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Business in the US

Working in the US may be far different from what you have become accustomed to in your home country. Compared to some European countries such as Spain, working conditions in the US are much stricter and it is common opinion that this is what has allowed the US to become home to top global brands, and ultimately one of the world’s leading manufacturers. Whilst working hard is a given, find out what else business life in the US entails below.

Mobility & working hard

One common aspect of working in the USA is the willingness around mobility, which is especially important for those who want to get ahead of the game. Though not always feasible, employees and business owners alike are expected to take new career opportunities without a second thought, even if it means relocating to another country entirely with their family. Even those working poorly paid jobs often enjoy and take pride in their work, proving their dedication to the role and commitment to their country.

Employment guidelines

People that work in the US are often employed ‘at will’, meaning that they are not protected from dismissal by any section written in their contract – in fact, in some cases, there will be no written contract at all. As a result, the employee is allowed to leave the company at any time without having to explain their reason for doing so. In order to find out your duties and rights as an employee – at least within your company – we suggest taking a look at the official employee handbook distributed by your employer.

Working conditions in the States

With the opportunity to leave a job at any given time without giving your employer notice, many people working in the US question if there is a catch, and you may consider there to be one. Whilst an average working week in the US is at least 40 hours, working overtime is very common and often expected. As well as this, US employers are not obliged to assign their employees paid holiday and public holidays. Whilst a majority of people will be unaffected by this, families that have relocated with young children may struggle to find childcare on public holidays, and may miss out on valuable family time. Whilst this is the general rule between businesses, employees shouldn’t be afraid to negotiate these offerings with their employer, including finding out if they are able to provide corporate relocation assistance, financial support, health insurance, a pension plan or set up a spending account.

Visa application process

Many people believe that you can work under a visitor or business visa as part of the Visa Waiver Program in the US, however this isn’t always the case. Depending on the planned duration of employment, employees could require a non-immigrant visa. Whilst employees do not need a non-immigrant visa in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, the government of the United States do not provide work visas for ‘casual’ employment. To assist the visa application process for international employees, employers often hire an immigration lawyer, which can cost thousands. When working in the US, it is essential to consider whether or not the employee is required to cover the cost of their US visa if they decide to leave before the end of the agreed working period. If so, this must be stated clearly within their written contract.

Whilst working in the US may not live up to your expectations, it is an attractive option for hundreds, if not thousands, of people across the world, and despite the rigid visa application process and risk of early dismissal, there are several reasons to choose the US  as your desired expat destination.

If you are considering relocating an employee abroad on an international work assignment and you want to discuss how we can help during relocation, get in touch with a member of our expert team today!

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