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Notice periods UK vs US

Notice periods UK vs US

Old Jul 8th 2013, 6:06 pm
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Default Notice periods UK vs US

Here in the UK my husband and I both must give at least 3 months' notice when resigning from our jobs. We're considering a move back to the US that will be at least partly dependent on my husband getting a job offer (so hopefully not having to risk a period of unemployment). Is the three-month notice thing a big turnoff to US corporate employers? Do they tend to hire someone who can start sooner? Hoping that someone on this board has some experience/insight. Thanks!
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
Here in the UK my husband and I both must give at least 3 months' notice when resigning from our jobs. We're considering a move back to the US that will be at least partly dependent on my husband getting a job offer (so hopefully not having to risk a period of unemployment). Is the three-month notice thing a big turnoff to US corporate employers? Do they tend to hire someone who can start sooner? Hoping that someone on this board has some experience/insight. Thanks!
Just so others reading this will know, you are doing a DCF Immigrant Visa process through London, is that right? One of you is a USC, and one of you is getting an Immigrant Visa.

In answer to your question, I'd say it totally depends on the job. Perhaps some employers are willing to wait 3 months, some are not. Personally, my opinion is that they'd want someone who can start sooner.

I take it your husband is the USC and has the freedom to go to the USA at any time to begin working, and his only issue is wanting to give 3 months notice to his UK employer? He's not the one applying for the visa, right?

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Old Jul 8th 2013, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Yup, Rene, we are doing DCF for a CR1 visa.

I'm the USC and my husband is a European citizen. We currently live in the UK. He's the principal earner in our family so even though I would be looking for jobs in schools in the US, the move wouldn't make financial sense for us unless he were also able to find a good job there.

It would probably be a lot simpler if he were the USC. As it is, even though he's got a strong CV in an in-demand sector in the US (science/tech research), I worry that the combination of waiting on his immigration status to be clarified AND the three-month notice period will count against him as he begins looking for jobs in the US.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Lots of states are what are known as "employment at will" states which basically means either side can up and end it whenever they want though I think 2 weeks is customary/polite. Three months is therefore a relative eternity in comparison. If they really want him sure they'll wait but given the current job market it's tough to say.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

2 weeks is the standard here. You really don't see much longer than that normally.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
I'm the USC and my husband is a European citizen. We currently live in the UK. He's the principal earner in our family so even though I would be looking for jobs in schools in the US, the move wouldn't make financial sense for us unless he were also able to find a good job there.

It would probably be a lot simpler if he were the USC. As it is, even though he's got a strong CV in an in-demand sector in the US (science/tech research), I worry that the combination of waiting on his immigration status to be clarified AND the three-month notice period will count against him as he begins looking for jobs in the US.
Thanks for clarifying that you are the USC, and it's your husband getting the visa.

Unfortunately, those ARE two strikes against him. He won't be eligible to begin work until he enters the USA using his Immigrant Visa. He shouldn't give up his job until he has the visa in hand. He will need to use the Immigrant Visa by the expiration date (6 months from the date of the medical exam).

Perhaps a tentative schedule could go like this: Get Immigrant Visa in hand. Give 3-month notice at work. Apply for US jobs. When it gets down to the wire of having to use the visa, decide whether you want to move to the USA without him having a job ahead of time, or not. If not, then you'll just lose the visa and will have to re-apply at a later date if you want to move to the USA in the future.

Honestly, it is way more difficult to get a job in the USA from abroad, than it is once inside the USA. My advice is, if you definitely want to move to the USA, then when the time comes, make the leap and survive on savings and your ability to work, until your husband finds a job.

Rene
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
Here in the UK my husband and I both must give at least 3 months' notice when resigning from our jobs. We're considering a move back to the US that will be at least partly dependent on my husband getting a job offer (so hopefully not having to risk a period of unemployment). Is the three-month notice thing a big turnoff to US corporate employers? Do they tend to hire someone who can start sooner? Hoping that someone on this board has some experience/insight. Thanks!

If he's looking for a job in academia, then 3 months won't seem unusual.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 7:19 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Not academia, but private pharma/biotech.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 7:21 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Practically speaking, do most people working in Europe pass through a sort of transitional unemployment period before finding work in the US? Three months seems like a pretty typical notice period here.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
Practically speaking, do most people working in Europe pass through a sort of transitional unemployment period before finding work in the US? Three months seems like a pretty typical notice period here.
I don't know about most, perhaps many, but at least occasionaly, yes.

If you are moving on an employment visa, obviously there is already a job waiting for you but for the family based ones it is likely. The length of that period will vary.

That your husband is doing a CR-1 is good, because he will be eligible for work upon arrival, unlike the K1 (which I did), where one has to wait for employment authorisation first.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 7:33 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
Practically speaking, do most people working in Europe pass through a sort of transitional unemployment period before finding work in the US?
For those who are coming to the USA on a marriage-based visa via a USC spouse, yes.

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Old Jul 8th 2013, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
Practically speaking, do most people working in Europe pass through a sort of transitional unemployment period before finding work in the US? Three months seems like a pretty typical notice period here.
Three months was certainly not typical when I left London 12 years ago! IME one month was pretty much standard.

Assuming he is truly locked in to three months notice, he could go to the US on holiday for a week or two during his notice period to explore employment opportunities, or even ahead of putting in his notice, to do some on-the-ground fact finding on how easy it might be for him to find work.
Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
For those who are coming to the USA on a marriage-based visa via a USC spouse, yes.
Most, yes, but not all. I started in New York (in a new job for a company I had not previously worked for) just 12 calendar days (incl two weekends) after leaving my job in London.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 8th 2013 at 7:50 pm.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It might (would) help if we knew what sort of business your husband works in, as to whether/ why the notice period would be so long?


Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
Not academia, but private pharma/biotech.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

I worked in the UK in academia and had a 3 month notice period. I spoke nicely to my HR manager and requested I only serve a month instead which was acceptable to the US company.

If they say no, you can still hand in your notice and not turn up, the chances of them pursuing you through the courts are slim. But you will have burnt a bridge.
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Old Jul 8th 2013, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Notice periods UK vs US

Originally Posted by vtcarter6 View Post
Not academia, but private pharma/biotech.
Many of the large biotech companies (Amgen, Genentech, etc.) are used to having to wait for employees since many (especially highly specialized skills) have a hard time filling the positions so they hire recruiters or have wait long times for H1-B employees from overseas. If he has the experience in the specialty that they need, there shouldn't be much of a problem.
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