OT: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects

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Hi, I currently live in England (have done so all of my life) and am
seriously thinking of moving (this country is beginning to really
dishearten me - that's another story though).

A few months ago my company sent me to America to trial some

I really enjoyed the lifestyle there, the weather, stuff is much
cheaper, houses much nicer/cheaper, nice people, ladies :) etc. Also
my American counterparts also got paid a lot more than myself.

I'm just wondering how hard it is to move to America (with regard to
entry requirements, age, trade skills etc).

I am looking at saving money now and moving in 3 to 4 years, at which
point I will be 27 years old. I will by that point have over 6 years
experience with embedded systems, C, DSP and MFC in the communications
field (I graduated in 2001 with a degree in Electronic & Computer
Engineering). I will have also completed my PhD (if all goes to plan).

I am looking to move to the east coast, and am wondering how much
(ball park figure), I would be looking at earning?

The house prices here are really high also, I'm just wondering how
much a 2 bedroom house would cost on the east coast (I'm not sure if
that's answerable, but a ballpark figure for a 2 bed house on the east
coast would be great).

Thanks in advance for any help, hints, or advice, it is very much

Many thanks,


Re: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects

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I know the feeling.

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That's quickly becoming a thing of the past.

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If you wish to emmigrate, your best bet would be to move to India and
become a citizen.

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I suggest you start learning Hindi or Urdu right now, that will give you
a real leg up on getting an American's job.

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In four years, probably about $2.00/hour.

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Re: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects

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If you come through San Diego it is easy. You just have to travel at night
with someone on your back.

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There is no way to tell. You earn what you are worth. Figure anywhere from
$35k to 75k.

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Depends on where it is. In Appalachia they are only a few thousand. In New
York, apartments are 1Million. Across the coast prices vary widely. Figure
an average of $150k to $250k for suburban areas on the coast. I live on the
west coast and average housing prices here are very high so I am just

You're welcome to come to America as far as I am concered. Become a Citizen
if you can.


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Re: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects

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no... he comes to NY on vacation and never goes back to UK.
After Kerry becomes president and gives all illegal aliens citizenship status,
he becomes an instant us citizen...fastest way to do it...

Remove "HeadFromButt", before replying by email.

Re: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects
Actually, I believe that it's our current President that's asked for
amnesty for illegal aliens.

maxfoo wrote:
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Re: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects
<top-post corrected>

On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 23:05:16 -0400, Alan

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Not amnesty as was offered in 1986, but a temporary work program which
the media don't understand (or perhaps think their readers can't
understand) so they simplify it to "amnesty." Complicated, messy, and
unworkable, imo. Fortunately, it's unlikely that it will come to pass.

In fact, I'm suspicious that the plan was nothing more than a way to
let Fox claim he had made progress, while knowing it wouldn't fly.

Kerry, on the other hand, has come out solidly in favor of an amnesty
program, accusing Bush of formulating his temporary worker plan solely
to exploit workers. His actual voting record has been on both sides of
immigration issues. (Not necessarily a bad thing - there are many
issues, and it's complex.)

Al Balmer
Balmer Consulting
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Re: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects

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Not to mention all the inevitable completely unrelated riders tacked on
to just about any bill, which can make an otherwise palatable bill
completely unpalatable.


Re: OT: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects

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You can get a work visa if you can find a us company to sponsor you.
Should be no problem with a phd...

Remove "HeadFromButt", before replying by email.

Re: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects

I moved here about three years ago. Here are my comments :

The embedded job prospects are reasonably good.

Look at salary.com for a ballpark salary. I'd probably pay you around
$50-60K in Houston, but maybe I have a chip on my shoulder about PhD's and
maybe that'd be worth more to other people.

Having said that, do try to get some real experience in product development
(there's a world of difference between a project and a product). Try to get
some hardware experience.

Your first move here will probably be by finding a company that wants to
employ you, then gaining H1-B status (specialized worker). This isn't too
long winded if the company pays for premium service etc.
This visa lasts for three years and can easily be extended to six years.

If you change employer (I did), the visa can be relatively easily

Make sure you get an employer who'll pay for all of this, and has some
experience or will pay a specialized law firm.

That gets you here.

To become a permanent resident you'll need a Green Card. This is very long
winded, requiring Labor Certification and change of status. The whole
process can take several years. If you go to work in a "strategic" area, you
may be able to circumvent some of this "in the national interest". Be
careful, if you change empoyer during this process, it resets the clock.

Make sure you choose an employer who'll support all this and pay for it.

As a general comparison between engineering salaries, T&C's etc between the
UK and US, I'd say it is better paid here, but the cost of living isn't so
much cheaper in the end. I'd say, think of how much "better off" you expect
to be, and it'll be about half that.

There are a lot of culture shocks - some subtle, some less so. I moved to
the South (Texas), I suspect this would be less so in the East or West. If
you're a right winger (lots of people who're sick of Britain tend to be),
maybe this would also be less of an issue for you than it was for me.

Also, I'd be a little careful about exptrapolating from the impression you
get during a short visit. In general (with apologies to my many good
American friends), I've found Americans much better at friendliness than

On the whole, however, I'd say do it - I think it's a great experience to
live in a different culture than the one in which you were raised.


If you have any specific questions about the process, you can Email me at
(delete all the X's and do the obvious)

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Re: OT: Emigrating to America from the UK - Embedded job prospects
Hi Chris,

First, to establish my credentials: I moved to the USA (from
Australia) almost exactly five years ago, and I've been on the east
coast most of that time.

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A slightly OT comment here: IMHO this is not a good reason to be
moving. Wanderlust and discontent is not what a potential employer
wants to hear.

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There are several routes to the US, but for you probably the fastest
route is via an H-1B visa. Age is really irrelevant. I was 24 when I
moved. The only "mandatory" requirement is a bachelor's degree or
equivalent experience, so you're well-qualified. You also need to find
a company that wants to hire you and jump through the hoops of
sponsoring you and obtaining the visa. This can be the difficult part.

An H-1B can be renewed once, and is somewhat portable between
employers. It can be used as the basis for legal permanent residence
("green card") status, but you should be prepared for a very long wait
- ten years from the day you set foot on US soil is a good ballpark
figure. Of course, you could get lucky, as I did, and find one of
those "nice ladies" who wants to marry you :)

ObWarning: If you have any criminal convictions, no matter how
trivial, the process will be long and difficult, maybe impossible.
Particularly - If you have any kind of record with any illegal drug
(and this includes the most minor possible offence you can imagine,
e.g. possessing a pinch of marijuana) then forget about moving to the
USA unless there is a revolution of some kind. It is beyond

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This varies widely, but employment sites like monster.com have salary
calculators that you can use to get a VERY VERY ROUGH ballpark figure.
I would not consider moving unless you have an offer in the low 70s
(I'd consider this rather a low salary for your qualifications, but
see below). If you're heading direct into a senior engineering
position, your starting salary could be in the mid-80s.

Traditionally, H-1B supplicants (not a mistyping) are offered lowball
salaries. With the qualifications you mention, as an H-1B, I'd expect
to be earning in the mid-70s. Once weaned off the H-1B, you could
expect to get at least $10k more (in today's market).

If by "communications" you mean telecoms, that's probably a bad angle
to take; the industry is still in a slump and not really hiring over
here. In general, though, there *are* lots of embedded opportunities
here. I've recently gone back into the job market, and I've had a good
response rate to my resume.

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Again, totally a variable question! In the suburb where I live, which
is in a borough of New York City, a 2br house is a shade less than
US$500,000. Five blocks away, they go for upwards of $750,000. In
upstate NY you could get one for under $150,000. However, this is all
kind of irrelevant. I advise you to rent for at least two years,
better five years, when you come to the States. There are a couple of
reasons for this:

(1) you really need to live around the area for a while to get a good
feel of living costs and quality of life, so you can make an informed
decision as to where to live. For example: In my county, I have to pay
an extra city income tax, but the property taxes (rates) are fairly
low, and groceries are also quite cheap. In Westchester, where I used
to live, there is no city income tax, but property taxes and values
are higher. Groceries are also more expensive up there. But on the
other hand, public schools [in the US sense of the phrase] in the
metro NYC area are appalling, while up in Westchester, they're
relatively good.

(2) it takes at least this long to establish a credit identity, and
you won't get a mortgage without one. Unless you have the wherewithal
to pay cash for your house, you need a credit history and although it
is *possible* to obtain a nontraditional credit report (for mortgage
purposes) that includes overseas information, it is extremely
difficult and complicated and most real estate agents won't handle a
case like that.

I suggest you visit the About.com immigration pages at
immigration.about.com - there are message boards there where you can
discuss many of these issues, and many articles that may provide
useful insight.

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