Dilemma!

Old Feb 26th 2007, 5:47 pm
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Question Dilemma!

Hi all,

While you guys have been really helpful while I was applying for AOS, I am now here for totally other question.

I have been granted the Conditional GC which is expiring next march.

Hubby is wrapping up his studies (PHD in Computer science) and we are now wondering whether we want to stay in So Cal or not. My family lives in France and it's really far to visit. So we were thinking about moving to London, given he can find a job there. Also, we are attracted by the 5-weeks vacations that seem to be the norm there. How normal is it for Brits to take up their 5 weeks a year?

Considering he could maybe make 90K in So Cal, what would be the equivalent that he would need to make in pounds to have the same standard of living given that it seems that London is slightly more expensive than in California?

Also, regarding my removal of condition at the end of the year, can I just mail it and wait for the permanent GC to arrive though I might not live in CA no more?

Thanks for all your suggestions/impressions and any advice!
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Hi
I think youll find that London is more expensive than LA, I think it was recently voted most expensive city in the World. However it is a MUCH nicer place that LA. I would suggest you look around the outskirts of London and commute in, the countryside is wonderful and the trains frequent and property is less.
Although you cant compare apples to apples, other things that are expensive is eating out compared to the US, but groceries are cheaper.
This link might help
http://www.avatar-moving.com/kb/doc_uk.html
I would go for it!
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Originally Posted by sunnyla View Post

Also, regarding my removal of condition at the end of the year, can I just mail it and wait for the permanent GC to arrive though I might not live in CA no more?
Have a look through the immigration forums, but I think you have to be resident in the US to remove conditions...do it quick, because you have to apply within the 90 days before the date on your greencard...that and the fee's will probably be going up a fair chunk in a few months.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Thanks for these posts! The website was really interesting, and I'm still trying to compare cost of living to see if we can have the same standard of living.
Of course, it seems that the stress level in a job in UK is far less than in the US. So that will really weigh in in favor of moving!
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Dilemma!

First question is if you move to London how are you going to maintain the US as your permanent residency? Nothing you have said implies that it will be. In which case removing conditions is immaterial.

As far as cost of living is concerned, I think it is pretty much a straight swop, so GBP45k or so. Slightly surprised that is a starting salary out of Uni in IT in LA. Is not in San Fran or London. Perhaps better to state not normal, must be one.

As far as holiday is concerned, seems more common now that you have to take it or lose it, carrying foreward seems to be more frowned on.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Id say the income would be equivalent to 45,000 sterling. Dont take my word for it though.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
First question is if you move to London how are you going to maintain the US as your permanent residency? Nothing you have said implies that it will be. In which case removing conditions is immaterial.

As far as cost of living is concerned, I think it is pretty much a straight swop, so GBP45k or so. Slightly surprised that is a starting salary out of Uni in IT in LA. Is not in San Fran or London. Perhaps better to state not normal, must be one.

As far as holiday is concerned, seems more common now that you have to take it or lose it, carrying foreward seems to be more frowned on.
Well, I am not too sure what should I do about my situation regarding GC. I would not need it in the UK since I am a EU citizen. However, I am just a bit concern in case we move back to the US. Would it be problematic to re-apply?

How well could you live in London with GBP45K? say we rent a one bedroom, transportation, utilities, cell phone, groceries and say eat out once or twice a week? How much would be left at the end of the month?

In his field, apparently 90K seems to be the start salary but 60hours week are not abnormal let alone making you feel bad to take vacations... So it's great in the UK in high tech companies they have the policy of letting you taking it.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Dilemma!

If you are not a UKC then you need to check out his work visa requirements.

It sounds like you would be abandoning your permanent resident status.

If you move back to the US you re-apply.

You can assume that the costs overall would be similar to LA.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Originally Posted by sunnyla View Post
Well, I am not too sure what should I do about my situation regarding GC. I would not need it in the UK since I am a EU citizen. However, I am just a bit concern in case we move back to the US. Would it be problematic to re-apply?

How well could you live in London with GBP45K? say we rent a one bedroom, transportation, utilities, cell phone, groceries and say eat out once or twice a week? How much would be left at the end of the month?
You could look into re-entry permit for visits abroad longer than a year...but you still need to maintain residence in the US.

As for £45K in london, depends if you have a kid or not...though as a couple, on that salary, it'll be pretty tight...but then again, it depends on where you want to live and how far of a commute your willing to put up with.
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Old Feb 26th 2007, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
You could look into re-entry permit for visits abroad longer than a year...but you still need to maintain residence in the US.

As for £45K in london, depends if you have a kid or not...though as a couple, on that salary, it'll be pretty tight...but then again, it depends on where you want to live and how far of a commute your willing to put up with.
Hi again Bob! Thanks for all your input!! We don't have any kids, and we are willing to commute max 45mins by public transportation to central London.
What would be a decent salary offer to be able to live comfortably? ie not having to worry about each £ we spend but of course not being extravagent...

How easy is it to apply for a permit to live in the UK for a spouse of a EEA citizen?
If I still have an active adress in the US (relative lives here), would that count as a tie to the US? Would I loose my GC? And most importantly if I lose my GC, would I be able to just re-enter the US with VWP if we come on vacations?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 12:05 am
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Originally Posted by sunnyla View Post
Hi again Bob! Thanks for all your input!! We don't have any kids, and we are willing to commute max 45mins by public transportation to central London.
What would be a decent salary offer to be able to live comfortably? ie not having to worry about each £ we spend but of course not being extravagent...

How easy is it to apply for a permit to live in the UK for a spouse of a EEA citizen?
If I still have an active adress in the US (relative lives here), would that count as a tie to the US? Would I loose my GC? And most importantly if I lose my GC, would I be able to just re-enter the US with VWP if we come on vacations?
Can't answer the first part as I don't really know.

As for bringing a spouse over to the UK...easy, quick, but not cheap -
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/servlet/Fr...=1014919208354

And the greencard, well you could lose that being away for a day...so it's not an easy to answer, speak to an immigration lawyer on that one for your options.
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 2:39 am
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Originally Posted by sunnyla View Post
Hi again Bob! Thanks for all your input!! We don't have any kids, and we are willing to commute max 45mins by public transportation to central London.
Your kidding ..you would just about reach a ghetto ..

Think more 90 mins ....
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 3:15 am
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Originally Posted by sunnyla View Post

Considering he could maybe make 90K in So Cal, what would be the equivalent that he would need to make in pounds to have the same standard of living given that it seems that London is slightly more expensive than in California?
Does he even have a job offer for 90k? Out of work IT people are a dime a dozen in California.
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 3:22 am
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Originally Posted by sunnyla View Post
We don't have any kids, and we are willing to commute max 45mins by public transportation to central London.
Ray is talking out of his arse here. There are perfectly good areas within 30-35 mins of the mainline stations (I should know, I come from one). Just depends how much time you're willing to take to get from a mainline station to your work. Hell I have a friend who used to live in Bath and commute to London (BBC World Service night shift engineer). It can be done. As you say, you have no kids, so there should be no problem with a longer commute if need be.

When I did my dissertation research at The Guardian newspaper, it took me 70 mins on the train from Northampton to Euston station, then a trip tube trip to the paper. Had no problem doing that. But seriously, sans children, you can live as close or as far out of London as you want. If I didn't have a child, I'd probably live in downtown Chicago, but we have a kiddo, so we're looking to leave the US.

Last edited by Maz; Feb 27th 2007 at 3:22 am. Reason: forgot a bit
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Old Feb 27th 2007, 3:40 am
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Default Re: Dilemma!

Originally Posted by Maz View Post
Ray is talking out of his arse here. There are perfectly good areas within 30-35 mins of the mainline stations :
that was not the question miss smartass
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