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Possible move overseas - maybe to the States...(11 Posts)
I don't know what to do. DH and I have discussed moving to the States many many times over the last few years - it would be an excellent job move for him, and he's (massively) our main breadwinner. Up until now we've (I've?) ended up rejecting the idea, because I think that if we go, we'll find that we never come back - it doesn't take at all long to stay 5-10 years, and in 10 years time, DS will be nearly 18 and wanting to go on to US college with all his friends. The idea of moving to the US and Never Coming Back is just awful.
Anyway, he's now some way through the interview process for what really does sound like a fascinating job, in a field we're both interested in, and although all my fears about going still stand, I'm not sure I can say 'no you have to turn this down' if he does get offered it.
Here are some of the things I worry about (apart from the whole getting stuck there bit):
- me working: my career has been super-flaky since DC2 came along, but I quite like what I do, and although it's home-based I couldn't do it in the US. Also not sure whether any visa DH got would allow me to work in any case.
- friends for me and kids: I don't make friends that easily, but have a really wonderful group of local friends with children the same age. The idea of uprooting the children from their very happy and stable school lives, and friendship world, distresses me hugely. (This is perhaps heightened by the fact that I was an expat child too - uprooted at a similar sort of age to my own children, and really never settled at a school after the experience of being moved)
- distance... family are all healthy, but getting older...
- wanting to come back - let's say we did come back after 3 years, we'd either have to put the children in private schools (we're in London, they'd cost 15k pa+, and we have 3 kids - we might be able to do it, but it's be an utterly life-shaping commitment) or most likely in 3 different poor to mediocre schools, dotted around the borough.
- worry itself: DH and I both tend to 'borrow trouble': we're worriers. And the stakes seem very high when it comes to moving a whole family abroad.
On the other hand...
- the city where we'd live looks amazing
- it'd be a fantastic job for DH, and one I could sign up to supporting
- there must be other things. I guess we could have another baby, though I'm not sure that's what either of us want (and it'd add even more school stress for later!)
I think you need to get the facts.
Which City - then find out the cost of living there. Post here (you can name change if you want) to get more info.
How much are they paying?
You could love it. You could both hate it.
You need to discuss (and maybe even get in writing) what you will do if one loves it and one hates it.
Are you going to sell your UK house or just rent it out?
Yes its hard to get into good London/SE schools, but there are no guarantees you will get into good secondaries even now. London and SE may have pressure on places but there is also a lot of movement, so places do come up.
I think you also need to deal with how you felt growing up. What made it hard for you? Was it an adventure? What kind of countries did you go to? How often did you move? What could have made it better?
Your friends are unlikely to all stay living in the same place, people do move.
You need to know what you do want, and then discuss with your DH.
Be aware that holiday allowance is usually very stingy in the US, 2 weeks per year is not uncommon.
I am here in the US and I understand your concerns. I have been here 10 years now and I have no desire to go back. The reason is that life here is better for me than it ever was in the UK. It is great that DH and I are getting ahead. Private school isn't needed if you live in a good school district and with the way things are going in UK, universities in the UK will be more expensive than US colleges.
If you are going to do this move I would suggest three things:
1 - Get 4 weeks vacation (28 days).
2 - Check the health insurance including what the costs are to you.
3. Check the visa they plan to issue. You want an L1 or L2 visa so if you do end up staying it is easier to convert to a greencard. You also have the ability to work if he has one of these visa's.
Oh and I would not be having another baby unless you want one. You will also be busy with after school activities.
You need more information before you can make a decision either way, as others have said.
We've been in Texas for a year now and although have been living outside my home country for 20 years and moved around a lot, the US was right down at the bottom of my wishlist. However, we've settled well and love it here. DH's career will probably be here for the long term and so will we. Give us some more details once they become clear and I'm sure we can give you some insight.
Wow, that's gone fast butterflies! Great that you're all feeling settled.
Hello and thank you.
Is all v vague at the moment, but it looks like it'd be a pay cut (this isn't necessarily a disaster - it's what we expect for his next step) - so we wouldn't be doing it AT ALL in pursuit of fortune... I think T&Cs would be v negotiable.
Want2besupermum - why are things so good? What makes them so good?
Mummytime - yes, people will move, but I think not that much. There's almost zero turnover at the DCs' school, for example - which of course means they'd never go back there, once we left...
It's a few things. No country is perfect but I like the following things:
1. Homes are generally a better standard and way more affordable in general. While we will be spending serious money on our next home, we started out when both of us were earning $100k combined in a home that was $300k and needed some work. Property taxes are now $12k! Anyway, the fixed rate mortgage over the 30 year life of the loan gave us comfort that at least that part was fixed. We live half an hour train ride from Manhattan and if any suburban area around London our 4 bed 2 bath house with a big garden would be a pipe dream.
2. I love that I can afford to work with two pre-school DC's. I would be 'making the investment in my career' and paying to work in the UK.
3. People don't get drunk like they do in England. Generally people behave better, although they can't drive for toffee.
4. Activities are affordable. Kids are doing music, dance and swimming lessons. DH does badminton, football and darts and I do yoga and pilates classes. Classes are available on weekends so I can go with them.
5. Finally I loved that when I was pregnant with the DC I was able to book doctor appointments at whatever time suited my schedule. My obn group had appointments from 7am twice a week. I also love that I call the paediatrican if one of the kids are sick and I speak to a nurse within 10mins of calling. 99% of the time they tell me to put the kids in the car and the doctor will see us when we get there. They have a 24hr service so if your child is sick at night you can call in and the doctor will call you back to advise you. Everything is electronic so they can bring up their medical records on their computer.
He needs to be on a L visa so your dependent spousal visa allows you to work. This is normally an inter-company transfer visa though, if he is employed directly by an America company it's more likely he'll get a H1-B and your corresponding visa will be a H4 which won't allow you to work. These visas are now taken to lottery as well as applications have massively increased in the last few years. Some American companies get expats over on J visas - don't do this as they only last 18months!
If he is offered a H1-B then get it written into his contract that they will sponsor green cards for the whole family and as soon as you land.
We've been in LA for 2.5yrs. Our biggest problem is DH wants to stay and I eventually want to come home. Otherwise we're having a great time!
Good advice torturedbrow, esp about the green card. I doubt that your dh will be offered an L1 visa as he needs to be employed by the company for a minimum of 12 months before applying for the visa. We are on L1 and dependent visas, applied for green cards in feb this year, apparently they are imminent so takes about 6-7 months although can vary!
There are levels to getting your GC apparently, even if you're on the same visa. Ours started processing last September but big delays caused by the government shut down so they probably actually hit the pile more like December. We're doing the last pieces of paperwork now (medical stuff) so once that's in it should only be another month. Around 9-10months processing time