USA

USA

Non immigrant visa USA for closed-loop cruise

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During our 3 day cruise from Long Beach, California to Mexico, I was worried that they would not let me on the ship since I am not a US Citizen.  I am a citizen of the Philippines and my status in the US is that of a “nonimmigrant” in the process of getting a permanent residency card.  Right now I have been issued an I 512 parole card.  Months ago, I applied for my permanent resident card but I have not received it yet. The USCIS in Colorado takes almost a year before the applicants can get their permanent resident card.

We called Carnival Cruise customer service and they said they did not have an answer if I can go on a cruise or not.  The next day another Carnival cruise representative called me and asked about the cruise. His name was Emmanuel. I was so thankful that he called me back saying that I can go on the cruise. Our cruise is only 3 days and was a “closed loop”.  A closed loop means it is going back on the same port where it started.  I also presented my passport and my I 512 parole card and I was able to go.

When I returned, border patrol needed to see the same documents to determine my status in the US.

I had been researching the identification needed before we left for the trip. I have read in the cbp https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1139/~/documents-needed-to-take-a-cruise of what kind of identification has to be taken.

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USA

Women shopping – USA

women-shopping

I have been here in the United States for almost a year now. I only recently started finding clothes is my style in my size for a decent price.  It took 7 months of online and offline research to find places in town.  One of the biggest challenges was the size difference between North American clothing and the Philippines.  For example, the jeans are longer. Filipinas are shorter and slimmer than the average American woman.  Filipinas are petite by any South East Asian standard but compared to Americans they like preteens.

Another issue was that Philippines clothing is suited for a tropical climate and I moved to a dry climate with four seasons.  All I had were “summer” clothes.  Once I got here I just grab clothes that I could fit even though they were not my style just for the sake of having something warm to wear.   I am only able to wear the Philippines clothes when it is Summer.  In Colorado summer is only 3 months.  Most people just wear pants, a simple shirt and a jacket.  Fashion here is not so defined unlike Los Angeles, California or New York City, NY.

women-shopping-santee-alley

Last April, I discovered that target has teen petite sizes shirts. I just had to look around long enough to see more options for me. One brand I like is called Mossimo. I fit the EXTRA small.  The normal small sizes are quite loose.  For jeans, I also found a Mossimo brand that had a good length and does not look odd when I wear it. I got one pair to test it out. I also found a few shirts from ross which are very low prices and decent quality.

Jeans: $ 27.00women-shopping

For shoes, I had been going to shoe depot. They had good prices branded shoes there. So far I had only been buying shoes in that store. I had to check in payless as well but the styles are too countryside. I had seen nice shoes in Macy’s but at that time I was not ready to spend more than what I thought the prices would be. It is a little off from my expectation. Also, I get bored with the same shoes and only want to keep it for a year or less so its not really ideal for me to buy a very expensive pair of shoes.

Price range: $20.00- $ 60.00

Dr Jays is my new online hub of fashion style. They got okay quality stuff. The design and uniquess is what I like the most. It fits to my dress style. They have really good prices for what you are getting. They also sell brands of affordable clothing like Baby Phat.

Price range: $ 5.00 – $50.00

 

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The PhilippinesUSA

Is moving to the united states a dream come true?

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I am currently living in the US.  Personally it was never my dream to come here, But MANY Filipinos see coming to America as a dream come true.  I have written about some Filipinos who are willing to risk everything to come to the US and many Mexican nationals risk their lives for the opportunity to work menial jobs in the US illegally.

But why? Whats up with being in America? Is it really an awesome place? What is so special about this place that people do not want to go back to their own country?

Now that I am here, I can really see why Filipinos and other foreigners decide to stay here for good.  It is much more peaceful. It is 100% more stable economically.  The environment overall is more stable.  There are less catastrophes and calamities.  The disasters that do happen are prepared for in advanced and usually responded to promptly. Unlike the Philippines where every year promises a disaster that will affect the 30% of the inhabitants because of the dense population in such a compact area.  Typhoons, earthquakes, floods can wipe out many homes due to poor infrastructures and lack of preparation.moving-to-the-united-states

Some Americans would say that  United States of America is not a good place to live but for us Filipinos it is still a paradise and way more peaceful than the Philippines.  I feel safe here. I am not constantly guarding myself.  I do not feel worried as much about being robbed.  Philippines  is overpopulated and the crime rate is very high.  Everyday you can see accidents on the road. The news is always shocking. Like somebody killed on a street that you pass by daily.

middle class home
middle class home

The housing here is 100% better. Houses for sale in the market here are not raw and/or barely habitable.  In America, an old house built in 1970’s that would not be considered a first choice can still look attractive.  The prices are also reasonable for what you are getting. You can also get a good deal and a low interest rate if you have a really good credit score or refinance at the right time.  It is a dream come true for me to know that my husband and I will be able to afford a decent beautiful 3 bedroom house.  This would have been impossible for me to do in the Philippines without a ridiculous amount of money.  Being  middle class in the Philippines does not give you buying power to own a house because there is no credit system that is as thorough and consistent as in the US.

courtesy of snagajob.com
courtesy of snagajob.com

You won’t struggle finding a job. In the Philippines, overpopulation means that many over qualified people are fighting for low paying jobs at fast food places.  The qualifications are getting higher and higher.  For example, a cashier job now in the Philippines requires at least a college degree.  I am not exaggerating.  That is how high the competition is there now. However here in the US, you can get a call center job (which is considered a good job in the Philippines) with a high school diploma.  Or easily get a sales associate job with no job experience.

moving-to-the-united-states

Medical is expensive but modern.  You will not die in of a common illness in the United States.  As a developing country, it is not uncommon to see people dying of diabetes or pneumonia.  Local provincial hospitals often don’t have the resources to treat major trauma, in fact  they don’t even have a decent ER.  In the US, the medical treatment is so advanced that doctors can still save your life even if its so critical because of the technology.  With or without money your life will be saved. America is always evolving new ways to treat a disease.  In the Philippines, you are unlikely to survive without money.  You are more likely to die in the average hospital and the sad part about it is that many families don’t even have enough money to cover the burial expenses.  Many people are so poor and are barely surviving day to day.

Immigrating to America was definitely a smart move. It is way more advantageous. I feel safe here. I am not constantly fighting for my life and food. My brain is not in survival mode anymore.  I am faced with a wealth of choices everyday.  I do not feel trapped or in danger all the time so I feel at peace here. I do not feel the need of protecting myself everyday from all the dangers of an overcrowded, crime infested city where the police are  reluctant to help.  Women have equality and fair justice.  I do not feel scared that I will be harassed with no one to listen.  If anything does go wrong, I know that I have a better chance for justice.

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