Emigrating to America - Need Humble Advice

  • Foregone-Reality 2 Oct 2005 15:49:16 2,216 posts
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    So EG; how's it going?

    It's been at least six months since losing the opportunity of frequenting this web board on a full time basis..but that said I've always managed to find time to come back here to lurk in the shadows and wait until the important day of my return.

    Well, unfortunately, this isn't the day; as today I'm beginning the second stage in training for my job..

    Sure; the hours are long, tough, and I'll be on a miserable below-minimum-wage trainee salary for another 18 months..But..It's something I've always wanted in my lifetime. Good stable job with great prospects..34 days leave, a 'no such thing as too much Overtime' policy and a full pension after 30 years service.

    Thing is, however..I feel there's something missing. Something that I'm worried will be missing in my working and living in Ireland.

    See..Recently I've been to the USA. Atlanta, Georgia to be precise. Lovely place, lovely people; I managed to stay there for only (a miserable two weeks) but I don't think I've ever met nicer people at home. It wasn't a tourist area..but a small suburb called Thomaston. Sure there was rednecks..but plenty of dead sound people. The USA was always a place I considered moving to..ever since I was 15; high hopes, dreams..but was it going to be real?

    One thing I loved a lot was how people socialise. Sure..here, like in the UK; drink rules all and going out for a few at the weekend is always commonplace! Hoping not to be excommunicated when saying this but that lifestyle was never for me. I did it in University; and had enough of it. I've since stopped drinking; and always hoped I would meet people who were into other things as opposed to drinking (Sports, Cinema, Staying in and just having a laugh..!) but it hasn't happened. There however..Drink never really came into it unless it was the very odd special occasion.

    Now as a result of this trip, I see to it and ask "Is it better..?" Sure everything has it's ups and downs..But then I realised the cost of living there is absolutely nothing.. A shelf stacker in Walmart can buy their own home whereas I'll have to wait until I'm on at least 40k to even consider an Apartment here.

    Now I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. Should I complete the training here..Another 18 months..and recieve my Degree..And then make the move over there..?

    I plan on going over there again in six months time to just get a better idea of how things work..and of course..the trip will be that little bit longer.

    I feel there's nothing much here that I want in life..Is it a smart idea for someone to drop it all and start all over again? I hope so.

    Anyone have any opinions or advice to give?

    Edited by Foregone Reality at 15:55:02 02-10-2005
  • Deleted user 2 October 2005 15:51:44
    Pants means a different thing over there. They speak foreign like.
  • Foregone-Reality 2 Oct 2005 15:52:48 2,216 posts
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    They no speak the Engrish.
  • Deleted user 2 October 2005 15:55:56
    Good to see ya back buddy, if only briefly. Ottosan might have some advice, probably go up to Canada instead but you know....
  • Foregone-Reality 2 Oct 2005 16:02:15 2,216 posts
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    Cheers guys.

    I looked into Canada..but the average income seems to be much lower than Joe-Yank.

    As for Yahoo and MSN..

    Two years marriage = Guaranteed Citizenship. Who's the man?

    I'm sure it's the same for the UK in that it's very easy to get a general labourers Visa. From what I've looked into a person can emmigrate to do those burger flipping and car washing jobs and then kick their degree into use when they convince an employer to issue them with a decent Visa.

    Correction on the 'Easy' part..I think Ireland is one of few countries that rarely exceeds it's quote for labourer visas to the USA.

    Would still appreciate advice..particularly from the Otto; as Cubby noted. He's been all over the place.

    Edited by Foregone Reality at 16:06:36 02-10-2005
  • Foregone-Reality 2 Oct 2005 16:12:20 2,216 posts
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    Furbs wrote:
    ;) Still at least you can find out if "she" is female!

    ;)
  • TR421 2 Oct 2005 18:27:08 380 posts
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    The immigration rules were overhauled, due to overreaction in the past few years, so it can be a difficult process.

    My family knows someone over there who is effectively stuck in limbo. The immigration process has really slowed down as a result of the changes. They don't want to return but they can only work for the company that employed them (visa requirements) and the company knows this.

    Edited by TR421 at 18:31:05 02-10-2005
  • sam_spade 2 Oct 2005 19:08:11 15,744 posts
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    I've got a mate who moved to the US. Got hitched to some penpal girl after about two years. They both accept that it's a marriage of convenience but obviously haven't told the immigration authorities.
  • Deleted user 2 October 2005 19:46:23
    I'd get your qualification before moving. If things didn't work out as expected in the US at least you could come back to Ireland (or wherever) and find a job in your chosen field. Next year I'm going to apply for that visa lottery they have. If I get it I'll go for a year, if not then it's not a big deal.
  • Foregone-Reality 2 Oct 2005 20:13:49 2,216 posts
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    Again, thanks for the replies.

    You're right about what you say in regards to Ireland, Otto.

    Apparently we're one of the top countries in terms of GDP (Ahem 'Quality of Life'). And certainly, if I was to move to the USA (or any country) I would always ensure that there's something for me to fall back on; especially in this little country.

    Grass does tend to be greener; as is always the case with most people who go abroad..But I would mainly try and hit two birds with one stone by using a temporary labour visa for a number of months there following up by a decision to stay or come back.

    Having that degree would be a step up alright..meets the requirements for what I would like to do over there as well (and recieve even better benefits, too). If it's likable..then it's worth stacking shelves for two years to get to that point in life.


    I'm practically convinced that I'm going to do something over there. I always appreciate the advice. Keep it up, guys :D

    How is Canada Otto? Did you find it difficult at first..? Judging by your posts I'd say you had a blast :D.
  • DaisyD 2 Oct 2005 21:06:26 11,816 posts
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    After reading what you have to say about Canada, otto, my thoughts I'd been having of emmigrating there have increased ten fold.

    AS for getting in, it is on a points based system and, although I have no family or friends there, no job to go to, I still score enough points to get in. And it helps that I love the french! :)
  • DaisyD 2 Oct 2005 21:41:57 11,816 posts
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    What!!! I'm part belgium. That's as good as being french . . . unless of course your flemmish.
  • Khab 2 Oct 2005 22:49:26 6,583 posts
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    Regarding the US...

    I lived there for 10 months when I went to High School, and while some things are great, you may want to make sure you know what you're getting into before you make a decision that's very hard to undo.

    As the ottster says, there's no safety net, so unless you have a job coming over, things could go very wrong indeed. What you also may want to keep in mind is that (this is all from my experience, YMMV) what you've gotten to know of the nice people you mention is possibly all there is to know about them. Americans tend to identify themselves with what they own and what their pastime is, beyond work. At least where I lived (Michigan), I found a frighteningly large number of people had a wonderful, warm exterior, but as soon as you tried to get to know them beyond that exterior you found that there was nothing there.

    This can get a bit maddening after a while. Of course, you'll find people who are more of a european character, who hold some parts of themselves back and that you can get to feel closer to than "acquaintance". You might also want to factor in that while everyone will think it's very exciting that you're a foreigner, most people's eyes will glaze over real quick whenever you start to actually tell them things about where you're from.

    On the flip side, it's a great place to spend money, and especially MAKE money. A country that looks at the High School graduation as a major academic achievement will be happy to see more well-educated workers. Also, the people are fantastically friendly and open, and always seem to have a helping hand ready. Just remember that they'll expect the same of YOU. :)

    My conclusion from living there is that I'd love to work there for a few years, but there's no way in HELL I'd want my children to grow up as americans.
  • Nemesis 2 Oct 2005 22:51:14 19,560 posts
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    You were gone?



    /is covering for Lutz
  • The-Old-Bill 2 Oct 2005 22:53:27 5,101 posts
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    Khab wrote:
    but there's no way in HELL I'd want my children to grow up as americans.
    ;_;
  • Khab 2 Oct 2005 23:13:36 6,583 posts
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    Sorry, that may have come out a bit strongly... I don't mean any slight on anyone or anything, really, but there's something wrong in a country where someone's doing their 12th year of education and cannot point Europe out on a world map. That's LABELLED. Seriously.
  • Feanor 2 Oct 2005 23:54:12 14,272 posts
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    I wouldn't take what Otto says about the breakdown of American society too seriously, frankly. As someone who lived in New Zealand for 25 years before moving to the US in March 2003, I can tell you that NZ society has plenty, plenty of crime, social breakdown and racial polarisation as compared with with America.

    Here's one little example. When you think of right-wing American Christian politicians, you think they're a bunch of dishonest crooks, right? Well, in NZ the right-wing Christian politicans go on TV one night claiming homosexuality and abortions are destroying the country, and the next night they rape little girls.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3428607a14095,00.html

    Otto's right about the lack of a safety net in America, though. If you always have a job with benefits your're sweet, but if you get fired and then get sick without having lots of money saved then you're totally screwed.

    Edited by Feanor at 00:01:10 03-10-2005
  • Foregone-Reality 5 Oct 2005 15:47:33 2,216 posts
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    Thanks for the advice EG.

    I've been thinking a lot about it lately..So much so that I was dying when starting my 6am shift Yesterday morning.

    Needless to say I'm going to keep the head down and get this degree before reconsidering anything else.

    Who knows what would happen if I got that Green Card, however..

    50,000 cars per 6,000,000 applicants, however..It's highly unlikely.
  • otto Moderator 28 May 2007 11:16:19 49,322 posts
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    Before deciding to go to the US, carefully consider somewhere else like Canada, mainland Europe, New Zealand. If you're successful in the States then you'll do very well for yourself, if not, there's no safety net, you're fucked. No insurance, no healthcare, no nothing. Not to mention the breakdown of society over there, the crime, the polarisation. Personally I think it's going to go horribly wrong over there in the next ten to twenty years and I would no way want to tie my future to the place. But then I'll be accused of being an anti-American Cassandra so don't listen to me. :|

    Seriously though, think long and hard. Grass is always greener etc. Ireland's standard of living would be hard to beat in any country nowadays, especially in the US.
  • otto Moderator 28 May 2007 11:16:19 49,322 posts
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    I do like Canada, a lot, but then I'm in the incredibly lucky position of being on a European salary with European holidays and social security in a country where everything (nearly) is as cheap as chips. People are friendly, people in shops are nice to you, society functions in a generally more healthy way than society does at home. No roving gangs of drunks on a Friday night, no CCTV cameras everywhere, people leave their doors unlocked, chip in for the local library/theatre/that kind of thing. There's an awful lot to be said for Canada. At the same time, I'm typing this from my Brussels hotel room cos I'm back here for some work and being 'home' really reminds me of the things that are lacking over there. Superficial things are most obvious, like well-dressed attractive people and classy shops, good food, cinemas showing interesting films. Compared to over here, everything over there feels thrown together and mass-produced. But I think that's something you'd get used to pretty quickly.

    I do really like it on the whole. I would seriously consider living there. But I'm not kidding myself, I could never enjoy the lifestyle in Canada on a permanent basis that I do now as a European diplomat.
  • otto Moderator 28 May 2007 11:16:19 49,322 posts
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    Foregone Reality wrote:
    I looked into Canada..but the average income seems to be much lower than Joe-Yank.
    I don't think that's true. There are crazy extremes in the US, of course, whereas Canada is more 'European' in that there's less of a gap between the rich and the poor. Virtually everyone is reasonably well off. There are huge differences between Canada and the US. Canada has free healthcare for all, it takes government seriously, the services provided by the state are up there with the best governments in Europe (certainly loads better than the UK). The Canadian economy is booming, the Canadian dollar is nearing parity with the US dollar. Don't forget the US economy is living on seriously borrowed time, nearly a trillion dollar deficit paid for by borrowing at low interest from China and other foreign powers who could call the debt in at any time. I stand by my earlier comment, it's going to go horribly wrong there in the near future. Other nice things about Canada are the international outlook, genuine multiculturalism, yes they can be a bit jingoistic about Canada but people are encouraged to keep their own cultures alive. It's really a completely different kind of social and political culture to the US.
  • otto Moderator 28 May 2007 11:16:19 49,322 posts
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    Furbs wrote:
    My uncle moved to Canada 10 years ago. I would too if I was younger with less commitments. Its an awesome country. All the benefits of America with none of the nasty stuff otto mentioned (except the Frenchies but you cant have everything).

    I think even the friendly Canadians have tightened things up havent they otto? I think even me have 2 uncles and aunts over there counts for very little now...
    Canada wouldn't be Canada without Quebec. If God forbid they do split away, and it's a possibility, I think that would be a disaster for the place.

    I think it's still relatively easy to come to Canada. There's a points system. Also, if you can get someone to offer you a job over there, you automatically qualify for citizenship once you've lived there for two years (doesn't count if you're there on a diplomatic visa sadly).

    The government announced a big shakeup to immigration policy last week - do a google. They have very high targets for skilled workers - it's a good time to look for opportunities.
  • otto Moderator 28 May 2007 11:16:19 49,322 posts
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    Yeah, but 5,999,111 of those applicants are Al Qaeda operatives so you'll be laughing. ;p
  • Furbs 14 Jun 2007 22:45:51 45,735 posts
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    I looked in to it, and seriously, its a really hard thing to do (or at least thats the impression I got). Based on the info I got from the US Embassy, your average man/woman on the street has about a 20 year wait to get accepted! Two main options really...
    1) Start working for a company with lots of US links in the hope of a transfer.
    2) Fire up Yahoo/MSN and get chatting with single girls! (who will usually always be from the South for some reason...) :p
  • Furbs 14 Jun 2007 22:45:51 45,735 posts
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    Wouldnt hold out too much hope on that. IIRC, when it comes to emmigrating to the States on the basis of your labour skills, one section I remember was something along the line of "You have to be a unique talent, or internationally recognised in your field". They listed people like "Noble Prize winners" and "Oscar Winning directors" as examples!!

    On the marriage thing, just bear in mind that immigration will check how long you were "dating" the woman for before you tie the knot, so you might need to make a few trips over there ;) Still at least you can find out if "she" is female!
  • Furbs 14 Jun 2007 22:45:51 45,735 posts
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    My uncle moved to Canada 10 years ago. I would too if I was younger with less commitments. Its an awesome country. All the benefits of America with none of the nasty stuff otto mentioned (except the Frenchies but you cant have everything).

    I think even the friendly Canadians have tightened things up havent they otto? I think even me have 2 uncles and aunts over there counts for very little now...
  • Furbs 14 Jun 2007 22:45:51 45,735 posts
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    Fiver says this thread goes to tits when Bill arrives....its about 5pm over there atm isnt it? ;)
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