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Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Old Apr 1st 2019, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by OldJuddian View Post
San Diego plays soccer, and in general SoCal has some of the best teams on the West Coast.
It is a lovely place to live, work, and play. It is expensive, but no more expensive then Seattle and certainly cheaper than Silicon Valley.
It is a very diverse place, a melting pot of cultures. I was always amazed at my kids school that it was so diverse, and saw that as a good thing.

Are you happy with your kids' schools? Do they have to start at 7:30 (s'th I am still trying to absorb
Diversity is great - it will give kids a good start for being open-minded.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 7:30 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by tht
You mention a mortgage, aside from waiting to see if you like it, I would be surprised if you would get a mortgage in the US with no credit history here. I was able to get one within a couple of years of gettting my Green Card by putting 25% down as the deposit. Most people rent when they first come here, this may also factor in to which SD you are in / can get in to.




Yes I am sure we will have to rent to begin with. A friend has moved there 2 years ago and able to get mortgage and bought a house one year later. Hopefully we will be as lucky.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Our green cards took about 18months, from start to finish. My company paid for the lot apart from medicals. We used a highly experienced immigration attorney, who was an absolute cow, but knew her stuff.
The company can start the GC process as soon as you arrive.

I also had a contract that stipulated that if they laid me off they'd give me 3 months notice (and pay). I offered 3 months notice in return.

Lots of expats in CA. Most of our friends are Brits. You'll literally bump into them in shops.

Soccer (hate that word) is big for kids. In our city alone there are thousands of kids playing recreational level, and there are club setups too. Once you get to high school there are multiple teams.

SoCal is expensive. It's a great place to live if you're rich, but a really crappy one if you're poor!
There have been several threads on just how expensive over the last few years. The search feature on here is poor so I use Google advanced search on the domain ( https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/ ) when I want to search.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by park99 View Post
Thanks everyone for your kind advice and tips, really helpful!

So about visa, my husband's US employer will apply O1 for him. I understand once he is there then Green Card.
Does anyone know in this case, how long it takes to get the GC?

It feel frustrating that US government want to attract great brains to come to work but at the same time decide their spouses are not fit for purpose. I hope this process to GC won't be too long as I would love to work.
We moved over here nearly 5 years ago with my husband on an O-1 visa. You and the children will be on O-3 visas and will not be able to do any paid work AT ALL, not even remote working for a UK company, nor voluntary work that an American citizen would normally be paid for. You won't be entitled to a social security number (SSN), though you will need and be able to get an ITIN (Individual tax identification number) when the first tax return is filed. Once the green card petition (Adjustment of Status) goes in you will be able to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and on receipt of that you will be able to get your SSN and start work. To be honest I quite enjoyed not being able to work for the first couple of years and there was a lot to do just on the settling in front to start with. Once I had the EAD I was ready to go back into the workforce and now we all have our green cards. My teenaged sons were more frustrated by not being able to work especially once their friends were getting part time jobs and had their own disposable income.

Not working does mean you have to make more effort to make friends as you don't have the daily contact with colleagues. I found things to do, but I had to go and look for them, now I would really miss those friends and schedule my consultancy work to leave space for them.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by tht View Post


You mention a mortgage, aside from waiting to see if you like it, I would be surprised if you would get a mortgage in the US with no credit history here. ....

This is nonsense isn't true. Most, if not all, of the major banks have programs that will allow them to lend based on your non-US credit history, but only for the first 12 months after you arrive.
Originally Posted by park99 View Post
…. Yes I am sure we will have to rent to begin with. A friend has moved there 2 years ago and able to get mortgage and bought a house one year later. Hopefully we will be as lucky.
The 12-23 month period will likely be the trickiest time to get a mortgage, after the first 12 months when your non-US history could have been evaluated but before you have built up a substantial US credit history.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 1st 2019 at 8:57 pm.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by Marc_ely View Post
Our green cards took about 18months, from start to finish. My company paid for the lot apart from medicals. We used a highly experienced immigration attorney, who was an absolute cow, but knew her stuff.
The company can start the GC process as soon as you arrive.

I also had a contract that stipulated that if they laid me off they'd give me 3 months notice (and pay). I offered 3 months notice in return.

Lots of expats in CA. Most of our friends are Brits. You'll literally bump into them in shops.

Soccer (hate that word) is big for kids. In our city alone there are thousands of kids playing recreational level, and there are club setups too. Once you get to high school there are multiple teams.
18 months for the green card is not bad at all - I can live with that! Can kids and I travel out of US during the gc application period?
Well done for negotiating the 3-month notice period, I will ask my husband to add that.

Apart from annual salary, relocation fees, medical care, visa sponsorship, what else should be added to the negotiation?
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by park99 View Post
Diversity is great - it will give kids a good start for being open-minded.
Oh, sweetie... to be young and innocent again...

Serious question; why would you want to hang around with (British) ex-pats? If you do, it can create an echo chamber where you'll end up talking about how rubbish this thing is, or how that is so backwards, we do it a superior way in the UK. Why are Americans so backwards, etc. You'll get more out it all if you embrace the differences and culturally - it's VERY different - despite what you might think you know about the country and its people.

An O visa? Outstanding in his field? If he gets it, and gets a good deal pay-wise and benefits, go for it. 23 years later I have few regrets. Good luck.

And stay in California. Colorado is full.



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Old Apr 1st 2019, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Not for the negotiation, but it is worth considering the upfront and on-going costs when considering the "package" - car insurance for example was the one the slapped me around the chops, astronomical in comparison. Also, don't underestimate the costs of relocation. Even if you ship most things, you still end up transitioning electrical items once over here, and if you don't ship much, you'll forget how much it actually costs to restock on basics like plates, cups, cutlery, bedding and on and on.

I'd imagine you should be able to find a good school given the location, probably even one delivering an International Syllabus?

We managed to get a mortgage 19 months in, agreed in principal at month 13 (new build, so had to wait before completing). It required a lot of evidence of UK activity, so make sure you have all your records available - we had to provide bank statements, pay stubs etc. Well beyond what we would normally have needed and on top of our USA documents.
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Old Apr 2nd 2019, 2:14 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by Octang Frye View Post
Oh, sweetie... to be young and innocent again...

Serious question; why would you want to hang around with (British) ex-pats? If you do, it can create an echo chamber where you'll end up talking about how rubbish this thing is, or how that is so backwards, we do it a superior way in the UK. Why are Americans so backwards, etc. You'll get more out it all if you embrace the differences and culturally - it's VERY different - despite what you might think you know about the country and its people.

An O visa? Outstanding in his field? If he gets it, and gets a good deal pay-wise and benefits, go for it. 23 years later I have few regrets. Good luck.

And stay in California. Colorado is full.
I did say I would like to continue to have friends from Europe and rest of the world, like we do here.But it's also natural to want to bond to other Brits expats, so I could share the moan about the lack of very English things (don't know what exactly yet, country pubs, greenery, I guess...)
I am very keen to live in a multicultural community and make friends with people who we share same interests, values and can have fun together, no matter what or who they are.

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Old Apr 2nd 2019, 2:17 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post

This is nonsense isn't true. Most, if not all, of the major banks have programs that will allow them to lend based on your non-US credit history, but only for the first 12 months after you arrive.

The 12-23 month period will likely be the trickiest time to get a mortgage, after the first 12 months when your non-US history could have been evaluated but before you have built up a substantial US credit history.
Not to be pedantic, but I said I would be surprised, not that the OP could not.

I can only go on my own experience, and that was 10 years ago. I had no trouble opening a local bank account the day I arrived based on my exsisting relationship with the UK entity of the same global bank, A check book and credit card arrived less than a week later. Amex also gave me a US card based on my UK relationship. Maybe it’s different for mortgages but I had a copy of my UK credit report and it did not help with getting a rental at all, they were fixated on having a garentor that was a person, not my employer. Maybe that’s a New York Citu thing though. I only brought 1 year after I got a Green Card, which was about 1 years after I arrived so at that point I had 2 years local credit.

To the OP the others things I would try and negotiate is to have the employer go as garentor on the rental agreement and/or to put you up in a corporate rental for a few months to give you time to find a rental or buy a place if that’s your plan.
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Old Apr 2nd 2019, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by lizzyq View Post
We moved over here nearly 5 years ago with my husband on an O-1 visa. You and the children will be on O-3 visas and will not be able to do any paid work AT ALL, not even remote working for a UK company, nor voluntary work that an American citizen would normally be paid for. You won't be entitled to a social security number (SSN), though you will need and be able to get an ITIN (Individual tax identification number) when the first tax return is filed. Once the green card petition (Adjustment of Status) goes in you will be able to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and on receipt of that you will be able to get your SSN and start work. To be honest I quite enjoyed not being able to work for the first couple of years and there was a lot to do just on the settling in front to start with. Once I had the EAD I was ready to go back into the workforce and now we all have our green cards. My teenaged sons were more frustrated by not being able to work especially once their friends were getting part time jobs and had their own disposable income.

Not working does mean you have to make more effort to make friends as you don't have the daily contact with colleagues. I found things to do, but I had to go and look for them, now I would really miss those friends and schedule my consultancy work to leave space for them.
Thanks! very useful info. I was thinking that I could least do some voluntary work (not paid), but it seems this option is also out. I guess like you suggested, I would be busy with settling the family while husband at work.
Do you mind me asking how difficult is it to find work there after a gap on the CV? And the work experience from home, is it more or less accepted there, especially in my case I only worked for small companies , not Top 100?
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Old Apr 2nd 2019, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by tht View Post
.... Maybe it’s different for mortgages but I had a copy of my UK credit report and it did not help with getting a rental at all, they were fixated on having a garentor that was a person, not my employer. ….
You are right, it is totally different for a mortgage, and you need to know what you're asking for when you approach the bank - the staff in your local branch will probably know nothing about mortgages underwritten using a non-US credit history, so you need to know to ask about, and if needs be, get referred to someone who knows what to do for you.
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Old Apr 2nd 2019, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by tht View Post


Not to be pedantic, but I said I would be surprised, not that the OP could not.

I can only go on my own experience, and that was 10 years ago. I had no trouble opening a local bank account the day I arrived based on my exsisting relationship with the UK entity of the same global bank, A check book and credit card arrived less than a week later. Amex also gave me a US card based on my UK relationship. Maybe it’s different for mortgages but I had a copy of my UK credit report and it did not help with getting a rental at all, they were fixated on having a garentor that was a person, not my employer. Maybe that’s a New York Citu thing though. I only brought 1 year after I got a Green Card, which was about 1 years after I arrived so at that point I had 2 years local credit.

To the OP the others things I would try and negotiate is to have the employer go as garentor on the rental agreement and/or to put you up in a corporate rental for a few months to give you time to find a rental or buy a place if that’s your plan.
1. Wells Fargo/Bank of America both offer mortgages to new arrivals on L+H visas. Since they cannot credit check you in the UK, they ask for a load of financial details to justify giving you a presumptive US credit score of 750. ( very good credit). From what I've seen, the interest rates are comparable to what you would get if you had been here for years and had a similar credit score. HOwever, you MUST apply before you have been here one year. After that, you no longer have access to this special treatment and they will use whatever credit you have in the USA to assess you.
2. Credit Stacks will give you a non-secured credit card with a $5k limit. The card is delivered as soon as your L or H visa is approved.
3.Employers will NOT act as guarantors for rent. I don't think they are even allowed to. They can organise a "corporate" lease for you, which is usually organised via a 3rd party and usually only short term. Be aware that this a taxable benefit and corporate leases are not cheap. Usually employees get corporate accommodation for 1 month but I've seen 6 weeks occasionally.
4. You can get an account with Wells Fargo or Bank of America on the day you arrive. None of the others because you won't have the documents they require. WF will give out temporary debit card and checks but Bof A recently stopped this,

In terms of relocation assistance - depends on your position in the company. Most multi-nationals subcontract this out and your employer will have a policy in place with the relocation management company which decides on your relocation package benefits. There isn't usually much flexibility but you can usually negotiate on a few points- Green card sponsorship timeline, rental car length extension for example. Personally, I would concentrate on getting the best salary + the best position in the company right at the start.
Make sure you do your homework on what the salaries are for SD - look on glassdoor.com etc.
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Old Apr 2nd 2019, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

park99 'bond to other Brits English expats, so I could share the moan about the lack of very English things'

Cough, cough...British as well..

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Old Apr 2nd 2019, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

If the job is with a large company in San Diego, like Qualcomm, they probably have an affiliation with a credit union as a company benefit. They should be able to help you with credit and mortgage questions. Ask the companies HR people about it.

https://www.sdccu.com
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