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Moving to work in the U.S

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  • Mar 1st, 2021 5:55 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Sep 5, 2010
2329 posts
363 upvotes
Toronto

Moving to work in the U.S

So I work for a big Canadian company that has presence both in Canada and the U.S

Even before the pandemic, I worked from home and only reported to the office once every few months.

In my current role, I work with both U.S and Canadian clients, including occasional travel to our U.S offices once or twice a year.

I would like your opinion (I am yet to ask HR about this) about the ability to live and work in the U.S:

-while my current role is specific, it is not part of the NAFTA Tan visa agreement.
-can HR help me get a Visa to work the same role but in the U.S?
-Assuming the U.S does grant me a visa to work there and my company is ok with me moving, how would my salary change? At the moment, I make around 65K (plus some small bonuses here and there) : I know each company is different but am assuming I won’t make the same amount but in U.S dollars?

Anything else you can recommend to make this transition easier?

Note: for those wondering, my move to the U.S is not just for better weather or financial reasons. Both myself and my wife have immediate family members who live in the city we are thinking of moving to.
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6 replies
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User avatar
Nov 6, 2010
9162 posts
1295 upvotes
Montreal, QC
It'll be difficult to say as every situation is different based on employer and on job.

HR can definitely help with VISAs if they're a big company used to relocating employees, but if you're not TN-eligible, it may be a bigger uphill for them because you'll need an H1B or other type of VISA which tend to be more work (and more $$$).
Salary adjustments are entirely up to the employer so it's hard to say. In the age of post-COVID, some companies are allowing their employees to work remotely from anywhere and you can see the divergence. Some like Facebook will adjust salaries and some like Spotify claim they won't. So this one is entirely employer specific.

I assume you're already eyeing a specific office/city so I would take a look at the payscales for similar roles there and try and get more info on cross-country relocations specific to your company.
Member
Jan 12, 2011
232 posts
150 upvotes
Toronto
Your company can sponsor you L1, but I don't see why they would. They'd have to pay you in usd, likely more than what you cost to them now. Applying for L1 isn't exactly free either.

If you're valuable to them, they will try to make it work. If you're not that valuable...well they probably won't do it.
Sr. Member
Sep 28, 2013
675 posts
377 upvotes
You would potentially qualify for an L1-B, however your role has to be considered specialized and requires a lot of due diligence and careful structuring of your application to make it seem specialized. I am going through this process right now and had to re-write the application multiple times before the lawyers were comfortable with it. And as someone else noted, you will need the support of your company to do this. You can also potentially try your luck with the TN but even if you do get it, it's living a bit dangerously. You're at the mercy of the immigration officer every time you try to return to the US and/or renew. The L1 visas are dual-intent, so you can apply for a green card and should receive it before your L1 expires.
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2008
1043 posts
392 upvotes
Markham
Woodbridge905 wrote: So I work for a big Canadian company that has presence both in Canada and the U.S

Even before the pandemic, I worked from home and only reported to the office once every few months.

In my current role, I work with both U.S and Canadian clients, including occasional travel to our U.S offices once or twice a year.

I would like your opinion (I am yet to ask HR about this) about the ability to live and work in the U.S:

-while my current role is specific, it is not part of the NAFTA Tan visa agreement.
-can HR help me get a Visa to work the same role but in the U.S?
-Assuming the U.S does grant me a visa to work there and my company is ok with me moving, how would my salary change? At the moment, I make around 65K (plus some small bonuses here and there) : I know each company is different but am assuming I won’t make the same amount but in U.S dollars?

Anything else you can recommend to make this transition easier?

Note: for those wondering, my move to the U.S is not just for better weather or financial reasons. Both myself and my wife have immediate family members who live in the city we are thinking of moving to.
What incentive, if any, does the company have to relocate you? IE, do you have any leverage

Pay would depend on the state you're in. Pay for tech professionals in Texas is far lower than in California, but that would likely be offset by housing cost, COL, and taxes
Jr. Member
Oct 26, 2014
101 posts
62 upvotes
Bradford, ON
This is a true case of YMMV. I am in the same boat, moving to US, our company has offices in US as well and they agreed to the same salary I get here in USD instead upon moving. The difference in my case is that I am doing my own immigration so they don’t have to worry about work auth etc. Best of luck OP!
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User avatar
Aug 11, 2003
1534 posts
133 upvotes
C-53
Woodbridge905 wrote: I would like your opinion (I am yet to ask HR about this) about the ability to live and work in the U.S:

-while my current role is specific, it is not part of the NAFTA Tan visa agreement.
-can HR help me get a Visa to work the same role but in the U.S?
-Assuming the U.S does grant me a visa to work there and my company is ok with me moving, how would my salary change? At the moment, I make around 65K (plus some small bonuses here and there) : I know each company is different but am assuming I won’t make the same amount but in U.S dollars?

Note: for those wondering, my move to the U.S is not just for better weather or financial reasons. Both myself and my wife have immediate family members who live in the city we are thinking of moving to.
If you're current employment is not part of TN work permit, then yah perhaps an L1 or L2 might work. But read the fine print and caveats and get some real legal advice from licensed professionals.

With that said, HR may help you out but they would need a good reason for your move. Any more is costly and during COVID times, companies are looking to cut expenses anywhere they see. In this time, I'm not sure if they can offer you relocation assistance if at all.

As for your salary, it would depend on where your moving to. If its an expensive place like CA or NY, then you'll be paid accordingly. If you're going to a less expensive place like RTP or TX etc, salary maybe less. The salary depends on many factors btw. There is no guarantee if you're making 65k CAD, you'll make the same in USD or more or less. About 10 years ago, my company moved me from Ottawa to RTP and my salary stayed the same but switched to USD; However because the expenses were in USD also, I didnt see much difference. I returned home some years later btw. RTP is too laid back hehe.

The weather in the US is relative. Its a vast country. If you're moving to one of the Northern US states, life wont be much different than GTA. Could be worse lol. If you're planning on relocating to a southern US State, then perhaps no cold but you'll be hot. In TX, for example - last week there was a major snow storm knocking out power for almost 48 hrs for 18M people. So .. meh!

IM me for specifics (for your case, if you want). Not the weather lol.

Good luck.
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