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    Thread: Moving to San Francisco - almost. Any advice?


    1. #1

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      Moving to San Francisco - almost. Any advice?

      Hello everyone. I wish I'd discovered this forum about a month ago (certainly before I had my letter of employment...). I have been offered an amazing job in San Francisco and while the money is not great (about $137k and that's after some hefty negotiation) the shares and benefits are. But, there are four of us: me, my wife and two school age kids (9 and 5). It would mean relocating from a super-secure job in London, and having less money in the short-term at least. Oh and the relocation package is pretty good in terms of moving us.

      The things that are stopping me signing are:
      1) Worried about schools - thinking we may have to go private for a little bit and pursue the few decent public schools till we get in
      2) Worried about the implications of having UK income (my visa would not allow me or my wife any other US based income) but not sure what the tax implications are - it would come from house rental in the UK and freelance work there
      3) Trying to find somewhere in the city to live which won't cripple us

      I would love to hear reassuring words along the lines of 'it will all work out' as I have to sign the letter very shortly.

      Can you help?

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    3. #2

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      Hi and welcome :)

      I would love to go to SF :) Not been there yet, although the husband has for holiday and business. One day

      Firstly to answer your questions:

      1) Take a look on greatschools.org for reviews of schools, there are usually some good public schools around but you will find to get in the catchment area the homes will cost a lot more, same as the UK basically. Make sure you know the exact catchment areas before renting a home, a school 'next door' isn't always the one that covers the local streets. Did your youngest turn 5 before Sept 1st 2012? If not, s/he may not be old enough for school as they start a year later here.
      2) What visa will you be on? H1B? If so your wife won't be able to work at all, unless she can get sponsorship for her own visa. If it's an L1 then she will be able to. As for money from the UK, money for rent is fine, bare in mind that you will be paying around 20% to the UK government on this. As for free lancing, you won't be able to do this in the US, even if the work is for a UK client.
      3) Sorry can't help with where to live, SF and areas are pretty expensive. Try looking on www.city-data.com for some ideas, or ask the other people who work at the company.


      We were in a similar situation when my husband was offered a job in New York. He had a superb job in the UK, earning double what was offered in New York, we have 3 kids (they were 10, 7 and 4 yrs when we moved over 16 months ago). The way we looked at it was we would regret it if we didn't at least try it. So we went for it! We don't regret it, although the job in New York turned out to be a nightmare (long story!). Thankfully he managed to get sponsorship for another job last September so we now live in Florida and things are going pretty well :) Although I do have 'itchy feet' and we keep talking about where next LOL We are doing ok on the 'a lot less' money, holidays abroad are out right now and we have to save for things, whereas before we never had to think about it. We are glad we did it :)

      HTH and good luck :)
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    4. #3

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      Quote Originally Posted by Pink View Post
      Hi and welcome :)

      I would love to go to SF :) Not been there yet, although the husband has for holiday and business. One day

      Firstly to answer your questions:

      1) Take a look on greatschools.org for reviews of schools, there are usually some good public schools around but you will find to get in the catchment area the homes will cost a lot more, same as the UK basically. Make sure you know the exact catchment areas before renting a home, a school 'next door' isn't always the one that covers the local streets. Did your youngest turn 5 before Sept 1st 2012? If not, s/he may not be old enough for school as they start a year later here.
      2) What visa will you be on? H1B? If so your wife won't be able to work at all, unless she can get sponsorship for her own visa. If it's an L1 then she will be able to. As for money from the UK, money for rent is fine, bare in mind that you will be paying around 20% to the UK government on this. As for free lancing, you won't be able to do this in the US, even if the work is for a UK client.
      3) Sorry can't help with where to live, SF and areas are pretty expensive. Try looking on www.city-data.com for some ideas, or ask the other people who work at the company.


      We were in a similar situation when my husband was offered a job in New York. He had a superb job in the UK, earning double what was offered in New York, we have 3 kids (they were 10, 7 and 4 yrs when we moved over 16 months ago). The way we looked at it was we would regret it if we didn't at least try it. So we went for it! We don't regret it, although the job in New York turned out to be a nightmare (long story!). Thankfully he managed to get sponsorship for another job last September so we now live in Florida and things are going pretty well :) Although I do have 'itchy feet' and we keep talking about where next LOL We are doing ok on the 'a lot less' money, holidays abroad are out right now and we have to save for things, whereas before we never had to think about it. We are glad we did it :)

      HTH and good luck :)
      Thanks - that's my feeling although I think the money thing may be the killer. It's an O1 visa, which would put my wife on an O3. The freelance thing could be a problem as I thought the visa restrictions meant we could do it if the money was paid from a UK client into a UK bank account. I'm waiting for the company immigration expert to come back to me but thanks for raising a flag on that...

    5. #4

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      Quote Originally Posted by MattFrancis View Post
      Thanks - that's my feeling although I think the money thing may be the killer. It's an O1 visa, which would put my wife on an O3. The freelance thing could be a problem as I thought the visa restrictions meant we could do it if the money was paid from a UK client into a UK bank account. I'm waiting for the company immigration expert to come back to me but thanks for raising a flag on that...
      You can leave the country and do work in the UK and get paid for it, but if you are physically in the US they class it as earning money on US soil even if they company paying you pays you back in the UK.

      On an O3 visa your wife would not be allowed to work, only study.

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      Would that apply to my wife on UK soil or across all jurisdictions?

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      If your wife is working outside the US and not residing in the US then that is not a problem. If she resides in the US with you and leaves to work in the UK and comes back, specifically if she does this a lot, it becomes a bit iffy and legal advice would be a good idea. I know this causes problems for writer etc, tbh I think it is pretty rubbish but who am I to argue with the US government

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      Quote Originally Posted by Pink View Post
      If your wife is working outside the US and not residing in the US then that is not a problem. If she resides in the US with you and leaves to work in the UK and comes back, specifically if she does this a lot, it becomes a bit iffy and legal advice would be a good idea. I know this causes problems for writer etc, tbh I think it is pretty rubbish but who am I to argue with the US government
      Pink, you are the single most useful person I've spoken to so far! Is the best thing to come over on the O3 and then apply for an EAD? And is that a nightmare?
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      Quote Originally Posted by MattFrancis View Post
      Pink, you are the single most useful person I've spoken to so far! Is the best thing to come over on the O3 and then apply for an EAD? And is that a nightmare?
      Thank you, glad to be of help

      From my understanding she wouldn't be able to apply for an EAD with an O3 visa. She would have to qualify for a work visa in her own right. If she is working as a permanent employee for a UK company, do they have a US office? If so could she ask to transfer there? She may not have to physically work in the office (don't quote me on that one, although I am sure I have read about people working from home). Otherwise she would have to apply to companies for jobs and hope one sponsors her and that the job, company and herself meet the requirements for a visa.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Pink View Post
      Thank you, glad to be of help

      From my understanding she wouldn't be able to apply for an EAD with an O3 visa. She would have to qualify for a work visa in her own right. If she is working as a permanent employee for a UK company, do they have a US office? If so could she ask to transfer there? She may not have to physically work in the office (don't quote me on that one, although I am sure I have read about people working from home). Otherwise she would have to apply to companies for jobs and hope one sponsors her and that the job, company and herself meet the requirements for a visa.
      This could make the whole adventure not possible - I really want us to do this but at the moment it looks like we would have to live out of an RV so our kids could go to school...


    11. #10

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      Quote Originally Posted by MattFrancis View Post
      This could make the whole adventure not possible - I really want us to do this but at the moment it looks like we would have to live out of an RV so our kids could go to school...

      Have you seen how much RV's cost here?! More than a lot of homes LOL


      Why not ask if the company will sponsor you for a green card (Make sure you set a time limit for this)? Ask the immigration attorney what category you would come under, if it's EB1 or EB2 you could have your green card within a year THEN your wife could work

      I don't want to be a bad influence or anything (well I do actually!), but is the opportunity likely to come up again? Your kids are young and at the perfect ages to adjust and settle easily. Could you not cut back for a bit? The salary you stated isn't out of the ordinary (obviously it depends on what you do) for a decent lifestyle in SF. Once your kids start hitting the teen years it becomes a lot more complicated.

      We still have our home back in the UK (currently being rented out) and enough money to get home (just) as a backup plan BUT we are the adventurous type of people even if it means sacrificing some of those luxuries.

     

     
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