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H1-B Blues???

H1-B Blues???

Old Feb 18th 2007, 10:33 am
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Default H1-B Blues???

Hi All,

I've been offered a job in the States & have an H1-B visa being processed by the company's immigration attorney.

I have a few questions:

a) What is the tax rate on salaries in the range of 120k to 150k in the U.S.? (I'm in Dubai at the moment and need to work out equivalent take home pay).

b) Can you get a mortgage for a property in the states when you're on the H1-B visa.

c) I'm told by the sponsoring company that the H1-B will likely be ready by November (!!??), but that they are very confident that it will go through without a hassle (I am post-grad qualified and a member of an Engineering Institute). Does anyone have any experience of the H1-B process - I understand that there is quite a backlog???

d) How much is health insurance (for a single person!)?

e) What other "hidden costs" are there in the States?

f) The position is based in Livonia, Michigan. Looks bloody cold!! Detroit is supposed to be undergoing a "revitalisation" programme, but seems to have a lousy rep as a vibrant city to live in.... (although after the cultural dearth in Dubai, that might be a relative view!!!).

Any other info/advice extremely welcome!
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 11:31 am
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
Hi All,

I've been offered a job in the States & have an H1-B visa being processed by the company's immigration attorney.

I have a few questions:

a) What is the tax rate on salaries in the range of 120k to 150k in the U.S.? (I'm in Dubai at the moment and need to work out equivalent take home pay).

b) Can you get a mortgage for a property in the states when you're on the H1-B visa.

c) I'm told by the sponsoring company that the H1-B will likely be ready by November (!!??), but that they are very confident that it will go through without a hassle (I am post-grad qualified and a member of an Engineering Institute). Does anyone have any experience of the H1-B process - I understand that there is quite a backlog???

d) How much is health insurance (for a single person!)?

e) What other "hidden costs" are there in the States?

f) The position is based in Livonia, Michigan. Looks bloody cold!! Detroit is supposed to be undergoing a "revitalisation" programme, but seems to have a lousy rep as a vibrant city to live in.... (although after the cultural dearth in Dubai, that might be a relative view!!!).

Any other info/advice extremely welcome!
Congrats on the job offer. Answers to some of your Q's:

a) Dunno, never earned anywhere near that amount - but Google for "tax calculator USA" and you'll no doubt find a way to input salary and see what you'll get.

b) Yes, there are several people on here who got mortgages on H-1B, including me.

c) Try the visa forum.

d) Can be bloody expensive - but ask your employer, No doubt on 150k salary there's a good employee health insurance scheme as part of your package.

e) Like most international moves, being new in the country can mean higher insurance, deposits on utility bills. Again, on 150k I doubt you'll notice. Biggest surprise cost to many is state purchaes tax (can range from 0% in some states to around 15% in others). First time you hand over a $5 bill for a $4.95 item is a bit of a surprise, but you get used to it.

f) I think Detroit has a wide variety of subcultures (Asian in particular, I think). Crime is a problem and I'm sure people will come on and tell you the safest places to live.

Good luck with the adventure!
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
Hi All,
I've been offered a job in the States & have an H1-B visa being processed by the company's immigration attorney.
They cannot even apply before April 1st ..
and if sucessful you can start Oct 1st
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

We were told when we changed our home loan in MA...that we should not of got our first loan on an H1B...so things could be different in different States...or it could just be down to the bank you use....I would try to talk to people in the area you are moving too....good luck and congrats on the visa....
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Originally Posted by krizzy View Post
We were told when we changed our home loan in MA...that we should not of got our first loan on an H1B...so things could be different in different States...or it could just be down to the bank you use....I would try to talk to people in the area you are moving too....good luck and congrats on the visa....
Home loans - it depends. We got one having been in the country less than 6 months on an H1B.
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Originally Posted by Ozzidoc View Post
Home loans - it depends. We got one having been in the country less than 6 months on an H1B.
Ofcourse you could ..at a slightly higher rate than norm I expect ...
but you got one ....
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Old Feb 18th 2007, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Originally Posted by Ozzidoc View Post
Home loans - it depends. We got one having been in the country less than 6 months on an H1B.

We got one in our first week on an H1B...but were told 4 years later after getting a new loan that we should not of got our first one ...we had the going rate at the time too...it was no higher because we got it so soon...maybe luck was on our side....
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 1:03 am
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Originally Posted by krizzy View Post
We got one in our first week on an H1B...but were told 4 years later after getting a new loan that we should not of got our first one ...we had the going rate at the time too...it was no higher because we got it so soon...maybe luck was on our side....
They all spout BS on demand. It's simply up to the underwriters whether they choose to loan the money or not.
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 5:21 am
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Originally Posted by AdobePinon View Post
They all spout BS on demand. It's simply up to the underwriters whether they choose to loan the money or not.
Exactly!
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 6:12 am
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Big, big thank-yous to all of you - it all looks reasonably encouraging. Looks like you get more for your money house-buying in the US than the south of England, anyway...
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 11:19 am
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
Big, big thank-yous to all of you - it all looks reasonably encouraging. Looks like you get more for your money house-buying in the US than the south of England, anyway...
Looks can be deceiving! Having seen a variety of construction projects since being here, some has been excellent quality and some has been downright horrifying
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Congrats! I have a H1-B too, although I'm in academia so the application was not subject to time limits or numerical caps

Some thoughts...

a) No idea - you could probably reckon on losing 40% or so?..

b) Never tried yet - my credit score has not had time to mature and they may worry that I'll sly off to Blighty with the cash..

c) As I say my visa was not subject to the cap. Getting the visa at the London US Embassy was fairly painless, if time-consuming. Usually they recommend you apply for your visa in your home country as it's easier to demonstrate home ties, but for an H1-B visa this usually doesn't matter since it's a dual-intent visa.

d) Depends on the schemes(s) your employer offers you - on $120K per year you will be fine...

e) Tipping everyone in sight, tax is added at the till, car insurance is horrendous if you're a newbie, banks can be sly at charging (costs to transfer money to another person, but hey you can pick from a range of 17238273 designs of cheque), difficulties with establishing credit (there's some excellent credit-building advice on these pages).

f) You could always go to Canada for fun....
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

tax is going to be a lot...don't know what state taxes are like though...mortgage ain't a problem if you can put down a large deposit or you'll get a shit rate for having no US credit history, so the same will apply for car insurance, possible hassle in getting utilities, mobile phone etc.

Health Insurance, do a search, been discussed loads, a lot will depend on if you have a pre-existing, it's an HMO or PPO etc and how much the employer is chipping in, so it can be anywhere from costing you nothing to $400 + a month....but for a healthy, single person your probably looking at $50-100 a month...but look at what that will cover you for, such as co-pays, deductibles, the cover split before they cover everything etc, etc.

No idea about taxes in Michigan...but property taxes, sales taxes, car insurance, utilities...heating will suck, oil bill at this time of year will be huge.

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
a) What is the tax rate on salaries in the range of 120k to 150k in the U.S.? (I'm in Dubai at the moment and need to work out equivalent take home pay).

b) Can you get a mortgage for a property in the states when you're on the H1-B visa.

c) I'm told by the sponsoring company that the H1-B will likely be ready by November (!!??), but that they are very confident that it will go through without a hassle (I am post-grad qualified and a member of an Engineering Institute). Does anyone have any experience of the H1-B process - I understand that there is quite a backlog???

d) How much is health insurance (for a single person!)?

e) What other "hidden costs" are there in the States?

f) The position is based in Livonia, Michigan. Looks bloody cold!! Detroit is supposed to be undergoing a "revitalisation" programme, but seems to have a lousy rep as a vibrant city to live in.... (although after the cultural dearth in Dubai, that might be a relative view!!!).
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Old Feb 19th 2007, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

Originally Posted by shakh your bootie View Post
Big, big thank-yous to all of you - it all looks reasonably encouraging. Looks like you get more for your money house-buying in the US than the south of England, anyway...
Keep away from KB Homes....big is not always better....
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Old Feb 21st 2007, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Blues???

The salary they are offering for that part of the country is extremely good. Michigan is one of the cheaper places to live in the US. The one downside is that property values don't increase very rapidly - if you do become a homeowner.

I lived in Troy, MI for a year when I first came to the US in 94. Troy is about 15 miles north of downtown Detroit. Detroit itself is okay to visit, but not the sort of place you want to stick around in. But there are plenty of suburbs like Troy, which are perfectly nice.

As I said, a salary of $150k will go a long way in MI. I am earning close to that salary now (after 13 years in the US), but I live in the San Francisco Bay Area - one of the most expensive places to live in the US.

Having said all that, bear in mind my knowledge of MI is 12 - 13 years old, and things do change.

As you have seen it is possible to get a mortgage on an H1B. I did it myself, but I had already been in the US 6 years at that point (green card app was pending) so I had a decent credit history, plus a massive downpayment (bigger than my mortgage balance). Your mileage may vary.

Best of luck with the decision.
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