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Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Old Sep 5th 2016, 12:38 pm
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Default Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

I have recently received my immigrant visa from the US Embassy in London. My wife is a USC and filed a petition for me and our three children back in May.

We're planning on heading out to either Irvine CA or Austin TX in the next couple of months and I am in the process of looking for a job. I am an experienced Software Engineer and I can see there are plenty of jobs in each of these locations for which I am qualified.

I have reworked by "resume" to be a little more understandable to the American reader. For example, Mobile has been changed to Cell and I have changed the page size to Letter instead of A4.

As all my work experience and education is UK based, I have noted on my cover letters and resume "Green card holder - visa sponsorship not required"

My address is currently still in the UK, so I have been putting this address along with "Relocating to Irvine CA in November 2016" (Or Austin Tx depending on where the job is).

So far, I've not had a single reply! Does anyone have any suggestions on the best approach for applying for work before arriving in the US?

If needs be I can wait until I arrive, then apply as a local candidate but I would rather have something lined up. The move is scary enough as it is.
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

My experience (not in software) is that employers show absolutely zero interest until you have your feet on the ground. I had a very enthusiastic and well-connected recruitment agent working for me, and she was able to get me a lot of interviews for a week-long pre-immigration visit at my own expense, which resulted in several job offers for when I arrived 10 weeks later.

Unless you have a well-connected recruiter, or a local address and phone number, I expect that your applications will be entirely ignored. .... FWIW when I am hiring I rarely even consider anyone who isn't from the same or adjoining state, or living less than 200 miles away, whichever is lesser.
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Thanks Pulaski. I had a feeling that might be the case.

The cost of a pre-immigration trip could be prohibitive for me as I'd have to activate my visa which would mean my wife (and kids (no babysitter)) would need to come too. Sounds like my best bet is to try to start up a good relationship with a recruitment agent with a view to getting interviews lined up for my arrival.

Now we just to decide between Irvine and Austin.
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Originally Posted by danheath View Post
The cost of a pre-immigration trip could be prohibitive for me as I'd have to activate my visa...
You don't HAVE to activate your visa. You can visit using the VWP even if you have an Immigrant Visa in your passport.

Do you have any family or friends living in those areas who will let you use their local address and/or phone number on your resume? That should help.

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Old Sep 5th 2016, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

OK, first problem is your stating that you are a GC holder. Remove it and any reference you can to the fact that you are not a USC. I'm not sure how you'd do it remotely, but get a PO box in both regions and use that as your mailing address so any prospective employer is not thinking about potential visa/immigration issues (that WE know don't exist, but he doesn't!).

Second, choosing between CA and TX is like deciding whether you want to lose an eye or a foot! They are VERY different areas of the country and you certainly don't want to make a decision without spending considerable time in both.

Why these two locations anyway? There are another 48 states plus dependent territories to choose from, each with their own pros and cons!

I'm not sure, but as far as I'm aware, you can still travel using ESTA (if you qualify) without activation your immigration visa. I know someone will correct me if I'm wrong. If you're planning on making a new life for yourself plus your wife and three kids, you certainly don't want to make THAT decision without at least visiting!
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
OK, first problem is your stating that you are a GC holder. Remove it and any reference you can to the fact that you are not a USC. ....
I agree, but not everyone does.
... I'm not sure how you'd do it remotely, but get a PO box in both regions and use that as your mailing address so any prospective employer is not thinking about potential visa/immigration issues (that WE know don't exist, but he doesn't!). .....
Great idea, and one I often recommend myself, but use "Apt #" or "Unit #", not "PO Box #". The UPS Store has a "street address" anyway, and now the USPS also allows you to use the street address for deliveries to your PO Box.

You will also need a local VoIP phone number that rings in the UK.

The downside to this trick is that you might need to arrange a trip to the US at very short notice for an interview.
..... Second, choosing between CA and TX is like deciding whether you want to lose an eye or a foot! ....
I am not sure what parts of your anatomy the Texans take, but I believe the Californians want an arm AND a leg! Compared to the cost of living in California, I think the Texans just want some nail trimmings or a lock or two of hair.
.... Why these two locations anyway? There are another 48 states plus dependent territories to choose from, each with their own pros and cons! .....
A great question!
.... I'm not sure, but as far as I'm aware, you can still travel using ESTA (if you qualify) without activation your immigration visa. I know someone will correct me if I'm wrong. ....
You are correct, and Noorah also said as much above.

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 5th 2016 at 3:15 pm.
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Thanks, I wasn't aware I could travel on VWP despite having the immigrant visa in my passport. That opens up the possiblity of a pre-immigration job hunt.

Regarding the local number VOIP redirect; sounds like a great idea and going to get it setup. Same with the local PO Box address (without the PO Box #). Just need to remember to put my phone on silent while I'm asleep.

I could take the green card thing of my resume, but all my education and work experience are in the UK so surely they will asume I need a visa?

We have family in Northern and Southern California but I am put off by the high cost of living, so unless I get a job paying well ($150k+) then I'll probably go for Austin. Austin seems to have a lot of tech jobs and a lot of start-ups along with relatively low living costs. Neither of us have been there, but assuming we can handle the long hot summers it sounds like an interesting place to be.

Have considered other areas too and still got options open. Main consideration is going where the jobs are and somewhere a little warmer than the UK.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

My son is a U.S. citizen, a dual citizen, currently living in England. He was recently interviewed for a professional position in his field (coincidentally, in Irvine CA.) He did not mention citizenship or immigration status in his resume, on the advice of a couple of colleagues who helped him massage his UK cv into US resume style. The only clue might have been listing a U.S. undergraduate school, but his graduate degrees are British. Whether his accent is English or American I honestly cannot say. He doesn't yet know if he got the job, but he did get the interview!
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I agree, but not everyone does.
Great idea, and one I often recommend myself, but use "Apt #" or "Unit #", not "PO Box #". The UPS Store has a "street address" anyway, and now the USPS also allows you to use the street address for deliveries to your PO Box.
OK serious question. If someone is in the UK how is getting a US post box a help? How do they collect any mail, or are you assuming any communication will be done by phone or email and the PO Box is just a ruse?
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Very few, if any, companies use snail mail for initial job offers any more. They may send a confirmation letter after the email communications have concluded so there is a permanent record of the offer.

I'm still very worried about the fact that the OP is interested in Austin because he basically has HEARD it's nice!!
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
I'm still very worried about the fact that the OP is interested in Austin because he basically has HEARD it's nice!!
We're pretty adventurous. Travelled at lot around the States including Texas, albeit never Austin. We've researched places for cost of living, average salary in my field and general standard of living.
We may eventually end up in California as that's where family is, but we would like a bit of an adventure on the way.
Austin ticks a lot of boxes and if we don't like it, we go somewhere else. Not planning on growing old and retiring there and with that level of commitment there's no need to worry, right?
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
OK serious question. If someone is in the UK how is getting a US post box a help? How do they collect any mail, or are you assuming any communication will be done by phone or email and the PO Box is just a ruse?
What Guindalf said (applications for professional jobs are all handled on-line/ through LinkedIn, so I don't know why anyone would write to you), so yes, it is a ruse, PLUS The UPS Store will forward mail from your box, for a fee, of course.
Originally Posted by danheath View Post
Thanks, I wasn't aware I could travel on VWP despite having the immigrant visa in my passport. That opens up the possiblity of a pre-immigration job hunt.

Regarding the local number VOIP redirect; sounds like a great idea and going to get it setup. Same with the local PO Box address (without the PO Box #). Just need to remember to put my phone on silent while I'm asleep.

I could take the green card thing of my resume, but all my education and work experience are in the UK so surely they will asume I need a visa? .....
Once you get your application in front of a human being things are very different, but the problem you face is that companies weed out applications that are potentially problematic to them, so either by automated process or clerical/HR prescreen, they weed out applications mentioning "visa" or "green card", the fact that you don't need a visa, and already have a green card, doesn't stop you being weeded out.

I guess it is for these reasons that some people (here on BE) recommend using the phrase "fully authorised to work in the US" on their covering letter, or something similar that is comprised of fairly generic words, so not likely to be filtered out.

Also bear in mind that most US citizens have no understanding of the US visa process, and the little that they do "know" is often completely wrong. For example some people don't realise that a green card is (under almost all circular) permanent unless you give it up voluntarily, and can be traded for citizenship in 3-5 years, so assume that there is going to be paperwork and costs, or uncertainty as to whether it might expire, or you have to leave the country. In fact I had a conversation with my manager (a US born USC) a few weeks ago, and it was clear that he knew virtually nothing about immigration visas and green cards.

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 5th 2016 at 5:49 pm.
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I guess it is for these reasons that some people (here on BE) recommend using the phrase "fully authorised to work in the US" on their covering letter, or something similar that is comprised of fairly generic words, so not likely to be filtered out.
Thanks, I'll give that phrase a go on my cover letter. Tells all they need to know without mentioning the "Visa" word.
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Originally Posted by danheath View Post
Thanks, I'll give that phrase a go on my cover letter. Tells all they need to know without mentioning the "Visa" word.
You're welcome, and good luck!
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Getting a job in Texas/California from the UK

Originally Posted by danheath View Post
Thanks, I'll give that phrase a go on my cover letter. Tells all they need to know without mentioning the "Visa" word.
I wouldn't. It automatically suggests that you are a foreigner. A Citizen wouldn't even dream about adding that phrase, so why should you at this stage?
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