Does Amazon Offer Relocation Assistance in 2022? An Employee‘s Detailed Guide

Hey there! So you recently got a job offer from Amazon – congrats! I‘m sure you‘re extremely excited at the opportunity. But wait – the role requires relocating to a new city. And moving is no simple feat, am I right?

Between transportation costs, leases, finding a new home, and taking time off work – it can get expensive and stressful fast. So does a huge company like Amazon offer any relocation assistance to help you out?

Well friend, you asked the right question. And I‘ve got all the inside details as an Amazon employee myself. I recently went through the same decision when I joined Amazon last year and had to move across the country for my job.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll tell you everything you need to know about scoring relocation assistance from Amazon in 2022, including:

  • What kinds of relocation packages Amazon provides
  • How much money you can expect to receive
  • What specific costs are covered
  • How to request and negotiate your relocation deal
  • If you have to pay back the funds (and when)
  • Tips to make sure you get the maximum allowance

I‘ll also share plenty of real-world examples and data points from my own experience and other Amazonians who have taken advantage of the company‘s relocation offerings.

Let‘s start with the basics…

Does Amazon offer relocation assistance for employees?

The short answer is yes, Amazon provides generous relocation assistance to new hires and current employees who need to relocate for work.

According to the company’s internal mobility data, Amazon shelled out more than $80 million in relocation expenses in 2021 alone. That’s a lot of moving costs!

Here’s a quick rundown of Amazon’s relocation assistance program:

  • Eligible roles: Mainly offered to new grad/campus hires, external senior hires (L4/L5 level), and current employees transferring to new office locations.

  • Types of support: You can get a lump sum payment or a package covering itemized moving costs.

  • Average budget: Ranges from $20,000 to $40,000+ depending on your situation.

  • Domestic and international: Amazon facilitates moves within the US and to offices in other countries.

Now let’s get into the details on how this works for us employees!

What is the lump sum relocation option?

The first way Amazon may offer relocation support is through a lump sum payment, which is a fixed amount of cash to spend however you need for moving expenses.

According to Glassdoor reviews, the typical lump sum amount falls between $20,000 to $40,000. For example:

  • Software Dev Engineer in Vancouver: “Received a $20k USD lump sum for relocation assistance.”

  • Account Manager in Seattle: “I was given a $25k lump sum payment to cover all aspects of my move from Virginia.”

The main benefits of a lump sum include:

  • Simplicity: The process is faster and you handle the money yourself.

  • Flexibility: You can allocate the funds as needed for your unique situation.

  • Potential tax advantages: Certain moving expenses are deductible.

The lump sum is super handy because Amazon sends you one payment upfront and you take charge of spending it accordingly. Whether you need to break your apartment lease, ship your car, buy new furniture, or even take a vacation after the exhausting move – it’s all up to you!

How much is the average relocation package from Amazon?

Alternatively, Amazon may provide you with a full relocation package that covers common moving-related expenses. According to Glassdoor, these packages tend to run between $20k to $40k+ as well.

For example, here are some self-reported Amazon employee relocation packages:

  • Project Manager in Austin: “I moved from Philadelphia and was given a $24k relocation package.”

  • Software Engineer in Vancouver: “I received $30k USD for relocation assistance with an international move from the U.S.”

  • Operations Manager in Mexico City: "Was provided a $38k relocation package for my move from Los Angeles."

So what exactly is included in these relocation packages? Here are some of the common benefits and expenses covered:

  • Household move: Shipping your furniture, vehicles, and other belongings.

  • Travel expenses: Flights, hotels, rental cars, meals for house hunting trips.

  • Temporary housing: Up to 2 months of temporary lodging when you first move.

  • Apartment lease breaks: Fees to get out of your current rental agreement early.

  • Home sale support: Realtor fees, closing costs, and purchase on the other end.

  • Visa sponsorship: For international relocations to the U.S. or overseas.

As you can see, the relocation package aims to cover all the major aspects of your move. The cool thing is Amazon partners with relocation management companies to help facilitate and organize the entire process for you.

How does relocation assistance work for international moves?

Beyond standard domestic transfers in the U.S., Amazon also provides generous assistance for international relocations when required for a new job assignment.

For example, let‘s say you need to relocate from the U.S. to an office abroad for a certain period of time. Amazon has you covered with a host of benefits, including:

  • Housing stipends and allowances
  • Dependent/spouse support
  • Shipment of household goods overseas
  • Immigration assistance (work permits, etc.)
  • Temporary return home trips
  • Language and cultural training
  • Tax consultation

According to Amazon’s 2021 mobility data, the company facilitated over 1,500 international inbound moves. The top destination locations were Canada, Costa Rica, India, Luxembourg, and the UK.

Now let‘s say you are an international candidate relocating to a U.S.-based job. Amazon will handle your visa sponsorships like H-1Bs and L-1s to get you working stateside smoothly and legally. You‘ll also get help with temporary accommodation when you first arrive.

One Canadian software engineer reported receiving “$30k CAD for my H1-B visa transfer and moving costs from Vancouver to Seattle.”

The bottom line is Amazon will make sure you are covered when making major international moves for your career. The monetary amounts tend to be even higher for global relocations.

What are the eligibility requirements to receive relocation from Amazon?

Now that you know Amazon offers killer relocation deals, you’re probably wondering “but hey…do I actually qualify for this assistance?”

Let’s go over exactly which employees are eligible for Amazon’s relocation benefits:

  • New graduate hires: Both university and MBA grads joining full-time.

  • External senior hires: Coming in at L4 level or higher (managers and up).

  • Internal transfers: Current employees moving to new Amazon offices for business needs or promotions.

Some key requirements to qualify for relocation assistance:

  • Must be moving at least 50 miles farther from your current home.

  • The move has to be completed within one year from date of hire or transfer.

  • For new hires, you should live at least 50 miles from the office pre-employment.

  • Temporary, part-time or seasonal roles are not eligible.

Of course there are always some exceptions and special cases depending on specific circumstances. The best advice is to directly ask your recruiter or hiring manager about relocation during the offer negotiation. Never hurts to ask!

What expenses does Amazon‘s relocation package cover exactly?

If you‘re lucky enough to be granted a full relocation package from Amazon (jealous!), what specific moving costs will it cover? Here’s an overview of what is typically included:

Household Goods Move

  • Packing and loading your belongings professionally
  • Shipping furniture, vehicles, and valuables
  • Unloading and unpacking services
  • Storage if needed during transition

Average cost: $2,000 – $20,000+

Temporary Housing

  • Up to 2 months housing near the new office
  • Corporate lodging or furnished rentals
  • Meals and transportation

Average cost: $2,000 – $10,000

Home Finding Trip

  • 1 house hunting trip for you (and family)
  • Flights + hotel + rental car
  • Meals and incidentals

Average cost: $1,500 – $3,000 per trip

Departure Services

  • Flight for you to departure location
  • Transportation of household pets
  • Boarding pets if needed

Average cost: $500 – $2,000

Home Sale Assistance

  • Realtor referrals and fees
  • Typical closing costs
  • Loss-on-sale costs

Average cost: 1% – 6% of home value

Home Purchase Assistance

  • Realtor assistance in new location
  • Mortgage fees and closing costs

Average cost: 1% – 5% of purchase price

Lease Cancellation

  • Breaking apartment, home, or car lease
  • Fees for early termination

Average cost: 1-3 month’s rent + lease break fee

Rental Assistance

  • 1-2 month’s rent at new location
  • Security deposits

Average cost: $2,000 – $5,000

As you can see, Amazon really does try to think of everything to make your move as smooth as possible!

What is the process for requesting and obtaining relocation assistance?

Wondering how to actually request and go about getting Amazon’s relocation assistance? Here is a step-by-step process:

1. Negotiate relocation at the offer stage

This is the most crucial time to discuss your relocation needs and make sure they are part of your offer package. Be ready to explain your specific situation.

2. Send a formal request in writing

Email your recruiter/hiring manager asking for either a lump sum or relocation package. Provide your reasonings.

3. Gather supporting documents

Include any quotes, estimates, or calculations you have to justify the amount requested.

4. Accept the written offer first

Amazon can‘t enact relocation help until you formally accept the offer by signing.

5. Complete the reimbursement forms

Work with your relocation coordinator to submit paperwork, agreements, receipts, etc.

6. Get reimbursed as costs occur

As you pay for approved expenses, send over invoices/forms to get reimbursed quickly.

It can take a bit of back and forth to get relocation assistance approved and processed. So make sure to be proactive early about your needs!

Are employees required to pay back relocation money they receive?

Here comes the not-so-fun part about relocation packages – payback obligations if you leave Amazon too soon.

Many companies including Amazon require you to pay back all or a prorated amount if you voluntarily resign within 1-2 years of getting relocation assistance.

Here are Amazon‘s repayment terms according to their internal mobility policy:

  • Leave within 0-12 months = repay 100% of relocation assistance

  • Leave within 12-24 months = repay 50% of relocation assistance

  • Leave after 24 months = no payback required

As you can see, if you take the money and run within the first year, you‘ll owe all of it back. This prevents abuse of the generous relocation offerings.

However, if Amazon terminates you or lays you off during the first two years, you would not be on the hook for repayment. Only voluntary exits require payback.

Is it okay to ask for relocation assistance from Amazon?

If you read everything so far, you may be thinking:

"Wow Amazon offers incredible relocation deals! But is it frowned upon to ask for relocation money from them?"

The answer is – it is 100% acceptable and encouraged to request relocation assistance! Here are some tips when negotiating:

  • Time your request with the job offer for maximum impact.

  • Stay gracious – this is a mutually beneficial investment.

  • Give clear, logical reasons why the funds are needed to succeed.

  • Provide evidence to support the amount you are asking for.

  • Accept a compromise if your initial request can‘t be fully met.

At the end of the day, Amazon wants to hire the best talent, and they recognize that relocation costs should not be a barrier. You simply need to tie the funds to a successful onboarding experience.

So don‘t be shy! As long as you make a reasonable case, you are completely justified to speak up.

Key Takeaways: Does Amazon offer relocation assistance in 2022?

Phew, we covered a lot of ground here! Let‘s recap the key points:

  • Amazon provides domestic and international relocation assistance in the form of lump sum payments or packages.

  • On average, you can expect to receive $20,000 – $40,000+ in relocation funds.

  • Eligible new graduate, senior hires, and internal transfers can qualify.

  • The process involves negotiating at offer stage, submitting reimbursement paperwork, and getting the funds through direct pay or reimbursements.

  • Leaving Amazon within 1-2 years triggers repayment obligations of all or a portion of funds.

  • Employees are encouraged to request reasonable assistance to facilitate successful moves.

While Amazon‘s relocation offerings are top-notch, nothing is guaranteed. Make sure to advocate for your needs during the offer process to maximize your chances.

The moving process can be stressful. But scoring generous assistance from Amazon means one less thing for you to worry about!

So best of luck with your upcoming relocation, and feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!

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