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O abad dalam sejarah yang tercatat telah mengalami begitu banyak transformasi sosial dan radikal seperti abad ke-20. Mereka, saya serahkan, bisa berubah menjadi peristiwa paling penting dalam hal ini, abad kita, dan warisan abadi. Di negara-negara pasar bebas yang dikembangkan - yang mengandung kurang dari seperlima populasi bumi namun merupakan model untuk sisa pekerjaan dan angkatan kerja, masyarakat dan pemerintahan, semuanya, dalam dekade terakhir abad ini, secara kualitatif dan Secara kuantitatif berbeda tidak hanya dari apa yang mereka lakukan pada tahun-tahun pertama abad ini, tetapi juga dari apa yang telah ada pada waktu lain dalam sejarah: dalam konfigurasi mereka, dalam proses mereka, dalam masalah mereka, dan struktur mereka. Perubahan sosial yang jauh lebih kecil dan jauh lebih lambat pada periode sebelumnya memicu perang saudara, pemberontakan, dan krisis intelektual dan spiritual yang kejam. Transformasi sosial yang ekstrem abad ini telah menyebabkan hampir tidak ada aduk. Mereka telah melakukan gesekan minimal, dengan sedikit pergolakan, dan memang, dengan sedikit perhatian dari para ilmuwan, politisi, pers, dan masyarakat umum. Yang pasti, abad kita ini mungkin adalah yang paling kejam dan paling kejam dalam sejarah, dengan dunia dan perang saudara, penyiksaan massal, pembersihan etnis, genosida, dan holokennya. Tapi semua pembunuhan ini, semua kengerian yang menimpa umat manusia oleh khalayak pembunuh peramal ini, yang melihat dengan jelas, hanyalah: pembunuhan tanpa akal, kengerian, suara dan kemarahan yang tidak masuk akal, tidak berarti apa-apa. Hitler, Stalin, dan Mao, tiga jenius jahat abad ini, hancur. Mereka tidak menciptakan apapun. Memang, jika abad ini membuktikan satu hal, maka kesia-siaan politik. Bahkan orang percaya paling dogmatis dalam determinisme sejarah akan mengalami kesulitan untuk menjelaskan transformasi sosial abad ini karena peristiwa politik utama, atau peristiwa politik utama yang disebabkan oleh transformasi sosial. Tapi ini adalah transformasi sosial, seperti arus laut yang jauh di bawah permukaan laut yang terserang badai, yang memiliki efek abadi dan permanen. Mereka, alih-alih semua kekerasan di permukaan politik, telah mengubah tidak hanya masyarakat tapi juga ekonomi, masyarakat, dan pemerintahan tempat kita tinggal. Era transformasi sosial tidak akan berakhir pada tahun 2000 - Itu bahkan tidak akan memuncak pada saat itu. B EFORE the First World War, para petani membentuk kelompok tunggal terbesar di setiap negara. Mereka tidak lagi membentuk populasi di mana-mana, seperti yang mereka dapatkan sejak awal sejarah sampai akhir Perang Napoleon, seratus tahun sebelumnya. Namun, petani masih menjadi mayoritas di hampir semua negara maju kecuali Inggris dan Belgia - di Jerman, Prancis, Jepang, Amerika Serikat - dan, tentu saja, di semua negara terbelakang juga. Pada malam Perang Dunia Pertama, ini dianggap sebagai aksioma yang jelas bahwa negara maju - Amerika Serikat dan Kanada merupakan satu-satunya pengecualian - akan semakin bergantung pada impor makanan dari daerah nonindustri dan non-pembangunan. Saat ini hanya Jepang di antara negara-negara pasar bebas yang berkembang utama adalah importir makanan berat. (Ini adalah salah satu yang tidak perlu, karena kelemahannya sebagai produsen pangan sebagian besar merupakan hasil dari kebijakan subsidi beras usang yang mencegah negara tersebut mengembangkan pertanian modern dan produktif). Dan di semua negara pasar bebas yang dikembangkan, termasuk Jepang, petani Saat ini paling banyak lima persen populasi dan angkatan kerja - yaitu sepersepuluh dari proporsi delapan puluh tahun yang lalu. Sebenarnya, petani produktif menghasilkan kurang dari separuh dari total populasi pertanian, atau tidak lebih dari dua persen angkatan kerja. Dan produsen pertanian ini bukan petani yang paling peka terhadap kata mereka adalah agribisnis, yang bisa dibilang industri padat modal, paling intensif teknologi, dan paling intensif informasi. Petani tradisional hampir punah di Jepang. Dan yang tetap menjadi spesies yang dilindungi tetap hidup hanya dengan subsidi yang sangat besar. Kelompok terbesar kedua di populasi dan angkatan kerja setiap negara maju sekitar tahun 1900 terdiri dari para pelayan hidup. Mereka dianggap sebagai hukum alam sebagai petani. Kategori sensus pada waktu yang ditentukan rumah tangga kelas menengah ke bawah sebagai salah satu yang mempekerjakan kurang dari tiga pelayan, dan sebagai persentase dari angkatan kerja rumah tangga tumbuh dengan mantap sampai pada Perang Dunia Pertama. Delapan puluh tahun kemudian, tinggal di rumah pembantu rumah tangga hampir tidak ada di negara maju. Sedikit orang yang lahir sejak Perang Dunia Kedua - hanya sedikit orang yang berusia di bawah lima puluh tahun - bahkan pernah melihat kecuali di atas panggung atau di film-film lama. Dalam masyarakat maju 2000 petani sedikit tapi objek nostalgia, dan pembantu rumah tangga bahkan tidak demikian. Namun, transformasi besar di semua negara pasar bebas yang dikembangkan ini dicapai tanpa perang sipil dan, dalam keheningan total. Baru sekarang populasi petani mereka menyusut mendekati nol, orang Prancis yang benar-benar urban dengan keras menegaskan bahwa negara mereka seharusnya merupakan negara pedesaan dengan peradaban pedesaan. O NE alasan mengapa transformasi menyebabkan begitu sedikit aduk (memang, alasan utamanya) adalah bahwa pada tahun 1900 sebuah kelas baru, pekerja kerah biru di industri manufaktur - Marx proletar - telah menjadi dominan secara sosial. Petani dengan keras diadili untuk mengumpulkan lebih sedikit jagung dan lebih banyak lagi, tapi mereka sedikit memperhatikannya. Pembantu rumah tangga jelas merupakan kelas yang paling banyak dieksploitasi. Tapi ketika orang-orang sebelum Perang Dunia Pertama berbicara atau menulis tentang pertanyaan sosial, itu berarti pekerja industri kerah biru. Pekerja industri kerah biru masih merupakan minoritas populasi dan angkatan kerja yang cukup kecil - sampai tahun 1914 mereka mencapai urutan kedelapan atau seperenam dari jumlah paling banyak - dan masih kalah jauh dari jumlah petani kelas bawah tradisional. Dan pembantu rumah tangga. Namun, masyarakat awal abad ke-20 terobsesi dengan pekerja kerah biru, terpaku pada mereka, disihir oleh mereka. Petani dan pembantu rumah tangga ada dimana-mana. Tapi sebagai kelas, mereka tidak terlihat. Pembantu rumah tangga tinggal dan bekerja di dalam rumah masing-masing atau di peternakan individu dalam kelompok kecil dan terisolasi dari dua atau tiga orang. Petani juga bubar. Yang lebih penting, kelas rendah tradisional ini tidak diatur. Memang, mereka tidak bisa diatur. Budak yang dipekerjakan di pertambangan atau dalam memproduksi barang sering memberontak di dunia kuno - meski selalu tidak berhasil. Tapi tidak ada yang menyebutkan dalam buku apa pun yang pernah saya baca tentang sebuah demonstrasi tunggal atau demonstrasi tunggal yang dilakukan oleh pembantu rumah tangga di manapun, kapan saja. Ada pemberontakan petani yang melimpah. Tapi kecuali dua pemberontakan China di abad kesembilan belas - Pemberontakan Taiping, di tengah abad, dan Pemberontakan Boxer, di ujung centurys, yang keduanya berlangsung bertahun-tahun dan hampir menjungkirbalikkan rezim - semua pemberontakan petani dalam sejarah telah Setelah beberapa minggu berdarah. Petani, pertunjukkan sejarah, sangat sulit diatur dan tidak tetap terorganisir - itulah sebabnya mereka mendapatkan penghinaan Marx. Kelas baru, pekerja industri, sangat terlihat. Inilah yang membuat para pekerja ini menjadi kelas. Mereka hidup dalam kelompok populasi padat dan di kota-kota - di St. Denis, di luar Paris di Berlins Wedding dan Viennas Ottakring di kota tekstil Lancashire di kota-kota baja di Lembah Monongahela Amerika dan di Kobe Jepang. Dan mereka segera terbukti sangat siap, dan pemogokan pertama terjadi segera setelah ada pekerja pabrik. Charles Dickenss menyiksa kisah konflik buruh pembunuh, Hard Times. Diterbitkan pada tahun 1854, hanya enam tahun setelah Marx dan Engels menulis The Communist Manifesto. Pada tahun 1900, menjadi sangat jelas bahwa pekerja industri tidak akan menjadi mayoritas, seperti yang diperkirakan Marx beberapa dekade sebelumnya. Oleh karena itu, mereka tidak akan membanjiri kaum kapitalis dengan jumlah mereka yang sebenarnya. Namun penulis radikal paling berpengaruh pada periode sebelum Perang Dunia Pertama, sindikalis eksis Marxis dan revolusioner Prancis Georges Sorel, menemukan penerimaan yang luas atas tesis 1906 bahwa kaum proletar akan membatalkan tatanan yang ada dan mengambil alih kekuasaan oleh organisasi mereka dan dalam dan Melalui kekerasan pemogokan umum. Bukan hanya Lenin yang menjadikan tesis Sorels sebagai dasar dari revisi Marxisme dan membangun strategi ini di tahun 1917 dan 1918. Baik Mussolini dan Hitler - dan Mao, sepuluh tahun kemudian - membangun strategi mereka dalam tesis Sorels. Kekuatan Maos tumbuh dari laras senapan hampir merupakan penawaran langsung dari Sorel. Pekerja industri menjadi pertanyaan sosial tahun 1900 karena ia adalah kelas pertama yang lebih rendah dalam sejarah yang bisa diatur dan dapat tetap teratur. Kelas N O dalam sejarah pernah meningkat lebih cepat daripada pekerja kerah biru. Dan tidak ada kelas dalam sejarah yang pernah jatuh lebih cepat. Pada tahun 1883, tahun kematian Marx, kaum proletar masih merupakan minoritas bukan hanya populasi tetapi juga pekerja industri. Mayoritas di industri adalah pekerja terampil yang dipekerjakan di toko-toko kerajinan kecil, yang masing-masing paling banyak memuat dua puluh atau tiga puluh pekerja. Dari anti-hero dari novel proletar abad kesembilan belas, The Princess Casamassima. Oleh Henry James - diterbitkan pada tahun 1886 (dan tentunya hanya Henry James yang bisa memberikan judul seperti itu kepada seorang teroris kelas pekerja) - satu adalah bookbinder yang sangat terampil, dan seorang apoteker yang sama-sama terampil. Pada tahun 1900 pekerja industri menjadi identik dengan operator mesin dan pekerjaan tersirat di sebuah pabrik bersama ratusan bahkan ribuan orang. Pekerja pabrik ini memang kaum proletar Marx - tanpa posisi sosial, tanpa kekuatan politik, tanpa kekuatan ekonomi atau daya beli. Pekerja pada tahun 1900 - dan bahkan pada tahun 1913 - tidak menerima uang pensiun, tidak ada pembayaran liburan, tidak membayar lembur, tidak membayar ekstra untuk pekerjaan Minggu atau malam, tidak ada asuransi kesehatan atau usia tua (kecuali di Jerman), tidak ada kompensasi pengangguran Kecuali, setelah tahun 1911, di Inggris) mereka tidak memiliki keamanan pekerjaan apapun. Lima puluh tahun kemudian, pada tahun 1950-an, pekerja industri telah menjadi kelompok tunggal terbesar di setiap negara maju, dan pekerja industri yang tergabung dalam industri produksi massal (yang kemudian dominan di mana-mana) telah mencapai tingkat pendapatan kelas menengah ke atas. Mereka memiliki keamanan kerja yang luas, pensiun, liburan dengan bayaran yang panjang, dan asuransi pengangguran yang menyeluruh atau pekerjaan seumur hidup. Yang terpenting, mereka telah mencapai kekuatan politik. Di Inggris serikat pekerja dianggap sebagai pemerintahan yang sebenarnya, dengan kekuatan yang lebih besar daripada Perdana Menteri dan Parlemen, dan hal yang sama terjadi di tempat lain. Di Amerika Serikat juga - seperti di Jerman, Prancis, dan Italia - serikat buruh telah muncul sebagai kekuatan politik paling kuat dan paling terorganisir di negara ini. Dan di Jepang mereka telah mendekati, dalam demonstrasi Toyota dan Nissan pada akhir tahun empat puluhan dan awal tahun lima puluhan, untuk menjungkirbalikkan sistem dan mengambil alih kekuasaan itu sendiri. Tiga puluh lima tahun kemudian, pada tahun 1990, pekerja industri dan serikat pekerja mereka mundur. Mereka telah menjadi marjinal jumlahnya. Sementara pekerja industri yang membuat atau memindahkan barang telah menyumbang dua per lima angkatan kerja Amerika pada tahun 1950an, jumlahnya mencapai kurang dari seperlima pada awal tahun 1990an - yaitu, tidak lebih dari yang mereka pertanggung jawabkan pada tahun 1900, ketika Kemunculan mereka yang meroket dimulai. Di negara-negara pasar bebas yang dikembangkan lainnya, penurunan tersebut pada awalnya lebih lambat, namun setelah tahun 1980 mulai meningkat di mana-mana. Pada tahun 2000 atau 2010, di setiap negara pasar bebas yang dikembangkan, pekerja industri akan mencapai tidak lebih dari seperdelapan angkatan kerja. Kekuatan persatuan telah menurun sama cepatnya. Tidak seperti pembantu rumah tangga, pekerja industri tidak akan hilang - apalagi produsen pertanian telah hilang atau akan hilang. Tapi sama seperti petani kecil tradisional telah menjadi penerima subsidi daripada produsen, maka pekerja industri tradisional menjadi pegawai tambahan. Tempatnya sudah diambil oleh teknolog - seseorang yang bekerja baik dengan tangan dan dengan pengetahuan teoritis. (Contohnya adalah teknisi komputer, teknisi sinar-x, terapis fisik, teknisi laboratorium medis, teknisi paru-paru, dan sebagainya, yang bersama-sama membentuk kelompok yang paling cepat berkembang dalam angkatan kerja AS sejak 1980.) Dan alih-alih kelas - Kelompok yang koheren, dikenali, didefinisikan, dan sadar diri - pekerja industri mungkin akan segera menjadi kelompok penekan lainnya. Ahli kronik munculnya pekerja industri cenderung menyoroti episode kekerasan - terutama bentrokan antara pemogok dan polisi, seperti dalam serangan Pullman Amerika. Alasannya mungkin adalah teori dan propaganda sosialisme, anarkisme, dan komunisme - yang dimulai dengan Marx dan berlanjut ke Herbert Marcuse di tahun 1960an - tanpa henti menulis dan berbicara tentang revolusi dan kekerasan. Sebenarnya, kebangkitan pekerja industri itu sangat tanpa kekerasan. Kekerasan besar abad ini - perang dunia, pembersihan etnis, dan sebagainya - adalah semua kekerasan dari atas daripada kekerasan dari bawah dan hal itu tidak berhubungan dengan transformasi masyarakat, apakah semakin berkurangnya petani, hilangnya rumah tangga Pelayan, atau munculnya pekerja industri. Sebenarnya, bahkan tidak ada yang mencoba lagi untuk menjelaskan kejengkelan hebat ini sebagai bagian dari krisis kapitalisme, seperti juga retorika Marxis standar yang baru tiga puluh tahun yang lalu. Bertentangan dengan prediksi Marxis dan sindikalis, bangkitnya pekerja industri tidak membuat masyarakat tidak stabil. Sebaliknya, hal itu telah muncul seiring dengan perkembangan sosial centurys yang paling stabil. Ini menjelaskan mengapa hilangnya petani dan pembantu rumah tangga tidak menghasilkan krisis sosial. Baik penerbangan dari darat maupun penerbangan dari dinas dalam negeri bersifat sukarela. Petani dan pembantu rumah tangga tidak terdesak atau terlantar. Mereka pergi ke lapangan kerja industrial secepat mungkin. Pekerjaan industri tidak memerlukan keterampilan yang belum mereka miliki, dan tidak ada pengetahuan tambahan. Kenyataannya, para petani secara keseluruhan memiliki keterampilan yang lebih baik daripada yang dibutuhkan untuk menjadi operator mesin di pabrik produksi massal - begitu pula banyak pembantu rumah tangga. Yang pasti, pekerjaan industri berjalan buruk sampai Perang Dunia I. Tapi itu membayar lebih baik daripada pertanian atau pekerjaan rumah tangga. Pekerja industri di Amerika Serikat sampai tahun 1913 - dan di beberapa negara, termasuk Jepang, sampai Perang Dunia Kedua - bekerja berjam-jam lamanya. Tapi mereka bekerja lebih pendek dari pada petani dan pembantu rumah tangga. Terlebih lagi, mereka mengerjakan jam kerja tertentu: sisa hari itu adalah milik mereka sendiri, yang tidak melakukan pekerjaan di pertanian maupun pekerjaan rumah tangga. Buku-buku sejarah mencatat kemerosotan industri awal, kemiskinan pekerja industri, dan eksploitasi mereka. Pekerja memang hidup dalam kemelaratan dan kemiskinan, dan mereka dieksploitasi. Tapi mereka hidup lebih baik daripada di pertanian atau di rumah tangga, dan umumnya diperlakukan lebih baik. Bukti dari hal ini adalah bahwa kematian bayi segera turun saat para petani dan pembantu rumah tangga pindah ke industri. Secara historis, kota tidak pernah mereproduksi diri mereka sendiri. Mereka bergantung pada pengabdian mereka pada rekrutan baru yang konstan dari pedesaan. Hal ini masih berlaku di pertengahan abad kesembilan belas. Namun dengan penyebaran pekerjaan pabrik, kota ini menjadi pusat pertumbuhan penduduk. Sebagian ini adalah hasil dari tindakan kesehatan masyarakat baru: pemurnian air, pengumpulan dan pengolahan limbah, karantina terhadap epidemi, inokulasi melawan penyakit. Langkah-langkah ini - dan ini efektif terutama di kota - yang dianggap sebagai kontra, atau setidaknya terkandung, bahaya berkerumun yang membuat kota tradisional menjadi tempat berkembang biak bagi wabah penyakit. Namun faktor tunggal terbesar dalam penurunan eksponensial kematian bayi karena penyebaran industrialisasi tentu saja merupakan perbaikan kondisi kehidupan yang dibawa oleh pabrik. Perumahan dan gizi menjadi lebih baik, dan kerja keras dan kecelakaan datang untuk mengurangi jumlah korban. Penurunan angka kematian bayi - dan dengan itu pertumbuhan eksplosif populasi - berkorelasi dengan hanya satu perkembangan: industrialisasi. Pabrik awal memang merupakan puisi setan dari William Blakes. Tapi pedesaannya bukan tanah Englands yang hijau dan menyenangkan dimana Blake menyanyikannya adalah sebuah kawasan kumuh yang indah namun bahkan lebih kumuh. Bagi petani dan pembantu rumah tangga, pekerjaan industri merupakan peluang. Sebenarnya, inilah kesempatan pertama yang diberikan sejarah sosial untuk memperbaiki diri secara substansial tanpa harus berimigrasi. Di negara-negara pasar bebas yang dikembangkan selama 100 atau 150 tahun terakhir setiap generasi telah mampu melakukan secara substansial lebih baik daripada generasi sebelumnya. Alasan utamanya adalah bahwa petani dan pembantu rumah tangga bisa dan memang menjadi pekerja industri. Karena pekerja industri terkonsentrasi dalam kelompok, kerja sistematis mengenai produktivitas mereka dimungkinkan. Mulai tahun 1881, dua tahun sebelum kematian Marx, studi kerja, tugas, dan alat yang sistematis meningkatkan produktivitas kerja manual dalam membuat dan memindahkan barang sebanyak tiga sampai empat persen secara rata-rata per tahun - untuk peningkatan output sebesar lima kali lipat per Pekerja lebih dari 110 tahun. Pada sisa ini semua keuntungan ekonomi dan sosial abad yang lalu. Dan bertentangan dengan apa yang semua orang tahu di abad kesembilan belas - tidak hanya Marx tapi juga semua konservatif, seperti JP Morgan, Bismarck, dan Disraeli - hampir semua keuntungan ini diakibatkan pekerja industri, setengah dari mereka dalam bentuk Jam kerja yang berkurang tajam (dengan potongan berkisar antara 40 persen di Jepang sampai 50 persen di Jerman), dan setengahnya berupa kenaikan upah industri pekerja yang menghasilkan atau memindahkan barang sebanyak dua puluh lima kali lipat. Dengan demikian ada alasan bagus mengapa bangkitnya pekerja industri itu damai daripada kekerasan, apalagi revolusioner. Tapi apa yang menjelaskan fakta bahwa jatuhnya pekerja industri sama damai dan hampir seluruhnya bebas dari demonstrasi sosial, pergolakan, dislokasi serius, setidaknya di Amerika Serikat. T bangkitnya kelas pekerja industri yang berhasil bukanlah sebuah kesempatan. Untuk pekerja industri Ini adalah sebuah tantangan. Kelompok dominan yang baru muncul adalah pekerja pengetahuan. Istilah itu tidak diketahui empat puluh tahun yang lalu. (Saya menciptakannya dalam buku tahun 1959, Landmark of Tomorrow.) Pada akhir abad ini, pekerja pengetahuan akan membentuk sepertiga atau lebih angkatan kerja di Amerika Serikat - sebanding dengan jumlah pekerja pabrik manufaktur, Kecuali di masa perang. Mayoritas dari mereka akan dibayar setidaknya sebaik, atau lebih baik dari pada, pekerja pabrik yang pernah ada. Dan pekerjaan baru menawarkan peluang yang jauh lebih besar. Tapi - dan ini adalah besar tapi - sebagian besar pekerjaan baru memerlukan kualifikasi pekerja industri tidak memiliki dan tidak dilengkapi dengan baik untuk memperolehnya. Mereka membutuhkan banyak pendidikan formal dan kemampuan untuk memperoleh dan menerapkan pengetahuan teoritis dan analitis. Mereka membutuhkan pendekatan yang berbeda untuk bekerja dan pola pikir yang berbeda. Yang terpenting, mereka membutuhkan kebiasaan belajar terus-menerus. Pekerja industri yang pengungsian tidak bisa begitu saja beralih ke pekerjaan atau layanan pengetahuan seperti petani pengungsi dan pekerja rumah tangga pindah ke industri. Paling tidak mereka harus mengubah sikap, nilai, dan kepercayaan dasar mereka. Pada dekade penutupan abad ini angkatan kerja industri telah menyusut lebih cepat dan lebih jauh di Amerika Serikat daripada di negara maju lainnya - sementara produksi industri telah tumbuh lebih cepat daripada di negara maju lainnya kecuali Jepang. Pergeseran tersebut telah memperburuk masalah Amerika yang paling tua dan paling tidak dapat dipertanggungjawabkan: posisi orang kulit hitam. Dalam lima puluh tahun sejak Perang Dunia Kedua posisi ekonomi orang Afrika-Amerika di Amerika telah meningkat lebih cepat daripada kelompok lain dalam sejarah sosial Amerika - atau dalam sejarah sosial negara manapun. Tiga pertiga orang Amerika kulit hitam naik ke pendapatan kelas menengah sebelum Perang Dunia Kedua sehingga angka itu satu dua puluh. Tapi setengah dari kelompok itu naik ke pendapatan kelas menengah dan tidak memasuki kelas menengah. Sejak Perang Dunia Kedua semakin banyak orang kulit hitam pindah ke industri produksi massal bersayap biru - yaitu, dalam pekerjaan yang membayar upah kelas menengah dan kelas menengah atas sambil tidak menuntut pendidikan dan keterampilan. Inilah tepatnya pekerjaan, bagaimanapun, yang menghilang paling cepat. Yang menakjubkan bukan begitu banyak orang kulit hitam yang tidak mendapatkan pendidikan tapi begitu banyak yang melakukannya. Hal yang rasional secara ekonomi bagi seorang kulit hitam muda di Amerika pascaperang tidak tinggal di sekolah dan mempelajarinya adalah meninggalkan sekolah sedini mungkin dan mendapatkan satu dari banyak pekerjaan produksi massal. Akibatnya, jatuhnya pekerja industri telah memukul Amerika kulit hitam dengan sangat tidak proporsional - secara kuantitatif, namun secara kualitatif lebih banyak lagi. Ini telah menumpulkan model peran yang paling potensial dalam komunitas kulit hitam di Amerika: pekerja industri bergaji dengan jaminan kerja, asuransi kesehatan, dan pensiun pensiun yang terjamin - namun tidak memiliki keterampilan dan pendidikan. Tapi, tentu saja, orang kulit hitam adalah minoritas dari populasi dan angkatan kerja di Amerika Serikat. Bagi mayoritas - orang kulit putih, tapi juga orang Latin dan Asia - jatuhnya pekerja industri telah menyebabkan gangguan yang sangat kecil dan tidak ada yang bisa disebut sebuah pergolakan. Bahkan di komunitas yang dulu sangat bergantung pada pabrik produksi massal yang telah gulung tikar atau telah memangkas pekerjaan secara drastis (kota baja di Pennsylvania barat dan timur Ohio, misalnya, atau kota-kota mobil seperti Detroit dan Flint, Michigan), tingkat pengangguran Untuk orang dewasa yang tidak dewasa jatuh dalam beberapa tahun ke depan sampai tingkat yang hampir tidak lebih tinggi dari rata-rata AS - dan itu berarti tingkat yang hampir tidak lebih tinggi dari tingkat lapangan kerja penuh AS. Bahkan di komunitas ini tidak ada radikalisasi pekerja kerah biru Amerika. Satu-satunya penjelasan adalah bahwa untuk komunitas kerah biru yang tidak berkaca perkembangan itu tidak mengherankan, betapapun tidak disukai, menyakitkan, dan mengancamnya bagi pekerja individual dan keluarga mereka. Secara psikologis - tapi dari segi nilai, mungkin, bukan dari segi emosi - pekerja industri Amerika harus sudah siap untuk menerima dengan benar dan benar pergeseran ke pekerjaan yang memerlukan pendidikan formal dan bahwa membayar untuk pengetahuan daripada untuk pekerjaan manual , Apakah terampil atau tidak terampil. Di Amerika Serikat, pergeseran terjadi pada tahun 1990 atau sebagian besar telah selesai. Tapi sejauh ini hanya terjadi di Amerika Serikat. Di negara-negara pasar bebas yang dikembangkan lainnya, di Eropa barat dan utara dan di Jepang, baru dimulai pada 1990-an. Namun, pasti akan segera maju di negara-negara ini mulai sekarang, mungkin lebih cepat daripada yang terjadi di Amerika Serikat. Jatuhnya pekerja industri di negara-negara pasar bebas yang dikembangkan juga akan memiliki dampak besar di luar negara maju. Negara-negara berkembang tidak dapat lagi mengharapkan untuk mendasarkan perkembangan mereka pada keuntungan tenaga kerja komparatif mereka - yaitu pada industri tenaga kerja murah. Dipercaya secara luas, terutama oleh pejabat serikat buruh, bahwa jatuhnya pekerja industri kerah biru di negara-negara maju sebagian besar, jika tidak sepenuhnya, disebabkan oleh memindahkan produksi ke luar negeri ke negara-negara dengan pasokan tenaga kerja tidak terampil dan tingkat upah rendah. . Tapi ini tidak benar. Ada sesuatu yang dipercaya tiga puluh tahun yang lalu. Jepang, Taiwan, dan, kemudian, Korea Selatan memang (seperti yang dijelaskan secara terperinci dalam buku Post-Capitalist Society 1993) mendapatkan keuntungan awal mereka di pasar dunia dengan menggabungkan, hampir dalam semalam, Amerika menemukan pelatihan untuk produktivitas penuh dengan upah Biaya yang masih merupakan masa pra-industri. Tapi teknik ini sama sekali tidak bekerja sejak 1970 atau 1975. Pada 1990-an, hanya persentase barang manufaktur yang tidak signifikan yang diimpor ke Amerika Serikat diproduksi di luar negeri karena biaya tenaga kerja rendah. Sementara total impor pada tahun 1990 menyumbang sekitar 12 persen dari pendapatan pribadi bruto A.S., impor dari negara-negara dengan tingkat upah yang jauh lebih rendah menyumbang kurang dari tiga persen - dan hanya setengahnya adalah impor produk manufaktur. Praktis tidak ada penurunan dalam pekerjaan manufaktur Amerika dari sekitar 30 atau 35 persen angkatan kerja menjadi 15 atau 18 persen karena itu dapat dikaitkan dengan pindah kerja ke negara-negara dengan upah rendah. Persaingan utama industri manufaktur Amerika - misalnya, di dalam mobil, baja, dan peralatan mesin - berasal dari negara-negara seperti Jepang dan Jerman, di mana biaya upah telah lama sama, jika tidak lebih tinggi daripada Amerika Serikat. Keuntungan komparatif yang sekarang ada dalam penerapan pengetahuan - misalnya, dalam manajemen kualitas total Jepang, proses lean manufacturing, pengiriman tepat waktu, dan penetapan harga berbasis harga, atau pada layanan pelanggan yang ditawarkan oleh media Perusahaan rekayasa Jerman atau Swiss. Ini berarti, bagaimanapun, bahwa negara-negara berkembang tidak dapat lagi mengharapkan untuk mendasarkan pembangunan mereka pada upah rendah. Mereka juga harus belajar untuk mendasarkannya pada penerapan pengetahuan - tepat pada saat sebagian besar dari mereka (China, India, dan sebagian besar Amerika Latin, apalagi Afrika kulit hitam) harus mencari pekerjaan untuk jutaan anak muda yang tidak berpendidikan dan tidak terampil Orang-orang yang memenuhi syarat untuk pekerjaan industri kerah biru kecil kecuali kemarin. Tapi bagi negara maju juga, pergeseran pada pekerjaan berbasis pengetahuan menimbulkan tantangan sosial yang sangat besar. Meski di pabrik, masyarakat industri pada dasarnya masih merupakan masyarakat tradisional dalam hubungan sosial asosiasinya. Tapi masyarakat yang baru muncul, yang berbasis pengetahuan dan pengetahuan pekerja, tidak. Ini adalah masyarakat pertama di mana orang biasa - dan itu berarti kebanyakan orang - tidak mendapatkan roti harian mereka dengan keringat alis mereka. Ini adalah masyarakat pertama di mana pekerjaan jujur ‚Äč‚Äčtidak berarti tangan yang kapalan. Ini juga merupakan masyarakat pertama di mana tidak semua orang melakukan pekerjaan yang sama, seperti kasus ketika mayoritas besar adalah petani atau, sepertinya baru empat puluh atau tiga puluh tahun yang lalu, akan menjadi operator mesin. Ini jauh lebih dari sekedar perubahan sosial. Ini adalah perubahan dalam kondisi manusia. Apa artinya - apa nilai, komitmen, masalah, masyarakat baru - kita tidak tahu. Tapi kita tahu banyak akan berbeda. Pekerja K NOWLEDGE tidak akan menjadi mayoritas di masyarakat pengetahuan, namun di banyak masyarakat yang tidak berkembang kebanyakan mereka akan menjadi populasi tunggal terbesar dan kelompok angkatan kerja. Dan bahkan di tempat yang kalah jumlah oleh kelompok lain, pekerja pengetahuan akan memberi pengetahuan tentang karakter masyarakatnya, kepemimpinannya, profil sosialnya. Mereka mungkin bukan kelas penguasa masyarakat pengetahuan, tapi mereka sudah menjadi kelas terdepan. Dan dalam karakteristik, posisi sosial, nilai, dan harapan mereka, mereka secara fundamental berbeda dari kelompok mana pun dalam sejarah yang pernah menduduki posisi terdepan. Pertama, pekerja pengetahuan mendapatkan akses terhadap pekerjaan dan posisi sosial melalui pendidikan formal. Banyak pekerjaan pengetahuan membutuhkan keterampilan manual yang sangat maju dan melibatkan pekerjaan besar dengan tangan-tangan itu. Contoh ekstrem adalah bedah saraf. Kapasitas kinerja ahli bedah saraf bergantung pada pendidikan formal dan pengetahuan teoretis. Tidak adanya keterampilan manual mendiskualifikasi seseorang untuk bekerja sebagai ahli bedah saraf. Tapi keterampilan manual saja, tidak peduli seberapa maju, tidak akan pernah memungkinkan seseorang untuk menjadi ahli bedah saraf. Pendidikan yang dibutuhkan untuk bedah saraf dan jenis pengetahuan lainnya dapat diperoleh hanya melalui pendidikan formal. Tidak dapat diperoleh melalui magang. Pekerjaan pengetahuan sangat bervariasi dalam jumlah dan jenis pengetahuan formal yang dibutuhkan. Beberapa pekerjaan memiliki persyaratan yang cukup rendah, dan yang lainnya memerlukan jenis pengetahuan yang dimiliki ahli bedah saraf. Tetapi bahkan jika pengetahuan itu sendiri cukup primitif, hanya pendidikan formal yang bisa memberikannya. Pendidikan akan menjadi pusat pengetahuan masyarakat, dan sekolah merupakan institusi utamanya. Pengetahuan apa yang harus dimiliki semua orang Apa kualitas dalam pembelajaran dan pengajaran Keinginan akan kebutuhan ini menjadi perhatian utama masyarakat pengetahuan, dan isu-isu politik sentral. Sebenarnya, perolehan dan pendistribusian pengetahuan formal dapat sampai pada tempat di dalam politik masyarakat pengetahuan dimana perolehan dan distribusi properti dan pendapatan telah diduduki dalam politik kita selama dua atau tiga abad yang telah kita datang untuk memanggil Umur Kapitalisme. Dalam pengetahuan masyarakat, pengetahuan yang semakin banyak, dan khususnya pengetahuan lanjutan, akan diperoleh jauh melampaui usia sekolah formal dan semakin, mungkin, melalui proses pendidikan yang tidak berpusat pada sekolah tradisional. Tetapi pada saat yang sama, kinerja sekolah dan nilai dasar sekolah akan semakin memprihatinkan masyarakat secara keseluruhan, daripada dianggap sebagai masalah profesional yang dapat dengan mudah diserahkan kepada pendidik. Kita juga bisa memprediksi dengan yakin bahwa kita akan mendefinisikan kembali apa artinya menjadi orang berpendidikan. Secara tradisional, dan terutama selama 300 tahun terakhir (mungkin sejak 1700 atau lebih, setidaknya di Barat, dan sejak saat itu di Jepang juga), orang berpendidikan adalah seseorang yang memiliki persediaan pengetahuan formal yang ditentukan. Orang Jerman menyebut pengetahuan ini allgemeine Bildung. Dan bahasa Inggris (dan, mengikuti mereka, orang Amerika abad kesembilan belas) menyebutnya seni liberal. Semakin banyak, orang yang berpendidikan akan menjadi seseorang yang telah belajar bagaimana belajar, dan yang terus belajar, terutama dengan pendidikan formal, sepanjang masa hidupnya. Ada bahaya nyata untuk ini. Misalnya, masyarakat bisa dengan mudah merosot untuk menekankan derajat formal daripada kapasitas kinerja. Ini bisa menjadi mangsa mandarin Konfusianisme - sebuah bahaya dimana universitas Amerika sangat rentan. Di sisi lain, hal itu bisa memberi terlalu banyak pengetahuan praktis dan praktis, dan meremehkan pentingnya dasar-dasar, dan kebijaksanaan sama sekali. Sebuah masyarakat di mana pekerja pengetahuan mendominasi berada di bawah ancaman konflik kelas baru: antara sebagian besar pekerja pengetahuan dan mayoritas orang, yang akan mencari nafkah secara tradisional, baik dengan pekerjaan manual, terampil atau tidak terampil, atau bekerja di Layanan, apakah terampil atau tidak terampil. Produktivitas pekerjaan pengetahuan - masih sangat rendah - akan menjadi tantangan ekonomi masyarakat pengetahuan. Di atasnya akan tergantung pada posisi kompetitif setiap negara, setiap industri tunggal, setiap institusi dalam masyarakat. Produktivitas nonknowledge, pekerja jasa akan menjadi tantangan sosial masyarakat pengetahuan. Di atasnya akan tergantung kemampuan masyarakat pengetahuan untuk memberi pendapatan yang layak, dan dengan mereka bermartabat dan status, kepada pekerja non-pengetahuan. Tidak ada masyarakat dalam sejarah yang menghadapi tantangan ini. Tapi sama-sama baru adalah peluang masyarakat pengetahuan. In the knowledge society, for the first time in history, the possibility of leadership will be open to all. Also, the possibility of acquiring knowledge will no longer depend on obtaining a prescribed education at a given age. Learning will become the tool of the individual--available to him or her at any age--if only because so much skill and knowledge can be acquired by means of the new learning technologies. Another implication is that how well an individual, an organization, an industry, a country, does in acquiring and applying knowledge will become the key competitive factor. The knowledge society will inevitably become far more competitive than any society we have yet known--for the simple reason that with knowledge being universally accessible, there will be no excuses for nonperformance. There will be no poor countries. There will only be ignorant countries. And the same will be true for companies, industries, and organizations of all kinds. It will be true for individuals, too. In fact, developed societies have already become infinitely more competitive for individuals than were the societies of the beginning of this century, let alone earlier ones. I HAVE been speaking of knowledge. But a more accurate term is knowledges, because the knowledge of the knowledge society will be fundamentally different from what was considered knowledge in earlier societies--and, in fact, from what is still widely considered knowledge. The knowledge of the German allgemeine Bildung or of the Anglo-American liberal arts had little to do with ones lifes work. It focused on the person and the persons development, rather than on any application--if, indeed, it did not, like the nineteenth-century liberal arts, pride itself on having no utility whatever. In the knowledge society knowledge for the most part exists only in application. Nothing the x-ray technician needs to know can be applied to market research, for instance, or to teaching medieval history. The central work force in the knowledge society will therefore consist of highly specialized people. In fact, it is a mistake to speak of generalists. What we will increasingly mean by that term is people who have learned how to acquire additional specialties rapidly in order to move from one kind of job to another--for example, from market research into management, or from nursing into hospital administration. But generalists in the sense in which we used to talk of them are coming to be seen as dilettantes rather than educated people. This, too, is new. Historically, workers were generalists. They did whatever had to be done--on the farm, in the household, in the craftsmans shop. This was also true of industrial workers. But knowledge workers, whether their knowledge is primitive or advanced, whether there is a little of it or a great deal, will by definition be specialized. Applied knowledge is effective only when it is specialized. Indeed, the more highly specialized, the more effective it is. This goes for technicians who service computers, x-ray machines, or the engines of fighter planes. But it applies equally to work that requires the most advanced knowledge, whether research in genetics or research in astrophysics or putting on the first performance of a new opera. Again, the shift from knowledge to knowledges offers tremendous opportunities to the individual. It makes possible a career as a knowledge worker. But it also presents a great many new problems and challenges. It demands for the first time in history that people with knowledge take responsibility for making themselves understood by people who do not have the same knowledge base. T HAT knowledge in the knowledge society has to be highly specialized to be productive implies two new requirements: that knowledge workers work in teams, and that if knowledge workers are not employees, they must at least be affiliated with an organization. There is a great deal of talk these days about teams and teamwork. Most of it starts out with the wrong assumption--namely, that we have never before worked in teams. Actually people have always worked in teams very few people ever could work effectively by themselves. The farmer had to have a wife, and the farm wife had to have a husband. The two worked as a team. And both worked as a team with their employees, the hired hands. The craftsman also had to have a wife, with whom he worked as a team--he took care of the craft work, and she took care of the customers, the apprentices, and the business altogether. And both worked as a team with journeymen and apprentices. Much discussion today assumes that there is only one kind of team. Actually there are quite a few. But until now the emphasis has been on the individual worker and not on the team. With knowledge work growing increasingly effective as it is increasingly specialized, teams become the work unit rather than the individual himself. The team that is being touted now--I call it the jazz combo team--is only one kind of team. It is actually the most difficult kind of team both to assemble and to make work effectively, and the kind that requires the longest time to gain performance capacity. We will have to learn to use different kinds of teams for different purposes. We will have to learn to understand teams--and this is something to which, so far, very little attention has been paid. The understanding of teams, the performance capacities of different kinds of teams, their strengths and limitations, and the trade-offs between various kinds of teams will thus become central concerns in the management of people. Equally important is the second implication of the fact that knowledge workers are of necessity specialists: the need for them to work as members of an organization. Only the organization can provide the basic continuity that knowledge workers need in order to be effective. Only the organization can convert the specialized knowledge of the knowledge worker into performance. By itself, specialized knowledge does not yield performance. The surgeon is not effective unless there is a diagnosis--which, by and large, is not the surgeons task and not even within the surgeons competence. As a loner in his or her research and writing, the historian can be very effective. But to educate students, a great many other specialists have to contribute--people whose specialty may be literature, or mathematics, or other areas of history. And this requires that the specialist have access to an organization. This access may be as a consultant, or it may be as a provider of specialized services. But for the majority of knowledge workers it will be as employees, full-time or part-time, of an organization, such as a government agency, a hospital, a university, a business, or a labor union. In the knowledge society it is not the individual who performs. The individual is a cost center rather than a performance center. It is the organization that performs. M OST knowledge workers will spend most if not all of their working lives as employees. But the meaning of the term will be different from what it has been traditionally--and not only in English but in German, Spanish, and Japanese as well. Individually, knowledge workers are dependent on the job. They receive a wage or salary. They have been hired and can be fired. Legally each is an employee. But collectively they are the capitalists increasingly, through their pension funds and other savings, the employees own the means of production. In traditional economics--and by no means only in Marxist economics--there is a sharp distinction between the wage fund, all of which goes into consumption, and the capital fund, or that part of the total income stream that is available for investment. And most social theory of industrial society is based, one way or another, on the relationship between the two, whether in conflict or in necessary and beneficial cooperation and balance. In the knowledge society the two merge. The pension fund is deferred wages, and as such is a wage fund. But it is also increasingly the main source of capital for the knowledge society. Perhaps more important, in the knowledge society the employees--that is, knowledge workers--own the tools of production. Marxs great insight was that the factory worker does not and cannot own the tools of production, and therefore is alienated. There was no way, Marx pointed out, for the worker to own the steam engine and to be able to take it with him when moving from one job to another. The capitalist had to own the steam engine and to control it. Increasingly, the true investment in the knowledge society is not in machines and tools but in the knowledge of the knowledge worker. Without that knowledge the machines, no matter how advanced and sophisticated, are unproductive. The market researcher needs a computer. But increasingly this is the researchers own personal computer, and it goes along wherever he or she goes. The true capital equipment of market research is the knowledge of markets, of statistics, and of the application of market research to business strategy, which is lodged between the researchers ears and is his or her exclusive and inalienable property. The surgeon needs the operating room of the hospital and all its expensive capital equipment. But the surgeons true capital investment is twelve or fifteen years of training and the resulting knowledge, which the surgeon takes from one hospital to the next. Without that knowledge the hospitals expensive operating rooms are so much waste and scrap. This is true whether the knowledge worker commands advanced knowledge, like a surgeon, or simple and fairly elementary knowledge, like a junior accountant. In either case it is the knowledge investment that determines whether the employee is productive or not, more than the tools, machines, and capital furnished by an organization. The industrial worker needed the capitalist infinitely more than the capitalist needed the industrial worker--the basis for Marxs assertion that there would always be a surplus of industrial workers, an industrial reserve army, that would make sure that wages could not possibly rise above the subsistence level (probably Marxs most egregious error). In the knowledge society the most probable assumption for organizations--and certainly the assumption on which they have to conduct their affairs--is that they need knowledge workers far more than knowledge workers need them. There was endless debate in the Middle Ages about the hierarchy of knowledges, with philosophy claiming to be the queen. We long ago gave up that fruitless argument. There is no higher or lower knowledge. When the patients complaint is an ingrown toenail, the podiatrists knowledge, not that of the brain surgeon, controls--even though the brain surgeon has received many more years of training and commands a much larger fee. And if an executive is posted to a foreign country, the knowledge he or she needs, and in a hurry, is fluency in a foreign language--something every native of that country has mastered by age three, without any great investment. The knowledge of the knowledge society, precisely because it is knowledge only when applied in action, derives its rank and standing from the situation. In other words, what is knowledge in one situation, such as fluency in Korean for the American executive posted to Seoul, is only information, and not very relevant information at that, when the same executive a few years later has to think through his companys market strategy for Korea. This, too, is new. Knowledges were always seen as fixed stars, so to speak, each occupying its own position in the universe of knowledge. In the knowledge society knowledges are tools, and as such are dependent for their importance and position on the task to be performed. O NE additional conclusion: Because the knowledge society perforce has to be a society of organizations, its central and distinctive organ is management. When our society began to talk of management, the term meant business management--because large-scale business was the first of the new organizations to become visible. But we have learned in this past half century that management is the distinctive organ of all organizations. All of them require management, whether they use the term or not. All managers do the same things, whatever the purpose of their organization. All of them have to bring people--each possessing different knowledge--together for joint performance. All of them have to make human strengths productive in performance and human weaknesses irrelevant. All of them have to think through what results are wanted in the organization--and have then to define objectives. All of them are responsible for thinking through what I call the theory of the business--that is, the assumptions on which the organization bases its performance and actions, and the assumptions that the organization has made in deciding what not to do. All of them must think through strategies--that is, the means through which the goals of the organization become performance. All of them have to define the values of the organization, its system of rewards and punishments, its spirit and its culture. In all organizations managers need both the knowledge of management as work and discipline and the knowledge and understanding of the organization itself--its purposes, its values, its environment and markets, its core competencies. Management as a practice is very old. The most successful executive in all history was surely that Egyptian who, 4,500 years or more ago, first conceived the pyramid, without any precedent, designed it, and built it, and did so in an astonishingly short time. That first pyramid still stands. But as a discipline management is barely fifty years old. It was first dimly perceived around the time of the First World War. It did not emerge until the Second World War, and then did so primarily in the United States. Since then it has been the fastest- growing new function, and the study of it the fastest- growing new discipline. No function in history has emerged as quickly as has management in the past fifty or sixty years, and surely none has had such worldwide sweep in such a short period. Management is still taught in most business schools as a bundle of techniques, such as budgeting and personnel relations. To be sure, management, like any other work, has its own tools and its own techniques. But just as the essence of medicine is not urinalysis (important though that is), the essence of management is not techniques and procedures. The essence of management is to make knowledges productive. Management, in other words, is a social function. And in its practice management is truly a liberal art. T HE old communities--family, village, parish, and so on--have all but disappeared in the knowledge society. Their place has largely been taken by the new unit of social integration, the organization. Where community was fate, organization is voluntary membership. Where community claimed the entire person, organization is a means to a persons ends, a tool. For 200 years a hot debate has been raging, especially in the West: are communities organic or are they simply extensions of the people of which they are made Nobody would claim that the new organization is organic. It is clearly an artifact, a creation of man, a social technology. But who, then, does the community tasks Two hundred years ago whatever social tasks were being done were done in all societies by a local community. Very few if any of these tasks are being done by the old communities anymore. Nor would they be capable of doing them, considering that they no longer have control of their members or even a firm hold over them. People no longer stay where they were born, either in terms of geography or in terms of social position and status. By definition, a knowledge society is a society of mobility. And all the social functions of the old communities, whether performed well or poorly (and most were performed very poorly indeed), presupposed that the individual and the family would stay put. But the essence of a knowledge society is mobility in terms of where one lives, mobility in terms of what one does, mobility in terms of ones affiliations. People no longer have roots. People no longer have a neighborhood that controls what their home is like, what they do, and, indeed, what their problems are allowed to be. The knowledge society is a society in which many more people than ever before can be successful. But it is therefore, by definition, also a society in which many more people than ever before can fail, or at least come in second. And if only because the application of knowledge to work has made developed societies so much richer than any earlier society could even dream of becoming, the failures, whether poor people or alcoholics, battered women or juvenile delinquents, are seen as failures of society. Who, then, takes care of the social tasks in the knowledge society We cannot ignore them. But the traditional community is incapable of tackling them. Two answers have emerged in the past century or so--a majority answer and a dissenting opinion. Both have proved to be wrong. The majority answer goes back more than a hundred years, to the 1880s, when Bismarcks Germany took the first faltering steps toward the welfare state. The answer: the problems of the social sector can, should, and must be solved by government. This is still probably the answer that most people accept, especially in the developed countries of the West--even though most people probably no longer fully believe it. But it has been totally disproved. Modern government, especially since the Second World War, has everywhere become a huge welfare bureaucracy. And the bulk of the budget in every developed country today is devoted to entitlements--to payments for all kinds of social services. Yet in every developed country society is becoming sicker rather than healthier, and social problems are multiplying. Government has a big role to play in social tasks--the role of policymaker, of standard setter, and, to a substantial extent, of paymaster. But as the agency to run social services, it has proved almost totally incompetent. In my The Future of Industrial Man (1942), I formulated a dissenting opinion. I argued then that the new organization--and fifty years ago that meant the large business enterprise--would have to be the community in which the individual would find status and function, with the workplace community becoming the one in and through which social tasks would be organized. In Japan (though quite independently and without any debt to me) the large employer--government agency or business--has indeed increasingly attempted to serve as a community for its employees. Lifetime employment is only one affirmation of this. Company housing, company health plans, company vacations, and so on all emphasize for the Japanese employee that the employer, and especially the big corporation, is the community and the successor to yesterdays village--even to yesterdays family. This, however, has not worked either. There is need, especially in the West, to bring the employee increasingly into the government of the workplace community. What is now called empowerment is very similar to the things I talked about fifty years ago. But it does not create a community. Nor does it create the structure through which the social tasks of the knowledge society can be tackled. In fact, practically all these tasks--whether education or health care the anomies and diseases of a developed and, especially, a rich society, such as alcohol and drug abuse or the problems of incompetence and irresponsibility such as those of the underclass in the American city--lie outside the employing institution. The right answer to the question Who takes care of the social challenges of the knowledge society is neither the government nor the employing organization. The answer is a separate and new social sector . It is less than fifty years, I believe, since we first talked in the United States of the two sectors of a modern society--the public sector (government) and the private sector (business). In the past twenty years the United States has begun to talk of a third sector, the nonprofit sector--those organizations that increasingly take care of the social challenges of a modern society. In the United States, with its tradition of independent and competitive churches, such a sector has always existed. Even now churches are the largest single part of the social sector in the United States, receiving almost half the money given to charitable institutions, and about a third of the time volunteered by individuals. But the nonchurch part of the social sector has been the growth sector in the United States. In the early 1990s about a million organizations were registered in the United States as nonprofit or charitable organizations doing social- sector work. The overwhelming majority of these, some 70 percent, have come into existence in the past thirty years. And most are community services concerned with life on this earth rather than with the Kingdom of Heaven. Quite a few of the new organizations are, of course, religious in their orientation, but for the most part these are not churches. They are parachurches engaged in a specific social task, such as the rehabilitation of alcohol and drug addicts, the rehabilitation of criminals, or elementary school education. Even within the church segment of the social sector the organizations that have shown the capacity to grow are radically new. They are the pastoral churches, which focus on the spiritual needs of individuals, especially educated knowledge workers, and then put the spiritual energies of their members to work on the social challenges and social problems of the community--especially, of course, the urban community. We still talk of these organizations as nonprofits. But this is a legal term. It means nothing except that under American law these organizations do not pay taxes. Whether they are organized as nonprofit or not is actually irrelevant to their function and behavior. Many American hospitals since 1960 or 1970 have become for- profits and are organized in what legally are business corporations. They function in exactly the same way as traditional nonprofit hospitals. What matters is not the legal basis but that the social- sector institutions have a particular kind of purpose. Government demands compliance it makes rules and enforces them. Business expects to be paid it supplies. Social- sector institutions aim at changing the human being. The product of a school is the student who has learned something. The product of a hospital is a cured patient. The product of a church is a churchgoer whose life is being changed. The task of social-sector organizations is to create human health and well-being. Increasingly these organizations of the social sector serve a second and equally important purpose. They create citizenship. Modern society and modern polity have become so big and complex that citizenship--that is, responsible participation--is no longer possible. All we can do as citizens is to vote once every few years and to pay taxes all the time. As a volunteer in a social- sector institution, the individual can again make a difference. In the United States, where there is a long volunteer tradition because of the old independence of the churches, almost every other adult in the 1990s is working at least three--and often five--hours a week as a volunteer in a social- sector organization. Britain is the only other country with something like this tradition, although it exists there to a much lesser extent (in part because the British welfare state is far more embracing, but in much larger part because it has an established church--paid for by the state and run as a civil service). Outside the English-speaking countries there is not much of a volunteer tradition. In fact, the modern state in Europe and Japan has been openly hostile to anything that smacks of volunteerism--most so in France and Japan. It is ancien regime and suspected of being fundamentally subversive. But even in these countries things are changing, because the knowledge society needs the social sector, and the social sector needs the volunteer. But knowledge workers also need a sphere in which they can act as citizens and create a community. The workplace does not give it to them. Nothing has been disproved faster than the concept of the organization man, which was widely accepted forty years ago. In fact, the more satisfying ones knowledge work is, the more one needs a separate sphere of community activity. Many social- sector organizations will become partners with government--as is the case in a great many privatizations, where, for instance, a city pays for street cleaning and an outside contractor does the work. In American education over the next twenty years there will be more and more government- paid vouchers that will enable parents to put their children into a variety of different schools, some public and tax- supported, some private and largely dependent on the income from the vouchers. These social- sector organizations, although partners with government, also clearly compete with government. The relationship between the two has yet to be worked out--and there is practically no precedent for it. What constitutes performance for social- sector organizations, and especially for those that, being nonprofit and charitable, do not have the discipline of a financial bottom line, has also yet to be worked out. We know that social- sector organizations need management. But what precisely management means for the social- sector organization is just beginning to be studied. With respect to the management of the nonprofit organization we are in many ways pretty much where we were fifty or sixty years ago with respect to the management of the business enterprise:the work is only beginning. But one thing is already clear. The knowledge society has to be a society of three sectors: a public sector of government, a private sector of business, and a social sector. And I submit that it is becoming increasingly clear that through the social sector a modern developed society can again create responsible and achieving citizenship, and can again give individuals--especially knowledge workers--a sphere in which they can make a difference in society and re-create community. K NOWLEDGE has become the key resource, for a nations military strength as well as for its economic strength. And this knowledge can be acquired only through schooling. It is not tied to any country. It is portable. It can be created everywhere, fast and cheaply. Finally, it is by definition changing. Knowledge as the key resource is fundamentally different from the traditional key resources of the economist--land, labor, and even capital. That knowledge has become the key resource means that there is a world economy, and that the world economy, rather than the national economy, is in control. Every country, every industry, and every business will be in an increasingly competitive environment. Every country, every industry, and every business will, in its decisions, have to consider its competitive standing in the world economy and the competitiveness of its knowledge competencies. Politics and policies still center on domestic issues in every country. Few if any politicians, journalists, or civil servants look beyond the boundaries of their own country when a new measure such as taxes, the regulation of business, or social spending is being discussed. Even in Germany--Europes most export- conscious and export- dependent major country--this is true. Almost no one in the West asked in 1990 what the governments unbridled spending in the East would do to Germanys competitiveness. This will no longer do. Every country and every industry will have to learn that the first question is not Is this measure desirable but What will be the impact on the countrys, or the industrys, competitive position in the world economy We need to develop in politics something similar to the environmental- impact statement, which in the United States is now required for any government action affecting the quality of the environment: we need a competitive- impact statement. The impact on ones competitive position in the world economy should not necessarily be the main factor in a decision. But to make a decision without considering it has become irresponsible. Altogether, the fact that knowledge has become the key resource means that the standing of a country in the world economy will increasingly determine its domestic prosperity. Since 1950 a countrys ability to improve its position in the world economy has been the main and perhaps the sole determinant of performance in the domestic economy. Monetary and fiscal policies have been practically irrelevant, for better and, very largely, even for worse (with the single exception of governmental policies creating inflation, which very rapidly undermines both a countrys competitive standing in the world economy and its domestic stability and ability to grow). The primacy of foreign affairs is an old political precept going back in European politics to the seventeenth century. Since the Second World War it has also been accepted in American politics--though only grudgingly so, and only in emergencies. It has always meant that military security was to be given priority over domestic policies, and in all likelihood this is what it will continue to mean, Cold War or no Cold War. But the primacy of foreign affairs is now acquiring a different dimension. This is that a countrys competitive position in the world economy--and also an industrys and an organizations--has to be the first consideration in its domestic policies and strategies. This holds true for a country that is only marginally involved in the world economy (should there still be such a one), and for a business that is only marginally involved in the world economy, and for a university that sees itself as totally domestic. Knowledge knows no boundaries. There is no domestic knowledge and no international knowledge. There is only knowledge. And with knowledge becoming the key resource, there is only a world economy, even though the individual organization in its daily activities operates within a national, regional, or even local setting. S OCIAL tasks are increasingly being done by individual organizations, each created for one, and only one, social task, whether education, health care, or street cleaning. Society, therefore, is rapidly becoming pluralist. Yet our social and political theories still assume that there are no power centers except government. To destroy or at least to render impotent all other power centers was, in fact, the thrust of Western history and Western politics for 500 years, from the fourteenth century on. This drive culminated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when, except in the United States, such early institutions as still survived--for example, the universities and the churches--became organs of the state, with their functionaries becoming civil servants. But then, beginning in the mid- nineteenth century, new centers arose--the first one, the modern business enterprise, around 1870. And since then one new organization after another has come into being. The new institutions--the labor union, the modern hospital, the mega-church, the research university--of the society of organizations have no interest in public power. They do not want to be governments. But they demand--and, indeed, need--autonomy with respect to their functions. Even at the extreme of Stalinism the managers of major industrial enterprises were largely masters within their enterprises, and the individual industry was largely autonomous. So were the university, the research lab, and the military. In the pluralism of yesterday--in societies in which control was shared by various institutions, such as feudal Europe in the Middle Ages and Edo Japan in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries--pluralist organizations tried to be in control of whatever went on in their community. At least, they tried to prevent any other organization from having control of any community concern or community institution within their domain. But in the society of organizations each of the new institutions is concerned only with its own purpose and mission. It does not claim power over anything else. But it also does not assume responsibility for anything else. Who, then, is concerned with the common good This has always been a central problem of pluralism. No earlier pluralism solved it. The problem remains, but in a new guise. So far it has been seen as imposing limits on social institutions--forbidding them to do things in the pursuit of their mission, function, and interest which encroach upon the public domain or violate public policy. The laws against discrimination--by race, sex, age, educational level, health status, and so on--which have proliferated in the United States in the past forty years all forbid socially undesirable behavior. But we are increasingly raising the question of the social responsibility of social institutions: What do institutions have to do--in addition to discharging their own functions--to advance the public good This, however, though nobody seems to realize it, is a demand to return to the old pluralism, the pluralism of feudalism. It is a demand that private hands assume public power. This could seriously threaten the functioning of the new organizations, as the example of the schools in the United States makes abundantly clear. One of the major reasons for the steady decline in the capacity of the schools to do their job--that is, to teach children elementary knowledge skills--is surely that since the 1950s the United States has increasingly made the schools the carriers of all kinds of social policies: the elimination of racial discrimination, of discrimination against all other kinds of minorities, including the handicapped, and so on. Whether we have actually made any progress in assuaging social ills is highly debatable so far the schools have not proved particularly effective as tools for social reform. But making the school the organ of social policies has, without any doubt, severely impaired its capacity to do its own job. The new pluralism has a new problem: how to maintain the performance capacity of the new institutions and yet maintain the cohesion of society. This makes doubly important the emergence of a strong and functioning social sector. It is an additional reason why the social sector will increasingly be crucial to the performance, if not to the cohesion, of the knowledge society. O F the new organizations under consideration here, the first to arise, 120 years ago, was the business enterprise. It was only natural, therefore, that the problem of the emerging society of organizations was first seen as the relationship of government and business. It was also natural that the new interests were first seen as economic interests. The first attempt to come to grips with the politics of the emerging society of organizations aimed, therefore, at making economic interests serve the political process. The first to pursue this goal was an American, Mark Hanna, the restorer of the Republican Party in the 1890s and, in many ways, the founding father of twentieth- century American politics. His definition of politics as a dynamic disequilibrium between the major economic interests--farmers, business, and labor--remained the foundation of American politics until the Second World War. In fact, Franklin D. Roosevelt restored the Democratic Party by reformulating Hanna. And the basic political position of this philosophy is evident in the title of the most influential political book written during the New Deal years-- Politics: Who Gets What, When, How (1936), by Harold D. Lasswell. Mark Hanna in 1896 knew very well that there are plenty of concerns other than economic concerns. And yet it was obvious to him--as it was to Roosevelt forty years later--that economic interests had to be used to integrate all the others. This is still the assumption underlying most analyses of American politics--and, in fact, of politics in all developed countries. But the assumption is no longer tenable. Underlying Hannas formula of economic interests is the view of land, labor, and capital as the existing resources. But knowledge, the new resource for economic performance, is not in itself economic. It cannot be bought or sold. The fruits of knowledge, such as the income from a patent, can be bought or sold the knowledge that went into the patent cannot be conveyed at any price. No matter how much a suffering person is willing to pay a neurosurgeon, the neurosurgeon cannot sell to him--and surely cannot convey to him--the knowledge that is the foundation of the neurosurgeons performance and income. The acquisition of knowledge has a cost, as has the acquisition of anything. But the acquisition of knowledge has no price. Economic interests can therefore no longer integrate all other concerns and interests. As soon as knowledge became the key economic resource, the integration of interests--and with it the integration of the pluralism of a modern polity--began to be lost. Increasingly, non-economic interests are becoming the new pluralism--the special interests, the single- cause organizations, and so on. Increasingly, politics is not about who gets what, when, how but about values, each of them considered to be an absolute. Politics is about the right to life of the embryo in the womb as against the right of a woman to control her own body and to abort an embryo. It is about the environment. It is about gaining equality for groups alleged to be oppressed and discriminated against. None of these issues is economic. All are fundamentally moral. Economic interests can be compromised, which is the great strength of basing politics on economic interests. Half a loaf is still bread is a meaningful saying. But half a baby, in the biblical story of the judgment of Solomon, is not half a child. No compromise is possible. To an environmentalist, half an endangered species is an extinct species. This greatly aggravates the crisis of modern government. Newspapers and commentators still tend to report in economic terms what goes on in Washington, in London, in Bonn, or in Tokyo. But more and more of the lobbyists who determine governmental laws and governmental actions are no longer lobbyists for economic interests. They lobby for and against measures that they--and their paymasters--see as moral, spiritual, cultural. And each of these new moral concerns, each represented by a new organization, claims to stand for an absolute. Dividing their loaf is not compromise it is treason. There is thus in the society of organizations no one integrating force that pulls individual organizations in society and community into coalition. The traditional parties--perhaps the most successful political creations of the nineteenth century--can no longer integrate divergent groups and divergent points of view into a common pursuit of power. Rather, they have become battlefields between groups, each of them fighting for absolute victory and not content with anything but total surrender of the enemy. T HE twenty- first century will surely be one of continuing social, economic, and political turmoil and challenge, at least in its early decades. What I have called the age of social transformation is not over yet. And the challenges looming ahead may be more serious and more daunting than those posed by the social transformations that have already come about, the social transformations of the twentieth century. Yet we will not even have a chance to resolve these new and looming problems of tomorrow unless we first address the challenges posed by the developments that are already accomplished facts, the developments reported in the earlier sections of this essay. These are the priority tasks. For only if they are tackled can we in the developed democratic free- market countries hope to have the social cohesion, the economic strength, and the governmental capacity needed to tackle the new challenges. The first order of business--for sociologists, political scientists, and economists for educators for business executives, politicians, and nonprofit-group leaders for people in all walks of life, as parents, as employees, as citizens--is to work on these priority tasks, for few of which we so far have a precedent, let alone tested solutions. We will have to think through education --its purpose, its values, its content. We will have to learn to define the quality of education and the productivity of education, to measure both and to manage both. We need systematic work on the quality of knowledge and the productivity of knowledge --neither even defined so far. The performance capacity, if not the survival, of any organization in the knowledge society will come increasingly to depend on those two factors. But so will the performance capacity, if not the survival, of any individual in the knowledge society. And what responsibility does knowledge have What are the responsibilities of the knowledge worker, and especially of a person with highly specialized knowledge Increasingly, the policy of any country--and especially of any developed country--will have to give primacy to the countrys competitive position in an increasingly competitive world economy. Any proposed domestic policy needs to be shaped so as to improve that position, or at least to minimize adverse impacts on it. The same holds true for the policies and strategies of any institution within a nation, whether a local government, a business, a university, or a hospital. But then we also need to develop an economic theory appropriate to a world economy in which knowledge has become the key economic resource and the dominant, if not the only, source of comparative advantage. We are beginning to understand the new integrating mechanism: organization . But we still have to think through how to balance two apparently contradictory requirements. Organizations must competently perform the one social function for the sake of which they exist--the school to teach, the hospital to cure the sick, and the business to produce goods, services, or the capital to provide for the risks of the future. They can do so only if they single- mindedly concentrate on their specialized mission. But there is also societys need for these organizations to take social responsibility--to work on the problems and challenges of the community. Together these organizations are the community. The emergence of a strong, independent, capable social sector--neither public sector nor private sector--is thus a central need of the society of organizations. But by itself it is not enough--the organizations of both the public and the private sector must share in the work. The function of government and its functioning must be central to political thought and political action. The megastate in which this century indulged has not performed, either in its totalitarian or in its democratic version. It has not delivered on a single one of its promises. And government by countervailing lobbyists is neither particularly effective--in fact, it is paralysis--nor particularly attractive. Yet effective government has never been needed more than in this highly competitive and fast- changing world of ours, in which the dangers created by the pollution of the physical environment are matched only by the dangers of worldwide armaments pollution. And we do not have even the beginnings of political theory or the political institutions needed for effective government in the knowledge- based society of organizations. If the twentieth century was one of social transformations, the twenty- first century needs to be one of social and political innovations, whose nature cannot be so clear to us now as their necessity. Copyright copy 1994 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. Seluruh hak cipta. The Atlantic Monthly November 1994 The Age of Social Transformation Volume 274, No. 5 page(s) 53-80.Moving from the US to the UK This page describes, in fairly serious detail, the process of moving from the US to the UK. I have written it because while I was embroiled in the process of moving to the UK, information posted on the web by other people proved indispensible. Questions were answered that I didnt yet know I was going to have. Id like to return the favor by posting information about my own experience, which includes some situations I havent seen addressed anywhere else, in the hope that it may prove useful to others. Ive tried to cover, or at least mention, all the issues I had to handle, which encompasses a wide range of topics. Each person considering a move from the US to the UK will have their own unique set of circumstances. Yours will not be exactly the same as mine. No doubt some of the information herein will not apply to you, but much of it may. It should at least provide you with a starting point for your own research, and at best save you from duplicating the effort I have already expended. However, if you are moving from somewhere other than the US, or to somewhere other than the UK, that will seriously limit the applicability of anything on this page (if indeed anything at all remains applicable). If youre going in the exact other direction--UK to US--try Brits in the US . Its worth mentioning that UK refers to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It does not include the country of Ireland (Eire). Caveat lector: Herein, I describe my experience and my understanding of the process of moving from the US to the UK. Moving to another country is a complex undertaking involving many rules, requirements, government agencies, and stacks of paperwork, all of which are subject to change at any time, and all of which are highly dependent on your individual situation. It is not my intention to advise you on how you should proceed or what is required of you. Also, bear in mind that anything I say could be wrong. Verify everything yourself. A note about reading this page: Youll find a lot of links to other sites on this page. Obviously, clicking on such a link would take you away from this page. I waffled a bit, but in the end Ive settled on opening these external links in a new browser window. This keeps you from accidentally leaving this site or losing your place on the page. I apologize if you find this annoying (I generally do, to be honest). I dont know much about this route, not having done it myself, but I can still provide some general information and pointers. The basic process is: You somehow convince a UK company that it wants to hire you. The company applies for a work permit for you (thats right, much of the bureaucracy is on their shoulders). Once the work permit is issued, you can then go to the UK. As you might expect, the devil is in the details. You cannot come to the UK to job-hunt. It is illegal to job-hunt on a tourist visa. (Well, mostly. Some aspects are and some arent. Youd be wise to seek legal advice before trying any aspect of job-hunting while in the country on a tourist visa.) You must somehow, from afar, convince a company that it wants you badly enough to go through a vast amount of paperwork (and some expense) just to have you. If they even want to interview you in person, they have to get a special visa to let you enter the country for interviewing purposes. Getting a work permit isnt much fun for the sponsoring company. Its similar to the US Green Card process in that they must advertise the position and demonstrate that they could not find qualified candidates. One extra nasty bit is that because the UK is part of the EU (European Union), the potential employer must demonstrate that there were no qualified candidates not just in the UK, but in the entire EU. (In practice, they just advertise the job in one of several periodicals that have wide enough European circulation to be considered OK by the immigration people.) Youll have to be pretty darn impressive (or convincing) for a company to choose to go through all this bother on your behalf. If a company does sponsor you, your work permit is only good for that company and that job . If you change positions within the company, or change companies, you have to start all over and get a new work permit for the new job. If the company eliminates your job, youre not just out of a job, youre out of a country, unless you find someone else (quickly) to sponsor you. (But it is possible to springboard from a work permit to permanent residency .) With all that glum stuff said, people do manage to do this, so its not impossible. One strategy I think would be likely to succeed is to get a job with a very large US company that has offices in the UK. The bigger the company, the better. If its big enough, it will have a department just for handling immigration matters. Once youre in, you have access to internal job postings. Eventually you may find a job at a UK office that would be suitable for you. You apply for the job, and because the company has an immigration department, the hiring manager doesnt have to deal with it herself and has no incentive not to hire you. This strategy may sound implausible, but Ive seen it work myself when I worked at Digital, quite a few adventurous staff engaged in country-hopping. (Clearly this is a strategy for especially patient people.) A variant of this strategy is to apply directly to a large UK company--again, one big enough to have an immigration department. The idea is to make sure the person making the hiring decision isnt the one who will have to go through the work permit process. Very large companies apply for work permits all the time whats one more Although I have no firsthand experience with it, some web sites claim that immigration restrictions are relaxed for certain types of jobs because of staff shortages in the UK. Some that Ive seen mentioned have been teachers and nurses (not surprising), and IT staff (very surprising). Finally, Ive seen web sites that claim they can get you a work permit. I have no idea how shady or underhanded these companies are, or what they charge, or how successful they are, or even how they do it, but its worth mentioning that they do exist. Update: The UK may be in the process of revamping its work permit legislation to make it easier for people to get them. Specifically, they may do away with the prohibition on job-hunting. A lot of noise has been made about this in the news recently, but whether anything practical has come out of it yet I dont know. Categories of UK visas and work permits (from a consultancy). This particular consultancy also claims to help connect IT professionals with companies that regularly sponsor foreigners. The US embassy notes a few books that list companies doing business in both the US and various foreign countries. These books are frightfully expensive, but they exist. Two of them, the Directory of American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries and the Anglo-American Trade Directory. are both sold by Amazon (among others). The third may be available on the web as a searchable database at the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers. I havent registered with their site, so I dont know how their search works. (Not many links on this topic, because the available information is geared toward employers. They are the ones who have to apply for your work permit.) What is it The fianc(e) visa allows you to enter the UK for the purpose of changing status, i.e. getting married. It is a single-entry visa, valid for entry into the UK for six months from the date of issue. Once you enter the UK, the visa is valid for six months, during which you presumably get married. While in the UK on a fianc(e) visa, you cannot accept an offer of employment, which effectively means you cant job-hunt with one. Fianc(e) visas exist because its apparently not allowed for you to come to the UK on a tourist visa and get married while youre here. But although youre not supposed to, people apparently do it all the time, at least according to the New York consulate staff. So theoretically, you could get married on a tourist visa in the UK, or alternatively, your British intended could come to the US and you could get married here. Either way, you leapfrog straight to the spouse visa. Its up to you whether you want to try doing it the officially-not-allowed way. I dont know just how frowned-upon it really is. Where do I apply You can apply in person or by mail to a British Consulate in the US. (I dont think the Home Office handles fianc(e) visa applications.) If you apply in person, the visa is generally issued the same day . This is a lot better than waiting weeks or months for processing by mail (its hard to book flights when you dont know when youll legally be able to travel). I applied for my fianc(e) visa in person at the British Consulate in New York. You dont get to choose which consulate you apply at you have to apply at the one that serves your area. I was lucky that mine was relatively close to where I lived anyway yours may be quite far away. I believe there are only 4 visa-processing British Consulates in the US (Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, and New York). How do I apply Collect a vast pile of paper and bring it with you. (And it is you that has to apply you are the foreigner requesting the visa.) I got the list of what to bring by calling the New York consulate and navigating their auto-attendant menus until I got to a list. Since that time, the consular web site has conveniently posted a list . Not surprisingly, their lists are a bit difficult to decipher, because they are trying to cover all possible situations. Heres what I brought: Mike. Seriously. Your sponsor (the British citizen you intend to marry) doesnt have to be there, but it doesnt hurt. If you apply by yourself, you must bring a letter from your sponsor, stating that he is aware of your application, that he supports it, and that it is your intention to marry and live together permanently as each others spouses in the UK. Immigration forms IM2A and IM2B. Leaflet INF4 will help you fill these out. Note that the UK standard is to fill out forms in block capital letters. Also, the standard for checking boxes is to use a tick mark, which is what wed call a check mark. Dont X boxes. Passports (mine and Mikes) Two recent passport-sized photos of me (they keep these) Birth certificates (mine and Mikes) Evidence that a wedding is planned (we had a booking confirmation from the Register Office) Evidence of accommodation in the UK (we brought Mikes mortgage papers) Evidence of financial support. Your sponsor must demonstrate that his salary--not yours--is adequate to support both of you. Distasteful as the notion may be, you will be considered a dependant of your sponsor for purposes of this application. Your US job and income mean nothing, because youll most likely be giving them up when you move to the UK. They applied the closest scrutiny to this category of paperwork. Dont bring old records. We brought: Mikes 3 most recent bank statements His 3 most recent pay stubs His most recent salary letter from his employer Just in case, I also brought my 3 most recent bank statements. Theyre not on the official list of things to bring, but amazingly, they asked for them. I probably would have been OK if I didnt have them I think they considered current balance, nothing more (on the grounds that it could be used to help support me until I became employed). Its also very good to bring a letter from your sponsors employer stating title, length of service, annual salary, and whether the position is permanent. (The British have a different notion of job permanence than we have in the US. Many positions are contract.)I dont know what level of support your sponsor has to demonstrate. A UK immigration lawyer we spoke to stated that she thinks theyre looking for evidence of pound150week after taxes, but that seems awfully low to me and I wouldnt count on it. Evidence that you have met and have a relationship. Letters are good, but in this day of email, who writes letters We brought pictures of us together, phone bills, plane ticket stubs, and also had the stamp in my passport from my visit to the UK. (Well, plus we had Mike himself we could have made googly-eyes at each other if wed had to.) The visa fee in cash, money order, or cashiers check they absolutely will not take checks. It was 384 at the time it changes monthly (because its really an amount in pound, probably pound250, so it varies with the exchange rate). Call your consulate to verify the current fee just before you go. I personally think its a bad idea to bring a money order or cashiers check if the fee has changed from what you expected, youre stuck. Cash is more flexible. (If you mail your application, there will be an extra fee for return post or FedEx. Again, call your consulate just before mailing to be sure you send the current amount.) A few helpful hints: Bring originals of all documents. For some documents, theyll allow notarized (or full certified) copies, but personally I see no reason to take chances. They give everything back, so theres little reason to bring copies. If youre not sure whether to bring something, bring it. Its better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. Dont rely solely on my list of things to bring. My situation was utterly vanilla. If you have ever been married before, or you have children, or the British person youre marrying isnt a citizen, or any of a dozen other situations, youre going to need to bring a lot of documentation that I didnt have to bother with. Check the consulates list of documents to be sure you have everything that applies to your situation. Most importantly: Dont go about this haphazardly . You are two very small people going up against an enormous bureaucracy. Get your act together in advance. Be absolutely sure you have everything you need, filled out in advance. Whether youre making a special trip a few hundred miles to your nearest consulate, or mailing forms in, youre not going to be overjoyed to have your application rejected because you forgot a piece of paper. This one may seem obvious, but Ill throw it out anyway: If your passport is going to expire within the next year or two, renew it before you start any of this. Your visas are just stamps in your passport, so if your passport expired and had to be replaced while you were still depending on your fianc(e) or spouse visa, I dont know what would happen to your visa stamps, and I wouldnt want to find out the hard way. What happens when I apply I get the impression that the consulates have a lot of leeway to do things their own way. What Im describing is my experience at the New York consulate. The consulate accepts applications between 9:00AM and 1:00PM weekdays. (They observe British holidays. Call before you go to make sure its not going to be a holiday.) A lot of people--30 or more--show up every day. The queue starts forming at 8:00AM. The earlier you arrive, the better place in line youll secure, and the sooner youll be done. (It helps a lot to stay at a nearby hotel the night before.) You should figure that each persons application will take an average of about 10 minutes, so if there are 20 people ahead of you and two windows open, you should expect an hour and a half wait for your turn. (I dont know what happens at 1:00 to anyone who hasnt made it to the front of the line yet.) Youre at a consulate, so security is slightly intimidating. These guys were not hired for their sense of humor. You dont get personally searched, but your bags will be. Youll be told the rules (e.g. dont turn on your cell phone, dont leave bags unattended) when you arrive. Breaking rules results in a rather stern reprimand. You are given a numbered card for a place in line, which is very nice because you dont have to fret about making sure you dont lose your place. On the whole, everything is very organized and civilized. There are some chairs, a passport photo booth, and several windows that look a lot like bank teller windows. The atmosphere is rather subdued. There will be a few people asking to borrow a pen, looking for the forms they should have already filled out, and asking whether you can change a 10 for two 5s so they can use the passport photo machine. Shortly before 9:00, the security staff line everyone up by their numbered cards. You see consulate staff getting ready behind the windows. The windows open. As you wait in line, you can hear what the people ahead of you are saying theres not much privacy. When your turn comes, you go up to the window, state that youre there for a fianc(e) visa, and hand over each item of paperwork as its asked for. They make copies of some things and return them right away. Others, like your passports, they keep. They give you a claim ticket that you must provide in order to get it all back. They tell you that an interview is required and ask you to take a seat. First, though, you have to go to another window to pay your fee (its not done by the person who takes your application). Then you sit down and wait for your name to be called. When it is, youre directed to one of two interview rooms. You go in and sit across from one of the consulate staff. We thought this interview would be scary--you know, an attempt to see whether we really had a relationship, or some sort of unpleasant cross-examination. Actually, there was nothing to it we were basically told what happens next. They explain that the fianc(e) visa is only a limited duration, single-entry visa. They tell you how to apply for a spouse visa once youre married. And, if all goes well, they tell you to come back between 4:00PM and 5:00PM to pick up your documents (i.e. your passports and the other paperwork theyve kept). Ours was probably a textbook application. We had everything we needed and had no reason to make them suspicious. I expect the interview may not always be quite such a formality, although I have no idea under what circumstances. So, you go out and kill a few hours in the City That Never Sleeps. At 4:00PM, you come back and hand over your claim ticket. They give back everything they kept. In your passport you now have a spiffy new multicolored, textured stamp that takes up most of a page. Thats it that stamp is your fianc(e) visa. Off you go Presumably your British fianc(e) knows, or can find out, how to go about setting this up, so I wont linger on this topic other than to mention the basic process and the extra considerations because youre foreign. Essentially, the steps for a civil marriage are: Book the date: At least several months in advance (especially if you want your wedding to be on a weekend), your fianc(e) makes a booking at his districts Register Office for a wedding date. But then, youve already done this step, because you needed proof of this booking to get your fianc(e) visa, so youre OK Meet the residency requirements: The remaining steps have residency requirements. Dont expect to fly to the UK and get married the next day. Call your fianc(e)s districts Registrar and have them explain the residency requirements to you. Make sure you understand them before you book your plane tickets You, the foreigner, must be resident in the UK, in the district served by that Register Office . at least 7 days before you can give notice. Notice must be given at least 15 days before the scheduled wedding. Altogether, this means you must arrive in the UK more than 3 weeks before your scheduled wedding. These residency requirements probably also apply to your fianc(e), but since youre doing this in the district where he lives, you dont have to worry about it unless he moves at the same time all this is going on. New residency requirements came into effect on 1 January 2001 the requirements described above are different from those I had to meet. I got these new requirements from web research. I could be wrong. Verify everything yourself. Watch out when youre doing your research--I have found many sites that still post the old requirements. Give notice: Your next step is to give notice of your intention to marry, which is done by both of you, in person, at that same Register Office. This step is equivalent to applying for a marriage license. Make an appointment to give notice. Dont just wander in. Bring your passports and birth certificates. They also recommend that you bring any relevant travel-related documents that would establish when you arrived in the country. (Id think the stamp in your passport ought to count, but then Im not a bureaucracy.) The fee was pound25 at the time we did this. Get married: Show up on the scheduled day with your passports, the fee (it was pound84 when we did this but for all I know it may change the Registrar will tell you when you give notice), and at least two witnesses. After the wedding, theyll give you your marriage certificate. Get a death grip on this piece of paper. Youll need it later. A church wedding is probably completely different. They may have their own ways to handle the legal requirements that dont involve going to a Register Office. If you have a church wedding, just be careful that your necessary legal requirements are handled. Your UK relatives-in-law-to-be may be used to planning weddings and may take a particular process for granted that doesnt take your non-citizenship into account. You definitely dont want to show up for your pound10,000 wedding only to find that you cant legally get married that day. Legal requirements for getting married in the UK. including information about the residency requirements Look up your districts Register Office (Be careful, you want to look up your fianc(e)s district . not necessarily city a big city can have many districts.) Right, the funs over back to the paperwork. What is it The spouse visa is a multiple-entry visa (you can leave the country and return), good for one year. With it, you can legally be employed by any employer in the UK. Where do I apply Again, you can apply in person or by mail to a British Consulate in the US. According to the staff at the British Consulate in New York, the most common procedure is to enter the UK on your fianc(e) visa, get married, stay here, and apply by mail for your spouse visa, but you dont have to do it this way. I didnt I flew back to the US and applied in person, again, at that same old British Consulate. That way I got mine the same day and didnt have to wait months before being eligible for UK employment. You should take whatever approach works best for your situation. Particularly notice that by leaving the UK, I used up my fianc(e) visa (remember, its a single-entry visa). I could not return to the UK, except as a tourist, until I got my spouse visa, so there was a bit of a gamble at this stage. You can also allegedly apply by mail to the Home Office in London, but I cant find any information on the web about where to send such an application. (Also, leaflet INF4 seems to contradict this it specifically states that You must apply at the British mission in the country where you are living.) Ive never applied to the Home Office by mail, so I dont know whether there are differences in documentary requirements or in the process, or how long it takes. Indeed, Im skeptical that it is even possible, but (as always) do your own research before taking my word for it. How do I apply Applying for your spouse visa is just like applying for your fianc(e) visa, so go back and reread the fianc(e) visa section above. Collect that same pile of paper again, except: This time, supply your marriage certificate instead of evidence that a wedding is scheduled. Fill out IM2A and IM2B again. Your information has changed. Be sure you provide new, up-to-the-minute copies of bank statements, pay stubs, etc. Old ones wont do. Supply two more passport photos. You have to pay the visa fee again. (Ive seen sites that allege that you dont have to pay it a second time, that you are converting your fianc(e) visa to a spouse visa. I certainly had to pay for it a second time.) Caveat: This section is entirely from the perspective of coming in through the settlement visa process. I know even less about Leave to Remain for work permit holders than I do for people with settlement visas. What is it As you draw near the time when your spouse visa runs out, you can apply for either Further Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Remain. As far as I know, Indefinite Leave to Remain is much like Permanent Residency in the US. With it, there will no longer be a time limit on how long you can stay in the UK. If youre here on a work permit, I believe you have to be here for 4 years before you can apply for permanent residency. Where do I apply For an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain, Form SET(M) says to mail your application to: Initial Consideration Unit - SET(M), Immigration and Nationality Directorate, Block C, Whitgift Centre, Croydon CR9 1AT. Verify this address yourself before sending anything for all I know it may change every other Tuesday. How do I apply Form SET(M) advises applying when you have about 4-5 weeks left on your spouse visa--no later, but not much earlier (if earlier, your application may be rejected). To apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, it appears that you must submit a (very familiar) pile of documents: Form SET(M). I am taking the rest of this list directly from the instructions found in form SET(M). Passport photos of you and your spouse (one each), with your names written on the back Your passport Your spouses passport Evidence of financial resources: 3 months or more of bank statements or wage slips Something different from the usual pile of stuff: Evidence that you are still married, which they want in the form of 5 items of mail addressed to both of you at the same address, or (if you dont have dual-addressed correspondence) 3 or 4 to you and 1 or 2 to your spouse. There is a specific list of acceptable correspondents (e.g. Inland Revenue, British Telecom) a letter from Aunt Ruth doesnt cut it. Plan for this one before you start assembling your application I forgot about this requirement until just before I applied, and it very nearly killed me. I was moving into an existing house, you see. The bills are all in Mikes name and there was no reason to change any of them into my name. Nothing is addressed to both of us, and not much of an official nature is addressed to me. In the end, I supplied the cable bill, which is in my name, and a credit card statement. If you want your documents returned via Recorded Delivery (RD) or Registered Post (RP), include an RD or RP label and a stamped, addressed envelope with sufficient postage. They suggest posting your application by Recorded Delivery. Update: I am now going through the Indefinite Leave to Remain application process. It has not gone quite as Id expected. Here is some relevant text from form SET(M): If your application is straightforward, it should be possible to complete it within 3 weeks of receipt (over 65 of all new immigration applications are being completed within this period). But it will take longer to complete your application if further enquiries or more extended consideration are necessary before a decision can be reached. On average, such cases are currently being completed within 12 weeks. Where enquiries have to be made, these may in some cases include visits conducted by the Immigration Service. Silly me, I thought that this meant that, um, 65 of cases were completed within 3 weeks of receipt. Not so. Apparently the real average wait is about 3 months. Do not, as we did, make flight bookings on the assumption that allowing triple their estimated duration would be more than sufficient padding. Heres the real story: The baffling 65-in-3-weeks statistic quoted in the form is simply false. (You might think this is an old form, printed ages ago when the statistic was true. Not so. Form SET(M) has a lifespan. The one I submitted was only valid up to 14 October 2001, and replaced one that was only valid until 14 April 2001. This form is reissued regularly with this assertion still in it.) The normal range of processing times is currently something like 3-6 months, and has apparently been this way for quite some time.Indefinite Leave to Remain is considered more carefully than any other application. This is Englands last chance to get rid of you easily. Thats one reason it takes a long time.Another reason is that this is the same staff who deal with asylum applications, which are all in an uproar just at the moment.Its not terribly likely that your application will be denied (assuming your circumstances are simple, you meet whatever their self-support criteria are, and your application is properly made), because youre applying as the spouse of a British citizen. Approval will just take a long time in coming.Your spouse visa will expire while youre waiting for your application to be processed. The immmigration attorney I spoke to said that this doesnt make you an overstayer. If your spouse visa was still valid and not expired when your application was received, youre sort of in overtime until your application is decided one way or the other. Youre still legally here. (You could hardly leave if you wanted to they have your passport)Dont expect to get your acknowledgement form back within 3 weeks. I still havent received mine and its been nearly seven weeks at time of writing. I dont want to delve into this area much because I know little about it, not having had to deal with it myself yet. Spouse visas, work permits, and even Leave to Remain have nothing to do with citizenship thats an entirely separate topic. Some number of years after you get Leave to Remain, you can apply for citizenship (naturalization), but Im pretty sure you dont have to. Why wouldnt you want to One reason is that the US isnt fond of dual citizenships. Officially, there are several ways you can forfeit your US citizenship if youre not careful (some are listed in your passport). A US immigration lawyer I spoke to said that current interpretation is that you dont give up your citizenship unless you explicitly state that its your intent to do so, but it still sounds like an area fraught with potential difficulties. What would worry me is that so much is dependent on interpretation, and interpretations change, as they already have done on this very topic. The current favorable interpretation could go by the wayside any day, and could do so retroactively (even though we supposedly dont do ex post facto laws). Basically, it appears to me that if you get involved in the citizenship arena, you should be careful, know the rules, and probably have a lawyer (or at least consult one) in each country to make sure you know what youre doing and dont inadvertently get yourself in a lot of trouble. Why would you want to Well, I dont know. So far we have only thought of two things you cant do in the UK without citizenship: vote, and serve on a jury. Ive searched for a list of benefits conferred by citizenship, but havent found one yet. (Ill update this section if I do.) One update: An alert reader has pointed out a benefit that I hadnt thought of, namely that you get to join the short, fast passport control queue when re-entering the UK instead of waiting in the long, slow queue. If youre coming in at 5AM, you dont usually have much of a wait, but arrival during busy times is probably ghastly. Another update: An immigration lawyer pointed out some other benefits I hadnt thought of: After citizenship, you can get a British passport, which is logical. An unexpected consequence of this is that you can move freely throughout the EU, without worrying about visas as an American. You can also take employment in any EU country without further fiddling. Its Indefinite Leave to Remain, not Irrevocable . It can be withdrawn at any point. Presumably thered need to be a good reason, but it can be done.Non-citizens dont have the same legal rights or protections as citizens. Like most countries, the UK is hurriedly drafting draconian new legislation to protect itself from terrorists--and a lot of it has special provisions regarding immigrants. All in all, just more reason to consult an immigration lawyer to get your own advice if you choose to dip your toes into these waters. Opening a bank account in the UK isnt as straightforward as it is in the US. You cant just walk into a bank and open an account they will probably turn you down. Youre left standing there wondering why they turned you down when youre trying to give money to them . Heres why. UK bank accounts have some default features that ours generally dont. One is that your debit card is also a cheque guarantee card, with which shops may be more likely to take a personal cheque from you because its guaranteed by the bank not to bounce (up to a certain amount). Another is that every account Ive seen has some level of automatic overdraft protection. Because of these two features, opening an account is treated as a credit event . much like applying for a credit card. and you have no credit history in the UK. Because you know how the American credit history system works, right now youre assuming that youre doomed. But heres where things get a bit surreal to the average American. The UK, Im told, has no system of personal credit history tracking . When someone wants to check your credit, they check the credit history of your address . (This doesnt mean a house can get a bad credit rating and pass it on to subsequent owners youd just have to prove your move-in date.) The good news for you is that this means nobody really has a personal credit history. You arent going to have to establish a credit history before you can open a bank account. Because theres no personal credit history, banks rely entirely on references and introductions. A reference from your previous bank would be sufficient to convince them of your creditworthiness. Of course the problem is that because American banks dont work this way, when you walk into your local branch and ask them to provide you with a reference, they have no idea what they should write. Sadly, neither do I. I got a letter from my bank that seemed suitable to me, but the UK bank said it wasnt good enough. I never did find out what they wanted the letter to say. If you want to go this route, you should go to (or perhaps call) the UK bank branch where you plan to open an account and get someone to dictate to you exactly what they would want a letter to say. Better yet, ask whether they have a form that your bank could fill out. If, like me, youre moving to the UK because of marriage, youre in luck. Provided youre willing to have the same bank as your spouse, all thats required is for your spouse to introduce you to the bank. Theyll want a letter from him that says some specific things youll have to ask your bank what that letter should say. (We never ended up writing the letter, because we went together to open my account. The bank employee wrote it out longhand and Mike signed it, so I dont have a copy.) Note that this presumably wouldnt work if your spouse had a terrible history with his bank. Anyway, based purely on Mikes introduction, the bank opened a current account (equivalent to a checking account) and issued me a credit card, just like that. If youre moving to the UK on a work permit, you might try having your employer introduce you. I dont know whether that would actually work. If you can, its worth opening your UK bank account before your final trip to the UK, so you can make whatever financial arrangements you need before you leave the US. Its nice to have your own money already available in the UK when you get there. The US-to-UK FAQ has a terrific section on opening a UK bank account, covering a lot that I havent mentioned here. Links to a few random (but all very large) UK banks (note that I do not recommend these banks the links are provided for your convenience only): This site contains links to several large UK banks Abbey National NatWest (National Westminster) Lloyds TSB Bank of Scotland Royal Bank of Scotland (not the same thing) Halifax I looked for banks that existed in both countries, figuring that they might be better suited to my international situation. The only one I found was Barclays. and to be honest, I couldnt make heads or tails of their international accounts. I did gather that they charge a hefty fee for the privilege of having an account thats valid in two countries. (Upon further reflection, it occurs to me that an international account could be interesting from a tax point of view, so maybe its more like having an offshore account than anything else.) You might automatically assume that before you leave for the UK, you should close your US bank accounts. This is worth a second thought. Just because youve moved, your US expenses wont be over and done with on the same day. Youll have final utility bills that wont be sent till after youre gone. You may well have other, ongoing expenses in the US (for instance, I have storage unit expenses). If a surprise expense comes up months down the road, you wont have to work out how to try to pay it when all you can write is cheques in pounds. Plus, youll continue to have ties to the US, probably for a very long time. Consider: if you return to the US for a visit, wouldnt it be handy to be able to write checks and use your credit cards You wouldnt have to worry about currency conversion. If your US bank has good internet banking, like mine does, its almost no different than being there. From here, I can use the internet to transfer funds between my US accounts, and to mail checks to anyone. I cant do anything that requires being there in person, but by asking before I left, I found out that I can even mail deposits to them they gave me special envelopes for the purpose. Also, ask your bank about wire transfers. My bank allows any customer to set themselves up to do wire transfers. With this ability, I could make same-day money transfers from my US account directly to my UK account, without having to wait weeks for a check (from myself, to myself) to clear. This would let me do transfers on days when the exchange rates are particularly favorable. Sadly, I wasnt able to get this ability set up successfully before I left, but this was probably because I didnt start the process early enough. Dont let my blunder stop you from trying. Important Note: Be aware that transferring money from the US to the UK can have tax implications. Depending on how your residency ends up being considered, you might have to pay income tax on funds you transfer (even if youve already paid tax on them in the US). All the more reason to retain a UK tax accountant early in the process, so you can get advice from them before you transfer anything. I used to have a really simple tax situation. There was just me, with one employer, and no trust funds or complex investments or anything like that. I filled out the simplest form the IRS offered and that was that. Moving to another country changes all this, drastically. No matter how simple your tax situation used to be, it isnt now. See my topics about US tax implications and UK tax implications . One of the best decisions I made during this entire process was to retain tax accountants. I actually have two, one in the US, for US taxes, and one in the UK, for UK taxes. Having tax accountants has had two great benefits for me. First, I didnt have to try to figure out for myself how all this stuff works and how it applies to me, which meant a great deal of time saved and stress avoided. Second, it means my returns have more than a snowballs chance of being right . I highly recommend it. You might want to avoid the cost of retaining accountant(s), but its a cost I think is well worth it. Ive paid about 500 per return, which is a pittance compared to the double taxation, inadvertent taxes, and fines I could have incurred instead. If you already have an accountant, loyalty is all very well and good, but if they dont specialize in international tax situations, youll be the client they learn on (i.e. make all their mistakes on). If you decide to retain accountants, I recommend doing so as early in the process as you can, so that you have advice before you inadvertently do something with serious tax implications in the course of your moving preparations. Tax laws, particularly as you move between countries, are complicated and not easy to predict. Dont assume that a simple transaction you can perform with no tax implications within the US therefore has no implications if you perform it across national boundaries. After all, people use country-hopping to avoid taxation and to launder money When you have selected your accountant(s), describe your situation and ask them for their advice. They will probably point out things you should avoid doing that you would never have thought of. In fact, throughout this document you will find mention of tax implications in areas where you probably would not expect to find them. Theodore Kleinman, CPA is an accountant who specializes in international tax considerations for US expatriates. Hey, that sounds like me So I retained him to prepare my 2000 tax return. Ive been very happy with the service he has provided hes fast, organized and thorough. He reduced my involvement in this whole mess to a few signatures and answering some questions, and at every turn has made things as easy as they possibly could be. Mark Levy, FCA (of Berley Chartered Accountants) is my UK tax accountant. Again, he obviously knows what hes doing, because I send him stacks of complicated information and he dashes out replies and forms virtually instantly. Oh yeah, the car. What are you going to do with your car Youre probably going to sell it. Unless youre a lot braver than I am, you wont bring it here and try to drive a wrong-sided car. (Plus youd probably have to pay import duties on it, not to mention the cost of shipping.) My problem was that I needed my car right up to when I left. If youre in the same situation, youll have to think about how you want to sell it. Are you likely to find a buyer who will agree that they cant have it until a certain day How will you deliver it Can you get someone to sell it for you after youre gone Anyway, I therefore had to return the plates and get it un-registered by mail. (Well, to be honest, my sister did it.) The important thing is to know what your state requires to finalize your termination of ownership of the car, and make sure you meet those requirements, before you terminate your car insurance. In Massachusetts, without the plates being returned to the Registry, Id still be legally liable for the car, and required to insure it. One thing to be aware of up front: If you subsequently return to the US, you may find car insurance very expensive to obtain because theres a hiatus in your car insurance history. My insurance company told me that because of the gap, theyd treat me, upon returning, the same way theyd treat someone getting out of jail They did say that if I brought back an official driving and insurance history from my time in the UK, they would be able to use that as evidence of continued good driving record and insurability. Therefore, if you do go back to the US, try to get some sort of official driving record and insurance record before you leave. I have, of course, no idea how youd do that. One more thing to be aware of, while youre visiting the UK prior to your final trip there: Your US car insurance probably doesnt cover you driving in the UK. Mine didnt, and wouldnt issue a special temporary coverage like they would for driving in Canada, either. The US-to-UK FAQ has some words of wisdom about what to do with your car. Yes, the UK has the National Health Service (NHS), but do your research before you assume youre eligible to use it. In particular, youre not eligible to use NHS for anything but emergency care while youre here on a fianc(e) visa. With a spouse visa, you are eligible, but darned if Ive figured out yet how to get an NHS number. (Ill update this once Ive figured it out.) On the other hand, Ive been to one medical-related activity already, and they brushed off my dutiful mention that I didnt have an NHS number. They didnt care they took care of me anyway. Until you get your spouse visa, if you currently have medical insurance from your US employer (and you continue to work for your US employer), ask whether they cover you while youre in the UK. My companys insurance did cover me, but I would have had to pay for any services up front and then submit bills for reimbursement. Remember to give your new address to all your utilities (for final bills), and also to anyone who will continue to correspond with you (e.g. banks, investment and retirement account holders, your current employer, etc). Basically look at the mail you get over the course of a month or so and try to notice which ones you might need to notify. I found that many of them, especially the utilities, cant handle an international address. This probably isnt surprising a local electric company, serving a particular area, isnt likely to have very many international customers within their service area. You may also want to put in a forwarding order with the post office. However, the post office wont forward mail outside the US. I therefore arranged with my brother to let me forward my mail to him, and he collects it up occasionally and sends it on to me. If you make a similar arrangement with someone domestic to receive your mail for you, put in your forwarding order well before you leave. My post office required a months notice, and as far as I can tell the forms are standardized, so that requirement is probably the same where you are. I also gave my brothers address to companies that couldnt handle an international address. (Dont worry, he holds my mail hostage in exchange for Thorntons chocolate. so hes not getting the short end of the deal.) Most of the rest of the world calls a resum a CV (Curriculum Vitae, which apparently means something like story of my life). If your move to the UK will also require you to find a new job, you might as well get your CV ready beforehand. As with resums, youll get wildly differing (often directly contradictory) formatting and content advice from every source you check. Some authorities will tell you that theres no real difference between a CV and a resum, while others will show you something that looks utterly alien. Youll have to reach your own conclusions on how to do yours. If you search the web, you can find plenty of sites about CVs and how to write one. If you want a book, try amazon.co.uk. If you already have an account with amazon, you can use it to buy books from amazon.co.uk. The shipping will be fairly pricey, though. I ordered four CV-related books the one I liked best was How to Write a Winning CV by Alan Jones . One definite difference between what UK employers expect to find on a CV and what youre used to: Very personal information. Its routine here to include such items as date of birth, marital status, and nationality. I dont think there is as much lip service paid here to making hiring decisions without regard to these factors. For instance, its apparently perfectly acceptable and quite commonplace to target a position to a particular age range. You can leave these items out, but youd just be asked about them in an interview anyway, or perhaps never get to an interview because an employer might think you had something to hide. Its going to take you a while to settle in after you arrive. Youre not going to know where anything is, how anything is done, or even see many familiar brand names at the store. I found it useful to bring some items, and to do some recurring things in advance so that I could put off, as long as possible, having to figure out where to get themhow to do them here. Some things worth considering bringing: Any product youre especially fond of (e.g. shampoo, over-the-counter medicines, particular foods). One UK quirk that might influence your thinking along these lines: They have recently passed laws severely restricting the size of headache tablet packages. You cant buy something like aspirin in more than a 16-pack. Mike says the theory was to make it more difficult to commit suicide with these kinds of pills, but the reasoning there is hard to follow you could just buy a lot of packages, or accumulate them over time. Anyway, you wont find any 250-count bottles of Advil at your UK supermarket. Prescriptions--consider getting all your remaining refills and bringing them (but verify with your pharmacist whether the medication can legally be brought into another country, or if there is a limit on quantity. Interestingly, I can find UK Customs information about restrictions on bringing medications out of the UK. but not in . It may be a good idea to bring a copy of the prescription in case you have to prove to Customs that it is indeed a prescribed medication.) Some things worth considering doing, as close to the last minute as possible: Medical checkups Dental checkups Optometric checkups Haircuts Renew your drivers license You might wonder why this topic appears under Preparing. The answer is that there are some things you can do before you go to help minimize or mitigate your potential homesickness. Nobody can tell you whether youll be homesick, or how badly, or for what. You can only try to assess yourself based on what you know about yourself. Also, your exposure to homesickness will depend on how much youre leaving behind. If your entire family is coming with you, and youre bringing most of your possessions, then Id guess youre in pretty good shape. If, on the other hand, youre coming by yourself andor bringing virtually nothing of your own, you may find yourself feeling alone among strangers and surrounded by unfamiliarity at every turn. Im about as hard-hearted as people get, yet I find that even I am sometimes overwhelmed by feeling like an alien. I suspect nothing fixes this but time--eventually, all the unfamiliar things simply become familiar. My theory is that the more you surround yourself with familiarity, the more stress capacity youll have left over to deal with the inevitable unfamiliar. I brought much more of my possessions than, strictly speaking, I needed, and some of the things I brought could have been replaced here at relatively little cost. But I brought them anyway, just so Id have them around when I felt the urge to wallow in familiarity. I especially made sure to bring things with sentimental importance. This is worth keeping in mind while youre ruthlessly trimming down your household belongings. One other way you could fight homesickness is to plan a visit back to the US relatively soon after you get here. After all, its easier and less expensive for you to take a trip back to the old neighborhood than for every single friend and family member to come visit you. (However, keep in mind that the amount of time you spend in the US can have serious implications for your tax status. Read up before you go.) From the perspective of your comfy chair in the US, moving to another country doesnt seem very difficult. In fact, its very stressful, and not always in ways you might anticipate. I expected the enormous amount of organizing and paperwork to be stressful, because theyre not things that come naturally to me, and in fact they were, but far less so than I expected. (So far, anyway.) I expected feeling foreign to be stressful, but it really hasnt been. That may change when I start working for a UK company and have to deal with far more British people on a daily basis than I do now. One thing I didnt expect at all was how stressful it is to have my autopilot all wrong. This is difficult to describe adequately. I hadnt realized how much of what I do--nearly everything, as it turns out--is handled automatically. But most of my autopilots are wrong here. An easy and obvious example is crossing the street. In the US, you dont think about it you look left, right, left, cross. Here, you have to look right. Everyone knows that. But knowing it doesnt change your autopilot. And you cannot disengage your autopilot. Everything you start to do, you automatically start wrong. You quickly become aware of this, and start paying conscious attention to everything you do, to make sure a wrong autopilot doesnt send you into disaster. It is incredibly draining to have to think consciously about everything you do. Of course, eventually I will retrain my autopilot to work for the UK. (Or, preferably, Ill acquire two autopilots and be able to engage one and disengage the other automatically. Otherwise Ill be in a lot of trouble the first time I go back to the US.) But I have no idea how long this will take, or how bad the overlap zone will be (the period of time when I think I have retrained my autopilot, but it betrays me occasionally. ). I also didnt expect just how useless I sometimes feel. The US and UK are similar in a lot of ways, but it often seems as if, whenever there were two possible ways to implement something, we went out of our way to choose opposite ways. I dont know how anything works. I have to be shown how to use things. Sometimes I have to be shown more than once . This cuts deeply into my sense of independence. Its like being a child again. Anyway. Theres no way I could enumerate every stress-inducing facet of life in a foreign country. My point here, which I was getting around to eventually, is that you should be aware of it in advance, and prime your safety nets accordingly. If you are coming here with your entire family, discuss up front the fact that you may find yourselves snapping at each other for no good reason, and that you will have to show each other extra tolerance for a while. If youre coming here to join a significant other, talk in advance about the need for extra supportiveness during the occasional bout of you not being yourself. If you are coming here completely by yourself. gosh, I dont know. Maybe try to line up people in the US whom you can call at various hours just to have someone familiar to talk to. Youre going to think Im completely crazy, but hear me out. Just in case you dont already have sufficient paperwork and logistics to deal with, Im semi-seriously suggesting that you first move, briefly, to another state, if youre not thoroughly delighted with your current one. OK, Im not entirely serious, but it is worth considering the implications of being a resident of your current state. The main problem is that its highly likely your state will try to continue taxing you. indefinitely. Its difficult, once you have left the country, to change what state you officially fail to reside in, if you follow me. My US tax accountant says there are quite a few criteria a state will use to try to claim you as a ghost resident, including owning property there, participating in absentee voting, even (and I personally find this quite obnoxious) the presence of family in that state. Also, they may simply try to argue that since it was the last state you did physically reside in, its your official state of residence forever. If you dont want your current state to be considered your state of residence once you live in England, its worth consulting your tax accountant to find out what changes you have to make in order to shift some of that presumption. It seems to me that the most inarguable way to change it would be, simply, to move somewhere else first. Given that that is fairly unrealistic, try to get everything you can (based on your accountants advice) out of that state before you go. I didnt own property there, so that was no problem, and the stuff that I left behind in storage isnt there either. Fortunately I have no family there. The only links I still have are my bank account and my drivers license. I plan to change both of these at the earliest opportunity, but I do wish Id done it while I was still physically in the US it would have been easier. To be honest, I dont know whether either of these is even used to judge presumption of domicile, but I dont think it can hurt. Youll hear plenty of horror stories about stuff that never gets there, or arrives battered to bits, or takes months longer than it was supposed to because it mysteriously went by way of Fiji. Im standing (well, sitting) here as a living counter-example--someone whose move went like clockwork. Its a long process, and you wont enjoy it, but it is possible to have a happy ending. Just thought you might like to hear that. The Process - How Your Stuff Gets from Point A to Point B (Hopefully Without Unexpectedly Visiting Points Z, N, and W Along the Way) Knowing the process your stuff follows on its journey will help you decide what level of professional help you want to engage. Your stuff is packed. If professional movers do it, theyll wrap each item of furniture in a protective layer. An inventory is generated, and you supply the moving company with forms for UK Customs. The stuff is loaded into a truck, whereupon its transported to a storage facility. (This transportation probably involves more than one truck and more than one stop.) A crate is built around it. It is loaded into a container, possibly along with other peoples crates of stuff. It sits in storage until a ship is available. (Its not like they have departures every hour.) When the time comes, the container is loaded onto a container ship. The container ship makes its leisurely way to a UK port. Your crate is removed from the container, uncrated, and probably transported to a storage facility. Your stuff goes through Customs (I think this might happen while its still in the container). Youd be contacted at this point if there were problems or questions. When your UK movers are ready, they notify you of the delivery date. When your stuff arrives, you match each item (box or furniture) against the inventory. The movers may be expected to unpack the stuff themselves (for verification of damage). How much of the work on either end is done by professionals is up to you. To a surprising degree, you can do a lot of it yourself. Obviously, the more you do yourself, the less expensive it will be, but the more work youll have to do. I went with a door-to-door professional service. The US-to-UK FAQ gives an excellent summary of the bare-bones approach they did everything up to the crating, and after the uncrating, themselves. My reasons for choosing the door-to-door approach included: I brought a lot more stuff than the FAQ author did. If youre coming here permanently, chances are you will, too. I didnt want to risk damaging my stuff by my ignorance of proper packing methods. I didnt want to have to understand or deal with the intricacies of container shipment or any of the transport-related stuff I wanted a simple, streamlined process, where it left my hands and just showed up again. I didnt want to have to deal with several different companies. I didnt want to get the paperwork (particularly for Customs) wrong through my ignorance. I didnt want to have to handle receiving it in the UK (which would have involved renting a truck on very short notice, and manhandling the stuff ourselves). If anything went wrong, I wanted the full power, resources and experience of a corporation brought to bear on solving the problem. (If your container goes missing, would you know who to call Even if you did, what clout do you have with them) Basically, its such a large and complex topic that bumbling into it as a complete amateur struck me as risky. Plus there was just too much going on. Youre already juggling so much paperwork and so many things you have to do anything someone else will handle for you is good. So, because Im writing about my own experience, the rest of this section assumes the door-to-door approach. Heh. Close your eyes and point. Oh, Im just kidding. I used search engines to find moving companies in my area that do international moves. (Things get a bit complex because the really large companies are virtual--they use agents everywhere, like a franchise system. This doesnt help you, because it means someone elses experience with that moving company means nothing if youre dealing with a different agent.) Then I called some of them to talk about my situation and get very vague estimates. Naturally you cant really get any better estimate, without them sending someone to see your stuff. Nevertheless, of the three I contacted, two were only willing to do estimates over the phone and wouldnt send a person. Both assumed 1,000 lbs per room and did their calculations from that. Even so, I had to wait a week and a half to get that vague, formulaic estimate from one of them. The third company seemed to take for granted that of course theyd come see what I was sending before giving an estimate. You can probably guess which company I settled on. Of course you cant really tell how good a moving company is, unless they are really bad, in which case your local Better Business Bureau might have something about them. All I can say is that two of the three I contacted were completely unresponsive and sounded apathetic or even annoyed on the phone, while the third jumped right on it. If youre lucky enough to find one that demonstrates some interest and professionalism, Id say youve found your mover. Its worth asking your potential moving companies just how experienced they are at international moves. How many household-goods moves to the UK have they done How many international moves do they handle per month Do they sound knowledgeable My mover showed up with a brochure about their services, a packet of all the forms theyd want from me, a fact booklet about the UK, and even a rather nice travel guide. The fact that they have such a package to give the customer tells me they do this often--often enough that they have a system for it. My moving company was Humboldt Storage amp Moving. although knowing that wont do you any good unless you are also coming from New England. If you use them, your experience could, of course, be completely different from mine, but I have no hesitation in giving them a glowing recommendation. My stuff arrived, after a 3,000 mile, two-month odyssey, with total casualties of two cracked CD jewel cases and a broken chip clip. They made it easy and there were no problems. What more could you ask When you talk to a moving company, one thing theyll ask you is when you want to do the move. When I told them a date that was three months away and asked Is that enough, one of them laughed and said people routinely answer Tomorrow And I thought I was bad at planning. Being, as I am, a geek, the first thing I did was make a database of everything I owned. Literally I didnt get to the level of sock, white, left, but I did get very detailed. This may sound utterly awful to you, but its not so bad. I probably spent a total of about six hours doing my inventory. If you want to do your own inventory (and I highly recommend it), use whatever software tool youre most comfortable with. It doesnt have to be a database a spreadsheet would do nearly as well. If youre not familiar with any software that you think would do the job, I guess youd have to fall back on paper, but thats scary because you cant really sort it very easily. Perhaps you could find a friend or relative who would be willing to take your paper inventory and turn it into a database. Use common sense when building your inventory. Dont become a slave to completeness only list items that are worth listing. For example, I listed every single pot and pan from the kitchen, because I needed to compare with Mike about duplicates, but I had a single item in the database for clothing. It wasnt worth considering the clothing as individual items. It was easy enough to make decisions about the clothing without the help of a database, but Id never have been able to remember what wed decided about the omelet pan. I describe my process of deciding what to bring as weeding. For each item in the database, I thought about it and assigned a disposition: Throw away Give away Sell Put in storage Bring Hand carry (i.e. Id need it before the shipped stuff arrived) I then set about doing it. I threw away and gave away. Then I packed up everything that was going to storage, and moved it to storage. I think its important to have anything youre not bringing already disposed of before the international move. Consider: You really dont want to have things that arent going mixed in with things that are going. There will be several people packing you cant watch all of them all the time. Things you didnt mean to ship will inadvertently be packed. (And, in accordance with Murphys Law, itll be your passport that gets packed.) In the final days, I found it useful to stay at a hotel. Its hard to pack when youre still using things. You can try to live out of a suitcase, but this doesnt help with things like shower curtains, towels, sheets on the bed, dishes, and anything else you cant help using. I did my storage move just a couple of days before my international move. A lot of what went to storage was stuff I used regularly (but didnt need to bring because Mike already had his own), so it would have been inconvenient to continue living there after the move to storage. The cost of a door-to-door move is largely determined by weight. Consequently, theres a temptation, while youre deciding what to bring, to trim ruthlessly in order to keep the cost down. Im not so sure this is a good idea. I think theres a certain base cost youre never going to get below--the cost of doing a shipment at all. In other words, cutting the weight of your shipment in half isnt going to cut your cost in half. If youre going to all the trouble to ship anything at all, you might as well ship what you really want. Your moving company will probably give you a breakdown estimate showing you the costs of all the stages along the way--the overland transportation, storage, the container, transportation on the container ship, etc. This gives you an idea of just how hard it would be to trim the costs. A lot of these costs are fixed and are not influenced by how much you bring. Youll probably have to choose whether to share a container or to have the entire container yourself, even if your shipment doesnt fill it completely. Not surprisingly, the entire-container option will cost more. I dont know what benefit youd get from it. My moving company offered a very nice option called a consolidation shipment that cut the cost considerably. They happen to do a great many moves between the Boston port and the UK. Because of that volume, they regularly have containers traveling to the UK. In a consolidation, my stuff would wait in storage until several other customers with partial container shipments had collected. Then, theyd put all our stuff into one container, and wed share the cost of the container among us. The only drawback, of course, was the unknown time period my stuff would wait in storage until a consolidation was ready to go. Since I was coming to an existing furnished house, I was in no great rush, so this option worked well for me. (Note that this consolidation is not the same as merely sharing a container. When you share a container, it may not be with other customers of your moving company its the container owners who are signing up tenants. In the consolidation, my moving company collected several of its own customers together into a single container.) Ive done all this blithering for one purpose: So that your eyes glaze over and it cushions the shock when I finally tell you how much it costs, or at least the neighborhood were talking about. My guess is that you probably couldnt do the door-to-door option for less than about 2,000, no matter how small your shipment was. The fixed costs run that high. Shipping about 2,500 lbs, as I did, will run you another 2,000. You can see why I say its not worth cutting your shipment to try to cut costs. Had I cut half the stuff I sent, I would have knocked only about 25 off the bill, yet have been shipping so little that it would hardly have been worth the trouble. So right now youre looking around trying to figure out what your stuff weighs. I learned in this process that the moving companies estimate 1,000 lbs per room (500 lbs for small rooms like bathrooms). Thats if youre sending everything, though it assumes furniture, electronic equipment, knickknacks, everything. Tips to reduce the pain: The cost sounds high, but bear in mind that I shipped about 30,000 worth of stuff. Obviously it was far more cost-effective to ship it than to replace it. Keep in mind that any moving costs you pay yourself are probably tax-deductible. I dont know what qualifies as a deductible expense, so either research it yourself or keep every receipt even remotely associated with your move. The move cost itself is definitely tax-deductible. If you work for a truly enormous company, its worth checking with your relocations department. Your companys discount with whatever moving company they use might extend to employees. The moving company will expect you to pay before your container actually ships. (Theyve already paid the costs of shipment up front, so its not unreasonable.) They may expect payment any time before that if I hadnt opted for a consolidation, theyd have weighed my shipment right at my apartment (in the moving truck) and handed me the final bill right then. for what its worth. Perhaps it will help you avoid overlooking something. (This list is necessarily oversimplified things were nowhere near as neat as it implies.) Stopped buying anything (just more stuff to bring, and anything newer than 6 months is liable to import taxes) Booked wedding date at Register Office (Mike did this) Applied for (and got) fiance visa at British Consulate in New York Called Register Office to verify our understanding of residency requirements Called UK bank to ask what Id need to open an account Booked vacation (days from work) Booked October flights to UK, New York, Boston Booked hotel in New York Arranged for witnesses (Mike did this) Compiled inventory database of stuff I own Researched international tax accountants and selected one Decided (provisionally) what stuff to ship, hand carry, leave in storage, give away, or throw away (this particularly looks neater than it was many items waffled right up to the end) Researched international movers, got estimates, made a selection, booked the date Stocked up on things Id want to have in the UK Returned items Id borrowed Tried to get back items Id lent October (weeks 1 amp 2): Gave notice at apartment Gave notice at work Booked final flight to UK Sent announcement to friends amp family I rarely see (e.g. college friends) Found amp began renting a storage unit Investigated storage unit insurance (still havent properly settled this) Applied to my bank for the ability to do wire transfer (I should have done this much earlier I ran out of time without it being successfully completed) Got my CV in order Packed for UK trip (including reassembling my documents for spouse visa application) October (weeks 3 amp 4): Flew to UK (note that this would not have been early enough under new residency requirements) Gave notice at Register Office Opened bank account Got married Collected Mikes documents for visa application Flew to New York Applied for (and got) spouse visa at British Consulate in New York flew back to Boston November (week 1): Handled legally-required beneficiary changes with HR department Bought movingpacking supplies (e.g. bubble wrap, boxes, mattress covers) Began packing (things going to storage) Arranged move to storage (booked a U-Haul, scheduled with helpers) Booked a hotel for the final week (I should have done this much earlier) Booked a rental car for final trip to airport November (week 2): Filed change-of-address order with post office (I should have done this much earlier) Notified utilities of turnoff date and gave new address (cable, local telephone, long distance, electricity) Other change-of-address notifications (e.g. bank, insurance company) Final dry-cleaning Cleaned out car Packed November (week 3): Retrieved personal belongings from work Finalized arrangements with work Haircut Packed, packed, packed Stayed at hotel Final laundry Storage move Filled out international move paperwork (insurance inventory, Customs forms) International move Cleaned apartment, returned keys Turned in cable box, remote, cable modem (and got a receipt) Sold car Flew to UK on one-way ticket Being a reasonable human being, youve probably blithely assumed that when you move to the UK, youll simply pay taxes to the UK, and not to the US any more. Ha ha, I laugh hollowly in your general direction, you optimist. Actually, you probably wont pay double taxes, but your tax situation will most likely be hopelessly complex. One thing I never knew is that as long as you are a US citizen, you are liable to the US for taxes, regardless of what country you live in. However, theyve arranged a complex system of treaties with individual countries in an effort to avoid double taxation of US citizens. Which country you pay taxes to is determined by which one youre considered to live in. If you meet one of two tests (Bona Fide Residence Test or Physical Presence Test), the IRS will consider you to live in a foreign country. Physical Presence Test: As I understand it, meeting this test requires that you spend no more than 35 days in the US during the tax year. The other 330 must be spent in any foreign location. Bona Fide Residence Test: Id tell you my understanding of the requirements of this test, but I dont have an understanding of it. The definition they give is annoying because it includes in it the very terms its trying to define. (It basically says you meet the Bona Fide Residence Test if youre a bona fide resident of another country. Thanks, guys.) If youre considered to live in the UK, the first 76,000 (in 2000 78,000 in 2001) of your annual income is excluded from federal taxation. (Which clearly implies that income above that level is subject to double taxation.) This is the foreign income exclusion. So, although you have to resign yourself to the idea that you will have to file complex federal returns, forever, you wont actually have to pay any federal taxes, unless youre exceptionally well-paid. Theres a problem with the foreign income exclusion which you may already have noticed. You cant pass a residence test until you have been here for a full year, but you may have to file taxes sometime during that year. For example, I came to the UK at the end of November. At the end of next November, when Ive been here a year, I will retroactively qualify for the foreign income exclusion for December 2000, but at the moment, I dont. I therefore have to file a return now, without the foreign income exclusion, and then file an amended return in November 2001 If you married a British citizen, youre going to find that you have another unexpected problem when you try to fill out your federal return. You write your name, your SSN, your spouses name, your spouses. Uh oh. Your spouse doesnt have a social security number Instead, your spouse must apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the IRS by filing Form W7. (Yes, you really do have to mail your spouses passport to the IRS.) It took about 5 weeks for the IRS to send back Mikes ITIN file your W7 as early as you can. While were on the topic of spouses, if you married a British citizen, do you file Married Filing Jointly Do you suddenly owe the US government taxes on your spouses income (Before you panic, the answer is probably no.) If reading all this hasnt boggled your mind, you are made of sterner stuff than I am. This is a snarled and tangled mess. Im quite sure that if I tried to prepare my own return, Id never get it right. Fortunately, the IRS is a fun-loving agency, known for their sense of humor and fair play. Theyd understand that any mistakes I made in my return were due to ignorance, not willful tax evasion. Get an accountant. Instructions for Form 2555. which is the IRS form you file to claim a foreign income exclusion. I include it here because the instructions specify the requirements for meeting the Bona Fide Residence Test or the Physical Presence Test. You probably think that state taxes are completely out of the question, because once you live in a foreign country, you dont live in any state. Right Wrong. States are greedy. Theyre not about to let you go just because of a trivial little matter like you not living there. Specifically, they use a thing called presumption of domicile to keep their hooks in you. A state can argue that if you ever did return to the US, youd live in that state. From this they make the amazing leap of logic that theyre entitled to tax you the entire time youre gone, even if in the end you never come back, or go to a different state when you do. Most likely, the state you lived in just before you left will be the one that presumes youll return to it. If you continue to own property in a state, that may make you fair game. Absentee voting counts as enough, for some states. Even where your family lives can be used to argue presumption of domicile. If youre coming from a state with no state income tax, so much the better for you but otherwise, you might have to continue paying state taxes to the state where you used to live. Each state has its own rules for handling taxing people who live elsewhere. Chances are your state tax situation will be even more complicated than your federal tax situation. This is, in my opinion, another reason to get a tax accountant. They can advise you on what circumstances might cause a presumption of domicile, what you could do to get it changed to another state (if thats even possible), and what your state tax liability is. Probable State Income Tax Liability This document is about absentee voting, but along the way gives a summary of each states position on taxing people who live in foreign countries. (The table of contents doesnt work properly just scroll through the main document until you find your state.) The good news here is that as far as I can tell, the UK tax system is much more common sense than ours. Many people here have never filed a tax return . Can you imagine such a thing They use a tax withholding system called PAYE (Pay As You Earn). Unlike ours, it adjusts itself throughout the year. In the US, each time youre paid, your taxes are calculated based on the assumption that you have been, and will continue to be, paid that amount at that interval for the entire year. If your pay varies wildly, your withholding always comes out wrong. Under PAYE, your withholding is adjusted each time to take into account your total salary so far this year and the taxes youve paid so far. At the end of the year, the withholding comes out exactly right, and you dont have to file unless you have other complexities that need to be taken into account (e.g. more than one income). If you are in the UK on a work permit, your employer will presumably tell you what you need to do, tax-wise, to satisfy Inland Revenue. If youre here due to marriage, you should call your local Tax Office to find out what they need from you. If youre not employed yet and not drawing any salary, they may not need anything from you, but let them decide that. (If you cant find them from that link, theyre in your white pages look up Inland Revenue and call the Tax Office that seems to be in your area. Theyll redirect you if you havent called the right one.) Explain your situation. If they care about you, from a tax perspective, they will probably want you to fill out Form P86, which they will send you. (I cant find it for download anywhere.) I dont think my UK tax situation will be as ugly as my US tax situation, but have retained a UK tax accountant anyway. Im not familiar with the UK tax system, so it would be even easier to make a very bad mistake or miss a deadline. Its worth mentioning that the British dont use the calendar year as their tax year. The tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April of the following year. Its also worth mentioning that the norm here is to be paid monthly . Take that, all you people who complain about being paid bi-weekly. IR20, Residents and Non-Residents: Liability to Tax in the United Kingdom is a leaflet explaining, mostly in plain English, your tax liability to the UK. Also includes the UKs rules for determining where you reside. IR139, Income From Abroad If you will continue to be paid by your US company, you need this leaflet too. Tax forms You can download just about any form you might need from here. The US-to-UK FAQ has a section about taxes, from the perspective of a person who was here on a work permit for a short duration--basically the exact opposite of my situation. Diary: Contacting my Tax Office Actually no. I dont know whether its a common impression in the US or just me, but I certainly had the impression that the UK, having socialized medicine, education etc, had an extremely high rate of taxation to pay for it all. So imagine my horror when I found out that Mike pays taxes no higher than what I pay . and gets all that anyway. The tax rates below are for the 2001-02 tax year: Taxable income per year (pound) 0 - 1,880 (lower rate band) 1,881 - 29,400 (basic rate band) Over 29,400 (higher rate band) The first pound4,535 of income is not taxed (in 2001-02 this threshold changes yearly). This is not the same as a tax deduction. If you want to take a stab at calculating your approximate taxes, keep this in mind. Subtract this from your anticipated salary before you start figuring taxes. Official personal income tax rates from Inland Revenue for the tax years ending 5 April 2001 and 2002. OK. Theres the NHS (National Health Service), which is the system that provides medical care to people in the UK. Something has to fund this system. As you might expect, its funded much like FICA in the US deductions are made from your paycheck, separate from your taxes. These payments are called National Insurance contributions. (National Insurance also funds many other UK government programs, not just the NHS.) In order to make National Insurance contributions, you have to have a National Insurance number. So, contrary to what you might think, a National Insurance number actually has nothing to do with being a patient at a hospital. Its purely to allow you to pay a particular kind of tax. Therefore, if you will not be paying taxes, you may not need a National Insurance number. But again, this is something you should let the bureaucracy decide for you. To apply for the number: If you like, you can try calling the Registrations Helpline to get information about registering for a National Insurance number. (I didnt know about this number while I was going through the process, so I dont know in what way they are helpful.) Find your local Department of Social Security (DSS). You can also look them up in the phone book (white pages), probably under either Social Security, Department of or Department of Social Security. Call for an appointment dont just walk in . Expect to be referred on to other numbers several times. Just keep explaining your situation and throwing yourself on their mercy. Eventually youll get to someone who knows what to do with you. Theyll make an appointment for you. Ask what forms and identification you should bring. I had to bring my passport, birth certificate, and marriage certificate. (I also had to bring a letter from my employer stating that I still worked for them and would continue to do so for the foreseeable future, but you wont have to do that unless you, like me, are working for a US company that has no business presence in the UK.) At the appointment, you and the DSS staffer will fill out form CA5400, an application for a National Insurance number. This form is mostly free writing, rather than fill-in-the-blanks. It took about an hour. (At the end of the process, the DSS staffer is apparently supposed to give you a reference number. I wasnt given one, but I havent suffered horribly as a result.) Once the CA5400 is filled out, the DSS staffer handles submitting it. Your National Insurance number should eventually arrive by post. I was told to expect it to take about about three months. If your number doesnt arrive during that time (mine didnt), you can call the main National Insurance Contributions Office in Newcastle at 0191 213 5000. Theyll put you through to New Registrations, where you can inquire about the status of your application. If youre working for a UK employer, your National Insurance contributions will be handled by them. If youre not, youll have to handle them yourself. I dont know how to do this yet, but will find out in the course of doing my first set of UK taxes, and will update this section then. When I applied for my National Insurance number, the nice DSS staffer told me that when I receive the number, the information packet will contain instructions on how to make manual National Insurance contributions. If that pans out, Ill also post what they have to say. At the moment, according to the BBC. the current rate is 10, probably on after-tax income. Bit of a late-breaking story, this one. I didnt even think about this topic as a potential problem until I started working for a UK company, which brought it all up. If youve been employed in the US for any length of time (and probably even if not), you have at least a passing acquaintance with terms like 401K, IRA, Roth IRA etc. Not surprisingly, the UK has its own system of pension- and retirement-related laws and types of accounts available to you, with terms like ISA and SERPS. I now know the basics about these, but Im not going to pass on any of it to you because Ill probably get it wrong I dont know enough yet. What I do know now, that youll want to think about, is that retirement planning involving multiple countries may be a problem. It may be several problems, in fact: Each countrys retirement arrangements are unique to it and probably arent recognized by the other one. Not surprisingly, you cant roll over a 401K into a British retirement account, nor roll a British retirement account into an American account such as an IRA. This also means youll have difficulties drawing funds from one countrys retirement plan if youre living in the other country. At present, a UK retirement plan wont pay you to a US bank account, so if you were no longer living in the UK when retirement rolled around, youd have some complexities to settle. This may be less true with personal-investment vehicles like IRAsISAs than with pension-esque investment vehicles that pay an annuity.There are serious tax implications. Because each country doesnt recognize the others retirement-related arrangements, if you have to bring funds from one into the other (e.g. if you transfer funds from an IRA to the UK when you retire), youll almost certainly be taxed as though they were capital gains or income. Thats probably all well and good if it was pre-tax money to begin with, but if you already paid taxes on it, youre not going to be very happy paying them again.You might think to simplify things by just continuing to pay into your US retirement-investment vehicles, such as an IRA, but according to my US tax accountant. you may not legally be able to do this if youre not paying taxes in the US at the same time (i.e. youre taking advantage of Foreign Income Exclusion).And, of course, the laws governing all this stuff are subject to change at any time. To sum up: You probably want professional investment advice, in conjunction with tax advice. It would be a bad idea to stop retirement investment altogether, so youll have to find a solution that is acceptable to you. Thats all I know at the moment Ill post updates as I learn more. Just as a side note, its worth mentioning that you may well be able to get away without having a car in the UK at all. Public transportation is available just about everywhere. Also, zoning doesnt work the same way here that it does in the US. Most houses have, within walking distance, shops that cover the basics: convenience store, some kind of take-away restaurant or pub, maybe a bank, maybe a post office, maybe a lot of other shops. These little clusters of shops exist especially within otherwise-residential areas. Theres no question that its more convenient to have a car, particularly for things like going to the supermarket, but youll definitely find that its not the requirement it is in the US. Also petrol (gasoline) costs a lot more than in the US its about 5.00 per (US) gallon right now, and not expected to go down. Whether you own a car in the UK or not, you will probably still want to have a valid UK driving licence. To begin, I have to tell you a little bit about licences in the UK. The UK has only recently switched over to photo licences. When you receive your licence, itll include a photocard licence and also an A4 sheet of paper called your counterpart licence. Both items together constitute your licence. In the states of the US that Im familiar with, there are DMVs or Registries all over the place. You apply for licenses etc in person. Not so in the UK. There is really only one Registry, and thats the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) in South Wales. Obviously its not practical to make everyone in the country go there every time they have a licence-related transaction, so most business is conducted by mail. This includes getting a photocard licence. You supply them with a photo when you mail your application they use that photo on the licence. The vast majority of cars in the UK have a standard transmission--even rental cars. (Heh. Driving on the left is only the beginning of your problems.) If you take your driving test in a car with an automatic transmission, your licence will only be valid for automatics. You must take the test in a standard to be licensed to drive both standards and automatics. Given how rare automatic transmissions are here, you will seriously limit yourself if you get an automatics-only licence. Im not misspelling license. In the UK, licence is the piece of paper license is a verb. But Im saying license to refer to a US license, because thats how its spelled in the US. Anyway. Everything that follows assumes that you hold a valid US drivers license. Your US license is valid in the UK for one year (provided it doesnt expire in that time). During that year, you can legally drive just like any other driver. Make sure you get your UK driving licence during this grace year. Update: Dont waste time. Id thought a year was plenty of time to prepare, schedule, take, and pass both driving tests. Now Ive found that there is a very long backlog when scheduling the practical test--an average of seven weeks around here. If you fail your first test, youre looking at a seven-week delay before you can take it again. If youve left the test to the last minute (or even the last two months), your grace year could very easily run out on you Note that you cannot book more than one practical exam at a time --you can only schedule another after failing one.) Note that youll find information indicating that a foreign license can be directly exchanged for a UK licence. This doesnt apply to you US licenses arent among those that can be exchanged. Plus, I personally would rather hang on to my US license. The process to get your UK licence is described in the following sections. A provisional licence is much like a driving permit in the US (at least in the states Im familiar with) in that it confers a restricted license to drive. Normally, a driver with a provisional licence cannot drive on motorways, must be supervised by a licenced driver, must display an L plate on the car, and various other restrictions. These restrictions dont apply to you . You apply for a provisional licence by filling out some forms and mailing them to the DVLA. They mail your licence back to you. The forms you need are probably available at the post office. D1 is a generic application for a driving licence, covering lots of possible circumstances. You are applying for your first provisional licence. D750 is an application for a photocard driving licence. While youre at the post office, you should also pick up D100 . an all-purpose leaflet explaining generally about the licence application process in the UK. See particularly section 14d. Also pick up leaflet INS108 . which explains how to fill out form D750. You must supply a passport-sized photo with D750. Heres where things may get tricky. Obviously, because youre doing this by mail, they have no way of knowing if the photo you send them is really of you. Normally, you send your passport, and the form must also be signed by someone, not a relative, who has known you personally for two years. I think it also has to be a UK citizen. Since you just got here, you probably cant supply such a person. In this case, you cant send your application to the DVLA by mail. Instead, you must take your application (your D1, D750, passport, passport photo, and fee) to a Vehicle Registration Office (VRO) in person. The staff at the VRO verify your identity and submit your application to the DVLA for you. This is actually good because they give your passport back right then. Look up your nearest VRO on this list or try the phone book (white pages) under Environment, Transport and the Regions, Department of, or maybe Transport, Department of. Call to find out their opening hours (and to verify their location) before you go. By the way, dont blindly trust the list of fees printed in form D1. They were wrong when I applied. This isnt a big deal if youre taking your application to a VRO theyll tell you the correct fee. But if you are able to mail your application, youd better verify the fee first. As in most states in the US, insurance is a legal requirement for driving. Your US car insurance almost certainly doesnt cover you in the UK . If you married a British citizen, your spouse probably knows about the UK insurance system and can add you to his policy, or can help you get started shopping for a policy if he doesnt have one. If youre here on a work permit, youll have to research UK insurance companies and policies. Different companies offer very different prices for essentially the same coverage, so you have your work cut out for you. As always, youll have to find your own comfortable point between reputability and price. Read your insurance policy very carefully. Dont expect insurance policies here to bear any resemblance to US policies. Take nothing for granted. (For instance, Mikes policy has the bewildering stipulation that, regarding third parties, it covers Any person, using but not driving your car. I have no idea what that means.) Note that you cant get an insurance policy (or be added to an existing one) until you have a UK driving licence number. Thus you must get your provisional licence before you can be insured to drive. Expect your insurance premiums to be high. Any good driving record you had in the US is irrelevant. You will be considered an inexperienced driver. (You can certainly bring official printouts from your DMV and your US insurance company, showing your driving record and claim record, but these will probably have no effect.) Mikes policy will consider me an inexperienced driver until I have held a UK full licence for 2 years. I dont know whether that is policy-specific, company-specific, or possibly a UK-wide legally defined term. In defiance of all expectations, adding me to Mikes insurance hardly changed the premium at all. However, the deductible (excess to the British) that we have to pay doubles if the inexperienced driver (i.e. me) is at the helm during an accident. Still, just because our insurance premium wasnt greatly affected by adding me doesnt mean that will be the case for everyone. This page contains links to several large UK insurance providers . The AA (Automobile Association, i.e. AAA minus one A) offers car insurance. The GISC (General Insurance Standards Council) regulates the insurance industry. You dont have to, but I intend to. I dont see how it can hurt. This is an unfamiliar environment its worth having a professional, who is used to teaching driving, explain it all to me. Yes, theres the driving-on-the-left question, but thats not all, not by a long shot. Road signs are different. Driving laws are different. Driving customs are very different (e.g. they use the hand brake every time they start from a stop) and you will be expected to conform to UK customs on your driving test. The driving environment is also very different. Im going to include an excerpt from this site, because its so good, just in case someday they pull the quote from their site: Most visitors to Great Britain are already aware that driving is on the left and the steering wheel is on the right. However, few are truly prepared for the narrowness of the roads, the speed at which the cars travel them and the number of cars on the road. Driving lanes are much narrower than in the U.S. and 60 mph, the posted speed limit for single carriageways. will seem much faster than it does in New York or Los Angeles. The 30 mph speed limit in built-up urban and suburban areas seems reasonable until you add parking in either direction on both sides of the already narrow road. In many areas, heavily traveled two-way streets are only one-car wide for most of the day. I couldnt have summarized it better myself. If youre not from a part of the US that has rotaries, you may want a professional explanation of the rules of roundabouts. You can find local driver education companies in the yellow pages under Driving Schools. Update: Since originally posting this, Ive taken two driving lessons and have generally developed a much better understanding of what will be required to pass the practical test. It is not going to be easy. See links below. One very nice thing about the UK is that there is just one set of driving laws for the whole country. Because they have just the one set, its very simple to collect the rules into a nice little book called The Highway Code . It wouldnt hurt to buy and read a copy of it. You can find it at bookstores, big newsagents (e.g. WH Smith), and possibly post offices. You can even buy it on-line from The Stationery Office . The DSA (Driving Standards Agency), which administers the test, has a mock theory test that you can take to help judge your readiness. When youre ready, you schedule a test (for which there is, of course, a fee ) and go take it. You can book over the phone or by mailing an application. I havent taken the test myself yet, but information about what the test is like is available from the DSA. If (I mean when . of course) you pass, you will be given a test pass certificate. This is the road test. You must pass the theory test before you can take the practical test (theyll ask for the test pass certificate number when you book it). Theyre a lot more serious here about the practical test than they were when I took mine in the US my road test was, oh, about seven minutes (a highlight was when I had to parallel park between imaginary cars). Mike says his took about half an hour the DSA web site says 35 minutes. Just about everyone I have met here failed their road test at least once Note that its common here to take the driving test in the car you have driving lessons in (if you take driving lessons). In fact, there is such a strong presumption that you will take your practical test in your driving-lesson car that because Im not, Im required to provide a mirror for the examiner to clip to the visor. (Driving-lesson cars would all have one already.) The practical test includes a very basic vision test: you are asked to read another cars number plate at a particular distance. If you can read it, wehay. Dont leave this to the last minute. In my area there is a seven-week backlog on practical tests--when I called to schedule the test, they gave me a date seven weeks in the future. This backlog is apparently typical everywhere. Also note that you cannot book more than one practical exam at a time you can only schedule another one after you fail one. It may be possible, when you schedule your test, to declare yourself available for a test on short notice. Presumably if someone else cancels, they call you and you dash down there and take the test Right Now, or something to that effect. When you go to take the test, bring your valid US license with you. The card from the DVLA listing what you need to bring doesnt mention this, of course, because its a special situation. I brought it just in case, and also because I thought the examiner might be startled by a provisional licence-holder arriving by themselves, in a car with no L-plates. Your foreign license is the only thing that entitles you to drive around like this, so it seemed a good idea to have it. And indeed, once my examiner knew my situation, he did ask me to produce the foreign license. I spent a lot of time practicing and generally grumbling about the practical test, because Id heard a lot of terrible things about it. It probably normally is, but I got obscenely lucky. The test centre where I took the test is in Liverpool, not exactly a suburban area, plunk in the middle of a very complicated snarl of roads. Theres a double roundabout, for example, with pedestrian crossings on most of the exits. Theres one of the worst intersections of two dual carriageways that I ever hope to see. There are bus lanes and bus stops and thick traffic and areas where people can park on either side of the road, effectively reducing the road to lane-and-a-half in urban traffic. But my examiner set me a course that took us straight out to a quiet suburban area, where we basically drove around housing estates for half an hour. Now, I dont know whether this was because the rumour mill has exaggerated the horrors of the driving test, or whether this particular examiner took it easy on me because I wasnt a seventeen-year-old kid with an attitude. But it definitely was nothing like what I expected. Official information about what the practical test is like is available at the DSAs web site. If you pass, you will be given a test pass certificate. The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) handles licensing of drivers and vehicles. The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) administers driving tests here you can find answers to questions about the theory and practical tests, locations of testing centres, and current fees. The DSA has an excellent summary of the entire process on their web site. Driving Online is a site with useful information and statistics about driving in the UK. Again, another topic I havent tackled yet. (You may notice a trend here. Actually Im still sitting in the comfy chair. All this blithering just lets me continue putting off doing more of this bureaucratic stuff.) Fortunately, theres a site that covers things pretty thoroughly. Best to check this site, especially since it looks like each state has its own requirements and procedures. ltsighgt Be aware that absentee voting may affect your state tax status in some states, taking advantage of the right to vote absentee is sufficient for them to declare you liable to state income tax.In 2013, GuideStar, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator wrote an open letter to the donors of America in a campaign to end the Overhead Myth the false conception that financial ratios are the sole indicator of nonprofit performance. For our second letter, released in October 2014, we invite the nonprofits of America to do their part to focus donors attention on what really matters: your organizations efforts to make the world a better place. We ask nonprofits and the social sector at large to join us as we move toward an Overhead Solution . Letter to the Donors of America Letter to the Nonprofits of America How To Share The Message We need your help Help us to spread the word that the percent of charity expenses that go to administrative and fundraising costscommonly referred to as overheadis not a primary measure of a charitys performance and that results matter more. Both Overhead Myth letters are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- No Derivs License. which means that you can use either letter to communicate the message to your donors and other stakeholders. Both letters can be shared with your stakeholders however you like: e-mail them as attachments, print and include in your donor solicitations, put them on your website, share via social media, or print it out for your next board meeting . What Can Nonprofits Do The tools and resources listed below can help nonprofits move beyond the Overhead Myth, towards the Overhead Solution . by proving their worth based on impact. Demonstrate Ethical Practice and Share Data About Your Performance
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