top tier technical types) who have found employment here on EB1's and 2's, national interest waivers etc. None of them have had issues starting afresh as it were.

I feel like I have a lot to say about this but can't seem to get everything typed in an organized fashion! :???: Anyway, I'm happy to answer any questions and chat more about it.
Thank you sooo much for your response! I feel like you really "get" what we're going through.

It's difficult, isn't it? I mean, on the one hand, it definitely does seem like a better life, and I know my son would probably be better off in the US than SA. But the part about starting over financially is really difficult for me to get past. We have a great life here - help at home and my son adores his nanny. A four bedroom house in a very good area. We eat out several times a week at great restaurants, not just fast food. No debt other than our mortgage (which will be paid off in seven years). We have money in savings and healthy retirement funds.

I feel like I'm crazy to even consider leaving this.

But then I switch on the news and I see the political unrest and the violent crime and my husband comes home despondent because yet another one of his students is advancing career-wise when he's being passed over and I tell myself it wouldn't kill me to move to a country where I'd have to clean my own house, lol. I'm just spoilt. I'll figure out how to do it easily enough, if my husband and son are happy, I can figure out how the housekeeping thing works. :lol:

But I do worry about financial security. It would be hard to go from relative affluence to possibly struggling. Probably renting a house, not being able to eat out as much, less meat (we're a nation of carnivores, lol), having to maximise retirement contributions because suddenly we'd have 20 years to save instead of 40. So that is also something we're grappling with.

And of course, the US doesn't seem immigrant-friendly right now. So there's that.

We looked at other visas a while ago but they looked so complex! I think we should have another look!

If I may ask, what is holding you back?



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chrono

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My mother won it, so my father was included by virtue of being married to her, I was included as a dependent child, but my sister was excluded because she missed it for being 1 year past the cutoff age to be considered a dependent child.

We were given no assistance whatsoever. No assistance with looking for housing, a job, nor anything else. Basically, you start from scratch with whatever else you bring with you.
 

Trekkie

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chrono said:
My mother won it, so my father was included by virtue of being married to her, I was included as a dependent child, but my sister was excluded because she missed it for being 1 year past the cutoff age to be considered a dependent child.
Oh, wow! Are you comfortable with sharing where your family is originally from? And when you arrived in the US? Even just the decade would be great! ;-)

Was it difficult for your parents to adjust? Was it difficult leaving your sister behind?

What was it like when you first arrived in the US? Did you feel welcomed?

My dad is an immigrant too - he moved to SA 50 years ago from the UK - so I do know a bit about the immigrant experience. But my dad was welcomed here with open arms, and I get the feeling we wouldn't have quite the same reception in the US.



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chrono

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Trekkie,
I am more than happy to share my personal experience without getting into much personal details, if you don't mind.

Country of origin: Not comfortable sharing.

Entry to the USA: 1990 thereabouts.

Adjustment: I came first, because it coincided with going to college, so I had the University help me look for an apartment. Once I settled it, my mother came along. Once established, my father came over. He took care of financial and other affairs back in the home country in the mean time. My sister was in Australia at that time, studying for her Bachelors. My sister joined us later, after my mother applied for her Green Card.

Arrival: I did not know anyone and had no friends. I was, however, welcomed by the University's Student Body, which showed me places where I can shop for groceries, get transportation, apply for my driver's licence, and etc. The USA government didn't do squat and provided no assistance of any sort. Perhaps things have changed since then?

If you do come here, I would be glad to help out in any way I can (food, housing, advice, etc). :wavey:
 

Trekkie

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chrono said:
Trekkie,
I am more than happy to share my personal experience without getting into much personal details, if you don't mind.

Country of origin: Not comfortable sharing.

Entry to the USA: 1990 thereabouts.

Adjustment: I came first, because it coincided with going to college, so I had the University help me look for an apartment. Once I settled it, my mother came along. Once established, my father came over. He took care of financial and other affairs back in the home country in the mean time. My sister was in Australia at that time, studying for her Bachelors. My sister joined us later, after my mother applied for her Green Card.

Arrival: I did not know anyone and had no friends. I was, however, welcomed by the University's Student Body, which showed me places where I can shop for groceries, get transportation, apply for my driver's licence, and etc. The USA government didn't do squat and provided no assistance of any sort. Perhaps things have changed since then?

If you do come here, I would be glad to help out in any way I can (food, housing, advice, etc). :wavey:
Wow, thank you! Your response was great!! I realise this is a public forum, so I understand that there are some things you'd rather not share, but what you did share was great, thank you!!

Seeing as they had two college-aged kids I'm assuming your parents were not, uhm, *thinks of politest way to say this* "in the first bloom of youth" when they arrived? :cheeky: Were they able to save enough to retire comfortably? You really don't have to be specific, but if you could give a general idea, that would be great!

My husband is an academic and I work in university admin (and I STILL haven't finished my degree [emoji15]) so we wouldn't exactly be earning megabucks. By far my biggest concern is whether we would be financially comfortable. Would 20 years of working be enough to pay off a house and save for retirement? And still give my son a good standard of living? Not necessarily iPhones and Xboxes whatnot, but comfortable? It would be hard to go from what we have now to using each teabag twice, lol.

Thank you so much for being so welcoming - I already know that if we do enter and are lucky enough to win, I'll be bugging you for loads of advice!!


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chrono

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I'm not sure how much money they had socked away for retirement, but they looked for jobs here, worked here for many years, and only retired about 10 years ago. They are in great shape financially. They paid cash for their current house and car. They did not earn mega bucks when they came here and they weren't earning mega bucks back in our home country.

Wages in home country - squarely middle class
Initial US wages - $7 per hour thereabouts in the 1990s until they were able to find professional jobs in line with their degrees, which didn't happen until a few years later.

So yes, life was very hard in the beginning, but their work ethic, strong educational background, and persistence paid off handsomely in the end. I am the one with the Playstations and iPhones today. :lol: My dad still uses the Keurig coffee "cups" twice each, not because he can't afford it but old habits die hard.
 

leukolenos

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Trekkie|1467303513|4050119 said:
Thank you sooo much for your response! I feel like you really "get" what we're going through.

It's difficult, isn't it? I mean, on the one hand, it definitely does seem like a better life, and I know my son would probably be better off in the US than SA. But the part about starting over financially is really difficult for me to get past. We have a great life here - help at home and my son adores his nanny. A four bedroom house in a very good area. We eat out several times a week at great restaurants, not just fast food. No debt other than our mortgage (which will be paid off in seven years). We have money in savings and healthy retirement funds.

I feel like I'm crazy to even consider leaving this.

But then I switch on the news and I see the political unrest and the violent crime and my husband comes home despondent because yet another one of his students is advancing career-wise when he's being passed over and I tell myself it wouldn't kill me to move to a country where I'd have to clean my own house, lol. I'm just spoilt. I'll figure out how to do it easily enough, if my husband and son are happy, I can figure out how the housekeeping thing works. :lol:

But I do worry about financial security. It would be hard to go from relative affluence to possibly struggling. Probably renting a house, not being able to eat out as much, less meat (we're a nation of carnivores, lol), having to maximise retirement contributions because suddenly we'd have 20 years to save instead of 40. So that is also something we're grappling with.

And of course, the US doesn't seem immigrant-friendly right now. So there's that.

We looked at other visas a while ago but they looked so complex! I think we should have another look!

If I may ask, what is holding you back?
It is so hard, I totally get it. I don't think you're crazy to consider it- doing the best thing for your kids is highly motivating! If I were in your position, I would be considering it as well. Makes perfect sense to me.

Re- the finances- this is why I think you guys might be better off considering trying for employment based visas. If you can come with a job, I think a great deal of that will be alleviated. I agree that it would be very difficult to come here blank slate, as Chrono's family did, and totally start over. But it's doable, people obviously do it all the time!

I will say that our standard of living in the US is higher. We earn more here, and can afford more than I ever thought we could. I *never* thought we could afford having a nanny, but do. Our housing situation here is much nicer than it was in the UK. Here, we can afford two cars.

I don't find the US to be unfriendly to immigrants. If anything, people here seem to be really welcoming. We live in a pretty diverse area, so maybe that has something to do with it?

What's holding us back- Some of the long term financial stuff (stuff w pensions, etc). I miss our family there. I'm having a hard time of letting go of the dream to have a house in the English countryside. Ultimately I think we'll settle in the US on a more permanent basis, but it's difficult to let go of those things.
 

amc80

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Trekkie|1467303513|4050119 said:
And of course, the US doesn't seem immigrant-friendly right now. So there's that.
I just wanted to address this. I don't think it's true, at all. Certain people are fed up with certain aspects of immigration, such as people who come in illegally, or those who come in with no means to support themselves and contribute to society.
 

anne_h

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I know a couple who won this lottery. The husband was originally from India and the wife from Russia. An engineer and dance teacher respectively. The husband always dreamed of living in Florida, so he is there now, with his new employer. The wife and young son will join him shortly.

I don't know how they are enjoying it so far. They are very well-traveled and cosmopolitan, I suspect they will do fine wherever they go.

As far as your husband's professional challenges... I agree, he may need to move if he wants to progress his career. But if some/most of the motivation is financial, my advice would be to do some projections around what your income and living expenses would be elsewhere. I know domestic help is cheap in some parts of the world, but that is not the case in North America. Plus healthcare/insurance costs in the US. You may be further ahead financially where you are.

I know of someone who took an NGO job in Nairobi specifically to get free housing and cheap domestic help. They have 3 young kids there now.

Anne
 

Trekkie

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Chrono|1467313337|4050203 said:
I'm not sure how much money they had socked away for retirement, but they looked for jobs here, worked here for many years, and only retired about 10 years ago. They are in great shape financially. They paid cash for their current house and car. They did not earn mega bucks when they came here and they weren't earning mega bucks back in our home country.

Wages in home country - squarely middle class
Initial US wages - $7 per hour thereabouts in the 1990s until they were able to find professional jobs in line with their degrees, which didn't happen until a few years later.

So yes, life was very hard in the beginning, but their work ethic, strong educational background, and persistence paid off handsomely in the end. I am the one with the Playstations and iPhones today. :lol: My dad still uses the Keurig coffee "cups" twice each, not because he can't afford it but old habits die hard.
Thank you Chrono! The fact that it has been done and is possible is very reassuring. We're very persistent people, DH and I. My previous job required a Master's degree but somehow I acquitted myself well enough that my lack of education didn't count against me, and I have an open offer to return. South Africans are generally perceived as being hardworking people. I don't know how true that is for all of us, but my DH certainly lives up to that particular stereotype.

Totally get you on "old habits die hard". My maternal grandmother had a tough upbringing and even though she is much better off now, she still does many of the cost saving things she used to, growing up. She's always chastising me for being wasteful, lol.

leukolenos said:
Trekkie|1467303513|4050119 said:
Thank you sooo much for your response! I feel like you really "get" what we're going through.

It's difficult, isn't it? I mean, on the one hand, it definitely does seem like a better life, and I know my son would probably be better off in the US than SA. But the part about starting over financially is really difficult for me to get past. We have a great life here - help at home and my son adores his nanny. A four bedroom house in a very good area. We eat out several times a week at great restaurants, not just fast food. No debt other than our mortgage (which will be paid off in seven years). We have money in savings and healthy retirement funds.

I feel like I'm crazy to even consider leaving this.

But then I switch on the news and I see the political unrest and the violent crime and my husband comes home despondent because yet another one of his students is advancing career-wise when he's being passed over and I tell myself it wouldn't kill me to move to a country where I'd have to clean my own house, lol. I'm just spoilt. I'll figure out how to do it easily enough, if my husband and son are happy, I can figure out how the housekeeping thing works. :lol:

But I do worry about financial security. It would be hard to go from relative affluence to possibly struggling. Probably renting a house, not being able to eat out as much, less meat (we're a nation of carnivores, lol), having to maximise retirement contributions because suddenly we'd have 20 years to save instead of 40. So that is also something we're grappling with.

And of course, the US doesn't seem immigrant-friendly right now. So there's that.

We looked at other visas a while ago but they looked so complex! I think we should have another look!

If I may ask, what is holding you back?
It is so hard, I totally get it. I don't think you're crazy to consider it- doing the best thing for your kids is highly motivating! If I were in your position, I would be considering it as well. Makes perfect sense to me.

Re- the finances- this is why I think you guys might be better off considering trying for employment based visas. If you can come with a job, I think a great deal of that will be alleviated. I agree that it would be very difficult to come here blank slate, as Chrono's family did, and totally start over. But it's doable, people obviously do it all the time!

I will say that our standard of living in the US is higher. We earn more here, and can afford more than I ever thought we could. I *never* thought we could afford having a nanny, but do. Our housing situation here is much nicer than it was in the UK. Here, we can afford two cars.

I don't find the US to be unfriendly to immigrants. If anything, people here seem to be really welcoming. We live in a pretty diverse area, so maybe that has something to do with it?

What's holding us back- Some of the long term financial stuff (stuff w pensions, etc). I miss our family there. I'm having a hard time of letting go of the dream to have a house in the English countryside. Ultimately I think we'll settle in the US on a more permanent basis, but it's difficult to let go of those things.
The UK is very expensive! My dad was born in the UK, I have siblings there and I used to live there myself but I don't think I could afford to live there with a family. Not if I wanted to be able to own a home (very important to me) and meet other financial goals. I'm also a bit leery of the schooling situation there. My nieces attended independent schools and I can clearly see the difference between their education and that of my friend's son who went to the local comprehensive. My older niece is now studying astrophysics and doing very well while my friend's son is struggling with his second first year of uni. He's a bright child, but his secondary education did not adequately prepare him for university. So that's something I have to consider as well. I'm not confident that we would be able to afford a good education for my son, so that's not an option for us. Of course, if the shit hit the fan and we had to leave SA in a hurry, that would be the easiest option by far.

I'm very surprised that you have a nanny! Based on a short stint on another forum I sort of assumed that only the wealthy have nannies and everyone else sent their kids to daycare or their parents or inlaws. Clearly I was mistaken, and I'm very happy to be. I just looked up what a nanny would cost and wow, it's much more expensive than we pay here in SA. Understandably so. But I'm glad to know it is an option.

I'm glad that you find it welcoming. If I may ask, are you and your husband both white? Do you think that plays a role in feeling welcomed? My husband is but I am obviously mixed race (I look a bit like America Ferrera/Ugly Betty) and I do wonder if that would have an impact on me settling in.

I would LOVE to own a house in the English countryside! So I can see how that is a difficult dream to let go of. Is paying into your English pensions an option at all? My dad and stepmom did that when they moved here in 1966. Just kept paying into their English pensions and now my dad gets an English pension. I think it was very astute of him, seeing as he paid in when GBP1 was worth between ZAR2 and ZAR7 and now GBP1 pays out at over ZAR20!

It is difficult to let go of family. Easier for me as my family is scattered all over the world. Difficult for my DH as most of his family is here in SA.

We will definitely look into the employment based visas. My husband's area of research is very specialised, so that does make things a bit more complicated, but I think we should devote some time to doing more reading up on the universities there and how he'd fit in there, research-wise. Perhaps it might even be a good idea to reach out to US-based collaborators and chat about opportunities there. Thanks for suggesting that type of visa!

amc80 said:
Trekkie|1467303513|4050119 said:
And of course, the US doesn't seem immigrant-friendly right now. So there's that.
I just wanted to address this. I don't think it's true, at all. Certain people are fed up with certain aspects of immigration, such as people who come in illegally, or those who come in with no means to support themselves and contribute to society.
Thank you for this, amc80! That is very reassuring. We would definitely not be going illegally, and as I mentioned previously, my husband is a highly regarded and well educated scientist, so I would hope that we would be able to contribute to society. I share your concerns about being able to support ourselves, which is in part why I created this thread. :)

anne_h said:
I know a couple who won this lottery. The husband was originally from India and the wife from Russia. An engineer and dance teacher respectively. The husband always dreamed of living in Florida, so he is there now, with his new employer. The wife and young son will join him shortly.

I don't know how they are enjoying it so far. They are very well-traveled and cosmopolitan, I suspect they will do fine wherever they go.

As far as your husband's professional challenges... I agree, he may need to move if he wants to progress his career. But if some/most of the motivation is financial, my advice would be to do some projections around what your income and living expenses would be elsewhere. I know domestic help is cheap in some parts of the world, but that is not the case in North America. Plus healthcare/insurance costs in the US. You may be further ahead financially where you are.

I know of someone who took an NGO job in Nairobi specifically to get free housing and cheap domestic help. They have 3 young kids there now.

Anne
Thank you for your response, Anne! I do think we'd probably be further ahead financially where we are now, but I do worry about quality of life issues. Just this morning I declined an offer to wash my car and the person who offered became aggressive and threatened to rape me. I live in a small town so he could easily find out where I live. This is not the first time it's happened, and it's difficult to live with that hanging over one all the time.

DH definitely wants to advance in his career and it's becoming increasingly difficult for him to do that here. I think I can forego domestic help etc but financial security is important to me. I'd hate to go over there only to end up unable to support myself. Further, I have certain financial goals, like owning a home, a comfortable (not necessarily plush, but comfortable) retirement and being able to send my son to university. And I am carefully weighing up which of those I would be able to forego for the sake of my husband having a great career and me not being threatened with bodily harm every time I say no to someone.

Thank you everyone for your responses! Talking through this is definitely helping me make sense of things in my head! <3
 

Cozystitches

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You also need to take into account where in the country you move to. I know that the cost of living in AZ is VASTLY different than say New Hampshire. That will effect your comfort of living.

I have no experience of anyone who's won the lottery, so I can't offer any support but I know how helpful PSer's are and if you come near me I'll help.
 

chrono

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Trekkie,

Good daycare here is very expensive and I am thankful my parents are here to help with school dropoff / pickup, homework, meals and etc for the children. I definitely cannot afford a nanny or housekeeper here in the USA but they are very affordable in my home country. DH and I are not white but we have not experienced any racism where we live, and neither do our boys. We do not live in a large city, but we are close enough to get to it in 1 hour or so's drive.

My parents draw 2 pensions; one from their home country and one from the US, which I think helps with their current financial position, even though the USD is a lot stronger than their home country currency.

I am lucky to have my family here but DH is the only one in the USA. He has, however, fully immersed himself here, having lots of good friends and being involved in many local activities.
 

Trekkie

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Cozystitches said:
You also need to take into account where in the country you move to. I know that the cost of living in AZ is VASTLY different than say New Hampshire. That will effect your comfort of living.

I have no experience of anyone who's won the lottery, so I can't offer any support but I know how helpful PSer's are and if you come near me I'll help.
Thank you, cozystitches! We are primarily looking at the south - it seems much cheaper to live there! And the weather is closer to what we are used to. I don't think we'd want to go anywhere with serious snow! :)




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Trekkie

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chrono said:
Trekkie,

Good daycare here is very expensive and I am thankful my parents are here to help with school dropoff / pickup, homework, meals and etc for the children. I definitely cannot afford a nanny or housekeeper here in the USA but they are very affordable in my home country. DH and I are not white but we have not experienced any racism where we live, and neither do our boys. We do not live in a large city, but we are close enough to get to it in 1 hour or so's drive.

My parents draw 2 pensions; one from their home country and one from the US, which I think helps with their current financial position, even though the USD is a lot stronger than their home country currency.

I am lucky to have my family here but DH is the only one in the USA. He has, however, fully immersed himself here, having lots of good friends and being involved in many local activities.
Thank you so much for your responses. I appreciate your frankness. Especially regarding being accepted even though you're not white. I am/was quite worried about that. If I may ask (and feel free to not to answer if you'd rather not) do you think it was a good move for your family? Would you ever consider returning to your home country? Are you able to go back for visits from time to time?


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chrono

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For us, it is a very good move. The government practices open racism and discrimination, even though it claims to be democratic. I just returned from visiting my country of birth, mainly to visit DH's side of the family and my remaining cousins/aunts/uncles. Women are also viewed as second class citizens even though nobody talks about it that way, so as a woman, I can achieve so much more here. I don't think I will ever return "home" for good but will continue to visit on a regular basis. My boys can't speak the local language anyway. :lol:
 

Trekkie

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chrono said:
For us, it is a very good move. The government practices open racism and discrimination, even though it claims to be democratic. I just returned from visiting my country of birth, mainly to visit DH's side of the family and my remaining cousins/aunts/uncles. Women are also viewed as second class citizens even though nobody talks about it that way, so as a woman, I can achieve so much more here. I don't think I will ever return "home" for good but will continue to visit on a regular basis. My boys can't speak the local language anyway. :lol:
Thank you so much, Chrono! We are going to think about this a bit more and explore other avenues as well.

I appreciate your willingness to talk about this so openly as well as your frankness. I hope to be able to share our own decision with you soon! [emoji170]



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Jambalaya

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Hi, I haven't read all the responses here, but since you are half-british and have family there, and have lived there before, maybe it might be easier for you to enter the UK instead of the US? I know there are challenges in both places and it's a very complex, multi-faceted decision. Perhaps it would help to decide what's most important to you - education,lack of crime, nice climate, property prices, and all the other things that go into making the decision. If you prioritize, perhaps that will make things clearer. FWIW, it sounds like you have a great life in SA, and the photos I've seen of SA...so beautiful. It's a difficult decision because no place, anywhere, is perfect. Bear in mind that medical treatment can cost a LOT here, even with insurance. So you might want to factor in the health status, or expected health status as you age, of your family. Oh - I think you said everyone in your family lives to be old. Rock on, then! (not sure if same is true of your DH's side.)

I don't know what to say, just that if it were me and I definitely wanted to move, I'd probably take the path of least resistance and go where I have family and where my parent is from.
 

Bayek

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You may think of it, but my England is another good choice, my nephew in law is from South Africa, he married an American! best of luck and you have to do what is best for you, your child and husband..
 

canuk-gal

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HI:

No options in Canada?

cheers--Sharon
 

siv1

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amc80|1467323005|4050253 said:
Trekkie|1467303513|4050119 said:
And of course, the US doesn't seem immigrant-friendly right now. So there's that.
I just wanted to address this. I don't think it's true, at all. Certain people are fed up with certain aspects of immigration, such as people who come in illegally, or those who come in with no means to support themselves and contribute to society.
I wanted to agree with amc80. Most Americans are fine with LEGAL immigrants. Good luck with the lottery. :wavey:
 

Trekkie

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Jambalaya said:
Hi, I haven't read all the responses here, but since you are half-british and have family there, and have lived there before, maybe it might be easier for you to enter the UK instead of the US? I know there are challenges in both places and it's a very complex, multi-faceted decision. Perhaps it would help to decide what's most important to you - education,lack of crime, nice climate, property prices, and all the other things that go into making the decision. If you prioritize, perhaps that will make things clearer. FWIW, it sounds like you have a great life in SA, and the photos I've seen of SA...so beautiful. It's a difficult decision because no place, anywhere, is perfect. Bear in mind that medical treatment can cost a LOT here, even with insurance. So you might want to factor in the health status, or expected health status as you age, of your family. Oh - I think you said everyone in your family lives to be old. Rock on, then! (not sure if same is true of your DH's side.)

I don't know what to say, just that if it were me and I definitely wanted to move, I'd probably take the path of least resistance and go where I have family and where my parent is from.
Hi there, nope, the UK is not an option for us. I've lived there before and would not like to return for anything other than a short holiday. Of course if I had no other option, I'd go, but it would not be my first choice. Not by a long shot.

Tekate said:
You may think of it, but my England is another good choice, my nephew in law is from South Africa, he married an American! best of luck and you have to do what is best for you, your child and husband..
Hi Tekate, how lovely that you have a South African nephew-in-law! We seem to pop up in the most unusual places! :D Thanks so much for your good wishes! I appreciate the luck!

canuk-gal said:
HI:

No options in Canada?

cheers--Sharon
Hi canuk-gal, we looked once, briefly, but OMG, is it expensive to live there! And nearly impossible to get in! I'd prefer Canada to the US (stable government! Free healthcare! Great maternity benefits!) but sadly our chances of getting in are slim to none. :(

siv1 said:
amc80|1467323005|4050253 said:
Trekkie|1467303513|4050119 said:
And of course, the US doesn't seem immigrant-friendly right now. So there's that.
I just wanted to address this. I don't think it's true, at all. Certain people are fed up with certain aspects of immigration, such as people who come in illegally, or those who come in with no means to support themselves and contribute to society.
I wanted to agree with amc80. Most Americans are fine with LEGAL immigrants. Good luck with the lottery. :wavey:
Thank you siv1!

Thank you all for your responses! I'll keep you all posted on what we decide!
 

missy

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canuk-gal|1467559532|4051025 said:
HI:

No options in Canada?

cheers--Sharon
Sharon, you might need to make room for Greg and me and our 4 kitties if Trump wins this election... :wink2:
(((HUGS))) hope your mom is doing OK.

Sorry for the threadjack Trekkie. And yes I agree most (and I hope the great majority if not all) Americans are more than happy with legal immigration. That is what our country stands for and makes our country great and I hope it never changes!!!
 

Jambalaya

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I hear ya, Trekkie. Is it because of the rainy weather?

My country of choice would also be Canada. I think of it as land of crystal clear lakes, evergreens, cool air, beautiful cities, and a peaceful society. They don't seem to be torn with the divisions and arguments that we have in the States. (Example: We're still fighting for abortion rights, in 2016? Really?) And they seem to have a part-private, part-government hybrid system of healthcare that works. Australia has something similar and it seems to work well too.

I think a lot of people would like to move to Canada. Too bad they don't have a lottery.
 

canuk-gal

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No options in Canada?

cheers--Sharon[/quote]

Hi canuk-gal, we looked once, briefly, but OMG, is it expensive to live there! And nearly impossible to get in! I'd prefer Canada to the US (stable government! Free healthcare! Great maternity benefits!) but sadly our chances of getting in are slim to none. :(


Well if you wanted to live in Vancouver (British Columbia) or Toronto--then living (aka housing) is very expensive. But those cities are not the only ones with top ranked Universities where excellent researchers like your Husband would be desired. And if the University has a position--then a working Visa would be granted--facilitated by the employer.

Good luck on your decision.

cheers--Sharon
 
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