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Moving to USA (NYC) – Need Advice
41 points by JackOfAll on Aug 18, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 55 comments
Hello All, I need a bit of advice as my research on google has not cleared my doubts. I am based out of Hong Kong as a C++ and Java developer (10 years exp) and my company (an Investment Bank) has decided to move my role to New York. I have persuaded my bosses to relocate me to NYC and they have agreed. Though the HR talks have not yet happened regarding salaries, i would like to prepare and set mine and their's expectations.

After a lot of research on google/glassdoor/etc, i have come to the following conclusions: 1. I might not get the best market salaries (Asian/NYC being high cost center/non native English speaker/first timer to USA/etc) 2. I should range my salary expectations in a range of 130K-150K just to be safe in the zone and not miss out on the job. Is this fair? 3. I have no option but to work in NYC and live in NJ. It seems that this is the sanest thing to do. 4. Taxes being high compared in NYC, I can safely assume 40% of my salary being cut. So that leaves me in a range of 78K-90K after tax. Assuming my rental will be around 2k and monthly expenses around 1k, that would leave me with 42K-54K. This i believe should be more than enough. 5. My life-work balance might go for a toss given that longer hours are the norm in NYC (Wall Street). Am i right? 6. Given that i will be moving to USA on an L1 B visa? (not a senior management guy) i can apply for a GC (as in Green Card, not the other GC) as soon as i join and get it in around 2-3 years. Am i right?

My preparation for my move has not yet started and i am sure that i will have more questions. Since i have no one in USA (friends/family/etc) i am completely reliant on YC.

Please let me know on the above points and if any of my assumptions are wrong. Also please feel free to advice me on anything that you think would be a appropriate.

Warm regards from Hong Kong...

Regarding your question around becoming a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR, that is, a green card holder): The L1B non-managerial category usually processes slower than L1A (senior managers and executives). This is most often because L1B holders fall under the EB2 (employer-based, 2nd priority) permanent residency category. If your employer's immigration lawyer has the experience to do so and sees that you meet the definition, see if you can get classified as a "functional manager" (meaning that you are primarily responsible for a critical part of the business), which would put you in the L1A visa category and give you a much easier path to EB1 LPR status. Note that L1 visas, whether A or B, have a general cap of 5 or 7 years before the holder must leave the United States.

Your employer applies for LPR on your behalf. When using employment- or investment-based visas, you will quickly find that all paperwork has to be done by your employer or corporation and you're just along for the ride.

Thanks techsupporter. I am not sure if i would be applicable for EB1, since i would be functioning as a senior developer (of some critical SW). I guess it would more likely be EB2. However, maybe in a year or so if my profile expands, then maybe i can re negotiate and try to get an EB1.

By the way, do you by any chance know what are the likely time frames of getting a LPR for both EB1 and EB2 given that i would apply for LPR as soon as i join office?

You should speak to a US tax adviser in Hong Kong ASAP.

You will be taxed on your world-wide income.

You will need to report all your assets - every single account number, name/identifier, and the maximum balance during the year to both the Treasury and the IRS.

You will also need to report every financial account such as PayPal, spread-betting, online gambling, stock trading a/c, fx trading a/c etc. to both the Treasury and the IRS.

You need to compute all interest, dividends and capital gains for the calendar year (HK tax year runs to April) in order to pay tax due to the IRS even though there is no tax in HK.

Some of your assets and accounts may have to be shut down as US persons/taxpayers may be forbidden from operating those accounts e.g. spread-betting.

Depending on your personal situation and net worth, the above may or may not influence your decision to relocate.

Good luck either way!

there was a recent article on Blomberg news about american expats giving up their citizenship, and the burden of paperwork was cited as one of the key drivers for the rich but not super rich types in HK and Singapore.

Hey, I've lived in NYC and I currently live in Westchester, a county directly above it.

If you're travelling to Manhattan, I'd like to echo what another commenter said in that New Jersey is not your only or your best option. You can find affordable real estate (especially with your budget of $2k) within Westchester.

A lot of people travel from New Jersey to Manhattan within a a half hour - this is a pretty good commute. But you can still live within New York if you live in one of the lower towns of Westchester and travel using Metro North. It's a higher end train system than the subway, and it goes to Grand Central station from just about every conceivable town that would be a commutable option for you.

New York and New Jersey are fundamentally different. Yes, both can work for you, but one will fit your personality more than another. The outer boroughs and the lower towns of Westchester have a distinct "NY" feel that is still very urban and metropolitan (despite having a lot of suburbs) because it is so close to the city and within the same state. New Jersey isn't bad because it's not quite like this, but it is different - you should hang out around both if it's realistic for you so you can see for yourself which population suits you more. Coming from Hong Kong, you'll want to be as close to the city as possible, I think.

I highly, highly encourage you to not just limit yourself to New Jersey. Good luck :)

Re: Green Card, you might also consider the Green Card lottery. https://www.dvlottery.state.gov I know that it seems like a long shot (and it is) but I got it on my first try and a friend of mine got it on the first try. Applying does not cost anything and takes about 10 minutes. The application period starts in October I think.

I know through friends that if you apply for a green card once and don't get it, then it tends to raise a yellow glad on the next try. I don't know if this lottery would raise such a flag but I'd do research on it before blindly applying.

I think that you are talking about the standard way of applying for a green where it is imaginable that a rejection would raise flags during later applications. But in the lottery, if you don't get it, it's not that you were denied, it's just that you did not win it.

The lottery is different from that. The red flag being raised when you don't get a green card is mainly because your previous application process's issues still exist. For example, if you are scamming the system on a fake asylum request, you are unlikely to get a green card next time around even if you apply through an employment based system. The lottery is a randomized draw.

Source: I applied for the lottery three times. In the middle of this, I moved to the U.S. on a visa, switched visas, finally got the lottery and got a gc.

I was also selected on my first try. Actually my wife applied for me.

Just curious: it doesn't look like the lottery is open to new registrations. Is it only possible to register in certain periods?

Expect around a 1% chance of winning.

I won the DV2013 lottery (I have about 3 months left to relocate to the US) and I remember the chances being as high as 4% in some places.

Or you just book a round trip with a few hours inside the US and you're good to go for the next 12 months in your home country.

This way you can opt for the wait-and-see approach regarding the evolution of the surveillance state trend and its ramifications.

It depends on where you are from.

So which countries are more preferable? And from where do you have this information?

People from Europe & Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, etc.) get 80% of the DV. If you're fromm elsewhere you have around a 1% or less chance of winning. (For Oceanians it's about 5%.)

Source: Wikipedia article on it.

That's not right. The chances of winning are, with the exception of Oceania, less than 2%. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diversity_Immigrant_Visa#Winnin... (Oceania is 5.28%). I'm not sure where you got the 80% from.

I think the biggest question you should ask yourself is "do you want to move to NYC, or find a new job in Hong Kong?" I personally would rather be in Hong Kong unless the job in NY were truly exceptional. If you want to go to NY, go to NY -- the finances/etc. will work out, but unless you have some specific fixed expenses, it's probably not the primary consideration.

The problem is i am working in IT. For an IT guy moving slowly from low cost center to medium cost center and from medium cost center to high cost center is equivalent to a successful career progression.

Being in NYC means that i would be working on really interesting projects and i will have more freedom with my work and the decisions that i can make while programming.

That sounds like a strong factor in favor of NYC. The optimum would probably be having some experience in NYC for a few years and then potentially moving back to HK in a more senior role?

I agree. I have lived nearly a decade in both HK and NYC each and HK was by far a better place to live and work.

Glad to see NJ as a living option. It's great and highly underrated compared to the trendier boroughs. I've lived on the NJ Gold Coast and worked in Manhattan for my entire professional life, and quite happy with it.

There's no need to live way out in the NJ suburbs with a lengthy train commute; there's quite decently affordable apartments within range of the Path subway in Jersey City for a 10 minute ride to downtown Wall Street. Or try Hoboken, a bit more costly but with great atmosphere and nightlife if you're into that.

Bonus: NJ sales tax is less, and you dodge the NYC income tax, so that saves another couple $k per year.

NJtransit and path trains are terrible. That's the problem. LIRR is so much nicer...

I just moved to NJ myself and you can find very nice places for 1200 or so. You will probably find that 1000$ a month for living expenses is very low. I would raise that to 1500 a month.

Regarding your green card, are you a Chinese citizen? If so, be prepared to wait a very long time. Citizens of India, China, Mexico and the Philippines are artificially restricted in how many green cards are handed out a year- took me 7 years although now I think it's more like 5. Also iirc, citizens of these four countries are not eligible for the green card lottery.

Thanks for all your comments. Here is what i have got 1. Might not matter, should auto-correct itself in a year or so. 2. Still not sure about my expectations wrt asking for 130K-150K ? I don't want to miss the boat while i do not want to get in at a low, since getting rises is really hard nowadays. 3. Thanks for all the wonderful information about neighboring places. Wow, I have a lot of options and not just NJ. 4. if 130K-150K works out, then i should be fine with the after tax savings. Whew!! 5. Might have to do some long hours in the beginning, might tail off as i get more exposure. 6. Will follow up with my company's lawyers.

Also, I remember reading a blog about a person's experience while moving to USA. He mentioned about SSN, DMV license, Moving his savings to USA, Credit ratings, etc. Can someone point me to the url again or send me appropriate urls where this information has been already mentioned.

I want to start off by saying that I am a recent college grad and our expectations of living conditions might be slightly different, but Ill add what I can. But I am a native New Jersyian so I have some idea of what I'm talking about :)

3. This is definitely not the case, especially if you have no family to support. Most of my friends who have started work in NYC earn anywhere from 75-100k and they live comfortably in Brooklyn. They probably will not accruing much savings, but making 130-150k living in Brooklyn is very, very affordable.

4. You will not pay 2k a month in rent. If you live in Brooklyn it will be max 1500 and in NJ it will probably be closer to 1k. You would only be paying ~2k if you want to live in Manhattan itself. 40% is probably about right for taxes maybe a little high.

That's all I can really add for now, but hope that help! And if you have any follow up questions feel free to comment below

$1500 max in Brooklyn and live where? While it certainly depends on what part of Brooklyn and what type of rental you can tolerate, $1500 is low. The average monthly rent in north Brooklyn is now over $3,000 - http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/realestate/costly-rents-pu...

1 - I wouldn't say it because you're a non native English speaker/first timer to USA [non native English speakers are one of the most common things around here]. I would say it because things are not going well in NYC at all.

2 - That's fine, but don't get frustrated if you get something between 75K - 100K.

3 - Check Brooklyn and Queens, maybe Harlem. Commute is not a problem here.

4 - 25% to 27%.

5 - It really depends on your company. Don't forget the Fall and Winter's depression and loneliness. But don't worry, wait for the Summer [Oh yeah the Summer - Hellyeah!].

6 - I'm not sure.

Rogerbooyou, Thanks for your comments.

Am i reading the market incorrectly? since you mention that i might get somewhere around 75K - 100K ! For a 10 year experienced guy in C++ and Java, i was expecting a range of 130K-150K.

That does put a wrench in the works !!

4 - aren't you forgetting state income tax?

And if you live in NYC, NYC has its own income tax in addition to the NY State income tax.

You certainly have a choice about where to live. You can easily live in a decent part of Manhattan on 130k - you'll pay more for less space, but have more time (shorter commute) and likely a better social life. If you're working for a bank, the Financial District is actually a relatively cheap place to live.

If you do decide to go that route, be very careful with real estate brokers, who are the scum of the earth and love taking advantage of immigrants. You can find some decent "no [broker] fee" listings on streeteasy.com.

I am pretty sure the OP should be able to negotiate with his company some relocation package, including the bank finding for him a temporary accommodation for some times (one month would be the minimum, maybe the OP could have this up to 6 months).

You certainly have a choice. You can easily live in a decent part of Manhattan on 130k - you'll pay more for less space, but have more time (shorter commute) and likely a better social life. If you're at a bank - the Financial District is actually a relatively cheap place to live.

If you do decide to go that route, be very careful with real estate brokers, who are the scum of the earth and love taking advantage of immigrants. You can find some decent "no [broker] fee" listings on streeteasy.com.

"I should range my salary expectations in a range of 130K-150K just to be safe in the zone and not miss out on the job. Is this fair? ... Assuming my rental will be around 2k"

130K would be a bit too much. I know developers who get paid around 100K for a normal development gig at an investment bank. And 2K is also a bit too much for rent. Try to live in Chinatown, or at least Queens - they're definitely less than other parts of the city.

You can save a ton of your living expense by taking advantage of the Metro-North commuter railroad which runs all the way up into the Hudson Valley, into Dutchess county where it's far cheaper to live. At the expense of an hour's commute each way to the city. Google Beacon, NY which has a train station about an hour from the city by train if you're interrested in saving money this way.

> 3. I have no option but to work in NYC and live in NJ. It seems that this is the sanest thing to do.

Hey now, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's preferable. If you live in Jersey City, Hoboken, etc. you're on the Path. That means you're in the city in 10 minutes for minimal cost. Oh, you also pay less in taxes. How do you beat that?

Hi, others have covered financial concerns.

I can try to answer 5).

Work hours probably depends on your assigned team. Probably best to get all of the details firsthand from your potential team than to guess.

Now in terms of Asian/Asian-American culture in NYC, it is generally split into three groups; a) the old-timers and descendants living in Flushing and Chinatown, b) the professional's who moved into NYC to work for the banks, c) the professional's who moved into NYC to work at Silicon Alley/Media/Publishing etc.

Group a) are the people with the most Chinese culture; every weekend, extended families go have dim-sum outings at the Flushing mall with multiple round tables of family relatives. However, Flushing is a mixture of Chinese people who came to the city during the 70's and a new wave of immigrants in the 90's and 00's. So you have a eclectic mix of Chinese people who work in restaurants, aren't as educated and also the sons and daughters of kids who were brought up in the old-timers old school Chinese household who worked their way up through the restaurant chains and became owners and sent their kids to good colleges. The old timers' culture and attitude closely resembles Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Group b) are the INTJ and class-A personalities. There's a good mixture of both ABCs (American Born Chinese) and FOBs (first generation) in this crowd. A lot of my friends in this group are very ambitious and try to climb the management ladder by either obtaining a prestigious business degree (e.g., going to Wharton) or by working very long hours or by working on guangxi. As a result, socializing is very superficial. Some of the people I kept in touch since college or hang out with on weekends, I find that I hardly really know them at all; they best represent the 'jing' of Chinese people as in Shanghai and the Mainlander attitude of always being calculating for self-preservation.

Group c) are generally the more Americanized Chinese people as they work in non-traditional fields. Although the degree varies depending on where they grew up and their upbringing. You might find some Asian Americans are willing to hang out with both Americans and Asians; some will only hang out with Asian Americans but no international Asians; some will not hang out with any Asians at all. The best way to describe this is the attitude of certain Hong Kongers toward Mainlander immigrants in Hong Kong, some will accept them, some think that they are superior because of their Euro-centric upbringing despite the fact that we all are Chinese.

But in general, everyone is very nice in NYC as it is an very international city. However, you'll have to make an effort to make new friends as it is a big city where everyone hurries from one subway station to the next. But the friends you make once you do make a real friend, you can generally count on the person.

I hope this helps and this is only my opinion, best of luck to your transition,

thanks noname123 for your comments....

> i can apply for a GC (as in Green Card, not the other GC)

What's this other GC?

I looked at 146 GC's here:


and none of them make sense in this context.

Edit: The joke is quite funny -- now that I get it.

not in context at all, but considering his BG I thought Garbage Collector :)

thanks dewiz... apologies cantrevealname...

While typing GC, i could'nt help myself adding that... thought i was being smart :)

Why not stay in HK and keep more money?

Also consider that you'll be required to pay income tax even after renouncing your U.S. citizenship, should you ever wish to leave for greener pastures.


I don't think this duty artists if you limit yourself to green card status and not citizenship.

Green card holders also have to pay US tax on worldwide income. Note that if you permanently move out the US you are supposed to relinquish your green card. The last time I looked at this (~2 years ago) the guidelines were that being out of the country for up to six months was okay, and up to a year required official notice, and longer than that was only acceptable under exceptional conditions.

That's right -- a GC-holder moving out of the US would normally relinquish the GC and stop paying US taxes at that point.

I don't recommend trying to hold onto a GC while living outside of the US... this is one of those areas where there's no strict rule on what's "okay", just vague guidelines, so if you are trying to hang on to a GC while living outside the country for a few years by visiting twice a year, a DHS official in a cranky mood is perfectly able to decide you're "cheating" and eject you from the country... which will not be a good thing to have on your record if you ever want to come back.

I'm American but moved to France w/ my non-American wife, and we tried to hang on to her GC for a while like this... but it was far too nerve-wracking.

Let me add some perspective as an expat (Australian) living in NYC.

1. You may not be a native English speaker but honestly your English (based on your writing here) is fine. Assuming your conversational (rather than written) English is at a similar level, it should be a non-issue.

As to whether it will hurt you in terms of your organization and negotiating renumeration, that I can't say. It depends on your employer.

2. As for your salary expectations, different companies have different structures/mixes with regards to base salary, bonus, stock and other benefits. Your salary range doesn't seem unreasonable however.

3. Where to live. OK, this one is a lot more complicated and largely comes down to what tradeoffs you're willing to make.

If you live in NJ you're basically looking for something along the PATH line that goes into Wall Street. The problem with PATH is it doesn't run after a certain hour and doesn't have great service on the weekends. I know people who live in NJ who drive into the city on weekends. This means living in NJ can mean a more isolated existence (socially/culturally) and/or owning a car, which is an expense that you don't really want (IMHO).

If you live in NYC you pay a city income tax, this is true, but IMHO it's the one tax I don't mind paying because you get a ton of services for that money: 24 hour subway, a responsive police force (eg it took the NYPD 15 minutes to show up on a Saturday night to disable an unattended car alarm outside my building), a fairly new (and seemingly popular) city bike program ($95/year).

Working on Wall Street makes living in Westchester or Long Island more difficult as those commuter lines generally go into Grand Central or Penn Station (respectively), which means you have the train ride and then a subway ride. That's a long commute.

Living uptown means a relatively long subway ride. Upper East Side means catching the 4/5/6, which is the worst and most crowded line. Queens is relatively inconvenient too.

So, if I were you and wanted to live in NYC I would look at downtown Brooklyn or somewhere around Chinatown. Get a small apartment, pay $2k+ for it but have the subway, have a shorter commute (you could walk from Chinatown) and be around more people.

4. I don't think 40% is accurate. The marginal rate might be that but it won't be 40% total. Living in NYC you pay the city income tax but the NY state income tax (which you also pay) is lower than the NJ state income tax IIRC.

5. I can't speak to the working conditions on Wall Street but my understanding is that Asian working hours are pretty high anyway so I wouldn't expect anything more than that.

6. Processing times for Green Cards come down to what category you're in and your country of _birth_. This is super-important. Hong Kong, I believe, is treated differently to mainland China (the latter having much longer processing times).

EB1 category is hard and unless you have a PhD, are published and cited and you've been in a position of judging other people's work in that regard, you won't meet the bar. Being a "senior developer" certainly isn't enough.

This leaves you in EB2, which is employer-sponsored. If that interests you, negotiate that as part of your relocation (that they begin that process straight away). Expect it to take at least a year or two.

But in all matters visa and immigration related, make sure you speak to a qualified immigration attorney rather than relying on any advice you get here or elsewhere.

Some additional things to consider:

- Living outside the city makes not having a car more awkward. Factor this in as an expense;

- Don't make a decision based on relatively small differences in income tax rates. There are far more important factors than this such as being happy where you live;

- When you move here, take a sublet and figure out where you want to live;

- As part of a relocation package, get your employer to pay a broker fee for finding an apartment and ideally give you 2+ months of corporate housing to find your feet. Broker fees on rentals are typically 15% (of the annual rent) in Manhattan and a month's rent outside of Manhattan;

- Even if you have to pay that fee yourself, it's well worth paying (IMHO). It'll save you a ton of time and if you get a good broker you won't waste your time with buildings you can't get into (no credit here will initially be a problem) and you should get something below market enough to justify the cost if you stay in it for 2+ years;

- Take a 2 year lease when you get an apartment instead of 1. It's easy to get rid of a reasonably priced apartment if you change your mind;

- Cathay Pacific has 4 direct flights a day from JFK to HKG (and they've just added one from Newark). I love Cathay and fly that route a lot;

- You might get an L1B but next year, as a backup, get an H1B. You never know how long a GC will take;

- You shouldn't need to take a sub-market salary to move here. Don't lowball yourself just to make sure you get here. If HR wants you to pick a number, go _high_. You can always come back and say you're somewhat guessing because you're not familiar with the market if you're way off. It's perfect actually.

Hope that helps.

cletus, thanks for the wonderful post. It has lots of information and i will read it multiple times to soak it all in. Regarding location, I would definitely prefer a place where people can walk/use public transport heavily/etc rather than rely on cars. Not only it saves money, but i personally feel that seeing fellow people and having a good level of interaction with different people is really the KEY to a happy life. You would never feel isolated and when in stress, it lets you see things in the correct perspective.

for now i have some queries regarding your comment, please indulge me if you can spare few minutes: - not sure about the terminology, but by sublet you mean a very temporary accommodation before moving into a rented place? - can you please clarify a bit more on why 2 years is preferable than 1 year? does re contracting every year has a recurring expense? - Is it possible to get H1B visa while having a L1B visa as you have suggested? I thought that would not be possible? In case it is, will the H1B sponsor be the same company that is my L1B?

Also, your last point is entirely valid and it makes perfect sense. Thanks for that.

I'm just going to comment on number 3, in depth, b/c I don't have insight on your other questions and if I was in your shoes I would absolutely want as much detail as possible (apologies if this is too long-winded for you).

As others have said, NJ is not your only option and definitely not even the best option. The options include: the outer boroughs (The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island); countless towns in Nassau County, Long Island (right on LIRR, the commuter rail that shoots east of the city); countless towns in Westchester County far closer to the city than, say, Dutchess County, which another commenter suggested (no offense to that person!) (Westchester is north of NYC and on the northern commuter rail MetroNorth); countless towns in Fairfield County, CT (again, "north" of the city and on MetroNorth); and then New Jersey as well, which is just as good an option as those other ones depending on how close you can get to the city.

The only place it might be harder to live comfortably is Manhattan, but that's not really true either. If you're pulling down 78k after tax--the low-end of the range you cited, which I can't comment on so take all this w/ that in mind--you have plenty of money to live on and live well on unless you have some major fixed monthly expenses (people in the states might have student loans, for instance, that would eat up material portions of their income or you want to save a bunch of your post-tax salary (which of course makes sense 10 years into your career)). Still, you can live AND save at 78k post tax in some pretty good areas around and even IN NYC, which brings me to...

There are absolutely apartments in Manhattan that rent for close to $2k/month in fairly PRIME locations that are no more than a 20 to 40-minute commute to Wall Street, including the Upper West Side (don't let people tell you it's no-man's land--it's not!) and even downtown in the Village and elsewhere (case in point, I just rented a (small, but not Hong Kong small 1 bedroom) apartment to an NYC Law Student for $2300/month in Greenwich Village, just south of Wash Square and I felt fortunate to get that much rent for the place). I understand that 2300 is north of 2k, but it's not much when you're talking about 78k post-tax income.

Couple of more things... If you don't know anybody, the city can get lonely (odd when there are thousands of people right outside your door, but happens all the time as you might know living in HK). That said, it's far better to live in the city, surrounded by people, than to jump on the aforementioned MetroNorth, Long Island Railroad (LIRR) or NJ Transit at 9pm, after a long day of work, only to arrive home to a suburban apartment, go to bed and repeat the cycle.

Assuming the 78k post-tax turns out to be true, if I could sit you down and argue for the "right" choice, I would strongly advocate living in the city, in a neighborhood where there is healthy street life and where you avoid a long commute (anything more than 45 minutes (literally from the moment you step out your front door and arrive at your office) would be a deal breaker).

Using that as the rule, I recommend you only look at very close-in suburbs (some of the closer towns in those places I mentioned above on the commuter rails) or in one of the boroughs themselves (which is what I would even more strongly suggest).

Two final comments: getting an apartment in NYC (Manhattan or outer boroughs) often comes with a broker's fee. It sucks, but most people pay it and it can be fairly expensive (normally 10-15% of one YEAR's rent (i.e., thousands of additional dollars out of your pocket that you'll never see again)).

Again, though, if you have some savings it's absolutely worth paying the fee if a) you can't find a place that charges no fee (it's possible, but it's not the norm and many native New Yorkers struggle with finding a place when they go this route) or b) your alternative breaks my 45-minute rule above (remember, 45 minutes door to door!).

Hope that helps. Sounds like a great adventure if you can get what you need comp and visa-wise.

I live in Westchester and I have lived in the Bronx. I can confirm that traveling to and from the city is exceptionally easy with Metro North, and runs through almost every town tat would be feasible for commuting to the city.

TKM, Thanks for the wonderful reply. I have now more options to consider than just NJ. Thanks once again.

Another thing to think about, if you're working for a Wall Street bank (and likely other firms, but I can't comment on what their policies are), is that past a certain time you get a car service home. Opens up the search a bit as well.

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