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Finding Work in the US as a Non-US Resident?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the anyone-with-a-spare-green-card dept.

Businesses 110

America-bound asks: "I'm a senior Java developer living in Europe with the wish to move to the US eventually and live with my significant other. Over here, I have a diverse set of experience working on in-house development and freelance/project work. I don't intend for this to look like a resume or request for work, so I won't go into specifics. Europe, or at least my country, has very healthy prospects for those working freelance, but I'm not sure how things are in the USA (California to be more specific). My timespan for achieving this is realistic; I'm looking at making the move within 2-3 years, giving me time to work on my skills, experience and do more networking, as well as get used to life in the USA. I would like to know if my plans for working freelance, or as my own company, are very realistic in the US. Perhaps there are other good alternatives that I haven't explored yet. Hence, I turn to Slashdot hoping for some clues by others who have either made the switch to living in the US or are working there successfully, as freelancers."

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Are you sure? (1, Flamebait)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14311662)

We're rapidly sliding towards a totalitarian dictatorship in this country... are you sure you want to move here?
--Mike--

Are you sure?-Taking back our image (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14311837)

"We're rapidly sliding towards a totalitarian dictatorship in this country... are you sure you want to move here?"*

As opposed to say Britian?

*Pet peeve of mine. Most slashdotters have NEVER lived under a dictatorship, and just know what they've read, or watched on TV or movies. Just as the rest of the world's view of the US comes through entertainment channels. Likewise most slashdotters have never actually encountered "evil", and gratuitiously throw the word around with not a hint of it's true depth.

Be thankful that you never grew up having to know what a dictatorship, or evil is, and stop pretending you do.

As for the OP. You're going to have to spend quite a bit of time developing a clientel. Skills, and knowledge are just wedges to get you into the room. You might be able to leverage the client base you already have in europe.

Re:Are you sure?-Taking back our image (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312043)

While it's true that I don't have experience living in a dictatorship, I sure the hell was educated as to why they are very bad things. I know what evil is, it's not someone dressed in black, with a black hat... it's men who refuse to stand up and point out things that are wrong. Its the quiet acquiesence(sp?) of the majority to give up liberty in pursuit of security.

<GODWIN [wikipedia.org] > Hitler was elected, and slowly ratcheted up the level of control over the masses. History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme. <GODWIN>

I suspect this'll all end up moderated away, but the point is still valid... the price of Liberty is eternal vigilence.

--Mike--

Re:Are you sure?-Taking back our image (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312550)

"Just as the rest of the world's view of the US comes through entertainment channels"

Thats so true.

Prior to coming to the US as a student, I used to think there are no fat people in USA. I also thought there were only 2 types of people; white people and black people.

Standing in Manhattan I was so confused.

I did... (4, Interesting)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14314370)

And in all honesty, people underestimate how things happen. I grew up to my teens under a dictator.

What we had:
Better healthcare, better education, near ZERO unemployment, no sweatshops (our particular lord and master HATED dealing with the west because, as Hussein also put it "they lie so much, even they don't know where they stand" this being a VERY accurate assessment of the USA/Western business model, in AD&D terms, we'd call the west Lawful Evil (or soulless bureaucracy for pure material gain)... oh and we had VERY GOOD public transit... there was a bus to ANYWHERE in any town of significant size (pop. wise)... or trolley or metro or any combo of the 3. Cabs too. Most people were taxed at an even level, taxes were drawn out before pay, so what you were paid is what you got. Did I mention that people were allowed to grow their own food and did so admirably? I saw very FEW fat people until I came to the USA. Must be something in the food, air or water cuz I'm rather chubby now too :( (and this is AFTER losing over 30 lbs this past year)

What we did not have:
Freedom to freely gather for whatever cause we wished to support. Freedom of religion (churches were watched, people going in or out were harassed and deprived of social boons (grades lowered, etc)). Having a second job or business was considered a crime, as was the act of abortion without a permit (same with marriage and having kids). Kept overpopulation down quite well.

His major flaws were the stifling of ideas... if the man had been less brutal and less greedy, he'd still be in power, instead of leaving a double to die on TV so he could retire with the missus. Needless to say, I presume the same will happen to Saddam, and to George Bush / Cheney when they are overthrown (I'm still waiting for the idiot in chief to declare martial law, the day he does is the day I'm a Canuck :)

if you were on the wrong side of our master there, he'd never hear of you... the job was delegated to his version of the NSA (and after a thorough investigation, usually taking a few seconds with a silencer or knife, nobody would hear of you again)... we had a saying "the walls have eyes and ears, say nothing and live long"... the only place people could talk was in the country in homes their grandparents had built in the times of the king before the "modernization" of the big cities.

~Daedalus

Re:I did... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14319565)

Stay the fuck out of my Canada, you fucking retard.

1. How do you think Bush is going to be 'overthrown' when this is his second term, and so he can't run again for President anyway? What kind of moron are you?

2. It may interest you to know that the country you plan on fleeing to once the EVIL MCCHIMPY BUSHITLERBURTON declares martial law instituted martial law itself on the flimsiest of pretexts during the FLQ 'crisis' back in the early seventies. Maybe you should re-examine your reflexive stupidity.

3.'They lie so much even they don't know where they stand' not an 'accurate assessment' about how business is done in an open society, it's a phenomenally ignorant statement which falls apart at the first brush with reality. But then you can't expect more from an obviously insular control freak who thinks trade with other countries is bad.

4. 'People were allowed to grow food'? Is this a fucking joke? How is that something unusually awesome? Where the fuck are people not allowed to grow their own food?

5. Better health care and better education is bullshit. You don't mention which worker's paradise you grew up in, but I doubt there were massive quantities of foreign students clamouring to get advanced degrees from its awesome educational system, nor were there foreigners coming to undergo advanced medical treatments. Feel free to prove me wrong, but judging from your insistent inculcated belief in 'Western business = lies' despite every counterexample imaginable, the education system you grew up in was a load of crap.

Re:I did... (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14324171)

Oddly enough my anonymous coward friend... you missed this very odd point...

The usa is CONSISTENTLY ranking POORLY in all the natural sciences, maths, comp sci, etc.

I grew up in the eastern block, in a country near the black sea (you're a canuck, unlike the locals here you MIGHT be able to find that on a map and guess correctly)... and I seem to recall that even nowadays, that particular country STILL outranks (math, science, comp sci, etc) everyone but the Ukraine... and on occasion Germany and S.Korea... The USA is somewhere in the number 22 to 26 spot. I am an american, but that doesn't mean I choose to be ignorant of the way this place is turning.

For the record, groundbreaking treatment != treatment available to everyone that NEEDS it (citizenship required of course). I got sick plenty of times back home, but my family didn't go broke buying meds or keeping me at the hospital. My father had ONE lousy health issue here stateside and we nearly had to sell the house just to pay the damn meds, he was self employed and couldn't afford the level of healthcare someone of his age had to keep on paying... Marxist Hacker made a VERY good point that here "the government punishes businesses UNTIL they fail" (and trust me MH42, they punish you AFTERwards too)

The place I grew up, wasn't a workers paradise, but it wasn't the shithole slum it is nowadays... unless you lived there in those days, you'd best shut the fuck up you apathetic canuck fuck!

When you work 60+ hours a week (most people assume a 40 hour week includes transit time, and plenty commute 30 min to an hour to work and then the same back... not accounting for traffic jams, the lunch "break" and such other things that end up with one leaving at 6:30 AM and returning at 5:30 PM Have you tried "growing" food when you live in an appartment? When you also work your ass off? Or perhaps work 2 jobs so you can pay for rent, utilities AND some form of entertainment to make life seem a bit less bleak than it seems when you only see the sun on the tapestry on the side of your cubicle? I drive a truck, so I have it much easier than some who are stuck only seeing the sun briefly and can't even sit and enjoy it.

Did you forget that most communist dictatorships, save for russia had at least SOME form of agricultural area which provided all foodstuffs locally? We did not import food, and most people had HOUSES (hell the apartment my folks had was bigger than our first house in the USA). My grandparents had a farm where the only thing lacking were cows... we never did without bread, water, wine, eggs, grapes, apples, tomatoes, potatoes, etc... (had to buy corn, oh well) had everything else. I had one hell of a childhood learning how it all worked. I never became much of a farmer, because my interests didn't lie there, but I saw the process, and never had to microwave a frozen dinner my entire childhood. (I also didn't get overweight eating those "primitive" foods).

I am quite familiar with "your canada" and its flaws. Even so, it has a few charming qualities, but it is too close to the USA to be worth moving to. Canucks are too busy thumbing their noses at the US... when they might as well join up and become part of the USA... its not as if they value "freedom" any more than USies do. In the words of the Three Dead Trolls "And if I want to protest, I had best know that I will risk a face full of pepperspray and a criminal record."

Bush is on his second term... but he has 3 years left. How easy do you think it would be to stage an attack on his own people, preferably nukular (remember, NUCLEAR is no longer "proper" bushglish...) The people will scream SAFETY, and give bush whatever he and cheney want... Who knows, maybe George Lucas was a prophet :) "When this crisis has abated, I will cede my emergency powers and return them to the senate." (we all know how THAT worked in SW, eh?) As long as he can start and propagate a state of emergency, or another war, it'd take a lot to get him voted out)

~D

PS - you're just a lame ass troll, but go ahead and eat up!

PPS - I worked in IT AND sales... both of material and "intellectual" property. Quitting those jobs has done wonders for my self esteem, not having to lie to customers to get sales is a wonderful thing. And the only way to NOT lie to customers, yet still sell them the cheaper, far lower quality goods, was to practice "double think" as put forth by that wonderful novel, 1984... the art of believing a lie so as to make it true to yourself. Salesmen often have to do this to convince themselves. The really good ones do it on the fly. Trust me, business here is all about lying. Especially in the sales side... there was a saying among IT people... that salesfolk lie to get a sale, and then keep on lying until the IT dept makes miracles happen and turns those lies into reality.

Re:I did... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330329)

I wish you made it clearer which country you're from. Is it China?

China near Black Sea? Wow... US education at work (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335246)

How in blazes would I be from China and be THIS articulate?? You mustve had a very SMALL selection of extremely English proficient chinese individuals to sample from.

Also, in China they practiced brutal mass suppression, we never really had much of that, ours was more individual based. China is a very populous country, ours was relatively small, being that Russia (at the slightest nod of the oh so benevolent US gov't (the people we aided by turning guns on the Nazis)) divided what was ours to all their bootlicking comrades, I lost relatives I have never even gotten a chance to know in that bloodbath, the place is populated with Russians now, properly transplanted by Stalin to create a loyalist state (and well achieved). What had been a country the size of Texas, is in modern day, slightly larger than the size of North Carolina.

Its adjacent to the Black sea (which I've mentioned before)... look up pre WW2 invasions by the russians and check the map, I won't say more, I prefer using riddles... but it makes sense you'd ask if I am from China... after all, you're native to someplace in the US eh? Only native US'ies would assume that China is in Europe... since that IS where the Black Sea is. I live here, I see that sort of ignorance from anyone that isn't foreign educated or foreign born. (I give no credit to foreigners either, but I find most of them are far more aware of "them" not just "us".)

~D

Re:China near Black Sea? Wow... US education at wo (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337365)

"Wow... US education at work"

I'm french *beep, bad answer*. Blame France. Hadn't paid attention to the Black Sea thing.

Why didn't I remember that Black Sea thing? Oh, I know! Maybe because you DID NOT mention it in the post I replied to, but in some other post that i just read that has nothing to do with it. Instead of treating me like a stupid muthafucka, make sure you ain't the stupid muthafucka, check which post I'm replying to

"you're native to someplace in the US eh?"

near, about 3,500 miles to the east.

"Only native US'ies would assume that China is in Europe"

man, americans ain't as dumb as you may think. I feel insulted for them. And I didn't assume China was in Europe, since you didn't talk about the black sea even once in the post I replied to.

Re:China near Black Sea? Wow... US education at wo (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14342979)

So you just jump into a thread in the middle and work your way down, ignoring the upper part of the thread?

Re:China near Black Sea? Wow... US education at wo (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14343018)

upper part? how is it gonna be the upper part as the comment in which he mentions the black sea is a reply to the same comment I was replying to. Do you look for replies to the comment you want to reply to by the same user who made the comment you want to reply to before you make your comment? I just read his comment and replied to it, quit acting like I did something wrong, I didn't, he did when he considered that I was supposed to know that he lived near the black sea.

i'm not supposed to read all of the 24 last comments he posted before i reply to one of his comments, am i??

Re:I did... (0, Redundant)

TummyX (84871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14341724)


I presume the same will happen to Saddam, and to George Bush / Cheney when they are overthrown (I'm still waiting for the idiot in chief to declare martial law, the day he does is the day I'm a Canuck


I think instead of "overthrown", you mean "returns to his texas ranch and retires after his second term ends".

Bush derangement syndrome is a more serious disease than I had ever imagined and you have a severe case.

Re:Are you sure?-Taking back our image (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14319622)

Sure, some dictatorships are worse than others, but let's take China as an example. The economy has liberalized since the 70s. Trade and business are probably as free as any Western democracy. I would say cronyism is more entrenched than the US, so bribes are a cost of doing business. As far as political speech, speaking against the government is dealt with harshly. Maybe not instant gulag for one message board post, but anyone big enough to get some attention will be arrested. For most average people going about their business, going to work and paying the bills, the government just leaves them alone.

Sound familiar? Except for the lack of democratic elections, it's not *that* much different for the average guy.

Re:Are you sure?-Taking back our image (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14324148)

just last week the Chinese police shot 20 something people for protesting, no thanks

Re:Are you sure? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14315202)

One reason American politics is so fucked up: Americans are damned ignorant. Like not knowing the difference between a totalitarian state [reference.com] and a police state [reference.com] .

Re:Are you sure? (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14343058)

"...not knowing the difference between a totalitarian state and a police state."

Perhaps you could assist those of us who fall short of your measure with one or more real-life examples of countries which have been one or the other but not both.

Re:Are you sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14315386)

no we're not. anyone who says that is a fucking loon.

Freelancing is always hard (1)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14311669)

Freelancing is always hard, my friend. At least, I think it is. However, if you're willing to fight the good fight in a free economy, then I say go for it. You should do well. I'd still rather have a steady job, though. The changes you have to make all depend on the country in which you're currently living. In general, though, moving from a Western country to the US shouldn't be that big a leap.

Re:Freelancing is always hard (1)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14311720)

PS I have a friend considering making the journey to the 'states as well. I'd like to know what you take from this thread - my contact information is in my user profile.

Re:Freelancing is always hard (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14313676)

Except for of course the lack of guaranteed food, clothing, shelter, clean water, and medical care...all of which are provided by the government if you go bankrupt in Europe. NONE of which are provided by the government if you go bankrupt here.

In Case of Slashdot Effect (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14311708)

Finding Work in the US as a Non-US Resident?
Posted by Cliff on Wednesday December 21, @03:11PM
from the anyone-with-a-spare-green-card dept.
    America-bound asks: "I'm a senior Java developer living in Europe with the wish to move to the US eventually and live with my significant other. Over here, I have a diverse set of experience working on in-house development and freelance/project work. I don't intend for this to look like a resume or request for work, so I won't go into specifics. Europe, or at least my country, has very healthy prospects for those working freelance, but I'm not sure how things are in the USA (California to be more specific). My timespan for achieving this is realistic; I'm looking at making the move within 2-3 years, giving me time to work on my skills, experience and do more networking, as well as get used to life in the USA. I would like to know if my plans for working freelance, or as my own company, are very realistic in the US. Perhaps there are other good alternatives that I haven't explored yet. Hence, I turn to Slashdot hoping for some clues by others who have either made the switch to living in the US or are working there successfully, as freelancers."

I wouldn't recommend it. (2, Insightful)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14311734)

Speaking as a freelance java programmer in the US, I think java in particular is on the way out. I hate to think what it'd be like in 3 years when you start. LAMP or MS based apps are more common and growing. Good freelancing jobs can be hard to get into, it's mostly about networking and having the right people trust you for the job. Why not freelance for people now? Why are you moving to the US?

Re:I wouldn't recommend it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14314546)

LAMP based apps on the way in? Are you kidding? Either you're working on an open source project or some tiny little backwater project. LAMP is barely ever used anywhere other than open source projects. Especially, PHP and MySQL. Any language architect/designer/developer that's worth a damn knows that PHP and MySQL are steaming piles of crap that they should avoid at all costs. In terms of large scale enterprise applications it's all Java and .NET and neither one of them are going away anytime soon. Nothing else comes even remotely close to these two. Don't believe the majority of these Slashdot idiots who write PHP all day, they're the same people who write shit like Slashcode and whine all day about how Muhammed is stealing their job.

Do your immigration research first (5, Informative)

jo42 (227475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14311739)

You really need to do your immigration research first. Unless you find a sponsor as far as work visas go, and then go through an extensive process to get a green card, don't even bother trying...

i.e. Been there, done that, back in Canada.

Re:Do your immigration research first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14312239)

It sounded like his significant other might be a US citizen, so that would be the easy route, via marriage.

Re:Do your immigration research first (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14316684)

It's a route, but not an easy one.

They should start appling now for a fiancee visa so they can marry in the US. After that there'll be a 6-12 month wait for employment authorisation and onger for the green card.

He should speak to a good immigration atorney.

Re:Do your immigration research first (1)

Class Act Dynamo (802223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14324324)

He referred to this other person as his "significant other". This might not be a relationship for which the US government is going to offer visas.

Re:Do your immigration research first (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14318555)

If he is going to start a business in the US he doesn't need a Visa sponsor. Just a shitload a money and a promise to hire Americans. Google for a EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa.

Re:Do your immigration research first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14320606)

At least $500,000 for a poor state and around $1m for the likes of CA.

International Consulting Firm (4, Insightful)

HRbnjR (12398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14311743)

If you could get hired on by an international consulting firm, and maybe do something for them in Europe first, then ask for an internal posting overseas, that would be easiest. They have the resources to move people around, deal with Visa's, etc.

Not so easy (4, Informative)

redelm (54142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14311757)

You ask about work prospects. There's lots of work in the US, but there are significant hurdles you have to overcome: Legal immigration is not easy; and healthcare insurance is expensive for those who cannot get it through their employer.

Both of these problems are easiest solved by marrying your significant other. You can get a temporary green card, and if she has health insurance through her employer, it will likely be expandable to cover her spouse (you). These are significant marriage benefits, and one reason GLBT people are requesting legal recognition for their marriages.

Re:Not so easy (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312178)

Both of these problems are easiest solved by marrying your significant other.
...provided that the significant other is an American citizen. She/he might not be and the OP didn't say.

Re:Not so easy (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14313699)

Provided that the significant other is American, AND has a job that provides the health insurance as a benefit. A growing number of jobs don't- last numbers I saw suggest nearly 1 in 6 working Americans can't get health insurance for various reasons.

Re:Not so easy (3, Insightful)

jefu (53450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14313722)

Marrying your significant other will not work overly well in the US if he/she is the same gender as you are.

Re:Not so easy (1)

anticypher (48312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14319083)

Marriage is not a guarantee of anything with the US anymore. I know quite a few Europeans married to Americans who have been refused entry because the marriage didn't perfectly meet the requirements. Even couples who have been together for decades can never visit the US together because once the authorities decide the marriage was for a green card the European ends up on the deny list. It takes about 10 to 15 years to get off the list.

I also know some couples who, all, without exception, sought out advice from immigration lawyers well before getting married. Good immigration lawyers know all the tricks the INS/DHS/whatever department uses to get a single disqualifying answer, and can school a couple on how to avoid the traps.

Talk to other bi-national couples, you should be searching out support groups for them in your area. Get recommendations for good immigration lawyers before hand, and make sure you know what exactly to say and how the process works.

My best advice is to start entering the green card lottery, you have about a 5x chance of getting a green card compared with H1 or other official channels. Skip the marriage gambit unless you are serious about your MOTOS.

the AC

Re:Not so easy (0)

corbettw (214229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14339673)

and healthcare insurance is expensive for those who cannot get it through their employer

Not always true. My private health insurance (for myself and three kids) costs $211 per month. The insurance offered through my employer would be closer to $700 per month. (The private plan has a $3000/6000 deductible, so it's close to being a catastrophic plan, but well child care and prescriptions are hella cheap, about the same as the group plan.) Ask your insurance guy, he can probably find something that'll beat whatever your employer is offering unless you work for a Fortune 100 company, or a government agency.

within 2-3 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14311806)

within 2-3 years ??
Are you sure you relationship will survive that long? I mean, you are an ocean apart.

Europe more friendly to small business (2, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14311887)

Most of Europe has a *much* higher standard of living than the United States: nationalized health care, various other supports important to a freelancer. 49/50 US freelancers go bankrupt at least once- is that really the future you want?

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (4, Interesting)

Banner (17158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14311984)

I've been to Europe. They do not have a higher standard of living than the US. It's actually considerably lower. How did you come up with this?

If Europe was so much better, why isn't everyone going from the US to there? Instead the flow is reversed.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14312285)

Mainland Europe, can't comment upon...

London, esp the City, that's a whole different story, yanks everywhere.... R

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Judge_Fire (411911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312462)

I've been to Europe. They do not have a higher standard of living than the US. It's actually considerably lower. How did you come up with this?

Where I'm from (North Europe), the US actually seems a bit 'old-fashioned' or 'quaint', when it comes to infrastructure and household technology. Electricity, water and air quality especially - as if there were no standards, just random experiences to be had when attempting a long, hot shower. Indivual safety seems to be an issue and sometimes the poverty in some areas can feel really overwhelming.

Of course, these are things that can be encountered when traveling east/south in Europe, too.

J

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312602)

Where I'm from (North Europe), the US actually seems a bit 'old-fashioned' or 'quaint', when it comes to infrastructure and household technology.

Which part(s) of the US are you referring to? The electric power infrastructure is quite uniform in the US, actually, especially given its size, and I found during my trip to England/Scotland/Wales ten years ago that constant water pressure and temperature seems to be an issue in other parts of the world, not here. :-)

Air quality varies tremendously. The US is a fairly large place, and is a fairly diverse place geographically if not culterally.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14313143)

Well considering water temperature is generally controlled by the water heater in your basement, that can be changed by each individual. As to pressure, there are definitaly differences between municipalities (different types of pumps/water towers and distance) as well as the fact that most people living in any sort of high rise will have pretty low pressure.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14318383)

I'm from the US, and I don't think I've ever lived anywhere that had a decent water heater, that let me take a shower for more than a few minutes. Furthermore, the power companies in every place I've lived have been absolutely pathetic in their speed of repairing downed power lines, or restoring power when it craps out. One thing I've read many places is that our power grids are very old and in desperate need of revamping, and that's something that I have no trouble believing.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312506)

Fewer Americans move to Europe than vice versa because most Americans don't speak (continental) European languages and European nations have much stricter immigration requirements.

Keep dreaming about the standard of living - in Europe, one's not generally forced into choosing between making decent money and having a life outside of work. I'd say that's worth something.

-Isaac

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Banner (17158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14318939)

Umm no. America has much stricter immigration standards. Having had several friends from different countries immigrate here and become citizens, I've seen all of what they had to go through.

And choosing between money and 'having a life outside of work' has nothing to do with a standard of living. It has to do with you. I make a lot of money, and I only work 40 hours a week.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Scarabaeus (22637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14320217)

You are both right.

The US has a lot more "red tape" to cut through, but it's pretty much the same for everyone.

In Europe, if you're white, blonde and blue-eyed, you can do pretty much whaterver you like, e.g. work for years on an expired student visa. No such luck if you're latino or black, you might even have to sue the immigration perople to stay in the country.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (2, Insightful)

joto (134244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312631)

I've been to Europe. They do not have a higher standard of living than the US. It's actually considerably lower.

You see, that's the problem with USians. They seem to think of Europe as some place. But in reality, if someone is saying "I've been to Europe", the only thing possible to conclude from that is that the speaker is ignorant, and most likely from US, because if (s)he were from anywhere else in the world, (s)he would say, "I've been to France/Iceland/Ukraine/Albania", or something like that.

I realize that europeans are no better. We say the same thing about US (which can be excused, as the US is at least one country), but we're also saying "I've been to Africa" which is about as meaningless as having been to Europe.

As for comparing the standard of living. Well, it's complicated. Having "been there" is not a good enough study. And comparing how nice cars you see isn't a good metric. First of all, you must find out who you are talking about: filthy rich people, mafia-bosses, succesfull entrepeneurs, well-educated career people, average middle-class, low-wage, minimum-wage, unemployed, or drug-addicts? Do you talk about money only, or do you also prefer to live in an area with low crime, low unemployment, low pollution, free healthcare, etc... How about the people there, are they racist pigs, thugs and gangsters, uppity snobs, religious zealots, friendly pub-goers, nice but boring middle-class, etc...

An important difference between european countries and USA is the regulation of the workplace. Typically, europeans work a lot less, and have some protection from getting sacked at the employers whim. This should also count when you evaluate the standard of living. In short, having "been there" is not enough.

If Europe was so much better, why isn't everyone going from the US to there? Instead the flow is reversed.

Really? Can you back it up with numbers?

Ok, it's probably correct, but I don't think it has anything to do with living standard. The most important factors are probably (1) "The American Dream" --- if you dream about being succesfull, you go to USA, (2) Language --- most people already know English, thus it's easier than to move to e.g. Sweden, and (3) Size --- more people have heard of USA than any given european country (and this goes especially for USians)

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312737)

Ok, it's probably correct, but I don't think it has anything to do with living standard. The most important factors are probably (1) "The American Dream" --- if you dream about being succesfull, you go to USA, (2) Language --- most people already know English, thus it's easier than to move to e.g. Sweden, and (3) Size --- more people have heard of USA than any given european country (and this goes especially for USians)

On your three: 1. The dream stays a dream- very few people percentagewise actually achieve it. 2. In my area of the United States, English is slowly being subplanted by Spanish, and the new immigrants actually *refuse* to learn. 3. This is equivalently true; a Polish immigrant friend of mine surprised me by saying that if I went as far to go to school there as I did here, the equivalent would have been living in Krakow and studying in Rome (I lived in Silverton and studied in Klamath Falls- both in Oregon).

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14313002)

I'm a Canadian. I have to say that the idea that "Europe is just someplace on a map" gets lost in the whole scheme of things. I think our society sees a spot of TV or in a movie and believe to have experienced it, so they don't have to travel there. Or, they can comment about it because they've seen Italy or France hundreds of times on television.

All told though, I see the Canadian workplace becoming more focused on the money aspect of things. Several colleagues have thought of moving to Europe after finishing university because of the working conditions - less work time, more 'freedom' time. I think our workplace has to evolve into one where productivity is the objective so we don't have to sit in an office for as many hours a day.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14313660)

You see, that's the problem with USians. They seem to think of Europe as some place.

This statement is very myopic. The US is no more a place than Europe is.

The US is geographically larger than Europe, plus it has a lot more cultural diversity with its immigrant heritage. Economics vary a lot within the US too, from the affluent suburban populations to the less affluent rural American regions. Many countries in Europe are smaller than many US states. France for example is about the same size as Texas.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

joto (134244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14314437)

This statement is very myopic. The US is no more a place than Europe is.

Yes it is. It is a single country, with similar law, economy, culture, history, etc... There is the american dream, the american way of life, etc...

In Europe it is different. It is a continent of national states, who have spent the last 1000s of years fighting each other every few decades. USA is mostly about being united against a common enemy. Europe is mostly about endless bickering with the closest neighbours, to the point where you make alliances with other enemies to get at your neighbour. Being french is infinitely more important to a frenchman, than being texan is to a texan (both being pretty extreme examples on their respective continents...)

The culture in most european countries are many centuries older than the entire american history, and each is unique. This is why efforts such as EU bog down into a bureuacratic mess that never seems to get anywhere.

The US is geographically larger than Europe, plus it has a lot more cultural diversity with its immigrant heritage.

The cultural diversity of the US is mixed up. Thus USAs national identity, is to be a mix of different cultures. In Europe, the culture you'll find in Finland is very different from the culture you'll find in Spain (or even Sweden). (Ok, states differ in USA too, but they are all american, in a way that differs profoundly from european countries all being european, asian countries all being asian, or african countries all being african. There is the american way, there is no such thing as a european way).

Economics vary a lot within the US too, from the affluent suburban populations to the less affluent rural American regions.

Yes, but this is completely normal within any country.

Many countries in Europe are smaller than many US states. France for example is about the same size as Texas.

Actually, most european countries are smaller than any of the US states...

nitpick (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14324197)

Actually, most european countries are smaller than any of the US states...

ehm, no

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312759)

When it comes to the things important to small businesses, most countries do. Better bankruptcy protection, though that's relatively recent. Better health care coverage by a long shot, in that it's paid for by taxes instead of an unavoidable drain on the profits of a small business. Some even have guaranteed housing, transportation, and help to afford food and fuel. All of which the small businessman in the United States has to either provide out of his meager profits for himself and his employees- or end up doing without.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14317142)

in that it's paid for by taxes instead of an unavoidable drain on the profits of a small business.

You speak as though taxes are not themselves an unavoidable drain on the profits of a small business.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14319027)

You speak as though taxes are not themselves an unavoidable drain on the profits of a small business.

They are. But when you compare private health care's profit margin (15%-20%) to public healthcare's overhead (Medicare is a mere 2%) and combine that with the fact that taxed profits aren't taxed if they don't exist (as opposed to a private healthcare plan, whose costs go on even if profits are zero), the small business comes out WAY ahead contributing to the pay of a government bureaucrat at a mere $40,000/year rather than contributing to the pay of a C-level executive team earning $5 million a year.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14318434)

A) Forcing taxes on the populace is no better.
B) The government should not decide how, when , or the quality of how you are treated.

In the U.S. you can at any moment go to a hospital or doctor for something as little as having a headache or a feeling of frustration. This is possible because people work, if you give people things for free they have no motiviation to better themselves. Regardless, the government has no place in healthcare, once you've been treated under the U.S. system you realize the difference in quality and treatment. The U.S. also tends to have better doctors because there is major profit motive. Being handed everything, as many European governments do, is not a good thing.
Regards,
Steve

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14319117)

A) At least taxes go down when profits go down.
B) An elected official appointing a bureaucrat to decide my care according to democratically formed laws vs a greedy rich insurance company trying to limit their costs? Give me the first any day.

In the U.S. you can at any moment go to a hospital or doctor for something as little as having a headache or a feeling of frustration.

And spend the next 26 months trying to get the insurance company to pay for it- or worse yet, get charged for it out of pocket at 5x the rate because you don't have insurance.

This is possible because people work, if you give people things for free they have no motiviation to better themselves.

And yet your example of hypochondria shows that in the present system, they have no motivation to better themselves.

Regardless, the government has no place in healthcare, once you've been treated under the U.S. system you realize the difference in quality and treatment.

I have been- and it sucks on any attempt to assess it under a cost/benefits ratio.

The U.S. also tends to have better doctors because there is major profit motive.

And yet, Germany has the highest paid doctors in the world- under socialist medicine!

Being handed everything, as many European governments do, is not a good thing.

Maybe not to you- but to the small businessman trying to control costs and make sure his family is still taken care of while taking on imense risk- well, there's a reason why 49 out of every 50 new businesses started in the United States fail in the first three years.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14322138)

In the U.S. you can at any moment go to a hospital or doctor for something as little as having a headache or a feeling of frustration.

While I was in Germany in April of 2004, they were implementing a 10 copay so that people would stop wasting doctors times for headaches and feeling frustrated. They wanted them to just take OTC medicine, or call up their mom. Hell, it's not so important so as to see a doctor over.

Quite to the contrary, if healthcare is free, people will exploit it. Unlike America where we typically have copays around $20 or more for a doctor's visit. If it's going to cost you $20 to see a doctor over a headache, then you're not likely to go in, unless that headache is darn well worth $20.

In fact, I had a cold awhile ago, and I called up a doctor's office that my insurance would cover, and wanted to see a doctor, because I felt like crap, and I thought it might be the flu. I ended up talking to a nice nurse person, and it went away 3 days later. But at no time did they suggest that they were going to let me come in and talk to a doctor.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Banner (17158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14318884)

Providing freebies to the populace doesn't raise the standard of living. It lowers it. The average house in the US is twice the size of the average house in any european country. More people (percentage wise) own their own houses in the US versus any country in Europe.

Better health care? Nope, health care is far superior in the USA. Just because the owner of the small business doesn't pay for it directly, don't think he's paying any less. If he has to pay for it all via taxes, (remember SOMEONE has to pay for it!) he's probably paying a lot more.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (0)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14319245)

Providing freebies to the populace doesn't raise the standard of living. It lowers it. The average house in the US is twice the size of the average house in any european country.

And that affects QUALITY of life how, exactly? More material goods does not success make. In fact, I know plenty of bankrupt people that you'd think were rich- based on their material goods bought on credit.

More people (percentage wise) own their own houses in the US versus any country in Europe.

Also not a good thing in today's global economy. Owning your own house means that you're tied to an asset that is fixed in one place- which makes you less mobile, and less able to compete for jobs.

Better health care?

No, CHEAPER health care- the average insurance company only 85% of premiums go to actually providing health care. The average socialized medicine system, 98% of tax money goes to actually providing health care. That's a huge savings when you're a small business.

Nope, health care is far superior in the USA. Just because the owner of the small business doesn't pay for it directly, don't think he's paying any less. If he has to pay for it all via taxes, (remember SOMEONE has to pay for it!) he's probably paying a lot more.

The someone is the large business- but even they win. A recent study in the State of Oregon for an upcoming socialized medicine ballot measure suggests the average difference in premiums between adding health care onto income tax vs paying an insurance company for it is $8000/year per individual employee; that's a huge chunk of change when you're a small business (the savings comes from the difference between paying a state employee to manage the insurance claims vs paying an insurance executive to do the same job).

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

taradfong (311185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14340203)

And that affects QUALITY of life how, exactly? More material goods does not success make. In fact, I know plenty of bankrupt people that you'd think were rich- based on their material goods bought on credit.

Here, I actually agree with you. When people have mechanisms by which they can get and feel fake success (material gain) without consequences (having to pay for it someday) the quality of life for them (demoralization, no incentive to try) and everyone else (welfare subsidies) goes down the drain. Enter the 'gold collar' class.

[Home ownership is] Also not a good thing in today's global economy. Owning your own house means that you're tied to an asset that is fixed in one place- which makes you less mobile, and less able to compete for jobs.

I agree one should not buy a mansion in Mississippi.

But elsewhere, while you may be tied to an asset, at least you have one, and one which is about the only thing you can use to get ahead amid the inevitable inflationary pressures.

Crime and disunity among the powerless form the basis for the public discontent communists use to gain power - and the best way to create these conditions is to create communities of dependent renters (e.g. China).

Ideology friendly to slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14312078)

Ingredients"

Take one communist moniker. Add a health dose of "grass is always greener". Mix well, and serve to an OP who didn't ask if the US is better than everyone else. But is interested in working here with his OP. Sheesh why can't you all answer the damn question without pulling some ideology bullshit?

Re:Ideology friendly to slashdot. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312946)

Take one communist moniker. Add a health dose of "grass is always greener". Mix well, and serve to an OP who didn't ask if the US is better than everyone else. But is interested in working here with his OP. Sheesh why can't you all answer the damn question without pulling some ideology bullshit?

It's not ideology. Which is why I put in the subject line I did. When it comes to *freelancing*, what the OP wants to do, it's a hell of a lot easier if you don't have to wonder where your next meal is coming from or what happens when your kid gets sick. For small businesses, governments that actively *support* your family are a BIG plus.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14312306)

As a "Marxist Hacker" I'm surprised you'd have such concern for capitalist bourgeoisie scum. Shouldn't his impending bankruptcy be cause for celebration?

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312965)

As a "Marxist Hacker" I'm surprised you'd have such concern for capitalist bourgeoisie scum. Shouldn't his impending bankruptcy be cause for celebration?

No. For one, I have a tendency to follow Das Kapital more than the Communist Manifesto to begin with- it makes more sense and is by far the better work. Secondly- his bankruptcy means yet another homeless illegal alien who can't afford to go home when his visa is up- which is bad for the community at large. Far better he stays home, where governments support failed businesses until they become successful, than come here where the government punishes small businesses until they fail.

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14314575)

I agree here.

Doesn't matter which one you follow, both are "evil" in the eyes of the ignorant.

Here's my 2 cents.

As I recall even in the manifesto... an economy is there to better the people. It is not there to crush the people under the heel of the rich (aka the burgeoise) The economy is a "tool" to make sure everyone has "enough" to live well... but not to excess.

Unfortunately in the USA, and soon to be "in america" as Canada is heading that way too, the rich are crushing everyone under their heel and taking payoffs to provide tax relief to huge megacorps to offshore jobs and put mom and pop shops out. A few mom and pop outlets survive on the poor customer service that their clients receive at the megacorps, but just you watch. It takes awhile to kill all the "ones that slipped through".

I live in VA (and NC at times), and we had record unemployment here (VA), but suddenly it dropped off, despite Capital One laying off 10000 peeps over the last 2 years. How so you wonder? Easy! Their unemployment ran out... so they can no longer claim it. The figures are done as such... if they can't claim it, they must no longer be unemployed. (Been there, done that... unemployment DOES run out, you only get whats been put into it on your behalf.)

~D

Re:Europe more friendly to small business (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14321568)

As I recall even in the manifesto... an economy is there to better the people. It is not there to crush the people under the heel of the rich (aka the burgeoise) The economy is a "tool" to make sure everyone has "enough" to live well... but not to excess.

Yes, that was the main point. I don't think he ever forsaw the possibility of a regionalized government web page to collect a database of needs, thus providing better numbers for production of various goods and services, which might actually help give a community extra production capacity and thus the ability to have luxuries, but yes, it's the *purpose* of the economy that Marx called into question.

Unfortunately in the USA, and soon to be "in america" as Canada is heading that way too, the rich are crushing everyone under their heel and taking payoffs to provide tax relief to huge megacorps to offshore jobs and put mom and pop shops out. A few mom and pop outlets survive on the poor customer service that their clients receive at the megacorps, but just you watch. It takes awhile to kill all the "ones that slipped through".

Yep. And thus capitalism, in the end, *must* become corporatism, and any government that doesn't separate itself adequately from business *must* become fascist. The economy turns into a pair of equally opposed feedback loops- a positive one for those born rich, and a negative one for those born poor, and individual talent or hard work no longer matters.

I live in VA (and NC at times), and we had record unemployment here (VA), but suddenly it dropped off, despite Capital One laying off 10000 peeps over the last 2 years. How so you wonder? Easy! Their unemployment ran out... so they can no longer claim it. The figures are done as such... if they can't claim it, they must no longer be unemployed. (Been there, done that... unemployment DOES run out, you only get whats been put into it on your behalf.)

Yep, that's the way unemployed workers become discouraged workers, taken out of the rolls of the employable; we went from 120 million strong in the workforce in 1999 to a mere 65 million today- in the same time period the population of the United States went from 260 million to 290 million. These two trends are not sustainable.

Like I said (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14324215)

We now have the technology to make a government by the people, FOR the people feasible. As Marx and Engels put it, if it were not for the excesses of the few, everyone could prosper, but the greed of the power mongers is nearly insatiable... they can never have enough.

Bush, Cheney, the bin ladin's in Arabia... Saddam... they all couldn't and can't get enough of power and money...

In the end, it will take a revolution, I just hope the geeks wanting a reform are strong enough to do it, and of course the old world will not go quietly, but as it was put by that oh so forgotten patriot / founding father, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants..."

Bush & his corporate buddies are the new tyrants... where are the patriots?! Or have they already been bled dry in Iraq, "protecting" our freedoms from those EVIL starving Iraqis.

~D

When the buguoise are all gone... (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14324278)

When I destroy all the tyrants in the world, I will rule everyone justly, and ensure that no other tyrants can possibly come up in their place! My tyranny^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hutopia will know no bounds! ....

Not really, I'm just joking... but that seems to be how many revolutionaries think

Re:When the buguoise are all gone... (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 7 years ago | (#14324615)

I never said anything about ruling.

The truest state of an ENLIGHTENED society is anarchy... not chaos, but self ruled men, coexisting with other self ruled men, aiding each other out of the understanding that if all succeed, and in succeed in helping one another they will advance together.

Unfortunately, the current elderly generation must die, as must ours, to allow for an untainted one to rise to power. We have been tainted by fanatical religions and greed entirely too much to be worth saving, IMHO.

Only the weak minded require leaders... those with strong minds lead themselves and are often known as "self starters".

~D

Re:When the buguoise are all gone... (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 7 years ago | (#14325447)

You know... I explicitly said that I was joking. I don't argue with anyones opinion of what the perfect government would be, because they all have their reasons and the reasons make sense.

But practically, everyone who has attempted to enact any utopian government has only succeeded in making an opressive regime. Perhaps the only reason why the US doesn't have such a government is because our founding fathers didn't try to make a PERFECT government, they tried to make a government that was restricted, and confined, and answerable to the people.

Re:When the buguoise are all gone... (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 7 years ago | (#14328424)

And obviously they FAILED!

It just took time... but look at Rome... it took Rome a lot longer than 300 years to get as corrupted as we have become in our measly history. And look at them now, a slum, mostly known for the Mafia, the Vatican and the Coloseum (not Colisseum) :)

Oh well... all great empires have their time, and all things have an end.

~D

Re:Like I said (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#14326969)

We now have the technology to make a government by the people, FOR the people feasible. As Marx and Engels put it, if it were not for the excesses of the few, everyone could prosper, but the greed of the power mongers is nearly insatiable... they can never have enough.

The key, as I see it, is an evolutionary system- one where law is used of, by, and for the people as a weapon against the parasites. That, and I favor decentralzed, mob rule government...each town, even each neighborhood, is supreme within their own boundaries, then county law, then state law, and finally federal law. The ultimate anti-federalism.

YES (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 7 years ago | (#14328406)

THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I WROTE IN MY JOURNAL A FEW MONTHS BACK!!!

YES YOU ARE THE MAN!!! THANK THE FUCKING GODS ABOVE AND DEMONS BELOW!!!

yes... decentralization, indeed... taking power from the central "authority" and making it a mere arbitrator, as it SHOULD BE and AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN!!!

Taking those that gain too much by doing too little, and destroying their way of life... making them EARN what they get... so that the marine motto actually has MEANING... and they actually uphold it "never given, always earned"

~D

Re:YES (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332955)

I thought the marine motto was Always Faithful...

Re:YES (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335216)

Okay, you're talking about Semper Fidelis... I was referring to their ... hmm... what would one call them... pride points? guidelines? secondary mottos?

Either way, I used to work with ex marines, and have a friend who worked FOR one... (I think he became a pilot, said it was far less risky than working IT :)

Nonetheless, they ALL said the same thing... that the one thing they learned in USMC was "nothing given, always earned"... i.e. they would earn everything they got.

~D

Here is Advice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14312101)

Stay away from California. Why? It is expensive. You make a pretty penny there but every penny that comes into your pocket goes right out of the whole created by the state's cost of living. California is saturated with developers. If you are not top notch, well known developer you will be one of the many ants there. Lets face it California is galvanized and glorified throughout the world for being a gift from god but the reality is it isn't as good as advertised.

Re:Here is Advice (1)

taradfong (311185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14340047)

I disagree...that is, *if* you want a challenge and growth opportunities.

If you want to grow, you must surround yourself with great peers and great companies. At least that's what motivates me.

Yes, taxes are higher. Houses are unbelieveably high. But after living in the midwest and in California, I can tell you that your chances of making a lot of money are much higher here.

Take your clients with you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14312161)

Two years ago I up and quit my comfortable real job of many years and moved across the country to move in with my now wife, so I can somewhat relate to your situation.

First, for simplicities sake, I'll assume you get your own immigration details in order, since I have only nominal experience dealing with that.

Since you mention that you've been working freelance on and off my recommendation is to take your clients/work with you once you make the move to the states.

In my situation, I was able to work out a contract with my old employer to help them during the transition. Later on I picked up some work with one of their partners when they needed someone temporary to bridge a skill gap. All in all, it was enough to get me through my own transition. After about 8 months I ended up taking a full time position with a company out here instead of chosing to slog on with drumming up more business for myself, but there were opportunities out there.

Some things that helped me that might help you:

  - I moved in with my then gf, who is gainfully employed. This cut down
      on my expenses.
  - I saved up a pile of cash to get me through potential lean times.
      Fortunately, things worked out well for me and I never needed it, but
      It was nice to know I could fall back on it. I faced the possibility
      of having no income, half a rent payment in my new location and a
      mortgage on my old house. I got lucky in that I was able to sell my
      house in 6 days.
  - (Good in any situation) I was very careful to avoid burning any bridges.
      Sometimes this meant I had to smile and make nice to people I did not
      have much respect for. This kept a lot of doors open that even now
      are still providing opportunities.
  - As part of my relocation planning, I had backup backup plans if things
      got really tight. I've got some skill in construction and warehouse
      work, and was prepared to fall back on that if necessary.

At any rate, hopefully you read the AC responses, since I've never seen a need to sign up for an account here in all the many years I've read /.

Good luck!

Consider marriage and citizenship (2, Informative)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312407)

If you marry your aforementioned "significant other" and formally attain US citizenship, intead of just "living with" him or her. You'll probably wind up on a lot more solid ground as far as employment is concerned.

call your company "Alien Resident Development" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14312658)

If you call your company "Alien Resident Development" and if you go around giving your card to everyone I bet you will be VERY successful. People love alien residents here in the USA (for some reason). you will do better than a US citizen.

Look North (2, Informative)

zer0man (5467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14312753)

Oh boy, where to start. First off, I'm a Canadian, working in the US. In my experience, the US immigration system is very slow, horribly complicated and arbitrary. IANAL but you can't just show up and open up shop. You need a work visa first, and you can't just get that, you need a 'sponsor', and that means that they need to get you the appropriate visa, and that takes time. Something like an H1 is good for a limited time (3 years, extendable once to another 3, IIRC). If you want to become a permanent resident (green card) you'll need to show expertise in a subject, and still need some sort of sponsor. (again, IANAL) If you do make your way over here and pass the legal hurdels, there are still issues with simple things like establishing credit so that you can get a credit card or a basic phone line in your apartment.

As far as I can tell, the easiest way to cut through all this red tape is to marry a US citizen and then after a year or so you'll be set

However might I suggest you try Canada. The immigration process is ridiculously easy relative to the US, as long as you can show that you have the cash on hand to support yourself while establishing your new life. It's just as easy to start your own business in Canada as in the US, and the countries are fairly similar. The bad things are: the taxes are way higher (especially for small businesses) and lower standard of living (aparently Canada fell below Ireland recently.. yikes!). But because of Canada's proximity to the US there is no shortage of business opportunities to pick up 'near-shoring' contracts.

Whatever you choose, good luck!

Re:Look North (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14318177)

lower standard of living (aparently Canada fell below Ireland recently.. yikes!)

Is that the same Ireland that is now one of the best places in Europe to live, looking relatively good on everything from economic stability to crime levels?

Re:Look North (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14319487)

Is that the same Ireland that is now one of the best places in Europe to live, looking relatively good on everything from economic stability to crime levels?

Nah, it's that other Ireland, you know, the one that nobody talks about.

Re:Look North (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14318710)

Something like an H1 is good for a limited time

I think this is a crucial point a lot of potential "immigrants" overlook. Even if you do get a visa for 3 years, and extend it for another 3, after 6 years you MUST leave the USA. The laws may change in 3 years, but that's how it is right now. Of course if you get one of the coveted green cards you can stay, but those are difficult to get. Of course if you marry an American (of the opposite sex) then things become a little easier.

Re:Look North (1)

The Vulture (248871) | more than 7 years ago | (#14324640)

Even if you do get a visa for 3 years, and extend it for another 3, after 6 years you MUST leave the USA.

IANAL, but I have spoken to an immigration attorney about this subject (and my company has this attorney on retainer as they're sponsoring me). I am an H1 holder currently on the second three years (it expires late next year). As long as you have a valid status, you can extend your H1 (or even a TN, although it's trickier) almost indefinitely. Valid status would include applying for a Green Card and "being in the queue". You're now allowed at a minimum, H1 extensions for one year as long as your application is being processed, although typically they're handing out three year extensions.

A word on trying to get a Green Card:
I beat the deadline of the new "PERM" program for Green Cards,and as such, I'm under the old system (RIR). Because of the huge number of applications that went in (some 350,000), it will likely be at least another year before they even begin to unseal my file and start processing it (I, along with many others haven't even received an official receipt notice of my application). Then, with only about 140,000 immigrant visa numbers given our per year, my application will likely take an extra four years after they have approved it (which could take another three years), because they're giving out IV numbers to applications from 2001 (and even worse, each person attached to a Green Card application gets one number, so a family of four takes four IVs). So, with any luck, I'll have a Green Card somewhere around 2010-2012. By then, I'll either be married to an American citizen, or back in Canada.
The new system (PERM) has problems of it's own, they're (seemingly randomly) rejecting applications and they're not even set to process the ones that they're not rejecting. It's a complete mess.

-- Joe

Re:Look North (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14340026)

(aparently Canada fell below Ireland recently.. yikes!)

Whats with the yikes? From the 2005 human development index [wikipedia.org] , Ireland is number 8 in the world in terms of standard of living, and rising, beating out the US at number 10 and the UK at number 15, besides being one of the richest nations on earth. Canadialand is at number 5, so don't worry, you still have a slight edge there. :D

You are in for a rude awakening (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14312808)

You have no chance. This is no longer the land of opportunity. Marry a suga' momma!

some advice (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14314633)

Discounting what some of the other alarmist posters are posting, I hope you find a good job that you'll enjoy. There's a good reason that people come to the states, and in spite of some people freaking out about what they think is going on over here, they're not so freaked out they're actually leaving in the numbers they say they represent. In other words, people are staying, other people are coming here, and they're staying too.

People come here to work every day. A lot of them start their own companies. It's not hard to start one... Keeping it going is another story. If you have that type of background over there, you can do it over here. Just be sure you have a good lawyer and a good accountant to keep you within the corporate laws of not only the country, but the state you're moving to.

If you do end up working for someone else's company, be aware that vacation time is drastically different over here than it is in Europe. You'll get two weeks per year to start....*if* you're lucky. Some jobs make you wait one year. The vacation time can sometimes be negotiated, so try to do that if at all possible.

With that out of the way, another piece of advice I can give is to travel around the country after you get settled and have some vacation time to spend. Living in one area in any country might give you a good idea of what goes on in that one area, but it won't give you a good idea of what the rest of the country is like. Go to Boston, South Florida, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Indianapolis (especially for the 500 race), etc. You'll meet a lot of great people, hear a lot of viewpoints on everything, and you'll have a lot of fun.

Good luck.

The truth (1, Funny)

mrselfdestrukt (149193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14315362)

Sorry to hear, but if your SO is living in the US, and you live in EU, then she is not only your man. She's probably living with the guy she cheats on with the plumber and seeing the dude from the garage on the side. She also likes taking it up the back-alley. I learned all about American women from my porn collection. They're also all a bit on the chubby side.

H-1B Visa and company sponsor (2, Informative)

KarlH420 (532043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14315546)

Working freelance legally is probably pretty hard, as you have no legal immigration. No residency permit or work permit. Apply for work with companies, some may be willing to sponsor a H-1B visa.

After you have H1, you can start looking at getting the "green card", One of my co-workers did this. Several years after getting the H1, getting the green card. Eventually marrying a US girl, I assume now he's in the US for good. :-)

Beware working with a H1, means the company may have you by the balls. If you stop working there, or they fire you, you may have to leave the country. This means making sure you want to work there, and it is a good company. If you want to change jobs, your only option is to find another company to sponsor the H1.

You said you are into Java. At the moement there are quite a few companies developing java apps for mobile phones, you might want to look in that job sector.

You're going about this the hard way. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14317173)

Immigrate to the USA the easy way.

1: Learn to speak Spanish.
2: Sneak across the Mexico/US border.
3: Work for cash.

You'll do fine.

Your own multi-national (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14317219)

I'm surprised nobody has stated the obvious. Form a company in your home country, and set up US operations. You will be able to travel back and forth at will. You can use your SO's address as the US base of operations--legally in most cases. You also become a more attractive prospect if you are a company that can be cast adrift at will, or hired just as quickly.

I'm assuming you have the european advantage of being multi-lingual. Language, coding, and business skills are a rare combination. You should work to refine that angle.

If you are not so ambitious, then get in line at your local consulate/embassy and play the immigration lottery game.

Re:Your own multi-national (1)

KarlH420 (532043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14317558)

I think for your US operations you still need people legal to be in the US to be the employees.

Re:Your own multi-national (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14318588)

The point is that you can easily get a business visa to be in the US legally.

dice.com (1)

malachid69 (306291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14320546)

I scanned through some of the suggestions on here. I saw some say that Java is on its way out (I haven't seen that - my wage has steadily increased over the last 6 years and jobs have been coming in faster than before).

There is two aspects. The first is getting a job right away might require that you find a company willing to work with work visas (H1-B isn't it?). Some will. Basically, some companies have done it and will do it -- while others don't know what is involved in doing it and avoid it.

The second aspect is to become a tax-paying citizen... talk to the immigration department and the social security office. Once you are a legal citizen, you are no different than any of the other job seekers.

The tech industry itself is always in constant flux. It is very common for a tech job to last about 1 year, at which point you have to find a new contract. While that isn't always the case, I think it would be the most common scenario.

You can work freelance (ie: multiple projects for different people instead of full-time contract for 1 client), but that is more difficult and doesn't pay as well. If you are at all worried about paying the mortgage, you will probably find yourself going the full-time contract direction. I personally am doing both right now, but the freelance projects are very few hours every few months; whereas my year-contract is paying the bills.

To find java jobs, I would recommend dice.com. It is currently listing over 13k java jobs in the US. Also, you don't necessarily have to work locally. I haven't been at the office in 2 months now.

Multinational company (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 7 years ago | (#14324564)

First, since I've "been there done that", I'll echo other comments and say that the climate here for non-US citizens is getting steadily worse. I'm sure your girlfriend would very much enjoy a few years in Europe - at least until the US goes back to being a democracy.

But, if you want to move here and work, you'll need a H-1B or similar visa. These are very, very expensive - lots of lawyers and legal fees involved. We're talking a five-figure sum by the time you've got to a green card. Used to be that companies would willingly pay for this - but that's much less common these days.

One thing to investigate is a multinational company. You might be able to start working for them in Europe, and then swing a job transfer to the USA. This is much easier and cheaper to get past immigration. There is a time limit involved, although it is several years (but then, a H-1 visa has a time limit as well).

Before you do anything, though, be very, very sure to get things from the company in writing. Remember, the penalty if they screw things up isn't just the loss of a job - it is immediate deportation.

Visa lottery (1)

JoeF (6782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333847)

For freelancers, pretty much the only way is the visa lottery. I know people from Europe who did that.
A couple of caveats:
- there is a proposal on the table to get rid of the visa lottery.
- People born in some countries, e.g., the UK, are not eligible for it.

The usual work visas, H1 and L1, require employment and don't work for freelancing.
If you are really good, you may be able to self-petition yourself for a Greencard, but you probably would have to have a couple patents, etc.
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