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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are American citizens, looking to live and work in the UK (London ideally). My wife, as a teacher, has found a few American schools in the UK that will sponsor their hired teachers. I work in insurance, for an American company albeit with a strong presence in the UK. My initial attempt at transferring to our London office was unsuccessful on the grounds that the cost of hiring an expat were too great for a job (commercial insurance underwriter) which is not as "specialized" or highly skilled as others. With that said, I plan to make a second attempt at a transfer, this time with the offer to cover any extra costs associated with my hiring. From what I have been able to find through the UKBA website and other sources, costs to not appear that unreasonable (a few thousand between the cost to sponsor, cost of visa, moving etc). However, I imagine there are costs to a company that I have not considered, so I am looking for any additional insight on the costs a company incurs when hiring/transferring an American to their UK branch.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Travis
 

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It's not just about costs and your covering the costs isn't the only obstacle. In order for an employer to transfer you they 1st have to prove that there is no one in the UK or the EU that can fill the position. That's about 500 million people. There are just 20,700 work related visas available per year for UK business to employee non-EU job candidates. They are only going to go to the best, brightest, most highly specialized and skilled workers with unique talents. It seems as if you've already been told that your talents are not highly skilled or specialized enough. Should your wife be able to find someone to sponsor her visa, you would be granted a visa as her dependent which would allow you to seek employment in the UK.
 

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My wife and I are American citizens, looking to live and work in the UK (London ideally). My wife, as a teacher, has found a few American schools in the UK that will sponsor their hired teachers. I work in insurance, for an American company albeit with a strong presence in the UK. My initial attempt at transferring to our London office was unsuccessful on the grounds that the cost of hiring an expat were too great for a job (commercial insurance underwriter) which is not as "specialized" or highly skilled as others. With that said, I plan to make a second attempt at a transfer, this time with the offer to cover any extra costs associated with my hiring. From what I have been able to find through the UKBA website and other sources, costs to not appear that unreasonable (a few thousand between the cost to sponsor, cost of visa, moving etc). However, I imagine there are costs to a company that I have not considered, so I am looking for any additional insight on the costs a company incurs when hiring/transferring an American to their UK branch.
Intra-company transfer is different from Tier 2 general, in that the sponsor - UK subsidiary or branch of your US employer - doesn't have to prove shortage of local applicants. There are requirements you must meet, which award you points which go towards meeting your eligibility criteria, such as salary level, how long you've worked for them and qualification/experience. Also intra-company transfer isn't subject to a quota that nyclon mentions.

The cost to your employer sponsoring you for intra-company transfer isn't huge. There is the cost of becoming a registered sponsor for the first time, between £310 for a small company and £1025 for a large one and £175 every time a sponsorship certificate is assigned. Then there are other hiden costs like drawing up an initial application to become a sponsor (which includes a personal visit by UKBA staff to check its books and premises), maintaining record, informing the UKBA for any changes and so on.

So to become eligible for intra-company transfer, you don't need to be highly specialised or have shortage skills - your employer just have to confirm your services are needed in UK, that you are an established employee with experience and that you will be paid a salary above certain levels. There are detailed regulations covering these and other points for your employer, but for an established company, it isn't too onerous and many thousands come over to work in UK in this way.

If an American school can sponsor your wife for a Tier 2 visa, then as stated, you can apply as her dependant and will have the right to work. Her UK salary must be enough to support the both of you, and any children, without recourse to public funds, and you can't take into account your potential earnings in UK.
 

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Be careful, too, about offering to cover the "additional costs" of your transfer. That sounds vaguely like some of the scam deals used to entice illegals into the UK and EU (what is often referred to as "human trafficking"), and in some places (don't know about the UK regulations) may be considered illegal or tantamount to "bribery."

There are also the internal policies of your employer to consider. For some larger companies, there are differences between transferring an employee overseas on "the expat payroll" vs. on "local payroll." The expat payroll may be governed by companies policies like, subsidizing the sale or sub-let of your home in the US, tax equalization, tax preparation assistance, providing a car or housing assistance, paying for your children's schooling, or maintaining your US benefits while you're working overseas.

On the local payroll, those costs are considerably less, but then you're a permanent employee of the UK office and they may prefer to make their own choice of who should fill a given position rather than taking the corporate "mole."
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's not just about costs and your covering the costs isn't the only obstacle. In order for an employer to transfer you they 1st have to prove that there is no one in the UK or the EU that can fill the position. That's about 500 million people. There are just 20,700 work related visas available per year for UK business to employee non-EU job candidates. They are only going to go to the best, brightest, most highly specialized and skilled workers with unique talents. It seems as if you've already been told that your talents are not highly skilled or specialized enough. Should your wife be able to find someone to sponsor her visa, you would be granted a visa as her dependent which would allow you to seek employment in the UK.
Thanks for the response. While I am aware of the limited number of non-UK/EU citizen work visas, I figured since the response I got was around the cost I would do my research there and figure out what I was up against in that realm.

Your reponse does bring up another idea that I initially looked into but thought I found an unsatisfactory response, which is if my wife is sponsored by a school there, what are my limitations for working if I apply for a visa as her spouse? I'm going back through the UKBA website right now, but no luck. All the info I can find regarding spouses is if I am marrying a British national. Any help or guidance would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
To Joppa:
Per my response to ncylon, I cannot find any info regarding my limitations in finding a job if I apply for a visa as a spouse. Everything I'm currently finding is only in reference to me applying for a visa as the spouse of a UK citizen. My assumption is that I would still have to be 'sponsored' by any company I applied to if I were going over as a spouse. Is this not so?
To Bev:
Well the 'additional costs' I was referring to are basically what you touched on: cost of housing/transportation in the UK, sub-letting our house in the US, tax services, etc. I think you may be dead on in your idea of the 'local' vs 'expat' payrolls.

Thanks for the help.
 

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which is if my wife is sponsored by a school there, what are my limitations for working if I apply for a visa as her spouse?
There are none. Being a dependent of someone with a sponsored visa allows to get any kind of employment that you can. You don't need further sponsorship. However, if she loses or quits her sponsored job without having another sponsored job then, both of your visas are cancelled which means you must leave the country.
 

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There are none. Being a dependent of someone with a sponsored visa allows to get any kind of employment that you can. You don't need further sponsorship. However, if she loses or quits her sponsored job without having another sponsored job then, both of your visas are cancelled which means you must leave the country.
Plus, as I have said, to get your dependant visa, you must convince UKBA that you have enough resources without recourse to public funds. You can include your savings from US plus your wife's salary, but not anything you hope to earn in UK. Once granted, you can take any job you like (except training position for doctor or dentist). UK is quite generous in this, as some other EU countries don't give work privileges to 'trailing spouse', such as France, except where they are married to a French or EU national.
 
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