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Transfer From US job to UK job...Tips, tricks, etiquette :)

Transfer From US job to UK job...Tips, tricks, etiquette :)

Old Dec 14th, 2013, 11:08 PM
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Transfer From US job to UK job...Tips, tricks, etiquette :)

Hello Everyone!

I am transferring jobs from a company in the US to that same company in the UK. I have literally been in love with your country and its people/culture for as long as I can remember, I study your history just for fun lol...ps if it helps LOVE Top Gear

Basically, though, for myself and my family I am looking for any tips moving...Im originally a southern belle and was taught being polite and proper etiquette was first and foremost...but what I might thinks is being friendly and polite might not be in a "foreign" country. Also, where to to look for a safe and inviting area to live in since I have a mini me (toddler)

My goal is to make a smooth transition, not offend anyone, learn everything I possibly can, be as involved as I can and make a suitable life for myself and my family.

*Goal is towards Farnborough
*Education and Open Job Market would be excellent to throw in too

Thanks Everyone.....and I appreciate all honesty, I take nothing offensively!
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Old Dec 14th, 2013, 11:53 PM
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Welcome to Fodors . . .Just a couple of quick comments right now.

>>Goal is towards Farnborough>Education and Open Job Market would be excellent to throw in too
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Old Dec 14th, 2013, 11:54 PM
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The UK Top gear is filmed near Farnborough (Waverley) The test track is not there though.
I would suggest you look for an expat website, with a forum
Also read this:
http://uk.angloinfo.com/
It is not only in work situations you can commit faux pas.
Just learn as you go along.
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Old Dec 14th, 2013, 11:59 PM
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"*Education and Open Job Market would be excellent to throw in too"

We don't have an open job market, except for citizens of EU member states, and you need to be very careful about this.

Our laws on foreign workers are extremely complex (not least because we allow the automatic right to work here to thousands of times more foreigners than the US does), and if this matters, you need specialist advice - which MIGHT pop up on this forum, but it would be wise to ensure your company provides advice on all this as part of your package.

Not all companies are able to do so, and you might feel it's pushing your employer further than they're able to be pushed to hire expensive attorneys. But you might be in difficulties otherwise.

As I understand it, unless you've got a passport from an EU member, you need a work permit to come here. For inter-company transfers, that permit self-destructs if you cease to work for the company you're being transferred within, and applies only to you. Your spouse doesn't get a work permit, won't get one and you have to demonstrate you can support the family. If you fall out with your employer, you're stranded here, and a potential illegal immigrant - though I've never encountered disputes getting that far.

Don't worry about offending other people. You will anyway, and practically no-one will hold it against you.

DO realise Britons absolutely DO NOT BELIEVE in "being polite" and "proper etiquette" is almost universally seen as a silly colonial hangup. We believe in being straightforward, in perpetual banter and irony. The reason we're famous for our sense of humour isn't that our jokes are funny (for most non-Britons they're not) but because what passes for humour here underpins about 80% of routine transactions between neighbours and colleagues. And there's a limit to the slack we give to foreign visitors who don't understand this. That limit doesn't consist in "Yank go home" posters, but in their finding they're not corralled in to the local networks.

Realise too, that Britain isn't a country where people move a lot. We don't have a welcome waggon culture, are mostly content with our current circle of friends and don't ourselves expect much more than a "hello" when we do move. I have little advice on how to live with this (I'm as guilty of it as anyone else), but I suspect it's widely misunderstood and often causes people far more grief than is intended. The experts on it are people who've made the moved happily.

Good luck
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 12:43 AM
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Thanks for the great feedback!

When I said "Goal is Farnborough" yes that is the location of where my Co is....and yes they do take great care of the legalities and such but I did not know that made me the bread winner....which is ok it works out anyway.

The open job market I did mean that a reference to jobs for my spouse but I read after posting this how that works over there so I have already contacted these ppl in that reguard but again thanks for the tips...he is in healthcare

However I do find conflicting stories that maybe not a welcome wagon is in sight but that some places depending on area are more open to strangers than others? But seeing what was said about keeping to your own circles makes sense...we are all guilty of that

Ps thanks for the info on Top Gear! Love it!
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 12:45 AM
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Education for my toddler ... oops sorry!
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 12:49 AM
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@janisj ....I caught that wink....lucky lucky lucky duck that neighbor is!!!!
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 02:13 AM
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Welcome Wagon does not exist here...but your local council may have something on their website for newbies. We got a welcome basket filled with goodies and coupons for local stores when we signed up as new in the Greenwich borough.

I wouldn't worry about offending people. But I would have reasonable expectations about locals. We have found them to be great and helpful, but also find that after 7 years living here we have limited friends that are English. Most of our friends are other expats. It's not that the English aren't friendly, they just have their own friend circles and established families. Now we live in London so the high number of immigrants may be the cause if this. Smaller places and the fact that you have a child will open different doors.

I would highly recommend reading the book Living and Working in the UK. It goes through cultural things and what it's like to relocate.

We are from Canada and some things we noted when we moved:
- tipping like you are used to is not really done. In London a voluntary service charge is already included and no further tip is necessary. You don't tip at pubs etc.
- pop culture reference are completely different...our first Christmas we were shocked that all the Xmas music is different. And all the tv shows and celebrities are different. Naive of us, but still was something to note!
- foods are different. Belgium Endive is called chicory, they don't have Stove Top stuffing, and graham crackers don't exist. Mexican food is generally rubbish. However they have fantastic Indian food! They keep eggs on the shelves in grocery stores, not in the coolers and milkshakes are not think, but milky.
- public transit is amazing. Maybe not in smaller ares but in London it has eliminated the need for us to have a car.

If your work is in farnborough it makes sense to live there so that is where I would focus my search.

Do a search for a poster called Indydad. His family is living in the UK while he works and he has a blog. I will see if I can find it for you.

Hope this helps!
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 02:20 AM
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This is the Farnborough council website which may have info to help you...how much help is your company providing? http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk

If your husband wants to work in the UK he will need to have a visa, will your company help you with this?
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 02:24 AM
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Sorry the posters name is Indy_dad and here is his blog

http://ukfrey.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/welcome.html

Hopefully he will see you post and post here with some tips
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 03:10 AM
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...Thanks Everyone.....and I appreciate all honesty, I take nothing offensively! ...

I think you are safe from offensiveness, but that might not apply to those who answer you
We have one or two nasty trolls who are capable of hijacking the most innocuous thread.

It's true that English people are more reserved than many Americans, and generally more so in the South than in the North.

However, you have your entry ticket in your hand, or rather by the hand. Once you have enrolled your toddler in the local playgroup/nursery or nursery school, if she is a nice well behaved little soul, her social life will be more extensive than yours. You will find yourself sipping wine at countless children's parties and will get to know the parents of her friends.

It's worth remembering that English children start formal schooling very young in comparison with other countries.

For example, my older grandson will be four in May and starts school in September, the beginning of the year of his fifth year.

Here are some local preschools http://www.familiesonline.co.uk/LOCA...rrounding-area

Before you choose a school or preschool, it's a good idea to check its report on the Ofsted site http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 03:14 AM
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Congratulations! I spent 4 1/2 very happy years in the UK on a corporate relocation, working in offices in Basingstoke and Reading so settled in Hartley Wintney, a village on the A30 about 10 miles from Farnborough. Great village, lots of local services. This was in the mid-90s, it was a pricey area then and still is.

I didn't have children but I believe you will find childcare to be of a very high standard. As already mentioned, your spouse doesn't automatically have a right to work. My company did help with this issue, if I remember, but it wasn't applicable in my case and it was almost 20 years' ago so not very relevant.

My main piece of advice is to get everything defined and in writing from your company, no matter how trivial you think the item might be. My company did a lot of hand-holding, taking care of tax reconciliation, on-going payments to Social Security (long break in payments not desirable if you intend to go back to the States), healthcare, etc. The arrangement was fair, I paid no more or less tax than I would had I been working in the States and of course income tax was paid in both UK and US. They also handled (actually must) the visa and work permit issues. Per Flanner, don't forget a repatriation agreement for end of term or if things should come unstuck.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 04:18 AM
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The advice from flanner is pretty good, his "DO realise Britons absolutely DO NOT BELIEVE in "being polite" and "proper etiquette" is almost universally seen as a silly colonial hangup. We believe in being straightforward, in perpetual banter and irony. The reason we're famous for our sense of humour isn't that our jokes are funny (for most non-Britons they're not) but because what passes for humour here underpins about 80% of routine transactions between neighbours and colleagues" is probably the best description of how Brits work with each other, though of course people do vary and you may find some people more polite than others (certainly older people and particular groups can be very strict on proper etiquette, you will have to play this by ear).

Normally Brits at work will treat you with cotton gloves for the first few weeks as they explain themselves and you storm and norm. This "birthday" period only lasts a few weeks, so use the time to make internal networks asap. Irony is very important to Brits, it allows us to reinforce bonds (those who get it are on the inside) catching onto these does not require you to make a statement, just raise an eyebrow (only one) or lift the side of the mouth will make you an insider.

Straightforward is a tricky one, irony can destroy the straightforward message and you also need to look out for English phrases that differ from American phrases, for instance leave it on the tabkle does not mean leave it on the shelf while underhand means something very different to inhand.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 04:27 AM
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And pants are not pants but underwear...so telling a colleague you like their pants will get you a very strange look!
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 04:43 AM
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Actually, excessive politeness in a Briton is a bad sign, especially if you notice icicles forming in the air.
What can be maddening to us is the false positive. Americans are programmed to be "can do". If you say that you will meet a deadline, then meet it. If you need more time, say so.

I've been told that a British habit that drives foreigners mad is to spend most of a meeting going over fairly trivial matters, only to release the details of the major problem or disaster right at the end almost as an afterthought
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 05:15 AM
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You are receiving some good information here, and will be moving to a prosperous part of the country with residents and ex-pats from all over the world, and who have probably themselves travelled widely.

You might want to watch your enthusiasm for Top Gear, however, since it divides opinions. Some see it as just a bunch of lads messing about and getting to play with some expensive toys. Others see it as a group of overpaid self-indulgent prats, with Jeremy Clarkson in particular as a right-wing loudmouth.

Perhaps good advice for anyone moving to a new country is not to start too many discussions yourself, but to see how the conversation is going before venturing an opinion. Also, however much locals are happy to run down their own country, they become patriotic in its defence when the criticism comes from a foreigner.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 05:35 AM
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"I've been told that a British habit that drives foreigners mad is to spend most of a meeting going over fairly trivial matters, only to release the details of the major problem or disaster right at the end almost as an afterthought"

Josser's clearly not spent as much time as I have in meetings, on their territory, with French, Italian or American "colleagues". Waffling, and poor meeting control skills, seem to be pretty universal human weaknesses.

We do have a reputation for starting many sessions with small talk (it helps to have weather so unpredictable it really is worth discussing), but this, in reality, depends very much on the prevailing culture. In turn, this is subject to the universal (I think) rule that the prevailing culture is dictated first by the client, not the supplier, and then by position on the totem pole.

Jamikins' experience of welcoming might be exceptional (she lives close to the financial centre of the world, with a huge temporary expat quotient). I suspect you might be more concerned with avoiding positively "unwelcoming" places than with worrying too much about welcome waggons.

Don't. Even if there are stats (and I've not seen any), what'll you do if somewhere rates high on trying to attract foreigners and you find your new next door neighbour is both racist AND has just got fired because his US company has decided to onshore the R&D facility he was working in?

In SE England, temporary migrants are now so common a feature of everyday life (in a mile walk yesterday from one end of a modest Cotswold town to the other, I didn't hear English once. Polish followed by Spanish dominated - and none appeared to be tourists), that all official systems, like schools and healthcare, understand how to explain, and outright hostility (to anyone) is practically non-existent.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 08:04 AM
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I just confine myself to the legality of your proposed move.
It's called intra-company transfer, and it's under Tier 2 of points-based system of UK immigration rules. Basically you are sponsored by your US employer to transfer to their operations in UK. There are several hoops to jump through, but your employer is responsible for generating a certificate of sponsorship, and with it you apply for a visa yourself. You can include your family members - your spouse/partner and children. There is a fairly modest financial requirement for them. Once the visas are granted, your spouse will be able to work without further formalities, except to get national insurance number, similar to SSN. Your children will be able to attend non fee-paying state schools. Your visa will only allow you to work for your current employer. It's usually for up to 3 years, with a possibility of extension up to 5, but it doesn't normally lead to settlement (permanent resident status), unless you are very highly paid, around 150,000 pounds a year or $250,000.
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 08:19 AM
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>>I've been told that a British habit that drives foreigners mad is to spend most of a meeting going over fairly trivial matters, only to release the details of the major problem or disaster right at the end almost as an afterthought
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Old Dec 15th, 2013, 09:28 AM
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How very exciting!

When we moved from the US to the UK our son was just 2. MissPrism is correct when she says your toddler will be your ticket to a social life. Nurseries will usually take children from 2 or 2 1/2. At 3, the state provides 15 hours a week of care/pre-school. This can be at a state or a private nursery. At 4 your chlld starts formal education in reception, 5 will be year one and so on. Try to get your child into a nursery that feeds into a local infants school so the friendships made at nursery can carry on.

Private schools are much more prevalent than they are in this states (at least where I'm from in Seattle). I have opinions about state vs private if you're conflicted.

The council will probably offer play groups and other little groups for mums of little ones.

As an expat, my closest friends are also expats or at least English transplants. People that live in the area where they grew up tend to need less new friends and can be at bit closed up, already full as it were. Don't be offended by that, just find the people that are also looking for people and you'll be fine!

Some light reading to give you a little more insight into the Brits
Notes on a Small Island by Bill Bryons
Watching the English by Kate Fox.

Also, checkout www.mumsnet.com it can be an amazing guide to navigating the UK. There are separate forums for schools, shopping, legal issues, healthcare, etc. Plus it can be a real peak into the psyche of the British, something that can be difficult to understand at the school gate or the register.
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