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Moving to the USA from the UK

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The cost of living in Britain has been on the rise, so more and more people – from students to families and retirees – have started looking into how to move to America from the UK.

There has been an increase in the number of online searches concerning moving abroad and over 20,000 British citizens are opting for the adventure each year.

However, there are a few things you need to think about before leaping, such as your ability to study or work in the US, your healthcare coverage, and whether you can access your pension once you have relocated.

Are you thinking of relocating to the US from the UK? Here’s all you need to know before jumping across the Pond!

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Moving to the USA from the UK

If you want to move to the US, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is your visa options. Although getting a visa from the UK to the US can be difficult, it is doable.

With over 200 visa categories, make sure you are applying for the right visa for your situation, and that you follow the application process precisely.

Any mistakes or oversights in your application may cause delays or rejections, which could put a damper on your plans in the US. Nonetheless, the US remains a place of opportunity for those who are eligible and ready to finish the application process.

Here are some of the visa options to consider if you are looking to relocate from the UK to the US.

Relocating permanently to the US

For a long-term move, you will need a Green Card. This can be achieved either through a family member or through a job.

The application process will vary depending on whether you are in the US and making an adjustment of status, or from abroad, necessitating Consular processing. 

Temporary US visas
If you're looking to come to the US temporarily for business purposes, an E visa could be the right fit for you.

Green Card Through Family

US citizens can apply for a non-US national relative to live with them in the US permanently. This can be done through the immediate relative category, which includes a spouse, unmarried child under 21, and a parent of a US citizen aged 21 or older.

It can also be done through the family preference categories, including unmarried sons or daughters aged 21 and above, married children of all ages, and siblings aged 21 and above.

If a US citizen’s fiancé(e) wants to gain residence quickly, they might want to consider the K visa, along with any children.

Green Card Through Employment

The most common way to obtain a Green Card is via a job. This opens up a variety of possibilities, including:

  • First preference (EB-1) – priority workers. This includes foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; or certain multinational managers and executives.
  • Second preference (EB-2) – foreign nationals with memberships in the professions holding advanced degrees or exceptional ability (requests for national interest waivers are also eligible).
  • Third preference (EB-3) – skilled workers, professionals, or other workers.

These are just some of the options available to you. I’m seeking professional advice on your circumstances that can help you understand all the possibilities and make an informed decision. 

Temporary US visas

If you’re thinking about a temporary move, there are many US visas you can look into. These visas are a great option if you’re looking to relocate for a brief period.

E-Visas For Entrepreneurs And Investors

If you’re looking to come to the US temporarily for business purposes, an E visa could be the right fit for you. It’s important to remember that an E visa is not a path to a Green Card – if you’re seeking permanent residence in the US, you should look into a different visa.

H-1B Visa For Specialized Workers

The H-1B visa is designed for people who have obtained a job offer from a US sponsor to fill a specialized role. It is a temporary visa, allowing an initial stay of three years, which can be extended up to a maximum of six years.

After this, the individual may be eligible to apply for permanent residence in the US.

L-1 Visa For Intracompany Transfers

The L-1 visa is designed to help non-US workers transfer to a US branch or subsidiary of the same company. It is a temporary visa, which can be extended up to seven years in two-year increments.

Furthermore, L-1 visa holders may become eligible for a Green Card.

O-1 Visa

To be eligible for non-resident status through extraordinary abilities in a particular field, you will need an O-1 visa.

This visa is usually valid for up to three years, but if you are continuing with the same job or activity, you may extend the visa in one-year increments for an unlimited period. However, if you switch employers, you must apply for a new O-1 visa.

You will also need to transfer your UK driving license and register your UK-registered vehicle, if required.

What is the Cost of Moving to the USA?

The US is far from the UK, but you might be shocked to learn that there is an affordable option for international shipping.

Generally, the cost of relocating to the USA falls between £1,600 and £4,000. The US has strict immigration policies, so some various rules and regulations must be adhered to when organizing a move.

Few Facts and Figures about the USA

Check out these important facts and figures about the USA. As you wrap up things in the UK, you’ll find new experiences awaiting you in your new home.

Here’s a table with essential information you need to be aware of before immigrating to the USA.




US Dollar


325 + million people


Washington, D.C.


English is the primary language spoken among others, such as Spanish, Chinese, French, Tagalog, and Vietnamese

Government Type

Constitution-based federal republic

Unemployment Rate

4.0% (as of June 2018)

Country Code



Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%

Moving to the USA from the UK checklist:

Relocating or emigrating from the UK to the USA can be a daunting process. However, with this comprehensive checklist, you can ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Here are some of the important steps to consider before making this big move:

  1. Open a bank account in the USA. Having a local bank account is essential for managing your finances, taxes, and receiving payments from employers. You will also need to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) by submitting the necessary documentation and proof of identity.
  2. Research healthcare options available in the USA and consider taking out private health insurance. Get acquainted with the US tax laws as they may differ from those back home.
  3. Finding the right place to live is a key part of this process. Do your research on the local housing market, familiarize yourself with local rental laws, and get help from a real estate agent if necessary. HomeAbroad offers comprehensive services to make this process easier.
  4. Enroll your UK-registered vehicle You will also need to transfer your UK driving license and register your UK-registered vehicle, if required.
  5. Explore employment opportunitiesCarrying out extensive research on a job offer before relocating can help ensure a successful job search.
  6. Gain a better understanding of US culture and customs. Investigating the local culture and customs can make the transition smoother. Acknowledging cultural differences is key to the success of the relocation.

By following this checklist, you can ensure a smooth transition and successful journey. Make sure to plan and be prepared to navigate the complexities of relocating to a new country.

Understanding the Allure of the American Dream

The allure of the American Dream is something that many people find intriguing.

  • Economic Opportunities: The US offers abundant job opportunities and higher earning potential due to its robust economy, reputable companies, and entrepreneurial atmosphere. This makes the US an attractive destination for career progression and business ventures.
  • Education and Research: The USA is renowned for its top-notch educational institutions and research facilities, making it a desirable choice for students and academics. Its universities are recognized for excellent education, advanced research, and varied academic programs.
  • Cultural Diversity: The US is a culturally diverse nation with a long history of immigrants from around the world. This diversity fosters an energetic and inclusive society that values different points of view, concepts, and customs.
  • Political Stability and Rule of Law: The US offers political stability, democratic values, and a well-established legal system, which provides a safe and predictable environment that safeguards individual rights.

Enquire Today

If you’re trying to sell a property before moving to the US, Property Saviour is your go-to local expert. Our friendly agents are happy to provide a valuation of your home and offer helpful advice on how to sell your home!

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