Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

Relocating to Silicon Valley

Relocating to Silicon Valley

Old Sep 10th 2012, 6:15 am
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Marillionfan is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Relocating to Silicon Valley

Hi all. Cracking site, spent a good three hours reading up so far so well prepared for questions regarding visas etc.

Presently commuting back and forth with my company to the San Jose / Palo Alto area and the discussion has started about applying for a visa to move and work in the US. The company is willing to sponsor so just a question of timing.

Would be looking to bring the family. My questions are, is their a decent British 'International/Private school in the area or would it be better to put a 4 & 7 year old into the public school system( I am afraid I have the classical UK sterotypical views of the US schooling system). Would a budget of $4000-$4500 get a decent 3/4 bedroomed house with pool in San Jose/Palo Alto / Mountain View area or would I need to be looking somewhere else and finally regarding my wife's working. Regardless of visa type in the UK my wife owns her own gift shop. Would the type of visa I had affect her ability to open/rent a premises to do her own thing in the US?
Marillionfan is offline  
Old Sep 10th 2012, 6:29 am
  #2  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 4,896
md95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Originally Posted by Marillionfan View Post
Would the type of visa I had affect her ability to open/rent a premises to do her own thing in the US?
If you get an L-1 visa (intra company transfer) then your wife will get an L-2 visa and she will able to get employment authorization. Once she has that she will be able to work for anyone (including herself) in the US.

If you get an H-1 visa (skilled worker) then your wife will get an H-4 visa and she will not be able to work in the US.

To qualify for an L-1 visa you will need, among other things, to have worked for your employer for at least 12 months outside of the US and be transferring to a position with the same company (or a subsidiary) within the US.

Also, there is a cap on the number of H-1 visas available each year so if you end up with an H-1 the earliest that you could start working in the US is October 2013.

Last edited by md95065; Sep 10th 2012 at 6:34 am.
md95065 is offline  
Old Sep 10th 2012, 6:39 am
  #3  
MODERATOR
 
penguinsix's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong, mostly.
Posts: 5,105
penguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Hi,

The big thing to watch for is the type of visa. Most of the Valley will hire people on an H-1 visa and that results in your wife getting a visa that does not allow her to work, even self-employed. Have they mentioned what type visa they are considering?

As for the schools, we have a bit of a primer on the process:

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Educat...s_in_school%3F

I don't think there is a formal British school in the Valley. You might find some IB program schools or other International schools. Some of the public schools in Silicon Valley are quite challenging with the sons and daughters of engineers pushing academics to an extreme. Areas like Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos Hills will definitely give your kids an experience.

edit: please note public school in the US = government school. International schools are almost all "private schools" with very high tuition.

Last edited by penguinsix; Sep 11th 2012 at 1:17 am.
penguinsix is offline  
Old Sep 10th 2012, 7:02 am
  #4  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Marillionfan is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
If you get an L-1 visa (intra company transfer) then your wife will get an L-2 visa and she will able to get employment authorization. Once she has that she will be able to work for anyone (including herself) in the US.

If you get an H-1 visa (skilled worker) then your wife will get an H-4 visa and she will not be able to work in the US.

To qualify for an L-1 visa you will need, among other things, to have worked for your employer for at least 12 months outside of the US and be transferring to a position with the same company (or a subsidiary) within the US.

Also, there is a cap on the number of H-1 visas available each year so if you end up with an H-1 the earliest that you could start working in the US is October 2013.
Both are options. Obviously the h-1 visa is a bit of a lottery and timing would be October 2013. The l-1 visa is also made a little more complex due to my present relationship with the company. I am presently contracting and so there is a question of concurrency. I would need to convert to permanent employment to set the ball rolling. The offer is there so again would be October 2013. This is not the first time the opportunity has arisen. I previously contracted for two years before going perm for another two years with a tech company in the area but last time decided not to move out because we'd just had a new baby. This is a second bite at the cherry. With that in mind, would an h-1 visa allow me to stay on a contract?
Marillionfan is offline  
Old Sep 10th 2012, 7:30 am
  #5  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 4,896
md95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

For either the L-1 or the H-1 you will need to be employed by the company that sponsors you so I don't see any obvious way that you could continue to be a contractor in this particular scenario (but you might want to consult an immigration attorney of your own to see if they can come up with any other options).

As you realize, since the earliest that you could get out there on an H-1 would be October 2013, you could potentially open up the possibility of an L-1 in a similar timeframe if you converted from being a contractor to an employee in the immediate future (but before doing that you should make sure both that you would be eligible for an L-1 and that the company is willing to sponsor you for that particular visa).
md95065 is offline  
Old Sep 10th 2012, 12:37 pm
  #6  
SUPER MODERATOR
 
Jerseygirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 82,106
Jerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Originally Posted by Marillionfan View Post
Hi all. Cracking site, spent a good three hours reading up so far so well prepared for questions regarding visas etc.

Presently commuting back and forth with my company to the San Jose / Palo Alto area and the discussion has started about applying for a visa to move and work in the US. The company is willing to sponsor so just a question of timing.

Would be looking to bring the family. My questions are, is their a decent British 'International/Private school in the area or would it be better to put a 4 & 7 year old into the public school system( I am afraid I have the classical UK sterotypical views of the US schooling system). Would a budget of $4000-$4500 get a decent 3/4 bedroomed house with pool in San Jose/Palo Alto / Mountain View area or would I need to be looking somewhere else and finally regarding my wife's working. Regardless of visa type in the UK my wife owns her own gift shop. Would the type of visa I had affect her ability to open/rent a premises to do her own thing in the US?
Public schools here are state schools...I presume you mean private schools. If so expect to pay $25K+ for each child per year...plus all the other add ons ie generous donations to the school each year, sports uniforms etc. As others have said check what type of visa your employer will be applying for.

I note you've said that you are commuting to the US. You don't mention what you are doing when you visit but you should not be working unless you have a visa allowing you to work in the US.
Jerseygirl is offline  
Old Sep 10th 2012, 12:41 pm
  #7  
Account Closed
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 38,867
ian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Originally Posted by Marillionfan View Post
With that in mind, would an h-1 visa allow me to stay on a contract?
For an H-1B you would become an employee of the US company. You can work only for the sponsoring company. You can not act as an independent contractor. Your spouse would not be able to work - not even for her own company in the UK. Further, the job must require a Bachelor's degree... and you must either have one or 12 years of progressive employment or some combination thereof (1 year school = 3 years employment).

Respectfully, I suggest you not worry about school for the children, nor housing... until such time as you sort out the visa. Without the visa, nothing is going to happen.

Ian
ian-mstm is offline  
Old Sep 10th 2012, 4:12 pm
  #8  
 
N1cky's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Google Town
Posts: 7,530
N1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Originally Posted by Marillionfan View Post
Hi all. Cracking site, spent a good three hours reading up so far so well prepared for questions regarding visas etc.

Presently commuting back and forth with my company to the San Jose / Palo Alto area and the discussion has started about applying for a visa to move and work in the US. The company is willing to sponsor so just a question of timing.

Would be looking to bring the family. My questions are, is their a decent British 'International/Private school in the area or would it be better to put a 4 & 7 year old into the public school system( I am afraid I have the classical UK sterotypical views of the US schooling system). Would a budget of $4000-$4500 get a decent 3/4 bedroomed house with pool in San Jose/Palo Alto / Mountain View area or would I need to be looking somewhere else and finally regarding my wife's working. Regardless of visa type in the UK my wife owns her own gift shop. Would the type of visa I had affect her ability to open/rent a premises to do her own thing in the US?
For $4-$4.5k You'll be able to get a 3/4 bed with a community pool around Mountain View. If you go to South San Jose you may get a private pool, in Palo Alto, you won't even get the house for that money.
N1cky is offline  
Old Sep 10th 2012, 6:35 pm
  #9  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Marillionfan is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
For an H-1B you would become an employee of the US company. You can work only for the sponsoring company. You can not act as an independent contractor. Your spouse would not be able to work - not even for her own company in the UK. Further, the job must require a Bachelor's degree... and you must either have one or 12 years of progressive employment or some combination thereof (1 year school = 3 years employment).

Respectfully, I suggest you not worry about school for the children, nor housing... until such time as you sort out the visa. Without the visa, nothing is going to happen.

Ian
Thanks I understand your point. I have a Degree. I have 20 years of concurrent employment at a high level and the role would be designed for me. Getting sponsorship is luckily a certainity. I work as an independent consultant for US tech companies (with a very niche skillset) and travel to the US for 'non decision meetings only' :-). The client wants me to go perm.

I was offered the sponsorship before at another company and declined. Some former colleagues of mine have made the move. Ideally we would be looking for a two year stint as opposed to a complete relocation.

Sounds like L1 would be the way to go. I suppose there is no harm in setting both balls rolling and seeing which one gets nearest the pins(I assume that's possible)
Marillionfan is offline  
Old Sep 10th 2012, 10:16 pm
  #10  
Account Closed
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 38,867
ian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Originally Posted by Marillionfan View Post
Sounds like L1 would be the way to go.
For an L-1, you must have been employed by the company for a minimum of 1 year within the prior 3 years. If that's true for you, the L-1 is probably a better fit than an H-1B. Best of luck to you!


I suppose there is no harm in setting both balls rolling and seeing which one gets nearest the pins(I assume that's possible)
It's perfectly okay to have two concurrent visa applications in process. Many people do that and go with whichever one processes first. Given the choice, and if it were me, I'd still hold out for the L-1.

Ian

Last edited by ian-mstm; Sep 10th 2012 at 10:18 pm.
ian-mstm is offline  
Old Sep 11th 2012, 1:46 pm
  #11  
Bob
BE Site Lead
 
Bob's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: MA, USA
Posts: 91,725
Bob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

You mention commuting to the US, to work? On the VWP?

Might want to consult with a immigration lawyer to see what you were doing was actually allowed, or if you were working without authorisation. Company won't get into any real trouble, but you certainly will.

As for pro/cons of H1/L1, plenty of threads going over the pitfalls of both in the immigration forum.

Medical insurance would presumably be one of your other biggest considerations, while commuting :/
Bob is offline  
Old Sep 11th 2012, 6:58 pm
  #12  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Carson City, NV
Posts: 789
TimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of lightTimNiceBut is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
For an L-1, you must have been employed by the company for a minimum of 1 year within the prior 3 years. If that's true for you, the L-1 is probably a better fit than an H-1B. Best of luck to you!
I have this vague recollection that being a full-time contractor might be taken into account for an L1, but that's really proper corporate immigration lawyer territory.
TimNiceBut is offline  
Old Sep 11th 2012, 7:17 pm
  #13  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Marillionfan is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Originally Posted by TimNiceBut View Post
I have this vague recollection that being a full-time contractor might be taken into account for an L1, but that's really proper corporate immigration lawyer territory.
It's an interesting thought. From a UK perspective contractors get caught by IR35 rules that can be used to deem a contractor as a 'Disguised employee'. Obviously as a contractor I ensure my contract is outside of IR35. From a US visa perspective though I'd like the complete opposite. :-)
Marillionfan is offline  
Old Sep 11th 2012, 9:05 pm
  #14  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 4,896
md95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

You should also be aware that, for an L-1, you need to have been employed for at least 12 months outside the US.

So, if you do end up becoming an employee of the company, any time that you spend in the US doesn't count towards the 12 months ...
md95065 is offline  
Old Sep 11th 2012, 9:11 pm
  #15  
BE Forum Addict
 
veryfunny's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: California b4 Colorado b4 Valley of plastic and sand, b4 London
Posts: 2,023
veryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond reputeveryfunny has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocating to Silicon Valley

Yeah, I remember that IR35 but the Tories said that they would get rid of it once in power. When I was in the UK, I hired a accountant who created options around it, it has been so long since I had to deal with it but I do believe that the tax, is not applicable for every contractor.

Well, just one piece of advise on your move, please beware once you get here of the IRS, they can be a nightmare to deal with if you are new to the taxes over here, so I strongly suggest you get a accountant at least for the first two years.

Apart from that Silicon Valley is a lovely place to live, I hope you enjoy it.

Originally Posted by Marillionfan View Post
It's an interesting thought. From a UK perspective contractors get caught by IR35 rules that can be used to deem a contractor as a 'Disguised employee'. Obviously as a contractor I ensure my contract is outside of IR35. From a US visa perspective though I'd like the complete opposite. :-)
veryfunny is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.