A year ago, we left South Africa. One year ago, we got on a plane with 3 suitcases while 10 boxes were making their way to us on a slow boat. We had our essentials, leaving a country that was our home for about 10 years to make a new life in the States.
This is a post that I’ve been working on for what seems like forever. I thought it would be fairly straightforward to write – I just needed to keep track of our expenses related to emigration, tally it all up and the post would write itself. I figured it would help other people looking to emigrate from South Africa to the US, or really from South Africa to anywhere or from anywhere to the US. It’s a whole lot harder than I anticipated, though.
First up, here is the easy bit. These are the various costs we had to pay before we got to the US and include our various consulate visits, as well as costs related to getting all the necessary documentation in place while in South Africa. It’s important to note that we were only able to file an i130 application because I was an American citizen living in South Africa – there are difficult rules in place if your circumstances are different.
There are all sorts of complications that come with an international relationship. Many of them are fun – I love having an “exotic” husband. He uses words and language that I find intriguing, and we are both continually discovering aspects of each other’s lives that are amusing or strange to each other. It’s enjoyable for both of us as we get to explore our different countries, our different perspectives from an outside angle thanks to each other. We are global citizens and it’s something that I’m excited to pass on to Harley as she will come from both backgrounds, a true citizen of the world. However, the admin involved isn’t too pleasant.
I already wrote about the mission we had just to get her birth certificate resolved. But that was just on the South African side. With our plan this year to move to the States, I wanted to get her American documentation sorted out. But it’s not as easy as it might sound – like so many nationalities, passing your citizenship on through the blood isn’t a simple matter for Americans. Well, it was in the end, but it wasn’t easy in the middle.