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Move to USA?

Move to USA?

Old Oct 26th 2011, 11:22 pm
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Default Move to USA?

Hi all !!

I have been asked to move to the USA (KANSAS), I have a wife and 2 kids.

Lets just assume my salary stays the same.

1. What is the cost of living look like?
2. What is generally the quality of schooling?
3. Would it be beneficial to get paid in dollars or pounds
4. Where/how do I pay my tax?

What things do I need to think about?

I am lost!! - all help much appreciated.!
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Old Oct 26th 2011, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by UK Engineer View Post
Hi all !!

I have been asked to move to the USA (KANSAS), I have a wife and 2 kids.

Lets just assume my salary stays the same.

1. What is the cost of living look like?
2. What is generally the quality of schooling?
3. Would it be beneficial to get paid in dollars or pounds
4. Where/how do I pay my tax?

What things do I need to think about?

I am lost!! - all help much appreciated.!
Welcome to BE.

Your first concern should probably be obtaining a work visa. Do you know which type your employer will be applying for?
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Old Oct 26th 2011, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Welcome to BE.

Your first concern should probably be obtaining a work visa. Do you know which type your employer will be applying for?
hey - thanks for this reply!! - your thing about Yorkshire made me laugh. I have not got to Visa discussion yet - the idea was only put to me today but i will add it to my list. Basically, I do not want to be better off if I make the move, I have already researched, local property tax, state tax, federal tax - looks like a real nightmare. Anything else I should think of? - Thanks so much again!
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Old Oct 26th 2011, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by UK Engineer View Post
hey - thanks for this reply!! - your thing about Yorkshire made me laugh. I have not got to Visa discussion yet - the idea was only put to me today but i will add it to my list. Basically, I do not want to be better off if I make the move, I have already researched, local property tax, state tax, federal tax - looks like a real nightmare. Anything else I should think of? - Thanks so much again!
That's why getting a visa and the type of visa should be at the top of your list. Without a visa you cannot move to the US. There are also different types of visas...some allow a spouse to work...others do not.
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Old Oct 26th 2011, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by UK Engineer View Post
hey - thanks for this reply!! - your thing about Yorkshire made me laugh. I have not got to Visa discussion yet - the idea was only put to me today but i will add it to my list. Basically, I do not want to be better off if I make the move, I have already researched, local property tax, state tax, federal tax - looks like a real nightmare. Anything else I should think of? - Thanks so much again!
Is your current UK employer transferring you, or is this a new employer based in the USA?

Do you want to make this a permanent move to the USA? If so, get your employer to put in writing an exact date they will begin the green card process for you and your family.

You will also want to research health care costs in the USA. You want to find out what your employer's current health care plan is, how much the premium will be for your family, how the plan works, what it includes (medical, dental, vision, prescriptions, etc).

But really the MAIN concern at this point is getting the visa. If you don't qualify for the visa, no sense in doing all the research.

Rene
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 12:16 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
Is your current UK employer transferring you, or is this a new employer based in the USA?

Do you want to make this a permanent move to the USA? If so, get your employer to put in writing an exact date they will begin the green card process for you and your family.

You will also want to research health care costs in the USA. You want to find out what your employer's current health care plan is, how much the premium will be for your family, how the plan works, what it includes (medical, dental, vision, prescriptions, etc).

But really the MAIN concern at this point is getting the visa. If you don't qualify for the visa, no sense in doing all the research.

Rene
Thanks to you both!!

I currently work "XXXX Ltd" in the UK, the parent company - "XXXX Incorporated" is based in the USA. We would be moving to the USA, not sure if I would remain "under" the UK company or not. I will ask about the VISA.
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 12:19 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by UK Engineer View Post
Thanks to you both!!

I currently work "XXXX Ltd" in the UK, the parent company - "XXXX Incorporated" is based in the USA. We would be moving to the USA, not sure if I would remain "under" the UK company or not. I will ask about the VISA.
In the meantime take a look at the BE Wiki...there's loads of info in there about moving to the US. What sort of package to ask for...health insurance...visa etc...I think you'll find it very useful.
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 12:25 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by UK Engineer View Post
1. What is the cost of living look like?
Use one of the cost of living calculators to get an idea such as the following calculator. Since Kansas is only a little smaller than the UK, there will likely be a large variation in cost of living throughout the state (especially housing).

http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/...ec_id=m1025820
2. What is generally the quality of schooling?
Your kids will attend area schools that are for the address that you reside at. Each school district has area maps that defines the schools for each address. Normally each school has a ranking against other schools within the state. Generally more affliuent school districts have their schools ranked higher.
3. Would it be beneficial to get paid in dollars or pounds
Unless you are speculating, there is no sense to get paid in pounds since you will have to pay conversion fees.
4. Where/how do I pay my tax? You employer should withhold tax each payday depending on how you fill out the w4 form.
Normally as long as you don't owe more than an additional $1.000 in federal income taxes (could be more in some cases) at the end of the year, there won't be a penalty. By April 15th of the following year, you will need to file federal and state tax returns to get any refund or pay any additional taxes owed.

Unless you purchase a house, you don't pay property taxes since that is included in the price of the rental.

Last edited by Michael; Oct 27th 2011 at 12:32 am.
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 12:44 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Use one of the cost of living calculators to get an idea such as the following calculator. Since Kansas is only a little smaller than the UK, there will likely be a large variation in cost of living throughout the state (especially housing).

http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/...ec_id=m1025820

Your kids will attend area schools that are for the address that you reside at. Each school district has area maps that defines the schools for each address. Normally each school has a ranking against other schools within the state. Generally more affliuent school districts have their schools ranked higher.

Unless you are speculating, there is no sense to get paid in pounds since you will have to pay conversion fees.

Normally as long as you don't owe more than an additional $1.000 in federal income taxes (could be more in some cases) at the end of the year, there won't be a penalty. By April 15th of the following year, you will need to file federal and state tax returns to get any refund or pay any additional taxes owed.

Unless you purchase a house, you don't pay property taxes since that is included in the price of the rental.
Guys, thanks so much - do you mind if I add you to my Buddy list?
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 1:16 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Any more specific than Kansas? Do you mean Kansas City, if so is that the Kansas side or the Missouri side? There can be large differences in standard and quality of living either side of the state line.
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 3:26 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Hi

VISA first and foremost. It's far more difficult than you can imagine and unless your company has done this dozens of times before, probably more difficult than they can imagine too.

As for the specifics, as someone mentioned Kansas is basically the size of the UK, so cost of living can range from that of a shack in the highlands to something along the lines of Mayfair London. You'll need more specific information to get a much better picture of prices, taxes, etc. Find out the zip (post) code of some of your colleagues homes and use that as a search tool. That will help a great deal.

As for some of your other questions, check around our WIKI. They get asked so frequently we have some general guidelines spelled out. Feel free to come back with additional questions after reviewing those as we don't have all the answers in the WIKI (yet).

Schools:
http://britishexpats.com/wiki/What_d...kids_in_school

Health Care:
http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Health_Insurance
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 3:27 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

It is Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri

Thanks so much - will check out the Wikki
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 3:30 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Why move if the salary isn't improved on? Especially with kids.

Biggest concern is visa and medical insurance, simple as that.

If it's a L1 company transfer, the other half would be allowed to work, if it's a H1B work sponsor, then the other half wouldn't.

With a couple of kids, decent medical insurance will be very important and it isn't something you can wing either. Read the wiki here, not just on the medical, but visa side of stuff.

Plenty of school rating sites you can look at, but the problem is, depending on which street you live on will determine which school you go to and they can vary massively just crossing the street, so you'd need to know the city and rough area of the city you might be interested in.

As for pay, if you're living in the US, get paid in dollars, would be dumb other wise, as you'd be on the hook for taxes, but also the employer side of taxes and would also be at the whim of exchange rates.

Other things to think about, well read the wiki, there's a good listing of things to consider in a relocation package.

Originally Posted by UK Engineer View Post
Hi all !!

I have been asked to move to the USA (KANSAS), I have a wife and 2 kids.

Lets just assume my salary stays the same.

1. What is the cost of living look like?
2. What is generally the quality of schooling?
3. Would it be beneficial to get paid in dollars or pounds
4. Where/how do I pay my tax?

What things do I need to think about?

I am lost!! - all help much appreciated.!
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 3:53 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Why move if the salary isn't improved on? Especially with kids.

Biggest concern is visa and medical insurance, simple as that.

If it's a L1 company transfer, the other half would be allowed to work, if it's a H1B work sponsor, then the other half wouldn't.

With a couple of kids, decent medical insurance will be very important and it isn't something you can wing either. Read the wiki here, not just on the medical, but visa side of stuff.

Plenty of school rating sites you can look at, but the problem is, depending on which street you live on will determine which school you go to and they can vary massively just crossing the street, so you'd need to know the city and rough area of the city you might be interested in.

As for pay, if you're living in the US, get paid in dollars, would be dumb other wise, as you'd be on the hook for taxes, but also the employer side of taxes and would also be at the whim of exchange rates.

Other things to think about, well read the wiki, there's a good listing of things to consider in a relocation package.
Thanks you all.
Anyone have any experience settling kids? Eldest is 10 and youngest 5
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Old Oct 27th 2011, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Move to USA?

Originally Posted by UK Engineer View Post
Thanks you all.
Anyone have any experience settling kids? Eldest is 10 and youngest 5
We have done it a few times; UK to US when they were 4 and 6, US to UK at 7 and 9 and back to the US at 9 and 11. We have no intention of moving them now as we've messed them around enough, they will be staying here to graduate from High School.

It all depends in the first place how open your kids are to the idea. If they don't want to move, you could find them the best school in the world and they may still be unhappy and not make friends. We have always tried to show the positive side of the moves and how it will enable all of us to get a different perspective on things, e.g. Making the most of travelling, understanding the world from a different perspective. Mine can also navigate an airport really well!

I feel that the most important thing is getting a handle on the education system. Once you get to the equivalent of secondary school things are different. The first three years for us are in Middle school, and then there are 4 years of High School. The way subjects are studied in High school is very different to the UK, and there is no GCSE equivalent, only the final diploma at 18. In my opinion, you need to either have them back in the UK to start GCSEs or let them go fully through High School. You could, if really necessary, take them back at 16, but they would really have no option other than taking the IB, as they would have no GCSEs on which to base A level subjects.

Quite a few US schools now offer the IB also, and you can check online what qualifications British universities are looking for from American students. This brings me to paying for college. This is really important. If you are not in the UK for the 3 years prior to starting university there, you will generally not qualify for home fees, even if you are a British citizen. If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, more than likely you will not qualify for in state tuition at a US university. It is quite possible for you to be in the position where you do not qualify for the usual residents' fees in either country, and the cost of overseas/out of state tution is huge. (have a look at a US and UK uni online to see what they charge).

So, really I think you need to have a fairly long term view on your childrens' situation right from the start, as you have a 10 year old already. I have come across people with older kids and the residency requirements just haven't dawned upon them. Bear in mind that Green Cards are not quick to come by, and each state has its own requirements - here I believe residency must be established by the time they are 17 for in state fees. You may wish, therefore to be back in the UK by a certain time, or, if you like the UK, try to get Green Cards in plenty of time.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Karen68; Oct 27th 2011 at 10:53 am. Reason: Sorry, if you like the US! Final para
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