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I've been working full-time remotely for a company in US for +2 months and they've been working on getting a work permit for me and it might be ready a week or two before Christmas holidays. So far the company has been saying that I'll relocate as soon as the work permit is ready. The company will close it's operations from Dec 24 to Jan 4. If the permit is ready a week or two before Dec 24 it leaves me in a rather awkward situation where I leave my relatives and family on a short notice just before Christmas and the company won't be working during holidays anyway. Would it be appropriate to ask to move the relocation date?

Edit: please note that I'm currently located in Europe and relocation will cost a huge fortune. So it's not an option to relocate and move back for holidays.

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    Of course it is appropriate to ask, though you should be prepared for their answer being no. They may want to pay for the relocation in 2015 for tax purposes. – mikeazo Dec 7 '15 at 12:48
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    @mikeazo While that's true, it might be possible for them to pay and be taxed in 2015 for something that will only actually occur in 2016. When you "officially move" is completely unrelated to when your physical human meatsack translocates. – deworde Dec 7 '15 at 16:22
  • "it leaves me in a rather awkward situation where I leave my relatives and family on a short notice" But it doesn't? They already know this is a possibility, right? So that's plenty of notice. You showing up on Christmas Day becomes a possible bonus. I don't see the problem here, frankly. – Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 7 '15 at 17:00
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    The awkwardness is that they have no idea when the permit is ready so I'm just sitting ducks and can't make any plans regarding my life until who knows when. This is rather frustrating and I don't know if that's actually a red flag regarding the company's culture. As they are handling it now, I wouldn't be surprised if they sent me plane tickets a day before christmas while I'm on a bus home. – user44344 Dec 7 '15 at 17:12
  • They could also be thinking that you could get your housing, etc. set up while they're closed and thus be ready to work when they reopen in January. – mkennedy Dec 7 '15 at 17:51
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It is appropriate to ask, as spending time with family is a valid reason. However, as mikeazo has pointed out, they might not say "yes" due to tax issues, and also as they are mid-way through the process and wouldn't prefer stalling the process.

Having said that, it is completely appropriate to ask. So, go ahead and make a request. The worst thing that can happen is a soft rejection.

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    Note that you'll also want to frame the reply from the company's point of view, namely that you won't be productive during that time anyway as the offices are closed. – Lilienthal Dec 7 '15 at 13:43
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    @Lilienthal - On the other hand, while the offices are closed, he can take care of all of the "new resident" tasks that take up a lot of time and effort for someone moving to a new country -- exploring the area, finding a place to live, getting a local drivers license or ID card, buying a car (or trying out local transit options), etc. These outside distractions will lower his productivity, so it's better for the company if he takes care of it during the holidays when office productivity is already lower due to vacations and a week long closure. – Johnny Dec 7 '15 at 19:47
  • @Lilienthal - I usually frame my requests/negotiations to my company from my own point of view, since it is the most natural way to communicate and lets you effectively voice your concerns. Included in the communication should be an effort to understand the companies concerns, but I always try to avoid a fake request that doesn't honestly state my genuine feelings at the outset. – Ian Apr 27 '16 at 20:37
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You can always ask for anything. There's a possibility that someone in the company thought it would be nicer for you to relocate before Christmas and was suggesting it for that reason - to keep you happy. If it turns out that relocating after Christmas is better for you, that person will be only to happy to change the date, and would actually be upset if they found out the date was inconvenient for you and you didn't open your mouth.

Worst case, they will say "sorry, we cannot change that date", and you haven't lost anything. If a company holds asking for something against you, then look for another company.

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    So long as you ask in an appropriate way. :) I've seen plenty of people "asking" for something and actually being very rude. :( – Tim B Dec 7 '15 at 15:59
  • Of course. Entitlement, pushiness, being demanding, etc. You can ask in all sorts of ways. Keep it neutral, and keep it an actual question instead of some passive-aggressive remark. – Nelson Dec 8 '15 at 0:40
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Edit: please note that I'm currently located in Europe and relocation will cost a huge fortune. So it's not an option to relocate and move back for holidays.

These statements seem somewhat contradictory. If relocating will cost a "huge fortune" that suggests that you have a complex life that can't be moved on a whim. Lots of possentions to move, a home to deal with etc. Compared to the cost of these things the cost of moving your body across the atlantic more than once may not be a deal breaker.

I would try and talk to your employer about the details of how they plan to handle the relocation and what the timescales are likely to be after you get permission.

  • No, makes a lot of sense. I think OP means that buying an air ticket to return home in Europe during Christmas holidays just to see his family adds up to the fortune he/she is already spending – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Jul 2 '16 at 12:31
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It should always be possible to delay a move. Consider that if you broke your leg, got sick, or a family member died, delaying your move by a month would be a given on all but the most short-term high-priority jobs. They're not going to stick a pneumonia case on a 5-hour flight at Christmas.

But you want to contact them about it NOW, preferably yesterday. The sooner you contact. Ask to speak to your relocation manager (e.g. whoever's managing the relocation), and explain the situation as politely as possible, couching it in terms of setup cost for them as well (e.g. it means that they can focus on work right up to the holiday instead of inducting someone).

Some companies can be very weird about this stuff due to rules and regulations, but that weirdness can be worked around. As an extreme example, they may be willing to pay for your flight back for the holidays.

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