Posted by: Debbie | 2012-12-12

Immigrating to the USA

Good morning

My husband and I have two daughters living in the USA one has two children aged 3 and 5 years.
We have just won a Green Card in the USA DVD lottery program. There were 9 million people who entered and we have won! The children are very happy and cant wait for us to move over to the USA. This will be happening in the next six months. The problem is as follows:
My husband has a very good job here, I myself have a job that I am really happy in and my mother who is 73 lives in the same town as us and is not always in good health. I feel so torn about leaving the life we have here, my mother especially, then my friends, our jobs and just the life we have in general. On the other hand, I feel I owe it to our daughters to be there for them and to help them raise the children and just generally be there for them to complete the family unit. They would be devistated if we decided not to accept the green card and move over.
I feel so torn at the moment, and am not sleeping, not functioning properly and am just in a bit of a turmoil. A decision has to be made within the next month, and I seriously dont know what to do. Can you give me any word of advise? Or let me know how I can try and sort out my emotions and make a decision?
My mother lives in a retirement village here and has all the amenities she needs right across the road, so she doesnt want to move to the USA, should we go over. Her health is good 70 percent of the time, and she just feels she is too old to give up her friends and doesnt want the change of moving.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'm not sure whether you owe it to your daughters, presumably reasonably well-off and leading independent lives in the USA, to move to that country to "help them raise the children and just generally be there for them to complete the family unit ". I really don't.
Apparently they didn't fel this need so strongly that they chose to remain in the country so as to be near you and your mother.
Are they really more deserving of your closeness and care than your mom ? Would they genuinely be "Devastated" if your didn't come, or, rather, disappointed ? Given the American economic problems, how sure are you that both you and your husband will get good jobs there and be able to support yourselves ? And if you don't, how would you support yourselves ?
Is it possible to make use of the green card option for a stay of some months, get dual citizenship and return to ZA with the option of returning to the USA later if necessary ? At least check out, perhaps with the embassy, the exact details of this specific scheme and its limitations and rules.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Debbie | 2012-12-13

Hi everyone

Thank you so much for your replies, and especially to the Cybershrink! Much appreciated.
Our daughters have encouraged us to enter the Green Card Lottery which we have done over the past few years. We never thought seriously about the implications of moving over until we had actually won! I thought leaving my mother would not be that difficult, but now that it has come to the time to go, I dont think I can leave her.My husband has an excellent job here, which he recently required, and that is the thing he is battling with now. I do have a brother living here, but he is not that close to my mom and he only sees her every few months.
to go or not to go? only we can make that decision I know!
Thank you once again for the replies! Much appreciated, Debbie

Reply to Debbie
Posted by: Nikki | 2012-12-13

Hi Debbie,

I live in a different continent to my parents. We see each other once a year and then carry on with our own lives. It would be nice to have them here to help out with the children, but we seldom go out anymore. So it would be twice a year that they would have to babysit. I don''t think it is worth leaving everything behind just to help out a few times a year.

My parents moved countries at age 55 and really struggled to find jobs. They ended up packing fish in a stinky factory and shopping at the second hand shops to buy clothes. They also lived on marked down expired foods.

People mock SA and say it is going to the dogs, but life is what you make it. Your friends can be like family to you and you will have to make new friends in America and they are very different to us.

Maybe, like the others say, you can activate your Green Card, so as not to lose it, but continue to commute between the two countries.

Best wishes.

Reply to Nikki
Posted by: Riana | 2012-12-12

Look around you here in SA and ask yourself. Do I realy want to go down with this country?
Cause that''s the way its going.............
i would leave tomorrow.

Reply to Riana
Posted by: Chris758 | 2012-12-12

Congratulations on winning the lottery. That is how my eldest daughter and her husband went to America with our blessing. They now have citisenship after 5 years of living there and they already have the paperwork to bring us over to the USA.(Takes about 10 months) We are waiting that our other two children move to America within the next three years and then we will go over as well.

Reading through your post I can understand your feelings. Our grandchildren are averseas and you see them maybe every second year. We speak to them weekly on Skype but that is not the same as being there!!

Why did you play the lotto in the first place if your intention was not to go when the oppertunity came along? I think you must only land i n the USA within 6 months in order for the green card to be activated. Maybe you can check that out and it will give you a bit more time to decide.

Best of luck!!!

Reply to Chris758
Posted by: Shane Pillay | 2012-12-12

My opinion would be:
1. decide you are going to make a decision and you are gong to stick to it, no matter what.
2. Honour your mum.
3. Get dual citizenhip, you know how crappy it her in SA
4. But in all, as a mature person, what will be your retirement to death be like

Reply to Shane Pillay

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