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From The UK To The States: Top Tips For Emigrating

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Erin proudly presents...

A very helpful look at how to move to the US from the UK by John. Now if he can figure one out for us Aussie's, I'd be very interested. We love the US.

My experience of emigrating was, to say the least, a little bit backwards to everyone else’s. I decided that I was ready to leave Britain, long before I set my mind on a new destination and I was practically packed and ready before I finally decided that the USA was the place for me.

My decision to move to the States was based on lots of factors, although the lack of language barrier was definitely a big influence. We thought long and hard about the benefits of exposing our children to a new language, but in the end decided that a life if America would be the best option for all of us. My wife and I stood better chances of securing jobs, the kids would adjust to their new schools and make friendly easier and the move would be less stressful on everyone.

Emigrating is a challenging experience, but the process is definitely worth the results. If you’re thinking of making a similar move, take a look at these top tips.

Visa

Obtaining the residency visa is generally the biggest issue for anyone planning a move to the States. The process is notoriously long, complex and can be frustrating - but you shouldn’t let it put you off!

Unfortunately, not everyone is accepted by the US government and you can be refused the visa. This can occur for a number of reasons; either for a previous criminal record or because your occupation is not considered in demand in the country.

Those in skilled professions, such as engineering and healthcare will find job opportunities more plentiful, though it’s important to bear in mind that you may have to take on additional training or qualifications to bring you in line with American requirements.

You can find more information on the different visas.

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Property

House prices vary from state to state, so it’s difficult to estimate how much you can expect to pay for a house. Property in tourist areas like Orlando can be more expensive, as these are aimed at the second-home market, although this also means that there are properties readily available.

We found properties using comparison websites like Right Move Overseas, which is the easiest way of finding something that’s in your budget.

Finding you dream house isn’t the end of the process. Unlike some countries, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership; however, mortgages are difficult to obtain for non-American citizens. Thankfully, our house in southern England meant we could afford to purchase a place in the States – you’ll often find this is the case, providing you own your house outright.

You will need to consider how you’ll get the money across to purchase a property. A Travelex money transfer is a secure way of transferring money overseas and is designed for people purchasing property, although it’s also useful for other things like making payments back in the UK. Financial issues are a big pressure when you’re emigrating, although companies like Travelex have products designed to make this process easier.

Healthcare

We might complain about the drizzle and the struggling economy, but one thing the UK can boast about is it’s free healthcare service. One of the biggest changes Brits will have to get used to if they’re heading stateside is the necessity of decent health care insurance.

If you break your leg in the US, you can’t simply stroll (or hobble) into the nearest hospital and be treated for free. You will be treated, but you’ll also receive a hefty bill and be expected to pay it; if you don’t have insurance, one of these bills could be enough to bankrupt you.

Often, your employer will provide insurance, which will cover you and your family; however, it’s of the utmost importance that you check that this is the case. If not, you’ll need to take private insurance. The Telegraph has a really useful article, which tells you everything you need to know about healthcare in the US for expats. 

Jack is a freelance copywriter, journalist and blogger with a passion for travel. Tired of his life on the Kent coast, … decided to leave Britain behind in search of a new life in the States. He now lives just outside of Chicago with his wife, their two small children and their family Labrador, Winston.

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