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Relocation package

Relocation package

Old Oct 18th 2019, 10:09 am
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Default Relocation package

Hi all,
my husband and I are looking at a move to Ohio. We both work for an American owned company and the head office is in there. A position became available which peaked his interest so he applied and it looks as though he is going to be offered the job. A salary has been quoted which is good although he will of course negotiate for more and we have been told “all relocation costs will be covered”.

Having never done this before I’m not entirely sure what we should expect/ask for so I’m after some advice as to what we should insist on and then anything additional which would be a nicety but not a deal breaker. Our list so far:
  • fact finding trip for husband and myself
  • all physical moving costs (flights and shipping of our belongings)
  • immigration attorney costs
  • all visa costs
  • accommodation for 60 days upon arrival whilst we find somewhere to live
  • car hire for 60 days upon arrival whilst we source cars
the following I feel are all extras which I think we should ask for but not expect but please tell me if you think we should insist on any of these:
  • green card sponsorship
  • selling fees on our UK home
  • 1 visit home for the whole family during the 1st year to include flights, accommodation & hire car.
i want to add we would be travelling on an L1 visa but don’t see this as a secondment, this would be a permanent move for us (unless there is any extreme or legal reason which would mean we had to come back to the UK). And the company are very big on “family” hence the idea of a trip home to ensure we keep those strong family links.

anything else worth asking for? I’m a firm believer in don’t ask, don’t get but I can’t think of anything else.

thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 10:23 am
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Default Re: Relocation package

This might help - https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Compa...on_Packages_US

You say you see this as a permanent move, so the 'green card' sponsorship would be an absolute must and at the top of the list for me personally. Otherwise you may not be able to stay, and will also be beholden to the company, tied to them and can't work for anybody else.

Good luck with it.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 12:04 pm
  #3  
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Default Re: Relocation package

if your negotiating, ask for annual flights home while you remain on L visa, that puts a push on them to get the GC faster.... if I was the employer I would reject the car and accommodation, that’s essentially a paid vacation not a family visit.

I would reject selling costs for house as well as an employer, people move house all the time even without moving jobs so it’s a pretty normal expense and you don’t have to sell.

I assume that Ohio is an employment at will state or similar, your terms of employment are unlikely to survive a move to the US (make sure you understand how being fired in the US works in terms of your visa), either way I would ask for them to include moving costs back to the UK if you are let go (redundancy is not really a thing here, you can just be fired/terminated without cause) they likely would not cover if you resigned or were fired for cause but that’s fair as you could do something to get them to fire you if you changed your mind. That should include things like the balance of your rental lease and buying out of car leases etc.

On the GC side they may ask you to sign a contract saying your will pay back the costs if you quit within x years of getting the GC. I think 3 years is a reasonable ask, if your pretty happy with the employer that should not be an issue anyway. And if you did want to move you can just get the new employer post GC to “buy you out” i.e. pay the cost you invite to switch.

Also make sure you understand the tax implications of everything, some things may be treated as taxable income.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

Thank you for the replies so far. Green card sponsorship has gone to the top of the list as has repatriation costs. We are both very happy with our employer so if there was a minimum term assigned to the GC that won’t be a problem and is something we would expect.

As I said in my OP, I believe in don’t ask don’t get hence why we are inclined to request covering our UK house selling costs and the trip home, however if they aren’t agreeable, it isn’t a deal breaker for us. However I do like the suggestion of annual flights home whilst on the L1 visa as a method of speeding up the GC application.

The wiki link was helpful, hadn’t thought of start up costs so will definitely include these as a request, however not a deal breaker. I am aware that colleagues have done 3 year secondments at the head office and they had a tax accountant included in their package so I am fairly confident it will be offered but will make a request if it isn’t.

This is all incredibly helpful, thank you.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

My company provided everything in the OP list. Hotel for family and hire care was limited to 30 days but I would ask for 60 as suggested. Goods shipped over was limited and an allowance was paid to furnish a house in the USA. (We shipped things like our bikes, kids toys etc, but no large furniture or beds)

Before we got the GC the company provided one paid trip home per year for the family plus a guaranteed job at the same grade as when we left. (Not THE job I left but a job at the same grade). They also paid the agent fees to manage our house in the UK which was rented out until we got the GC. Once the GC was achieved we had 1 year to sell our house in the UK and the company picked up the cost of the sale.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

My company relocation had provisions for sale of cars and cancelling lease agreements. Mainly due to time constraints in the final stages of the move meaning that we didn't really have time to hang around to get the best price.
They also provided the services of a relocation company. We had a few meetings with them before we moved and there was also local support on the fact finding trip and at final move. They helped with finding the way around rental properties, DMV and all of the additional 'small' stuff that you kind of forget as it seems simple until you try and do it. It was nice to have someone to call or email with the day to day questions.

We also received help with filing taxes for the first year, especially when you have to handle two locations. I would have also like assistance for the first full year of living in the US, but didn't ask.
While talking taxes, ensure that all payments you receive are 'grossed up' so that you are not liable for the tax owed on anything you receive.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
My company provided everything in the OP list. Hotel for family and hire care was limited to 30 days but I would ask for 60 as suggested. Goods shipped over was limited and an allowance was paid to furnish a house in the USA. (We shipped things like our bikes, kids toys etc, but no large furniture or beds)

Before we got the GC the company provided one paid trip home per year for the family plus a guaranteed job at the same grade as when we left. (Not THE job I left but a job at the same grade). They also paid the agent fees to manage our house in the UK which was rented out until we got the GC. Once the GC was achieved we had 1 year to sell our house in the UK and the company picked up the cost of the sale.
packages are not quite so generous these days unless you are VERY senior in the company!
This is what I am seeing for relocation:
pre-visit is nice but not offered so much anymore. Companies are offering 30 days of paid accommodation upon arrival and this gives you plenty of time to find a rental house/apartment and then register at schools if needed. If they offer the services of a "destination consultant" that will help enormously at getting you settled in quickly.
Accountancy services for the first tax return for each country is pretty normal.
car hire for 30 days.
flights+moving costs to the USA - not many people are getting return flights back each year unless senior execs.
all costs associated with visas - paid.
if the L1 is meant to be a stepping stone to the GC and they have stipulated that the move is intended to be one way then you must ask for the timeline for GC sponsorship. If you are on an L1a visa ( as opposed to L1b) then this should proceed very quickly, Don't leave it open-ended
It is pretty normal that you are required to pay back certain costs if you leave the company within 2 years of GC approval. Usually, the amount reduces each month to zero at 2 years. My OH's company does this but we've never heard of it being enforced. All kinds of tax issues would result for example.
Being given a set amount to cover moving costs is normal - around $10k mark - more/less depending on seniority and company generosity. This is supposed to include selling a house/selling cars at a loss/stopping subscription services early etc.

Now,having said all this. Most multi-national companies already have the moving packages worked out for each pay grade. A little bit of room for negotiation but not much. The best bit of advice to give you is try to negotiate that you go up to the next pay grade band. Even if the pay increase isn't enormous, it is easier to get pay rises within the band than it is to move to the next band - now is the time to try and get that. It might also mean you get a slightlty more generous relocation package.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

An important aspect of this potential move is that the OP's husband applied for the job vacancy - he was not approached by the company to move.

This could mean that the company may not be so open to offer an extensive relocation package.

Where one is approached by his/her company to move to US, the employee is then is a better position to negotiate a big relocation package.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

What city are you looking at. Big weather difference between north and south of the state. Such as Cleveland versus Cincinnati.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

As you see it as a permanent move already, insist on the company starting the Green card process as part of the package. Get that in writing too.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

Thank you all so much for tips and advice. The position has been open in the US for nearly 12 months and only recently opened to UK employees. My husband has 20 years of experience in the field they are looking for. He is currently in a senior management position at the UK office and this role is a definitely a promotion. As i understand it this far, he qualifies for an L1A which is good news.

The location is a little south of Toledo in Ohio. I am les to believe that it is very seasonal (hot summers and cold, cold winters) but I prefer this to boiling hot or freezing cold all year round.

Thanks again for all the advise so far. It really has been a huge help and opened my eyes a lot more to the task ahead of us

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Old Oct 18th 2019, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

Originally Posted by nlg1002 View Post
Hi all,
my husband and I are looking at a move to Ohio. We both work for an American owned company and the head office is in there..

Will they offer you a position, too? It will take a few months to get your dependent EAD, but then you will be able to work.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 7:33 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post

Will they offer you a position, too? It will take a few months to get your dependent EAD, but then you will be able to work.
At the moment there isn’t a position that suits my skill set and as we will be moving with our teenage children, I want to stay at home until I/they establish a support network/friends. As my husband’s new job will involve international travel, I feel I’m best off at home until I have a back up for the times he’s away and I might be stuck at work when the children might need me. Based on this, I’m more then fine with it taking a bit of time for my EAD. The salary offer as it stands is more then enough to accommodate me being at home.

Having said all that, if they were to come up with a position that is impossible for me to turn down, I will more then willing to negotiate a good deal of my own.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

Originally Posted by Phyzz View Post
While talking taxes, ensure that all payments you receive are 'grossed up' so that you are not liable for the tax owed on anything you receive.
It's likely the most important thing about a relocation package these days. Post the Trump tax changes, pretty much all relocation expenses paid by an employer are treated as taxable income.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Relocation package

Originally Posted by Phyzz View Post
While talking taxes, ensure that all payments you receive are 'grossed up' so that you are not liable for the tax owed on anything you receive.
Please excuse my ignorance but can you explain what you mean by “grossed up”? Thanks
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