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New to New York

New to New York

Old Apr 17th 2011, 8:53 pm
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Question New to New York

Hello all.

From reading a few threads I see that a lot of people on here have great experience, so I was hoping to borrow some of the collective brain power/experience/wisdom, if possible.

Myself and my fiancé (getting married next year) are moving to NYC in June. I have a job offer confirmed and a VISA application just going through (being sorted by my new employer). I'll be on a J1 at first, transferring to a H1B in October. My fiancé is on the hunt for a job right now. I'm a british passport holder and she is German.

A few things I'm looking for a bit of advice on...

1) VISA. On either of the above visa types, is it possible for my fiancé to gain a working visa? I suspect the answer's no, and hence why she's seeking her own working visa through a new employer (may have to wait until october for the new H1B allocation), but thought I'd double check.

2) BANK ACCOUNT. Is it ever possible to open a US account before I get into the country, or do I have to be there in person? What do I need to open an account, and can I do it without a permanent residence address (in case we stay temporarily to start with).

3) CONTENTS INSURANCE. I've read a few threads, but can't seem to get a definitive answer on this one (sorry if it's just me being slow). We'll ship all none valuable things and take everything of sentimental value and real monetary value as hand luggage (jewellery etc). However, how do we insure this, as I assume our UK travel insurance becomes invalid as soon as we're a resident elsewhere?

4) HEALTH INSURANCE. My health insurance with my new employer only kicks in after 90 days of employment. I'm presuming I can take out a personal insurance plan but I know these to be very expensive. I hear that I can still get emergency care for free, even without health cover? If so, is it worth the risk of having no cover for 90 days or is that just too much of a risk? Similar to the above, is my travel insurance invalid as soon as I leave UK soil with the intention not to return in the forseeable future?

5) ACCOMMODATION. We'll be looking for some short term accommodation when we first arrive as we won't have a chance to get out there to view places before June. I've read lots about the crippling effect of no US credit history leading to the need for either 6 months rent up front (which is a lot of money) or a guarantor who earns 75-100 times the monthly rent. Is it ever possible for your employer to be your guarantor? Or does this need to be an individual?

6) INCOME TAX. As I understand it, income tax is similar to the UK and moves up as your income goes up. Seems that my earnings will pop me in the 28% bracket, but is it like the UK where you only pay 28% on the amount earned above the lower bracket threshold? i.e., you don't pay 28% on ALL earnings, just that portion in the 28% bracket?

7) CITY TAX. As we're not yet married, do I assume that we have to file this separately? Is there any leeway for partners?

Sorry for the amount of questions, but hoping these are mostly things that are easy for you to answer, but confusing to a newbie to the USA.

Thanks guys.

Simon
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Old Apr 17th 2011, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: New to New York

As a non-spouse, your fiance won't be eligible for any derivative benefits (immigration or tax) from you. Unless she has her own visa, she can't move here until you are married.
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Old Apr 17th 2011, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: New to New York

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
As a non-spouse, your fiance won't be eligible for any derivative benefits (immigration or tax) from you. Unless she has her own visa, she can't move here until you are married.
......unless she's a live-in one, in which case the difference between the B2 special and H4 are minimal.

Strangely enough if OP marries, then spouse will be better off on a J than on an H1b unless spouse's opportunity for H1b sponsorship are exceedingly good -- e.g. PhD in a nanotechnology or similar.
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Old Apr 17th 2011, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: New to New York

Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
......unless she's a live-in one, in which case the difference between the B2 special and H4 are minimal.
Sorry for lacking the chat, but what do you mean by 'a live-in one'? We've lived together in the uk for 3 years if that's of use? And if so, she could be living with me in the states on a B2 (although not working) until her own h1b comes through? Whilst she's not into nanotechnology, the chances of her getting a h1b are high, just as I have.

Last edited by sosimonowen; Apr 17th 2011 at 10:10 pm.
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Old Apr 17th 2011, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: New to New York

Originally Posted by sosimonowen View Post
Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
......unless she's a live-in one, in which case the difference between the B2 special and H4 are minimal.
Sorry for lacking the chat, but what do you mean by 'a live-in one'? We've lived together in the uk for 3 years if that's of use? And if so, she could be living with me in the states on a B2 (although not working) until her own h1b comes through? Whilst she's not into nanotechnology, the chances of her getting a h1b are high, just as I have.
same sex partner.

As for the questions,

2- bank account, covered in plenty of recent threads

3- don't know, someone asked last week, might have gotten an answer?

4- Depends on your risk aversion don't it...but not a good idea as it'll break continuous coverage.

5- Depends on landlord...ask around....but putting a large deposit often works, or look for private sublet rental, or corporate housing, which won't be cheap.

6- yup.
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Old Apr 17th 2011, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: New to New York

Originally Posted by sosimonowen View Post
Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
......unless she's a live-in one, in which case the difference between the B2 special and H4 are minimal.
Sorry for lacking the chat, but what do you mean by 'a live-in one'? We've lived together in the uk for 3 years if that's of use? And if so, she could be living with me in the states on a B2 (although not working) until her own h1b comes through? Whilst she's not into nanotechnology, the chances of her getting a h1b are high, just as I have.
Yep -- it's a B2 especially for folks in your situation.
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Old Apr 18th 2011, 3:11 am
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Default Re: New to New York

There is no 'free' emergency care.

US hospitals cannot deny medical treatment to someone based on their ability to pay. You will be provided with emergency care, but you will also still be sent a bill when it is done, and it is likely going to be higher than your salary for the next few years (we had one expat a year ago who slipped off a ladder, requiring a medevac helicopter and intensive care. I think the bill was over $400,000 after just three days and they didn't have insurance either).

What that means is if you are hit by a truck, you're going to the hospital in an ambulance and they will patch you up before anyone even mentions the word 'insurance'. However, after they are done they will give you a bill and if you don't pay it will go into the collections process (which is, well, ugly).

Many people abuse the system and don't pay for emergency care (which is why ERs are crowded with people who 'have a headache' and also why the rest of health care gets more expensive to make up for the shortfalls) but you'll be heading into a nightmare if you try this as your option for the first 90 days.

Just get some form of insurance to bide your time.
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Old Apr 18th 2011, 4:04 am
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Default Re: New to New York

Use the following tax calculator to determine the estimated amount of federal income tax that you will owe. The marginal tax bracket tables below the calculator are based on your taxable income (displayed in the center of the calculator). Each marginal tax rate is applied to that portion of your income. Long term capital gains and most dividends are taxed at a maximum 15% rate.

http://www.dinkytown.net/java/Tax1040.html

There is also a 5.65% FICA tax (7.65% for all years other than 2011) for social security and medicare funding.

Also there is a state income tax. The following is the marginal tax rate for New York state residents for 2009 (it may have changed since then). Also I don't know if the this would be on an amount similar to the federal taxable income or if that will change drastically for the state.

http://www.nixonpeabody.com/publicat...l3.asp?ID=2766

Finally New York City has a large number of rent controlled apartments (reduced revenue for property taxes from landlords) and other costs so unfortunately has a city income tax (didn't say where you will be located). If living in New York City, the following is the marginal tax rate. Again don't know if you should use the federal taxable income when using the tables.

http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/2010/inc/n...te_150_201.pdf
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/ser...s_income.shtml

Last edited by Michael; Apr 18th 2011 at 5:45 am.
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Old Apr 18th 2011, 9:31 am
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Default Re: New to New York

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
There is no 'free' emergency care.

Just get some form of insurance to bide your time.
Thanks for the advice penguinsix.
Like you say, feels like a risk not worth taking.
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Old Apr 18th 2011, 9:33 am
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Default Re: New to New York

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Use the following tax calculator to determine the estimated amount of federal income tax that you will owe. The marginal tax bracket tables below the calculator are based on your taxable income (displayed in the center of the calculator). Each marginal tax rate is applied to that portion of your income. Long term capital gains and most dividends are taxed at a maximum 15% rate.

http://www.dinkytown.net/java/Tax1040.html

There is also a 5.65% FICA tax (7.65% for all years other than 2011) for social security and medicare funding.

Also there is a state income tax. The following is the marginal tax rate for New York state residents for 2009 (it may have changed since then). Also I don't know if the this would be on an amount similar to the federal taxable income or if that will change drastically for the state.

http://www.nixonpeabody.com/publicat...l3.asp?ID=2766

Finally New York City has a large number of rent controlled apartments (reduced revenue for property taxes from landlords) and other costs so unfortunately has a city income tax (didn't say where you will be located). If living in New York City, the following is the marginal tax rate. Again don't know if you should use the federal taxable income when using the tables.

http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/2010/inc/n...te_150_201.pdf
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/ser...s_income.shtml
Thanks for all that. I was overlooking the state income tax. Good (and frustrating) to know.
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Old Apr 18th 2011, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: New to New York

Originally Posted by sosimonowen View Post

4) HEALTH INSURANCE. My health insurance with my new employer only kicks in after 90 days of employment. I'm presuming I can take out a personal insurance plan but I know these to be very expensive. I hear that I can still get emergency care for free, even without health cover? If so, is it worth the risk of having no cover for 90 days or is that just too much of a risk? Similar to the above, is my travel insurance invalid as soon as I leave UK soil with the intention not to return in the forseeable future?

5) ACCOMMODATION. We'll be looking for some short term accommodation when we first arrive as we won't have a chance to get out there to view places before June. I've read lots about the crippling effect of no US credit history leading to the need for either 6 months rent up front (which is a lot of money) or a guarantor who earns 75-100 times the monthly rent. Is it ever possible for your employer to be your guarantor? Or does this need to be an individual?

6) INCOME TAX. As I understand it, income tax is similar to the UK and moves up as your income goes up. Seems that my earnings will pop me in the 28% bracket, but is it like the UK where you only pay 28% on the amount earned above the lower bracket threshold? i.e., you don't pay 28% on ALL earnings, just that portion in the 28% bracket?



Simon
4.....git some private insurence 4 2-3million$ to tie u over........ as said by da other poster.....very important.

5.....imh exp. fat ca$$$h deposit really help with da rental process

6.....yep sounds good.
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Old Apr 20th 2011, 4:55 am
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Default Re: New to New York

As far as renting an apartment in NYC it's not easy to do without a credit history or good credit. Do you plan on living in Manhattan or one of the boroughs? It is possible for your employer to be your guarantor. Not all landlords except guarantors either. Let me know if you have any questions about apartment rentals here in the city.

As far as City Tax that will come out of your paycheck. Residents of NYC pay City Tax on top of State, Federal, Disability, medicare and Social Security tax.

Definately try to get some type of insurance befor the 90 days! I don't know if a temporary travel insurance policy would be valid. I know there are other posters who have gotten insurance for the first few months here.
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