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Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Old Dec 23rd 2015, 2:33 pm
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Default Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Hello everyone,

My wife and I will be moving to Pittsburgh in March and we have already arranged some things but there is much still to do. I thought that I would consolidate our move onto a single thread to let people know how we are getting on and to help others along the way. I may also request some help!

1. Visas
My wife has an L1 and myself and our 3 year old daughter will be entering on L2's. The visa's have been issued and are valid for 5 years but work is only for 3 so as to be in line with the L1 Petition. I have posted a Thread called 'L2 Visa and arrest' which details my own visa journey.

2. Logistics
a) Housing
I know that there is much advice about not buying a house in the US until a GC is secured, but we have taken the decision to sell our house in the UK and it is now sold STC. The reason for this is that with the equity form our sale we will be cash buyers, or have at least an 85% deposit on a larger home. Any mortgage or maintenance costs look OK to me compared to the cost of renting.

As cash buyers or with a hefty deposit, this should outweigh the lack of a credit history form all the threads that I have seen.

We plan to get a service apartment in the short term until we find somewhere to buy.

My wife will use her US company office as a C/O postal address until we have our own place. They will forward mail to the UK via Internal Post.

b) Belongings
The company offer a package of 700lbs of airfreight and the rest by container, unlimited weight. Therefore we will be taking most things with us apart form electronics and will have a good clear out first! Storage is included until we have somewhere to call home.

C) Pets
We will be taking our 9 year old Boxer dog with us, but he will only be joining us after we have found somewhere suitable to stay. As yet we are undecided on whether we will use a company such as PerAir or make the arrangements ourselves. He already has a passport and rabies vaccination from trips to Europe.

My wife also has a horse that she wants to bring over. That should be interesting and cost a few $'s! I will update as it happens.

3. EAD
I will be applying for an EAD as soon as we enter on our visas for the first time (January) and will be doing so by post / courier n the hope I do not have to do biometrics. I will then return to the UK to continue in my current job until such time I can work. If I have to return for a biometric appointment, so be it. I do plan to look for work in advance of the EAD being issued but realise that I cannot start work until I have it.

I have never looked for work in the US, and as this is important to me I have employed the services of a professional Resume writhing company (resumewriters.com). I will provide some feedback on how they are. I am a Project Management Professional by the way.

4. Transport
On the advice of others we have arranged a 3 year lease through International Autosource and will collect our car at the end of April. We will also be using the same company for a 2 month rental until our new car is delivered. International Auto have been excellent so far and have thrown in a $300 Gas Card and AIG Travelguard Inbound.

We have both applied for International Driving Permits. PA rules say we can use these for a year but will have to take a full theory, practical medical and eyesight tests to be issued with a PA licence after 12 months.

5. Finances
I have already spoken to PNC Bank in Pittsburgh to confirm that we can both open accounts when we are over in January and also what identification is required. Lets see how this turns out but it should all be fine. I plan to make good use of the AIG package for mobile phones, Car Insurance and possibly a mortgage.

Lots more to do before we move and I am looking forward to the trip in January. I will keep you posted on progress.

Last edited by boltonreddave; Dec 23rd 2015 at 3:33 pm.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Going to miss Chorley FM? Yes, I know it is fictional ...

It sounds like you are progressing well with your plans. In terms of the job hunt, you would be advised to source names of places where you want to work and key contacts now - then set up informal interviews when you are over there, unless you are really in demand in your field ...

A horse? Yes, please do let us know how that works out. Are you planning to make the move permanent at some point, or is it too soon to say? It seems like a lot of upheaval for a temporary move that's all ...

Hoffage
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by hoffage123 View Post
Going to miss Chorley FM? Yes, I know it is fictional ...

It sounds like you are progressing well with your plans. In terms of the job hunt, you would be advised to source names of places where you want to work and key contacts now - then set up informal interviews when you are over there, unless you are really in demand in your field ...

A horse? Yes, please do let us know how that works out. Are you planning to make the move permanent at some point, or is it too soon to say? It seems like a lot of upheaval for a temporary move that's all ...

Hoffage
Thanks for the tip Hoffage. I would love to say that I am in demand but alas no. There do seem to be plenty of openings in my field though so I am optimistic about my prospects.

The plan is to make this a permanent move, GC in the future, otherwise as you say, it is a lot of effort for a few years!
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
.... We have both applied for International Driving Permits. PA rules say we can use these for a year but will have to take a full theory, practical medical and eyesight tests to be issued with a PA licence after 12 months. ....
That is incorrect. Your UK licences would be valid for 12 months (IDPs are worthless if you have a DL in English) so long as you are "visiting", but once you have established residence, indicated by such things as buying/renting a home, starting work, putting your daughter in day care, etc. you have 60 days, per PA DMV. This might be impracticable given the road test (which is absurdly, embarrassingly easy) but it would be in your best interests to obtain your PA license ASAP, and within 60 days of "establishing residency" if at all possible.

Last edited by Pulaski; Dec 23rd 2015 at 3:11 pm.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That is incorrect. Your UK licences would be valid for 12 months (IDPs are worthless if you have a DL in English) so long as you are "visiting", but once you have established residence, indicated by such things as buying/renting a home, starting work, putting your daughter in day care, etc. You have 60 days, per PA DMV. This might be impracticable given the road test (which is absurdly, embarrassingly easy) but it would be in your best interests to obtain your PA license ASAP, and within 60 days of "establishing residency" if at all possible.
Thanks for the clarification Pulaski, this is exactly why I want to share our journey, so that others can provide advice and let us know if we are going wrong.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That is incorrect. Your UK licences would be valid for 12 months (IDPs are worthless if you have a DL in English) so long as you are "visiting", but once you have established residence, indicated by such things as buying/renting a home, starting work, putting your daughter in day care, etc. you have 60 days, per PA DMV. This might be impracticable given the road test (which is absurdly, embarrassingly easy) but it would be in your best interests to obtain your PA license ASAP, and within 60 days of "establishing residency" if at all possible.
Pulaski, I just did a Google Search and found this on PA Licence for Non Residents.

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DV...ub%20195nc.pdf

See the bold section on the first page, stating One Year of Legal presence is required. Is this before of after issue? Odd if before as you then cant comply with the 60 days, but it is unclear.
I will be asking on my visit in January.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
Pulaski, I just did a Google Search and found this on PA Licence for Non Residents.

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DV...ub%20195nc.pdf

See the bold section on the first page, stating One Year of Legal presence is required. Is this before of after issue? Odd if before as you then cant comply with the 60 days, but it is unclear.
I will be asking on my visit in January.
I read that as you need to have min of 1 year remaining on your I-94. I'm sure Mr P or someone equally knowledgeable will be along shortly to clarify it further.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
I am a Project Management Professional by the way.
Do you mean you have the PMI's PMP certification?

If so, good. It is almost certain that the HR drones for any project management job you apply for are going to be filtering out by this fact, among others.

If not, start efforts towards getting it. Now. It is almost certain that the HR drones for any project management job you apply for are going to be filtering out by this.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
Do you mean you have the PMI's PMP certification?

If so, good. It is almost certain that the HR drones for any project management job you apply for are going to be filtering out by this fact, among others.

If not, start efforts towards getting it. Now. It is almost certain that the HR drones for any project management job you apply for are going to be filtering out by this.
Hi Celtic Grid

I am APM (Association of Project Managers) accredited and I also have the PRINCE 2 qualification. I am not sure how recognisable these are in the US though, hence the assistance in Resume writing. I work for a Multinational Aerospace & Defence Company in the UK.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
Pulaski, I just did a Google Search and found this on PA Licence for Non Residents.

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DV...ub%20195nc.pdf

See the bold section on the first page, stating One Year of Legal presence is required. Is this before of after issue? Odd if before as you then cant comply with the 60 days, but it is unclear.
I will be asking on my visit in January.
Immigrant status, is different to tax resident, to being resident for driving license purposes.

You move here for a job and get a rental, you're residing in the state and the 12 month thing doesn't apply.

Basically that means if you're here for medical treatment, to testify in a courtcase or a student who will bugger off in the summer holidays, you don't need to get a local license, well that pretty much sums most of the reasons anyway.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
Hi Celtic Grid

I am APM (Association of Project Managers) accredited and I also have the PRINCE 2 qualification. I am not sure how recognisable these are in the US though, hence the assistance in Resume writing. I work for a Multinational Aerospace & Defence Company in the UK.
So you need to get the PMP. It will make job hunting a lot easier.

APM will be barely recognised. PRINCE2 is recognised in a few specific areas / companies though none I'm aware of in the Pittsburgh area.

For context...I'm in the project management field. I hire PMs. I mentor PMs.

Now trust me...get the PMP! :-)
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
So you need to get the PMP. It will make job hunting a lot easier.

APM will be barely recognised. PRINCE2 is recognised in a few specific areas / companies though none I'm aware of in the Pittsburgh area.

For context...I'm in the project management field. I hire PMs. I mentor PMs.

Now trust me...get the PMP! :-)
Thanks for that celticgrid, I will look into PMP asap.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Immigrant status, is different to tax resident, to being resident for driving license purposes.

You move here for a job and get a rental, you're residing in the state and the 12 month thing doesn't apply.

Basically that means if you're here for medical treatment, to testify in a courtcase or a student who will bugger off in the summer holidays, you don't need to get a local license, well that pretty much sums most of the reasons anyway.
All confusing - See Page 3 of the attached on Who Needs a PA Licence.

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DV.../chapter_1.pdf

This is the 12 month. Who would 'visit' for 12 months?

One more question, we would need to start form scratch and apply for a learners permit before taking the tests. Do I have to surrender my UK Licence when I get the Learners permit, effectively leaving me unable to drive alone until I have a full PA licence? Or is the Licence surrender requirement just for out of state US Licences?


Dave
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
Pulaski, I just did a Google Search and found this on PA Licence for Non Residents.

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DV...ub%20195nc.pdf

See the bold section on the first page, stating One Year of Legal presence is required. Is this before of after issue? Odd if before as you then cant comply with the 60 days, but it is unclear.
I will be asking on my visit in January.
But you will be a resident for the purposes of obtaining a PA Drivers License, .... not to be confused with resident for tax purposes, resident for college tuition fees purposes, resident for voting purposes, resident for buying a gun purposes, or resident for any other purpose, all of which are different.
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Old Dec 23rd 2015, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Our move from Chorley to Pittsburgh

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
All confusing - See Page 3 of the attached on Who Needs a PA Licence.

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DV.../chapter_1.pdf

This is the 12 month. Who would 'visit' for 12 months?

One more question, we would need to start form scratch and apply for a learners permit before taking the tests. Do I have to surrender my UK Licence when I get the Learners permit, effectively leaving me unable to drive alone until I have a full PA licence? Or is the Licence surrender requirement just for out of state US Licences?


Dave
From my experience in the last 12 months regarding PA drivers licence applications.

Although it is not required it is suggested by PennDot (in the link you posted) to obtain an IDP. This will be valid for the 12 months, or whenever it expires.
My understanding is that the 60 days is regarding new residents from other states or Canada. The text you refer to states " if you hold a valid drivers license from another state or Canada ..."

I needed a PA State ID card in order to register my new car from IAS. I could not register the car without it, so basically had to wait until I obtained the state ID card. This should be simple, but you still need all of the documents listed for getting your learners permit.

Once I had my state ID, I took my time and read the manual (your link) to gen up on US traffic laws. I used an app to do practice tests and then took the eye test (look into the box at DMV and read some numbers) and multiple choice test. It is only at this point that you can book the 'skills' test - parallel parking and a drive around the block. There is a wait list for this part. Everything else can be done as a walk in.
My application was sent for additional screening which took 2 weeks. So allow time for this aspect in case it is needed as this delayed me picking up my car further.

You have time to go directly to the learners permit test on arrival. However you do need proof of residency in PA. (Rental agreements and bills etc.)

Hope that helps.
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