PDA

View Full Version : Dutch graphic/web designer moving from Brussels to New York?



joyraider
October 6th, 2008, 12:28 PM
Hi all,
first of all, I've been reading a bunch of threads here first, and I also read something like "if you're coming to New York just for the sake of living in New York, you won't succeed"... Though I am a realist, I must admit that one of my reasons is indeed "because I want to live in New York". You can keep telling me that's a bad thing, I know, but I will try anyway. Some people are simply lucky, and I'm willing to take that chance, though I'm sure you'll all know more about it than me.

So, here's the deal: I'm a 22 yr old graphic- and web designer, currently working at a European airline I live and work in Brussels (which is the capital of Belgium ;) ), though I'm originally from Amsterdam (The Netherlands). I finished high school, then did some additional studies (like Communication & Multimedia Design, and Graphic Design) but I didn't finish any of them. So, no real graduations or diploma's, but I'm good at what I do. I'm currently working on a good portfolio to show (pretty hard when you're doing everything at night, since I can't do any of that during my fulltime job).

I've been to New York when I was little (before 9/11), and two weeks ago I visited NY again to see a friend. It was during that last visit that I realised I've always wanted to live in New York, especially as a designer for an agency.

So, since then I've been thinking, and although most people say it's insane or pointless, I decided to make it final: I'm moving to NY before the end of 2009, one way or another. Ofcourse I know that these things can't just be decided in a few minutes but need alot of thinking and preparation, but I was tired of the "dreaming", and I always need some kind of a 'go' before I really do something.

But, ofcourse I have some questions, a few of them are below:

- Green card: how does it work? Can an employer take care of this, like in Japan or Europe?

- Is anyone familiar with salaries in the design industry in New York? At the moment I make about EUR 1500 a month (around 2000 USD at this point) plus benefits (notebook, cellphone, insurance, all that), and I pay around 750 USD a month for my appartment. However, my guess is that I will earn less in New York, and pay (alot?) more rent (I don't need much, a studio would be enough, but when I look at the amounts of rent in NY it freaks me out).

- Job recruitment policy: do American/NY employers generally prefer Americans, or doesn't it matter as long as you're the right person for the job?

I thank you in advance for any answers, criticism, comments or tips ;)

joyraider

*edit* By the way, I'm ok with living in either Manhattan (not that likely) or Brooklyn (more likely), and found some good stuff on Craigslist already :-)

stache
October 6th, 2008, 07:05 PM
I can help you a little, a green card is very difficult to get. I'm not sure if you posted this correctly, you make the equivalent of $500.00 a week now?

Alonzo-ny
October 6th, 2008, 08:06 PM
Sounds like you have a decent chance of finding a job. Dont quote me but if I were you Id put my portfolio together and head back to NY for a couple of weeks and set up some interviews. If you get a job you will apply for a different visa first no employer will go straight to a greencard application. It depends on the employer as to whether they will take on responsibility for the visa but Id plan on having to do alot by yourself. I was in a similar situation last year. I can PM details of my immigration lawyer to you if you'd like to contact them.

ThisIsntMyRealName
October 6th, 2008, 10:26 PM
You might want to consider this before you come, all hell is breaking lose in the economy here!

KenNYC
October 6th, 2008, 11:28 PM
- Green card: how does it work? Can an employer take care of this, like in Japan or Europe?
Yes they do - however, without a degree, there is not really any chance at all.


- Is anyone familiar with salaries in the design industry in New York? At the moment I make about EUR 1500 a month (around 2000 USD at this point) plus benefits (notebook, cellphone, insurance, all that), and I pay around 750 USD a month for my appartment. However, my guess is that I will earn less in New York, and pay (alot?) more rent (I don't need much, a studio would be enough, but when I look at the amounts of rent in NY it freaks me out).I dont know your business in particular, but salaries in the US, New York including, are a good step below similar positions in Europe.


- Job recruitment policy: do American/NY employers generally prefer Americans, or doesn't it matter as long as you're the right person for the job?This is really the problematic one. They are obliged by law to hire Americans if they can, and without a degree, it's really hard to sell yourself to a US employer. I'm not saying that it can't be done, just hoping you'll be realistic. Contact an immigration lawyer, they can help.

joyraider
October 8th, 2008, 08:47 AM
Hi guys,
thanks alot for the great comments so far! Mostly mixed opinions, but still useful.

So, for now, I think this is what I'll do:

- Work my *ss off preparing a good portfolio
- Do some preparation (gather funds, look for as much agencies as possible online)
- Make an agreement about a flat, room, or studio
- Fly over to NY
- Start looking for jobs

This week I'm also gonna look for an immigration lawyer, which is probably very useful indeed (I don't think the "green card lottery" is a good idea, right? ;) ).

So far I still have a good feeling about it, except for not having a degree (which is usually less important over here in Europe, especially in design/development-related branches).

By the way, if anyone has (or knows someone who owns/works at) a company that would employ foreigners (with my skills), don't hesitate to tell me! ;-)

Many thanks,
Rudolf

Alonzo-ny
October 8th, 2008, 03:29 PM
- Make an agreement about a flat, room, or studio


Bad idea until you get a job etc.

KenNYC
October 8th, 2008, 09:17 PM
You're not going to find a (serious) landlord that will rent you an apartment without some form of legal residency.

stache
October 9th, 2008, 12:56 AM
Best bet is to start out on a month to month basis as a room mate.

KenNYC
October 9th, 2008, 03:07 PM
One thought that has crossed my mind on a few occasions is that it seems to be ridiculously easy to immigrate illegally to the US... Now, I am here legally and I have the papers to show for it (!), but it strikes me that there is very little oversight over people.

stache
October 9th, 2008, 07:08 PM
Ken, for the most part it's all for show. The government can say they're taking a hard line on homeland security etc. but I don't think they're kidding anybody.

KenNYC
October 10th, 2008, 01:05 AM
That's a little bit scary though...

stache
October 10th, 2008, 01:10 AM
Welcome to the USA lol.

KenNYC
October 10th, 2008, 01:46 AM
Yeah well, no reason to be worried, at least I don't live anywhere that would be attractive to terrorists...

Matthie
October 19th, 2008, 10:20 AM
I think it's better to go to NYC for a "holiday" and do a lot of interviews overthere before you really leave Europe.

I'm not sure if you can get a job without any degree, but what I do know that this will be very hard. I know it's possible to get a degree in the Netherlands based on your working experience. Maybe that's something that will help you.

Veel succes ermee!