Should we move back to Hong Kong?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    359

    Should we move back to Hong Kong?

    Hi all,

    I'm a Chinese, born in Hong Kong, and lived in Hong Kong over 30 years until I moved to the US three years ago. My husband, who is an American citizen, and I decided to stay in the US because we found that we would have an easier start here than in Hong Kong.

    After a year, I received my Green Card which allowed me going back to school. I'm now a full-time college student with major in Computer Information Systems while my husband is an English teacher in my school. I will be graduated on May 2007, and potentially will have a decent job from a good and big American company.

    Everything is going well. My question came out because we probably will be moving to Illinois for my job where my husband has no idea, as he has been living in the South and the West Coast in his life. He has mixing feelings about moving, and worrying about looking for a job himself.

    In fact, I'm still adapting the lifestyle here in the US. I always miss Hong Kong and still hoping to go back home one day. My husband loves Hong Kong after his visit twice. He sounds more excited if we move to Hong Kong than Illinois. So, I am thinking if we move straight back to Hong Kong after my graduation is a good idea.

    The biggest concern is our financial situation. Definitely I won't have a package as an expat, but with my another degree and working experiences, I should get a job in Hong Kong without big troubles. However, my husband will have concerns for long working hours in Hong Kong, and I'm afraid he might not get a job easily at his age.

    On the other hand, I appreciate the opportunities I have in the US. If we stay in the US for like five more years, not only I can get some working experienes in IT, we can start a living in Hong Kong with some money too. I would want to get some advice from you, how do you think of my situation? Would you prefer life adventure or financial stable? If you would share your personal experiences, I should appreciate that.

    Thank you.
    Joey


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Midlevels / USA (MD) / London
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    First, if you move to HK, you will lose your green card. Technically there are complicated ways to keep it, but basically, given that the green card is a 'residency' card and since you are no longer 'resident' it is gone. You can get it back being married to an American, but paperwork hell all over again.

    Living in a big city is very exciting for someone recently out of college, but the financial pressures are pretty huge. Living in HK as an expat on a package is a lot easier than living on a shoestring. I think you really need to ask 'would a few years in the US doing XYZ make me more valuable in HK later?" Or "am I missing a chance to be on the ground floor of something in China by staying in Illinois". These are calls only you can make. If you are not entrepreneurial and looking to be an employee somewhere, then you might not be missing as much in HK and could benefit from working the US. Having a few years of Western training at a big American company goes a long way in HK. In fact, if the company is big enough, you might work out getting transfered to HK later on (with a package).

    I grew up in a small city in Illinois, went to college in a bigger one, and lived in Chicago at the end. Basically the whole gamut of the state. Not sure where you are going to be based, but pretty much any part of Illinois is a long way from Hong Kong. It's not as far from the East and West Coasts, which your husband is accustomed to. And don't think 'I liked it on my visit' always translates to 'I like living here.' There are always little things that come into play. I like living in Hong Kong, but that doesn't mean it is perfect for me. Sometimes I go stir crazy and can't wait to get out, but I still love it by and large.

    One other consideration is your family planning. When do you want to have kids, and where. Are you comfortable with the medical care in HK and the pollution levels your children would be exposed to.

    So in the end, there is no right or wrong answer. Just try to think where you want to be 5 years from now, and whether that will help you 10 years from now. But I think you'll do fine no matter what you select.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    466

    I would say that you should have a job offer in hand before you decide if you want to move to Hong Kong. If you arrive in HK without a job and it takes a bit longer than expected to find one, you'll be pressured into taking the first job available.

    Since you already have your green card, you may want to consider getting your citizenship before making the move. This will give you more flexibility and options.

    I would take something certain (ie job in Illinois) over moving to HK. If you want to move to HK, I would suggest a 12 month trial period for your husband to decide whether it's what he thought it was.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    359

    Thank you so much for the advice. It does help to clear my picture.

    Yes, I do aware of my green card will be gone if I leave the US. Getting a citizenship before leaving US is a good idea.

    I will be working for an insurance company in Bloomington Illinois, as Systems Analyst in its Systems department. What I heard for this company was very positive.

    Answer, you are right. As I said, my husband might not get a job easily, then all the pressure will be on my shoulder. That's one of the reasons we wanted to start our life in the US too.

    Personally, I would like to work for some years in the US, especially I will have a job in some certain. Really, I can see the possibilities for my career prospect in the US than in HK. Meanwhile, I hope my husband will be excited for moving to Illinois, not just for me, but for both of us. As I know, there are many live band shows and musicians around Bloomington, this would be one important factor that he will be excited for. Just two hours away from Chicago, he may have busy schedule playing gigs every week. I think after we have a trip check out the area of Bloomingtonhe, he will feel better.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    4

    If you a good network marketer, why don't you find a job worldwide, e.g. distributor. I know many people are doing this in the states.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Midlevels / USA (MD) / London
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    Bloomington isn't exactly the most fun place in the world. If you haven't been in downstate Illinois, you'll probably be in for a bit of a suprise. Corn fields and soybean fields stretching for miles on end. About 65,000 people, probably 15,000 of which are college students I think. About an hour away is Champaign/Urbana and the Univ. of Illinois, which all told has a population of about 100,000 or so. Peoria isn't far away either.

    If you are working for the main insurance company in Bloomington (ie the big one) I think it would be wise to at least spend a year or so there a) getting citizenship and b) getting some experience. Coming over to HK later after a number of years with a Fortune 500 company is going to make you far more valuable than you would be at this point in your career.

    Central Illinois isn't for everyone. And someone from the East or West Coast is REALLY going to have an adjustment to make. If they sit around and moan "I hate it here" you are really going to have a rough few years. I grew up in a town smaller than Bloomington and met many people from larger cities who just went stir crazy when living down on the farm.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    359

    penguinsix, would love to hear more your experiences about Bloomington or Central Illinois. Yes, I'm going to work with the main insurance company over there. Seems they were in top 20 in Fortune 500. Considering that I'm living in a very small town in Natchitoches Louisiana (only about 35,000 people), Bloomington is a bigger city to me. Comparing with Hong Kong, I will still need to adjust my lifestyle though. That's why I miss home so much. But I always try to be positive, looking on something else rather than just focus on lifestyle.

    If I will accept the job, I probably will spend five years with them. Does anyone know DST Systems? They came to our campus last semester, and I know that they have oversea offices in many countries. Hong Kong is one of those. They said once you are a full-time employee, you can request an internal transfer to any office you like, if jobs open.