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Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Old Dec 7th 2010, 9:06 am
  #46  
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
10 months - are you sure it isn't the Arctic you are living in?

Not able to do watersports in the UK?

Museums - you can't find museums in the UK? (with free entry).

Better public education in the US have a look at the film "Waiting for Superman"

The population density of California and the UK are almost the same - moving to LA you are going to be more cramped than the Midlands.

I was going to point out how expensive University was in the US, but now the Tory/Lib guys have pulled up the drawbridge, it is getting that way in the UK.

Don't get me wrong, I like California and I like coastal LA, but most of your reasons do not seem that robust.

Have you been here lately?

I wouldn't say that watersports is a major part of peoples recreational activities in the Midlands. I certainly wouldnt drag my kids to a lake in the dark, cold or damp weather that is becoming practically year round!
It's just obvious that living in better weather and near a coast gives you more of chance to do a wider range of these types of sports. Also, alot of the things i mentioned dont cost anything. Walking along the beach in nice weather at any time of the year, certainly cant do that here.
I never felt crowded in my travelling in California. I dont know the facts and figures though? The whole feel is totally different to here. Obviously, it totally depends on where you can afford to live.

My reasons for wanting to move may not be life or death, so yes, dont seem very robust. I simply like the climate and the opportunites for outdoor life - i dont expect to be going to theme parks every weekend, but there are undoubtly benefits to living in a warmer climate. I like to take my kids out and be active and try different things, its much harder when it grey and raining! Dont get many days of sunshine!!!!

What im trying to decide is whether to go and try it or not? Whether this is a good enough reason to uproot the family and face financial uncertainty?
Were not going there with no money or jobs. So, its not so bad, its just going to be tight for a while - i imagine?
Was just looking for people that had made the move and their experiences.
Thanks.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 9:20 am
  #47  
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Originally Posted by Serene1 View Post
Have you been here lately?

I wouldn't say that watersports is a major part of peoples recreational activities in the Midlands. I certainly wouldnt drag my kids to a lake in the dark, cold or damp weather that is becoming practically year round!
It's just obvious that living in better weather and near a coast gives you more of chance to do a wider range of these types of sports. Also, alot of the things i mentioned dont cost anything. Walking along the beach in nice weather at any time of the year, certainly cant do that here.
I never felt crowded in my travelling in California. I dont know the facts and figures though? The whole feel is totally different to here. Obviously, it totally depends on where you can afford to live.

My reasons for wanting to move may not be life or death, so yes, dont seem very robust. I simply like the climate and the opportunites for outdoor life - i dont expect to be going to theme parks every weekend, but there are undoubtly benefits to living in a warmer climate. I like to take my kids out and be active and try different things, its much harder when it grey and raining! Dont get many days of sunshine!!!!

What im trying to decide is whether to go and try it or not? Whether this is a good enough reason to uproot the family and face financial uncertainty?
Were not going there with no money or jobs. So, its not so bad, its just going to be tight for a while - i imagine?
Was just looking for people that had made the move and their experiences.
Thanks.
Have you considered a move to elsewhere in the UK?

We've moved back to the UK after a couple of years in the US - not in CA, but TX, so still plenty of sunshine!

We loved our time in Dallas, and are not unhappy to be back in the UK - we live in Dorset and there are plenty of outdoor activities here which are available pretty much year round - you can certainly walk on the beach here year round and it's not always grey and rainy!

We were really lucky in that we were able to have our adventure on a company transfer, so with little risk to us as a family. The main reason we decided not to stay permanently was that we did not like the idea of loosing the safety net (as we saw it) of being repatriated to the UK if anything went wrong with my OH's job.

I think everyone has to evaluate the level of risk/uncertainty that is right for them...
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 12:20 pm
  #48  
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

We moved to the USA when my husband was transferred by his company, a great opportunity in many ways, but in those pre-internet days, we were unable to easily research local facilities (or lack thereof) for our children before we moved.

Having moved with 2 very active, sporty and inquisitive children I was shocked at the price of after school activities - there was absolutely nothing organised at the local elementary like in the UK, no local play schemes for them to attend in the holidays, no classes at the local library, no public swimming in the winter (and we moved from a village to a major metropolis!). What sports were on offer in the USA outside of school were run through the local YMCA but without the benefit of qualified coaches. I wondered what we were paying for when I found out that the "coach" was one of the kid's parents with no formal experience who had volunteered for the position.

I'm not posting to put you off but to illustrate that this was just one of the hidden costs of living in the USA that we hadn't ever imagined (naive perhaps but it is difficult to think of everything when you move!). Another example is music: we went from a local authority in the UK that loaned musical instruments to school pupils at little or no cost plus a free weekly lesson, to a school district that stipulated what type of instrument pupils could rent at quite a high cost from a specific shop and how many lessons a week we would be required to pay for, it all adds up. We truly didn't realize how well off we were in the UK until we had to pay for everything, not that we begrudged the kids but we definitely had to be more selective.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

I think it's easy to look at all the posts here and think we are being negative, we're not we're here living it and telling it as it is.

I love it here and wouldn't go back to the UK, but, my husband earns enough money to support myself and my son without me having to work (I want to by the way) but 12 months of applying for jobs and getting nowhere gets you down a little, and my situation is by no way unique jobs are very hard to find in this economy.

The weather, when I visit the UK or people come here to visit the first thing they say is "Your not very brown are you" that sums up what people in the UK think, this is not a holiday, it's where I live, I'm not brown because I do the cooking, cleaning, washing etc, etc, I rarely have time to lie in it. It's also no fun trying to cook a meal in 100 deg heat day after day.

I live 30 miles from Santa Cruz I had visions of spending weekends in the summer lying on the beach, I went once on a Sunday in summer, it took me 2 hours to get there, an hour to park and it was like Alton Towers on a Bank Holliday, never again!

If you never do it then you'll never know, just be sure you can afford it. I hope things work out for you.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 4:29 pm
  #50  
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Originally Posted by Serene1 View Post
Have you been here lately?

I wouldn't say that watersports is a major part of peoples recreational activities in the Midlands. I certainly wouldnt drag my kids to a lake in the dark, cold or damp weather that is becoming practically year round!
It's just obvious that living in better weather and near a coast gives you more of chance to do a wider range of these types of sports. Also, alot of the things i mentioned dont cost anything. Walking along the beach in nice weather at any time of the year, certainly cant do that here.
I never felt crowded in my travelling in California. I dont know the facts and figures though? The whole feel is totally different to here. Obviously, it totally depends on where you can afford to live.

My reasons for wanting to move may not be life or death, so yes, dont seem very robust. I simply like the climate and the opportunites for outdoor life - i dont expect to be going to theme parks every weekend, but there are undoubtly benefits to living in a warmer climate. I like to take my kids out and be active and try different things, its much harder when it grey and raining! Dont get many days of sunshine!!!!

What im trying to decide is whether to go and try it or not? Whether this is a good enough reason to uproot the family and face financial uncertainty?
Were not going there with no money or jobs. So, its not so bad, its just going to be tight for a while - i imagine?
Was just looking for people that had made the move and their experiences.
Thanks.
I was in the UK 6 weeks ago.

Cold and damp year round? It is this sort of negativity that doesn't go down well in positive California.

http://www.ryawm.co.uk/RegionalClubs.htm

I think someone else's suggestion re moving within the UK is a sensible one. Often the BE experience is that those who leave the UK due to strong negative reasons that have little basis in reality ("gone to the dogs", "10 months of rain", "can't walk along a beach in nice weather" etc) are the ones who don't last abroad as they have unrealistic expectations and the problem is them, not the country (and "them" comes with them).

Clearly there is a validity to saying that the sunny weather and lack of rain may be a better climate for you (just as skin cancer may be a worse climate for you). As traceym points out, getting to that beach isn't always that easy.

Don't forget things like friends and family - you are about to walk away from your entire support network. It is also worth looking in the MBTTUK (moving back) forum on this website. I suggest you look for recent postings by Badgernaboo (sp?) in the US forum - that shows what can go wrong.

Nearly everyone one responding to you has made the move and is giving you their experiences, most are not saying don't do it, but are saying you appear to be seeing CA with vacation goggles and could hit a hard bump when reality hits home.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

To be fair, the OP was sort of baited with the 'why do you think it's better' question and because she gave one handful of reasons, it's suggested that she move within the UK. She doesn't want to move away from where she is (not until she was prompted to say so). She wants to move to California, where they have a job offer.
The reasons offered are likely not the only considerations.

Everyone needs to go through their own story arc. Some of the experiences here haven't been happy.. fine, you made your point, but why the need to convince someone else that that will be right for them too? Every family is a little different.

The way *I* would do it is to review a number of relocation and lifestyle threads over a period of time, to get an aggregate idea on the 'reality' factor of a stay at home H-4. Seems to me that would be the more difficult thing to deal with than 'can't find suet at the grocery'.

Just another perspective, and not directed at any one.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 4:39 pm
  #52  
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

We moved from Guildford, Surrey some years ago and love it here in S. California.

While it is considered one of the most expensive parts of the US to live, when we first arrived here we did not get too much sticker shock due to the high prices of homes etc in the SE of England.

We have found that day to day living is comparable with that of the UK, some elements such as water rates/property taxes are very high, others such as eating out and clothing cheaper. There are medical costs (which can get high if you are at the doctors a lot) and parents have to chip in more here for school children facilities.

I'm sure that with all the information you have received on these posting and with your own research you have worked out what your husband's take home salary will be and with day to day living expenses whether or not you can afford to come here.

Both you and your husband appear to have good jobs, but if you now NEED to have two salaries to live on, obviously dropping down to one might make the whole exercise unfeasible. Only you can decide that.

When we moved over we left a 4 bedroom detached property and moved into a 2 bed/2bathroom apartment. We lived in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley and found we could afford nothing like we had at home in that particular area.
We stayed in our apartment for 2 years before finding our current home here in San Diego.

You will have to make some sacrifices to move over here by the sounds of it, and with children that makes it harder, but do you want to, in later life, be saying "what if"?

Its not paradise here, where is? but - in my humble opinion - I think the overall quality of life is pretty good.

Good luck to you.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Although I am not in CA I am in the US on the H4 visa. My OH has the H1B and we are basically living on the same salary we had whilst in the UK. We have to pay for our youngest to go to KG (Kindergarten) full time. It is free in our area if they go part time but we wanted her to go to school full time. When we came over our son was 6 and we put him into 1st Grade but it didn't work out and he was moved to KG. It was the best decision we made for him. He is in 1st grade now and is doing really well. He is reading above Grade level and loves school. My daughter who was showing no interest in education before starting school, now loves it and is showing a really interest in reading and writing. She had only had 6 weeks of Reception before we came over.

As I am not working at the moment (we are hoping to go down the GC route but its not happening at this exact moment) I have found myself volunteering. I would never have done it in the UK but here I volunteer twice a week at the kids school, I am a Daisy Girl Scouts Troop leader and volunteer at a new Center for the Performing Arts center that has opened. I do miss working and if/when I get an EAD I will get a job. I don't care where it is. I miss earning my own money. It doesn't seem fair to my OH that he is the sole income for the family but we chose to come here and we knew this would be the situation. We still own a house in the UK and we rent it out. We are about to renew our mortgage and are hoping for a good rate.

It can be hard to adjust to a H4 visa and not being able to work but it has forced me out of my comfort zone and makes me do things, like volunteering, that I would not ordinarily do. My kids love it here and they have decided they don't want to go back to the UK to live. Right now they are enjoying the snow and loved the long hot summer!
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
I was in the UK 6 weeks ago.

Cold and damp year round? It is this sort of negativity that doesn't go down well in positive California.

http://www.ryawm.co.uk/RegionalClubs.htm

I think someone else's suggestion re moving within the UK is a sensible one. Often the BE experience is that those who leave the UK due to strong negative reasons that have little basis in reality ("gone to the dogs", "10 months of rain", "can't walk along a beach in nice weather" etc) are the ones who don't last abroad as they have unrealistic expectations and the problem is them, not the country (and "them" comes with them).

Clearly there is a validity to saying that the sunny weather and lack of rain may be a better climate for you (just as skin cancer may be a worse climate for you). As traceym points out, getting to that beach isn't always that easy.

Don't forget things like friends and family - you are about to walk away from your entire support network. It is also worth looking in the MBTTUK (moving back) forum on this website. I suggest you look for recent postings by Badgernaboo (sp?) in the US forum - that shows what can go wrong.

Nearly everyone one responding to you has made the move and is giving you their experiences, most are not saying don't do it, but are saying you appear to be seeing CA with vacation goggles and could hit a hard bump when reality hits home.

Good luck.
Im sorry but I dont think im the negative whatsoever??? I am very postive about trying different experiences in life....but just thinking them through first.
Wanting a change of lifestyle - be it for the weather, jobs etc and making such a move takes a lot of courage as well as other very positive attributes. So my reason for asking questions on this forum is to find out other peoples experiences. I have nothing that i running away from??? You dont know that i have a strong family/friends network or not?
I appreciate your opinions of my motivations, but i was not looking for a judgement nor trying to justify my reasons for wanting to move abroad( dont hundreds and thousands of people do it?)
Just trying to find people that had done what i am thinking of doing and learning from their experiences.
Thanks for advice.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Also, thanks to the last few posters, with very helpful and honest information regarding their relocation experiences - which is what this is all about!
xxx
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

H4 people.....do you know anything about the possibilites or how easy/difficult it is to change to an E2 visa? Has anyone tried this route?
I will look on some other threads also and see if i can find anyones experiences.
Thanks.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

There is a tendency when in the US to think of the bad things here and the good things in the UK. Just mention healthcare for example.

If it gets too bad then a listen to the BBC Radio 5 Drive reminds me of all the things I did not like in the UK.

Overall I think it is a bit of a balance, but some people come here and think it is all wonderful others head back pronto.

My guess is that most feel sort of like me, only you know how you will respond.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Originally Posted by Serene1 View Post
H4 people.....do you know anything about the possibilites or how easy/difficult it is to change to an E2 visa? Has anyone tried this route?
I will look on some other threads also and see if i can find anyones experiences.
Thanks.
I've never seen an H-4 to E-2 thread here before.. most folk just tough it out and hold out til their green card.
DO read the E-2 visa threads carefully.. you might be one of the interesting few for whom it's a good idea (because of the backup of the H-1B).

There is a current thread I looked up for you yesterday for pharmacist H-1B.

You can also search with the H-4s nickname: the devil's visa.

Your concern about the E-2 should not be whether or not you can 'switch' to it. If you apply and qualify for an E-2 visa, then you get it. If you want to have a travel document, you'll need to go back to the UK for a visa interview. If you stay in the US and change your status from H-4 to E-2, you can remain in the US, but there may be other attendant problems. Your immigration attorney will help you out with that. The E-2 is NOT a DIY project.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 11:03 pm
  #59  
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Originally Posted by Serene1 View Post
H4 people.....do you know anything about the possibilites or how easy/difficult it is to change to an E2 visa? Has anyone tried this route?
I will look on some other threads also and see if i can find anyones experiences.
Thanks.
There is E2 Visa and E2 Status.

E2 Visa you would get your application together and go back for interview etc and assuming you get it re-enter on your E2 instead of H4.
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Old Dec 7th 2010, 11:04 pm
  #60  
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Default Re: Hi, advice on H4 visa and CA/Irvine life needed

Originally Posted by Serene1 View Post
Im sorry but I dont think im the negative whatsoever??? I am very postive about trying different experiences in life....but just thinking them through first.
Wanting a change of lifestyle - be it for the weather, jobs etc and making such a move takes a lot of courage as well as other very positive attributes. So my reason for asking questions on this forum is to find out other peoples experiences. I have nothing that i running away from??? You dont know that i have a strong family/friends network or not?
I appreciate your opinions of my motivations, but i was not looking for a judgement nor trying to justify my reasons for wanting to move abroad( dont hundreds and thousands of people do it?)
Just trying to find people that had done what i am thinking of doing and learning from their experiences.
Thanks for advice.
You are overly-negative about the UK to justify your decision to move to the US - seen it hundreds of times before on BE, it is quite normal, but not clear thinking.

Other peoples experiences are telling you that dropping down to one smaller salary may be difficult and that your reasons are somewhat rose-tinted and vacation-like. You don't want to hear them and only want the ones that support your decision to move.

I don't know your circumstances re support network, but was pointing it out as it can be a large impact for families moving abroad, again, rather than taking it on board as an item to consider, you throw it back because I am telling you things you don't want to hear.

As I have mentioned before, California can be a great place to live, but the idea that all UK schools are rubbish and that LA ones are great, or that you are tripping over museums in LA where they are not available in the UK, is just not clear thinking. If you are going to pick up sticks you need clear rational thinking.

I can't remember if you have said what the salary is going to be, but in general, moving from the midlands to Los Angeles would, IMO, require a significant raise to keep pace with your existing lifestyle.

Don't take anyone's comments the wrong way, they have taken time and trouble to give you advice, many have seen others make disastrous decisions to move ending in divorce and near bankruptcy (& kids stuck in different countries when one partner wants to stay).

In case you haven't already seen it - this place is pretty useful for finding rentals, cars and pretty much anything else. http://losangeles.craigslist.org/
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