ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.

Trailing spouses of oil and gas sector

(45 Posts)
froginthepond Sat 12-Apr-14 10:50:24

I was wondering if there were any trailing spouses on here who have husbands in the oil and gas sector. My question i wanted to ask is if you moved for dh's job on an expat package where did you move to and were you allowed to find employment too? smile

Terrortree Sat 12-Apr-14 10:58:13

Not a trailing spouse but I do know something about this.

It depends on where you go - if you go outside of Europe, usually spouses cannot work - it is a condition of the visa. One way round it is to get a job with the Brit. Embassy or Brit. Council sometimes - but for that you'll need to live in the capital. Some people work on the quiet usually for local wage (which can be very poor be does keep you sane).

fatowl Sat 12-Apr-14 11:24:14

I'm an oil and gas spouse, been in Asia 10 years

My kids were younger when we moved so I was happy to be sahm. I worked in childcare anyway, there is no regulation at all so I wouldn't do it here

I've recently done a CELTA course, so looking into moving into esl teaching, which is transferable if we move again

froginthepond Sat 12-Apr-14 11:29:26

Thanks for the replies, we were looking at Australia, my background is in the health sector was hoping to use my skills somewhere else. Australia looked like the perfect package as i wanted to work in drugs and alchohol but i am wondering if that would be possible on an expat relocation? hmm

Terrortree Sat 12-Apr-14 11:33:39

You'll need to check with Australian Embassy for the exact requirements of your visa. If you are a qualified health professional, then it is likely that your skills would be valuable to them. Australia is very strict on visas so don't fudge them is my advice. Sometimes, you can get your visa amended after you've arrived once you have a firm offer.

froginthepond Sat 12-Apr-14 11:43:01

Thank you Terror, we would look for a complete expat package but i am a qualified health professional and i want to be able to work overseas although ds would be the main person applying but i am very much a person that has to work because i love working with people smile I really could not relocate and do nothing. Can i ask if people have not been able to work what do you do? I am happy to be involved with local charities but i find it nice to earn a bit of my own money too hence looking for somewhere i can gain paid employment as a trailing spouse.

froginthepond Sat 12-Apr-14 11:44:38

would be funny if ds was getting the job at 4.5 meant dh. grin

shellybr Sat 12-Apr-14 13:25:36

My husband is not in oil and gas but I am in Australia. You will probably come out on a 457 visa which is the usual temp working visa,you would be allowed to work on that. Your main issue will be getting your qualifications recognized but you should be able to start that process before you came over. If you are coming over to WA and have school age children be aware from next feb it will be $4000 for the 1st child and $2000 for each child after that per year for state school.

froginthepond Sat 12-Apr-14 14:01:56

Hi Shelly thanks for the reply, from what i have looked up the same course i studied is available to study in Oz so i did not think it would be a problem. It is a nursing background i have but i dont want to be a nurse right away i would really like to work for drug and alcohol charities if thats possible. I am no longer on the nursing register here and i cannot return to practice as the university i studied at no longer does the return course and i can move across the country here to do it somewhere else, I am aware that this is a barrier. I had looked at the ME and expatwomen has some good info re jobs but i really wanted to have more choice re work if i could.

froginthepond Sat 12-Apr-14 14:03:13

*cannot move in UK to do course not can sorry.

butterfliesinmytummy Sat 12-Apr-14 15:27:19

Not Australia but dh is in oil and gas and we've done 10 moves in 20 years. We've been married 12 years so before we were married I found work locally where I could be sponsored by an employer (ie had a working visa independent of dh). Never been an issue. Currently looking for work in the USA where I can have a month off in the summer ..... Might have to work at dds school....

SavoyCabbage Sat 12-Apr-14 15:32:12

My dh works for a mining company but gold. We are in Australia though. The mining side if things is really slowing down now.

froginthepond Sat 12-Apr-14 22:02:30

wow 10 moves in 20 years butterfly! shock Are you in Houston now by any chance? Can i ask where was your favourite place to live? We want to move somewhere we can stay long term should the work allow and we can buy a house.

butterfliesinmytummy Sat 12-Apr-14 23:47:06

Yes, we met while we where both working in Paris (dh is Scottish, I'm English), moved to Singapore, Azerbaijan, Dubai, singapore again, Spain, Paris again, Scotland, singapore again and now houston Texas. All moves with company expat package but now dd1 is 9 and we needed to figure out where best prospects for dh's career progression and kids education are. We'll probably stay here for the next 10 years at least and our expat package is slowly converting to local.

My favourite place was paris but we didn't have kids then. We both worked long hours, got paid really well and had an amazing lifestyle. Can't imagine it would be the same with dcs. With kids we love singapore although houston is shaping up pretty well too.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Sun 13-Apr-14 00:06:02

I'm an oil spouse. We relocated to Canada 3 years ago. DHs work permit was very specific. He could only do this job for his company, nothing else. Mine was a bit more relaxed. I could do anything except education and agriculture. We now have Permanent Residence so that doesn't matter anymore.

DHs company paid for everything - the visas, shipping etc. even gave us a deposit towards our purchase and a contingency fund to cover installations, connections, having my qualifications assessed etc.

vehiclesandanimals Sun 13-Apr-14 17:19:07

I'm an oil spouse too. We are in Africa, on an expat package (only real way to do it here). We have never done a "mainstream" oil and gas posting, only off-the-beaten-track exploration ones.

I am not able to work here due to visa restrictions, but to be honest even if I could overcome these (and I could, although there's a long process), there is no work in my chosen field, and the day to day management of our lives takes up quite a lot of my time. We have a lot of domestic help but I am very clear that I don't want the children to have an expat style upbringing, so make sure that I am as involved in their day-to-day lives as I would be in the UK (doing the school run, making their packed lunches, cooking their supper, helping with homework and playing with them). And there is no just popping to Sainsburys - whole mornings are lost in the market.

We would like to settle down ultimately on a non-expat basis (grass is always greener!); I would like to return to a paid career, and I would like to be able to give the children freedom which they cannot have here, so I think we'll be looking at either the UK or Canada in the long run.

beccajoh Tue 15-Apr-14 11:04:43

We're just waiting for confirmation of our move to Saudi, working for Aramco based at Dhahran. I'm currently a SAHM to DD and DS , 21m and 12 weeks. It'll be our first expat adventure, probably the only one as DH actually works in television so oil and gas isn't an obvious industry for him to work in.

I can't envisage that I'll be working at all whilst we're there. I wouldn't be working anyway if we stayed in the UK, not until both DCs are in school anyway. Our plan is to go for 3/4/5 years - long enough to pay off the mortgage and get a decent financial cushion under our belts. Who knows though, we might stay longer!

Megrim Tue 15-Apr-14 19:12:25

Another one here too - England, then Houston, and have been in Aberdeen for the last 13 years (DH still regards this as a temporary posting!). I didn't work when we were in Houston as DS1 was still very young, so made the most of being a SAHM - we were with Schlumberger so met other wives through their spouse's association, made friends with our realtor who took me out and showed me the sights, and spent a lot if time sight seeing and doing stuff round the city.

Many of the mums locally here have been expats too, and you get used to people coming and going.

froginthepond Tue 15-Apr-14 22:15:21

Its been really interesting reading all the replies thank you! Megrim how have you found Aberdeeen? I think its somewhere thats like marmite you either love it or hate it!smile After focussing our research on Perth Oz im now looking at Houston. For those that have been in Houston how did you find it?

butterfliesinmytummy Wed 16-Apr-14 00:53:36

I'm in houston! Moved here last summer from singapore. Life here is easy, you can get and do any thing, we are at the beach in florida this week (9 hours drive to white sands from houston). Weather is hot and sticky in July and August but not as bad as singapore. People are friendly and polite and it's pretty cosmopolitan, lots of Europeans so not the "don't have a passport" mentality you can find elsewhere. Traffic otoh is a nightmare, just make sure you are within a commutable distance of work and schools (dh is 12 minutes to work, can take 40 mins on a bad day, kids are 20 mins to school, can take 40 mins but this is british school so not our local one).

We're pretty settled now and will probably be here for the foreseeable, just applied for green cards.

butterfliesinmytummy Wed 16-Apr-14 00:56:03

Meant to add, if you're moving to the USA, be aware that you are taxed on worldwide income, we've just taken a hit on tax for uk rental property. Also, if you move on an L1/2 visa (intra company transfer) you can apply for an employment authorization which means you can legally work here too.

froginthepond Wed 16-Apr-14 09:29:46

Thanks Butterflies, I was aware of being taxed on income in the UK. We plan on selling our property here as we dont want to return here. Dream house location not so much. Dh used to drive for 1 hour each way to work but gave it up to go offshore instead, the family time seems much better now. We would not be doing an in company transfer as Dh is a self employed contractor so he would be applying for a expat staff position with a new company. He has been to Houston before and we both have been to Louisiana (I never liked it) In fairness i was only there a week but found the people too backwards I prefer somewhere more cosmopolitan. smile

twowasthemagicnumber Wed 16-Apr-14 22:26:43

I'm going to politely suggest that if you want to make a success of an expat posting, you need to go with an open mind, really get to know the culture of the place which you move to, and try to avoid making sweeping generalisations such as the people there being "too backwards" after only a week....

Apatite1 Thu 17-Apr-14 19:42:47

Beccajoh, I grew up for a good few years in Dhahran. Happy to answer any questions you may have!

froginthepond Thu 17-Apr-14 19:56:41

Thanks twowas, my error. I found the people isular. We were not there on an expat posting but dh had some work to do and i was flown out as it was over Christmas. I spent a week hanging out with locals and it was not to my taste, the area felt too remote and as lovely as the locals were apart from the open racism they were the kind of people that never had any interest of life and the goings on of the rest of the world outwith their area. A bad thing? well if that floats your boat why not but at the end of my time i made an opinion that would base if i return there as an expat and the answer was no for that reason. Im sure other people would have different experiences but that was mine. Im very aware that if we become expats i could fall into the trap of living in the expat bubble and never mingling with other cultures but its something i know is important. If i taste an apple and hate it do i have to eat the whole thing before i am allowed to form an opinion on it? I like green ones by the way smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now