The adventures of the Els family, who immigrated from South Africa to the USA. Els family in Texas.

Our Immigration Story

This is the story of how we, an ordinary family living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, ended up in the United States.

  • Telling you our story will give you an idea of the experiences immigrants have.
  • There is a long version which goes into more detail on everything that happened since our entry in the Green Card Lottery to when we first set foot in the United States.
  • I kept a diary of our first seven days in the United States. Reading it now gives me goose-bumps!
  • Soon after arriving in the US, we contacted one of the social clubs, which helped a lot to make us feel more at home.
  • Over the years we've received several emails from other prospective immigrants asking many questions about immigration. I have some of my answers in the Q&A section.
  • Finally, there are links to other sites that may be helpful.

If you're planning to emigrate to another country, please read the following:

We are South Africans who immigrated to the USA after winning Green Cards, and everything here is within that context. If you're planning to go to another country, some things in here may be irrelevant to you, and you may experience some things differently. If you are coming to the USA, but you don't have a Green Card (let's say you have an H1-B visa), you may have to take care of things we didn't have to worry about, and therefore don't mention. Please keep this in mind.

Now that we've had a chance to plead innocence, feel free to read about all our experiences. We hope you find something useful.


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Copyright, John Els