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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,

My husband has had a job offer for a role in NY, which he has accepted. The company is sponsoring our visas, but are offering no relocation package. That means we are moving at our own cost.

Does anybody have experience in moving to the US at their own expense? We have no idea where to start and are currently looking to move at the end of January. Would it be worth looking at professional relocation services, rather than trying to sort everything out ourselves? We don't have much furniture to take, but will still need to ship things over (books, paintings, etc).

I was doing some research online and it looks like some landlords won't consider anybody without a US credit history. Is that right?

Any advice would be much appreciated!
Thanks, lou
 

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No relo is a bit unusual. Can you tell us which visa the employer will use to move you?

Consider the time period you will stay in the US, items you can replace for less then shipping (small appliances, dishes, pots/pans, linens/towels, ...). What can you not do without? What is your moving budget?

Yes, a lot of landlords will not rent without US credit history; some accept an employer's statement. We have a number of posters in the NY market. You may want to use search option to find some of their posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply, twostep!

Yes, it is a shame about the relocation, although having said that the employer has created the role for my husband because he wanted to be in that location. There was no business need, if you see what I mean. So we are very grateful for the opportunity and for someone to sponsor our visa.

We are going over on an E1 visa, and my understanding is that I will be able to apply for a work permit once we are there. On the subject of visas, do you know whether it is fairly straightforward/easy to change your visa status once there? We would very much like this to be a permanent move, all going well.

We don't have much to move, only things like books, paintings, etc. No furniture. We will sell most of our appliances before we move as they will not work over there, anyway.

I have contacted a few relocation services today and waiting for quotes.

I will have a look for the NY posts on here. Thanks again :)
 

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E1 to Green Card: Labor Certification though employer, extraordinary abilities/multinational manager, alien of extraordinary ability. uscis.gov gives you all details.
My question - an employer you does not relo you will go through labor certification? Is it in your contract?

Why does the employer not file your E2 with your spouse's E1?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The company is filing my visa application, too. I was just under the impression that even under an E2 visa I would still need to apply for a work permit.

We haven't raised the matter of the Green Card with them. As the condition of the E1 is that the move is temporary, we weren't sure how to best approach this. Will look into the Labour Certification now that you've mentioned that.

Many thanks :)
 

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We don't have much to move, only things like books, paintings, etc. No furniture.
That's smart, by the way. The U.S. is a veritable consumer's paradise. It often costs less to buy something in the U.S. (new or used) than shipping it.

I know the U.S. Postal Service has something called an international M-Bag rate which is a little known but useful postal rate for shipping books and other printed materials. The U.S. M-Bag rate to the U.K. is currently (late 2013) $6 per pound, minimum charge 11 pounds maximum weight 44 pounds. That's pretty good these days for air mail, though I certainly do miss the ~$1/pound surface rates which were apparently discontinued in 2007.

Your postal service might have the same service in the other direction -- it's generally a reciprocal arrangement. (And check if your postal service offers an "Economy M-Bag" rate, i.e. surface shipping. That can be a really inexpensive rate for books. Or some might offer a "Surface Air Lift" M-Bag rate.) That said, books are heavy, so unless they're particularly rare/valuable you might want to give at least some of them a pass and/or make the switch to e-books.

If you do use the M-Bag rate, you'll typically package your books into a couple boxes then put the boxes into the "M" sacks. The Post Office seals them after inspection (to make sure you're actually sending books). It's a good idea to attach address labels to the boxes. You'll also fill out and attach a customs declaration form, of course. Exact procedures may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dear BBCWatcher,

That is such useful and helpful information, thank you! We are getting rid of/selling off a lot of stuff and I'm really only bothered about books that have sentimental value for us. Cook books, etc have all been given to friends.

I will enquire with our postal service to see if there is the equivalent of an M-sack. I had never even heard of such a thing! I will make a note of it in my 'moving to America' folder. Thank you again :)
 

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I see you have a U.K. flag, so I assume you're moving from the U.K. The Royal Mail appears to have an M-bag rate. However, it looks like it's a business service. Meaning, your husband's employer might already qualify for the necessary postal volumes (at least £5,000 in contract services, whatever that means), in which case hopefully he could just pay the postage but use the company's Royal Mail account.

The weight range is from 1.5 Kg to 11 Kg for a Royal Mail M-bag. Yes, they do have an economy M-bag service to North America which is advertised as 6 to 12 weeks. I downloaded the Royal Mail's spreadsheet to calculate the price of one 11 Kg economy M-bag to the United States, and the spreadsheet quotes £23.65 as the total postage rate (with a zero VAT for that destination). Which is rather cheap, isn't it? Obviously you'll want to check to see if your husband's employer's mail room can get him some M-bags to send books, because that'll be a cheap way to send them.

Good luck.
 

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The company is filing my visa application, too. I was just under the impression that even under an E2 visa I would still need to apply for a work permit.

We haven't raised the matter of the Green Card with them. As the condition of the E1 is that the move is temporary, we weren't sure how to best approach this. Will look into the Labour Certification now that you've mentioned that.

Many thanks :)
Your permit can be applied for with the visa. There is nothing you can do. It is up to the employer to go through the various steps necessary for an employment based Green Card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dear BBCWatcher

That is brilliant, thank you so much for your help! Yes, we are indeed moving from the UK. The rates for the M-bag are incredibly cheap! I will get my husband to enquire with his employer. Thanks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your permit can be applied for with the visa. There is nothing you can do. It is up to the employer to go through the various steps necessary for an employment based Green Card.
Thank you for the clarification on the work permit. I wasn't aware of that. My husband has a meeting with HR tomorrow, and we can speak to them about it then. Cheers :)
 

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your employer is shafting you with an E-1

Qualified treaty traders and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-1 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-1 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated

there is no direct path to a green card

any childen must leave the US at 21 ...nor can they ever work
 

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your employer is shafting you with an E-1

Qualified treaty traders and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-1 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-1 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated

there is no direct path to a green card

any childen must leave the US at 21 ...nor can they ever work
Davis - help me out please. I was always under the impression that E1 can lead to GC even though it carries no immigration intent. All wrong or considerable effort on employer side?
 

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Most relocation companies won't ship anything under 1500 lbs. Even fedex and ups will charge 900-1100 dollars for four boxes weighing 50 lbs. For paintings and books it might be cheaper to pay the extra baggage fee. Just wrap them really well and keep it under 50 lbs. For the first checked bag it is $100 anything after that is an additional $200. Just make sure its under 50 lbs or you will pay an additional fee for you bag being overweight.
 

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Yes, Buzz, I think airline baggage (or excess baggage) is probably a good path for the paintings, though be careful of insurance and liability limits if they're valuable. (A couple small paintings might even be suitable as cabin baggage.) The Royal Mail's economy M-bag (if available via the employer's mail room) is likely to be the best path for the books.

If airline baggage doesn't work for the paintings then again the Royal Mail might be the best option, oddly enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
your employer is shafting you with an E-1

Qualified treaty traders and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-1 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-1 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated

there is no direct path to a green card

any childen must leave the US at 21 ...nor can they ever work
The reason they went for an E1 is because my husband has been a contractor for this company, not an actual employee. They said they couldn't do an L1, as that required him to be a permanent employee for a year before the visa application. Their immigration consultants told them that E1 was the best way forward. Yes, we do have to maintain the intention to depart, which is why it wasn't our favourite option, but they said it was the best one.

With the H1, my understanding is that there is a limited number of them per year and companies can only apply in April for the visa to be issued in October. This year's quota was already full. The H1 was another option they looked into.

Having said that, we were contacted by their legal/immigration team yesterday with forms to complete for the visa process, and on the forms it said they are applying for an H1 now. Hmm...so we are a bit confused. My husband asked for clarification last night, and we are waiting to hear back.

We don't have any kids, so them having to leave when they are 21 is not an issue for us.

On another note - and I will search through the forum for this - on the form it asks for your I-94 details. Since we are travelling under the Visa Waiver Scheme, are we still required to complete that? We tried retrieving the details from the I-94 Number Retrieval on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website, but it just comes up with 'no results found' :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Most relocation companies won't ship anything under 1500 lbs. Even fedex and ups will charge 900-1100 dollars for four boxes weighing 50 lbs. For paintings and books it might be cheaper to pay the extra baggage fee. Just wrap them really well and keep it under 50 lbs. For the first checked bag it is $100 anything after that is an additional $200. Just make sure its under 50 lbs or you will pay an additional fee for you bag being overweight.
Hi Buzz,

We only have about four paintings we really want to take with us, so going down the route of the extra baggage fee might be a good option for them. They will definitely be under 50 lbs! Another good piece of advice - thanks very much :)
 

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Since the company is not providing you with a relocation package, are they providing Group health insurance for you?

Even with the changes in the health system here and the availability of the health insurance exchanges I would be very wary of moving to the US with a company who does not offer Group health insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Since the company is not providing you with a relocation package, are they providing Group health insurance for you?

Even with the changes in the health system here and the availability of the health insurance exchanges I would be very wary of moving to the US with a company who does not offer Group health insurance.
Hi Crawford,

Yep, the health insurance is provided. I should also add
that there was a choice between relocation and salary increase and
we settled on the latter. Which probably works out better in the long term
but is a bit of a pain at the moment :)
 
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