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Moving to Chicago area for work

Moving to Chicago area for work

Old May 31st 2012, 7:45 pm
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Default Moving to Chicago area for work

Hi, just popped over from the italy forum. I am a brit who is working in italy at the moment and has been offered a move to the US.

I have plenty of questions and will try and search alot of them out but any advice you have will be appreciated as the searched bring up tons of info.

I will be moving over and being employed locally by my company so no cushy expat deal. Everything has to be sorted upfront.

First the visa issue, I would be able to get an L1 due to my job but the issue may be that I have only been working for the current company for 9months not the full year required. I guess the time period is at time of application so may have to keep my head down for a couple of months and then apply.
It seems the L1 is better for my partner (who it seems may have to become a wife) and my boy. If i have read correctly it means she can work if she wants.
Otherwise its the H1B option which seems more limited.
She is a fully qualified teacher so i guess may be able to get a visa in her own right eventually.

Do the visas affect credit and loans? I bank with HSBC in the UK so will try to get a link to their US operation, have others done this?


Also, I will be working about 15miles west of Chicago and guess we will rent for some time. Any advice from locals on areas and also costs?
Oak park looks great but might be a bit fashionable! (costly)


We have no idea of the costs / conversion to dollars etc... , basically what kind of salary equates to a good comfortable family life in this area? $90k?
I would have a 401k pension deal and the healthcare is $300 a month for a good package.

Are company cars not really part of US contracts? I am trying to get one as it will mean saving the insurance etc... and its not really forthcoming even though someone working for me has one on his expat contract.


Anything you can tell me would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old May 31st 2012, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Originally Posted by turivano View Post
I guess the time period is at time of application so may have to keep my head down for a couple of months and then apply.
Correct.


It seems the L1 is better for my partner (who it seems may have to become a wife) and my boy. If i have read correctly it means she can work if she wants.
If you're married, she and your son will both get L-2 visas, and your wife can get permission to work.


Otherwise its the H1B option which seems more limited.
The H-4 derivative visa is known as the "visa from hell".


She is a fully qualified teacher so i guess may be able to get a visa in her own right eventually.
She won't need another visa if she's married to you and on an L-2 visa. Trying to get a visa on her own using her teaching qualifications is likely a dead end effort. She'll have better luck sticking with the L-2 and getting work permission.

Ian
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Old May 31st 2012, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Good going in doing a bit of research first!

You need to have worked for the company at least 12 months in the last 3 years to get the L1, so hold off on the move for a few months, but if you marry your partner, would be in a better position.

H1B wouldn't be able to start till Oct anyway, so you'd have worked the 3 months for the L1, so seems silly.

When you move, you'll have no credit history, you will start from scratch, just like your driving history. Some folks are only able to initially get loans/leases for the length of their L1 visa, but others haven't had problems. There are a lot of threads and info in the wiki on this though.

Check out indeed.com and glassdoor.com for salary info, they'd be a good start at least.

There is also another thread that is running, going over things in a relocation package that you might find useful and the wiki again has some info there to get you started.
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Old May 31st 2012, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Originally Posted by turivano View Post
Hi, just popped over from the italy forum. I am a brit who is working in italy at the moment and has been offered a move to the US.

I have plenty of questions and will try and search alot of them out but any advice you have will be appreciated as the searched bring up tons of info.

I will be moving over and being employed locally by my company so no cushy expat deal. Everything has to be sorted upfront.

First the visa issue, I would be able to get an L1 due to my job but the issue may be that I have only been working for the current company for 9months not the full year required. I guess the time period is at time of application so may have to keep my head down for a couple of months and then apply.
It seems the L1 is better for my partner (who it seems may have to become a wife) and my boy. If i have read correctly it means she can work if she wants.
Otherwise its the H1B option which seems more limited.
She is a fully qualified teacher so i guess may be able to get a visa in her own right eventually.

Do the visas affect credit and loans? I bank with HSBC in the UK so will try to get a link to their US operation, have others done this?


Also, I will be working about 15miles west of Chicago and guess we will rent for some time. Any advice from locals on areas and also costs?
Oak park looks great but might be a bit fashionable! (costly)


We have no idea of the costs / conversion to dollars etc... , basically what kind of salary equates to a good comfortable family life in this area? $90k?
I would have a 401k pension deal and the healthcare is $300 a month for a good package.

Are company cars not really part of US contracts? I am trying to get one as it will mean saving the insurance etc... and its not really forthcoming even though someone working for me has one on his expat contract.


Anything you can tell me would be appreciated.

Thanks
No, company cars really aren't the norm. You will probably want one anyway if you aren't going to live in the city.

Oak Park is unusual in that it is a very mixed community. You can find housing for rent at all sorts of price levels, not just expensive - it all depends which bit of Oak Park you are in. It's a nice enough place to live - it isn't Italy, but it's ok. It beats the suburbs that are further out, that really are suburban wastelands of houses and shopping malls.

Where will you actually be working? If you are planning to commute along the highways, they can be very, very busy - crawling speed - during commuting times. The 290, which is the highway that runs from the city towards the west, is one of the worst, so if your commute would involve using that route take that into account. Anything around O'Hare airport suffers from the same thing. So if you could be commuting from, say, Oak Park to Schaumberg, there would be some substantial and annoying drive time. The Metra trains are quite good, if you happen to live or work close enough to where one happens to be.
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 12:37 am
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
No, company cars really aren't the norm. You will probably want one anyway if you aren't going to live in the city.

Oak Park is unusual in that it is a very mixed community. You can find housing for rent at all sorts of price levels, not just expensive - it all depends which bit of Oak Park you are in. It's a nice enough place to live - it isn't Italy, but it's ok. It beats the suburbs that are further out, that really are suburban wastelands of houses and shopping malls.

Where will you actually be working? If you are planning to commute along the highways, they can be very, very busy - crawling speed - during commuting times. The 290, which is the highway that runs from the city towards the west, is one of the worst, so if your commute would involve using that route take that into account. Anything around O'Hare airport suffers from the same thing. So if you could be commuting from, say, Oak Park to Schaumberg, there would be some substantial and annoying drive time. The Metra trains are quite good, if you happen to live or work close enough to where one happens to be.
I live in Oak Park and really recommend it! I love living there. There are lots of nice places to eat, outdoor sports and the rent isnt too bad either!
It only takes me 25 minutes to get downtown on the green line!
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Thanks, I will keep at it. To iron out all the details.
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Old Jun 5th 2012, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

I would be working out west so the traffic isnt so bad.

Lion/Hockeysarah, any areas to avoid around the Oak Park area? It seems a good idea to based in that area for atleast the first year to get to grips with it all and with the 'town' + train the missus can get out and about without driving/having a car.

I would like to reseach if it would be better further out, as far as Naperville etc...as this would be better for work but there is only very generic information on line as far as I can find.
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Old Jun 6th 2012, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Originally Posted by turivano View Post
I would be working out west so the traffic isnt so bad.

Lion/Hockeysarah, any areas to avoid around the Oak Park area? It seems a good idea to based in that area for atleast the first year to get to grips with it all and with the 'town' + train the missus can get out and about without driving/having a car.

I would like to reseach if it would be better further out, as far as Naperville etc...as this would be better for work but there is only very generic information on line as far as I can find.
I dont have a car so Oak Park suits me perfectly. I would avoid the Austin side, but apart from that you cant go too wrong. I live 2 blocks from the green line which is great for commuting to work.
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Old Jun 6th 2012, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Take a look at this link:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/chicago-suburbs/
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Hey - I lived in Riverside (nearish Oak Park) which was perfect. Less fashionable so a bit cheaper, but very quaint and perfect for a family. Also 2 mins walk to metra and 20 mins odd into Chicago, similar out to Naperville. I love it!!

I would be happy to put you in touch with my landlord (depending what type of property you are after) or my realtor. I used a lady out there who spent two full days with me looking at places until I found one - She was very nice, and it didn't cost me anything as she took a cut from the leasing Realtor. Happy to introduce if you want to PM me your contact details.

Naperville is a fantastic area to live and play, also some parts of Aurora are nice plus a little bit cheaper - some of Aurora is not so nice, however, so exercise a bit of caution.

I earned $104 whilst I was out there back in 08 - Id say it would have been enough to support a family of 4 but certainly not as comfortably as would be ideal for me. I had a new car, ate out a fair bit and did a lot of stuff.. lifestyle will make a huge difference for your budget and consequently what you will need to earn - I suggest doing a budget and using a net pay estimator.

Don't forget healthcare costs (ie deductibles/copays/prescriptions) for all of you!! Expensive....
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Originally Posted by turivano View Post
I would be working out west so the traffic isnt so bad.

Lion/Hockeysarah, any areas to avoid around the Oak Park area? It seems a good idea to based in that area for atleast the first year to get to grips with it all and with the 'town' + train the missus can get out and about without driving/having a car.

I would like to reseach if it would be better further out, as far as Naperville etc...as this would be better for work but there is only very generic information on line as far as I can find.
I can't help feeling that you would find Naperville to be a cultural desert after living in Italy. In Oak Park, you are within easy reach of the city and its assorted museums, concert venues, art galleries, opera house, theatre, etc. etc.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
In Oak Park, you are within easy reach of the city and its assorted museums, concert venues, art galleries, opera house, theatre, etc. etc.
Not to mention oodles of homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright!

Ian
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Old Jun 8th 2012, 8:12 am
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Default Re: Moving to Chicago area for work

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Not to mention oodles of homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright!

Ian
Lots of FLR in the area - brilliantly different. One of the reasons I LOVED Riverside.

Do the architectural river cruise in Chicago some time btw - brilliant.
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