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is the good life in USA??????

is the good life in USA??????

Old Dec 26th 2002, 8:04 pm
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hi,
i'm an electrical engineer with a Beng(hons) degree and have been put off my original plans to move to canada from the uk, mainly from people who have already immigrated there. is life in the usa better than the drudgery of the uk....would my qualifications be of use??? or would i have to retrain to gain U.S equivalent??? any info from expats already there???
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Old Dec 27th 2002, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: is the good life in USA??????

To work in the US, you have to have a sponsor to get a work permit. THis is a costly and long process. It took us 5 months when my hubby was already working for the US firm in another country. As for me, when I got here found out I could not work and to find someone here to sponsor me is virtually impossible. If you don't have a work permit, then they will not give you a Social Security Number, so you can't even open a bank account. THere is a lot to consider before moving here. You are best off sending out your resume to as many firms that you can and see if you can get a sponsor to get you over here.
Not sure on the qualifications part!!
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Old Dec 27th 2002, 4:02 pm
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Just our experience, but we've found the drudgery in the US to be the same as the UK. Perhaps slightly more here, because the norm is only two weeks holiday a year and generally the work day is slightly longer than the UK.

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Old Dec 27th 2002, 5:27 pm
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If you can get a company to sponsor you, just the experience is worth it. Even if you don't end up liking it in the US, at least it will make you appreciate what you had/have in the UK.

Our personal experience is we have a better life in the US. Yes, somethings have been tough to get used to, but for us it has all been worth it. we love it here and want to stay.

Sorry can't help you on the qualifications side, but I would agree with suebo, send out your resume to as many companies as you can and see what happens. You have nothing to lose.
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Old Dec 28th 2002, 4:27 am
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We moved to California from the UK 5 months ago and would have to say we are enjoying the sunshine etc. and consider we have improved our overall quality of life.

However, don't think that moving to the US you will find the streets paved with gold. There are all the usual hassles, and if they could, my husband's employer would have him working 16 hour days, 7 days a week. There are some employees who are doing that and there is no extra remuneration for doing so.

Also not sure what your ethnic background is, but I believe that the company my husband works for does employ a lot of foreign engineers, gets them H1B visas etc, but they do get paid less than what the locals do.

Overall the job scene here is not that healthy at the moment, that is compared to what it was 3 years ago, and it can be difficult to get a work permit if you don't have relevant experience.
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Old Dec 29th 2002, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: is the good life in USA??????

Originally posted by electromechy
hi,
i'm an electrical engineer with a Beng(hons) degree and have been put off my original plans to move to canada from the uk, mainly from people who have already immigrated there. is life in the usa better than the drudgery of the uk....would my qualifications be of use??? or would i have to retrain to gain U.S equivalent??? any info from expats already there???
It's horses for courses. If you can be put off Canada you can be put off the US at least as easily.

I love it here in the US, many do, others hate it and long to return to the UK (or whereever they came from). The main difference is that you have to look after yourself here, you can't rely on a nanny state.

It isn't always true about the two weeks leave - managerial grade jobs (which are really quite low in responsibility) ofen attract four weeks leave a year, and even lower grade jobs have increased leave after five years service.
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Old Dec 29th 2002, 10:50 pm
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You ask a very personal question for which there is no single answer.
Some love it here others don't....

Someone mentioned SS#s are not always available. In my experience you have 2 types of SS#s. One for a working person, another for a non working person, but the latter does facilitate the opening of Bank accounts etc. All you have to do is ask at the local SS Office and provide full identification (Passports etc) and evidence you are in the country legally.
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Old Dec 29th 2002, 11:34 pm
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IanR, they don't give out SS numbers for non workers anymore. I couldn't work when we first arrived (4 years ago) and I wasn't entitled to an SS number at all. I do have an ITIN number which is to do with tax returns.
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Old Dec 30th 2002, 10:28 pm
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Same here Ben, I can't get one Pain in the Butt
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Old Dec 30th 2002, 10:45 pm
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I do feel sorry for those of you who can't get SSN as without them you are one of the invisible as no-one can comprehend why you don't have one.

I was fortunate in that we first lived here in April 1998 and at that time I was able to get my SSN because of my DL. However I understand that they have changed that rule.
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Old Jan 3rd 2003, 1:38 am
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Default SSN's

My mother sent me an article from the Dallas Morning News that said the SSA no longer issues SSN's for purposes of opening bank accounts. If the bank is not accepting of this, a letter of status can be obtained from the SSA to give to the bank.
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Old Jan 3rd 2003, 2:03 am
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Well I was born in the USA and lived there for 25 years and have lived in the UK for the last 7.

I would say the overall standard of living and quality of life is higher in the US than the UK, but you can live on less more easily in the UK, although it is not very dignifying, and different things are more/less expensive.

And while no place is perfect you will find more examples of better customer service in the US than in the UK. Your UK-trained expectations of service in shops and restaurants etc will be exceeded much if not all of the time.

Life is harder in the US in some senses because there is no state assistance. It is very much a sink or swim nation. To swim you don't need to do a world record butterfly stroke, just keep your head up doing the doggie paddle. Millions of Americans 'make do' on low incomes and low provisions for their families but they carry on.

I used to think that the UK paid more for the same jobs than the US did, and that might have been true at one point in time, but I am finding this increasingly to be false. For example the jobs my husband is looking (desktop support engineer) for pay over double in the US what he is getting in the UK, and my job (call center person) pays about 50-75% more in the US than in the UK. At least this holds true in the DFW area.
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Old Jan 8th 2003, 7:18 pm
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Yes in my opinion life is much better here. I am a teacher in a state school in South Carolina which is a million times better than at a state school in the UK. I earn twice as much, have less paperwork live in a big house, drive a nice car and have a fantastic life. On the down side healthcare is VERY expensive, even with insurance and the newspapers are rubbish. On balance give me the US any day with the UK being only an 8 hour flight away.:lecture:
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Old Jan 12th 2003, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: is the good life in USA??????

Originally posted by electromechy
hi,
i'm an electrical engineer with a Beng(hons) degree and have been put off my original plans to move to canada from the uk, mainly from people who have already immigrated there. is life in the usa better than the drudgery of the uk....would my qualifications be of use??? or would i have to retrain to gain U.S equivalent??? any info from expats already there???
Well I am a mechanical engineering grad from Glasgow and have been living in florida for over a year on a B2 visa trying to get sponsorship...ITS very hard as alot of employers aint interested in going through the hassle unless you have experience.
But if you can get a B1/B2 tourist visa for 6 months and want to try your luck the go for it....and you are able to change from the tourist visa to the sponsorship visa(usually the H1-b visa) quite easily if you have an employer willing to petition for you....
I see alot of electrical engineering jobs aswell...keep an eye on www.engineeringcentral.com.

Anyways best of luck.....
Fleming 77
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