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Potential move to East Coast US

Potential move to East Coast US

Old Jun 29th 2013, 8:33 pm
  #1  
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Default Potential move to East Coast US

Hi guys

My partner has been head hunted for a job on the US East Coast (unsure where yet) so I'm doing some research to see if it's a realistic move for us. The salary seems very good (compared to what he gets now) but we don't really know the cost of living over there.

An additional issue that I'm concerned about is my health, as a disabled young person I currently receive Disability Living Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (NI based support group). I'd like to know more about my position regarding these if we moved.

- When would my benefits stop? Would I be entitled to anything in the US?
- Would the fact we're not married cause potential problems?
- Have any of you moved with a long term chronic illness?

Right now we both feel so stressed with the pros and cons and the unknowns. Where on earth do you start with making a decision like this?!
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 12:55 am
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Hi and welcome to BE.

I can't answer all your questions but the cost of living aspect will defer depending on where on the east coast you would be living and working. For example the cost of living differs greatly in North Carolina compared to New York for instance.

I would imagine that if you are no longer resident in the UK then you would not be able to claim disability whilst living in the US. You also need to look into what visa your partner would be coming in on and how that would affect you, as you are not married.

You also would need to consider health care and the costs associated with that.

I'm sure those with more experience of this will happen along on this thread soon and will be able to shed more light on things. In the meantime take some time to read through the other threads and get to know everyone.
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 12:58 am
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

In addition, if it's not confidential.

What line of work is he in and does he have skills that are difficult to find in a U.S. citizen?
When you say headhunted, he has an offer from the actual employer? (For example recruiters don't necessarily count.)
If so can you give an idea of income?
Would you have any choice in location?
Does he qualify for a visa?
If so are you certain that the employer is ready and willing to begin the visa process?
Would you consider marrying if it would make things much easier? (It would and is recommended if appropriate.)

As much background as possible allows contributors to tailor responses to fit your situation closely. There's been many an inquiry that went nowhere due to lack of understanding of the process.

Good luck!

Last edited by Hotscot; Jun 30th 2013 at 1:04 am.
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 1:05 am
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Originally Posted by vixibash View Post
My partner has been head hunted for a job on the US East Coast (unsure where yet) so I'm doing some research to see if it's a realistic move for us. The salary seems very good (compared to what he gets now) but we don't really know the cost of living over there.
The East Coast of USA is huge. There's no way to answer that question without knowing which city you'll be living in.

- When would my benefits stop? Would I be entitled to anything in the US?
My guess is that your UK benefits would stop when you move to the USA. But I don't know for sure. You would not be entitled to anything in the USA, unless you are married to your partner and can be added to his health insurance which is offered by his employer....or unless the employer's insurance also covers cohabitating partners (not all do).

- Would the fact we're not married cause potential problems?
Problems for the visa? Or problems for health insurance? For the visa, you must be married in order to get a derivative visa for you to join him in the USA. If you are currently living together, and can prove it, you might be able to get a Cohabitating Partner B-2 visa, but you might not then be covered by his employer's health insurance. It would be VERY expensive for you to buy your own insurance.

Where on earth do you start with making a decision like this?!
It sounds like your partner is looking at an H1B visa (sounds like this is a new job, not a transfer from his UK employer to a US branch, right?). The potential employer can file the petition on April 1, 2014, for a start date of October 2014. So you have some time to figure things out...don't get stressed.

The number one question your partner should ask his potential employer is regarding health insurance. Does the company provide it, and how much does it cost. And, do they cover cohabitating partners, or do you have to be married. Sounds like those will be your number one factors.

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Old Jun 30th 2013, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Thank you all.

My partner works in export sales and the specific product is made locally to us, so he has local knowledge of it. It would be near impossible to find someone in the US that has export experience and that knowledge.

He has an offer package from the employer but we aren't at contract stage yet.

Income would be circa £40k GBP

The proposal is that he would work for the company for a year in the UK before moving out. That gives time for any training needed and also for the visa process.

Re marriage, we know we both want to go on this journey together and that's something we're considering doing earlier than planned if it makes things smoother.
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 6:51 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Originally Posted by vixibash View Post
The proposal is that he would work for the company for a year in the UK before moving out. That gives time for any training needed and also for the visa process.

Re marriage, we know we both want to go on this journey together and that's something we're considering doing earlier than planned if it makes things smoother.
OK, so he would work for the UK company for 1 year and then get an L-1 visa to transfer to the USA branch. You should get married so that you ca get an L-2 visa to go with him. This visa also allows you to apply for work authorization. It also makes it much easier for you to be included on the employer's health insurance. Before he signs any contract, make sure he asks the questions about health insurance from his employer. This could be a deal-breaker for you, if the insurance isn't good. Make sure he asks about pre-existing conditions.

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Old Jun 30th 2013, 7:47 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

And with all respect, while $60,000 is good for a single person in many parts of the country for two people it's quite low, especially for major cities or popular areas.
Again it all depends on the area as it can be related to housing costs and local taxes.

Last edited by Hotscot; Jun 30th 2013 at 7:51 pm.
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Originally Posted by hotscot View Post
And with all respect, while $60,000 is good for a single person in many parts of the country for two people it's quite low, especially for major cities or popular areas.
I appreciate that but it's almost twice our current income and given that I'm unable to work due to long term illness, it's the best we can do.
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Good luck you guys. You'll get better targeted information here once you have an idea of location. That's the big unknown. (Ask the company if they'll consider a home office, that can give you flexibility and is fairly common here.)
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Originally Posted by vixibash View Post
I appreciate that but it's almost twice our current income and given that I'm unable to work due to long term illness, it's the best we can do.
Whether it equates to 'twice your current income' will be affected by the cost of living in the area you move to and health costs.
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Originally Posted by vixibash View Post
I appreciate that but it's almost twice our current income and given that I'm unable to work due to long term illness, it's the best we can do.
We're trying to explain that, depending on the part of the east you could be moving to, the salary level you mention could be a deal breaker. For instance, in NY, NJ, CT, it might not give you the standard of living that half that sum is currently giving you in the UK. In addition, the type of benefits you currently receive in the UK will no longer be available to you. You should ask for information on the health insurance that would be offered to you by the employer and examine it in detail. It will be a whole new world of deductibles and co-pays -- on top of the premiums -- that you will want to familiarize yourself with in order to make an educated decision on whether this move will work for you. All the best.
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Originally Posted by vixibash View Post
I appreciate that but it's almost twice our current income and given that I'm unable to work due to long term illness, it's the best we can do.
Do you drive? Or do you need public transport to get around?
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 8:30 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

We drive. My partner would receive a work car as well
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

Again, location is key. $60k in the Tri-State area would be a non-starter, in South Carolina it;d be different.

You also need to consider the cost of health care in this income, co=pays etc. Especially considering your ongoing health issues.
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Old Jun 30th 2013, 11:09 pm
  #15  
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Default Re: Potential move to East Coast US

As others are mentioning £40k/$60k does not go that far in a major metropolitan center of the East Coast. In fact, once you factor in health insurance costs you'll be looking at much less take home per month.

You could easily find yourself making more money but living a lower standard of living than you are currently, without the social safety net, friends or family.

It's really going to come down to where you are living and what your expectations are for housing quality, schools, etc. Do you have a city or state in mind?

Here is a city vs. city calculator. Take Anderson, SC (a relatively cheap inland area) vs. Washington, DC. $95,000 in NY would be the same as $60,000 in Anderson.

You can also get an idea of your disposable income at the end of the month with a paycheck calculator:

http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/salary/

Oh, and getting married is basically required for the type of visa he will be pursuing.
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