Lots of people in the UK dream about moving to America. It is still seen as the land of opportunity and, although in recent years its image has been tarnished, it still has over a million foreigners relocating there every year.
Unfortunately, a lot of those people forget that the U.S. is a foreign country. Despite Britain’s close links, it isn’t as easy as hopping on a boat or a plane and starting a new life. There are many hoops you have to go through, and the process can be frustrating.
With this in mind, here are five things you should do before moving to the States.
Put Aside Time
You will need to put aside a lot of time before moving to the United States. One British ex-pat started the process in 2011 but didn’t get approved a visa until 2013 – almost two years afterwards! There’s no getting around this. Unless you have an American employer or family out there, it will be a long process. There will be lots of frustration and moments when you feel like giving up, but you will deal with it if you are mentally prepared. There will also be lots of little things that you might not initially think about like finding an internet provider. Unlike the UK where we have 4 or 5 main providers, there are literally hundreds of internet providers in the US so it can be time-consuming to choose. You might consider something like shentel cable for example if you are moving to Virginia or Maryland, as Shentel is one of the main providers in those states. All these little things can take time to sort, so it’s better to prepare early and not get caught out.
Get A Green Card
The famous green card allows you to live and work in the United States. As a foreigner, you have to have one regardless of your situation. There are lots of different ways to get a green card. However, they are easier to get if you have a family member who is a U.S. citizen, or through an employment opportunity.
Research Health Insurance
It’s almost guaranteed that when you move to the States you will look at the free healthcare provided by the NHS with some pride. Health insurance is expensive in the States, and you absolutely have to have it. When you get to retirement age, there is a free insurance program you can sign up to called Medicare. But when you learn how to enroll in Medicare you will find out that green card holders can only benefit if they have paid taxes for 40 quarters or ten years.
You will need to find schools for your children. Finding a good education for your kids can be difficult when you live so far away, but there are a few ways to go about it. Services like BournesMoves.com help people living abroad find schools for their kids. If your child is anywhere between the ages of five and eighteen, it is something you will need to consider.
Save Lots Of Money
You will need a much bigger checklist for moving to another continent than you will for moving house in the UK. Sending over containers of your treasured possessions can be very expensive. And if you decide to leave everything here, you will have to replace them. However, it isn’t all bad news. Land in the States is plentiful, so it is very cheap in comparison to the packed cities of the UK. And, because everybody drives everywhere all of the time, petrol and diesel costs next to nothing compared to the prices at British fuel pumps.
We hope these five simple tips will get you prepared for your dream move. It’s a long and potentially arduous road, but keep positive, and I am sure your wishes will come true!