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Bandage Girl

Living in UK or USA - second thoughts

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My fiance and I have our NOA2 but have recently been seriously considering living in the UK instead. Of course that would mean a new application, more wait time, and all that, but that's all secondary at this point.

Of course the job situation is pretty bad in Scotland, but it doesn't seem much better in the US.

How did you decide where to live between the USA and the UK? What were some considerations?


The Story So Far:

Sep 2009 - Met at University in UK

Apr 1 2011 - Engaged!

Apr 18 2011 - Sent I-129F...hoping for the best.

Apr 29 2011 - NOA 1 - California Service Center

Jul 14 2011 - NOA 2 (76 days after NOA 1)

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England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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It was actually a really hard choice for us - I really wanted to move to Scotland, however, I was still finishing Graduate School (I graduate in 15 days!) at the time we started this, I had a stable job, steady income, benefits etc here. He owned his own business, and while it was doing quite well - but no benefits and the income was a bit sporadic. We knew if we were going to start a family, we'd need something a bit more stable. Also, we weren't very well educated about the immigration process going that way...

So, we are going to live here for 5 or so years, and re-evaluate. Our goal is to move back to Scotland eventually - originally it started off as "we'll be back in 3-4 years" and now it's "we'll move back in 4-5"...

Honestly - Scotland will honestly hold a very special place in my heart - but it will depend mostly on what is best for our family at the time...

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I will have lived in Scotland for almost 4 years when we move back to the US this February. The best way I can put how I feel about here is-- I have a deep respect and a tourists love of Scotland.

The job situation is dire here, very dire at the moment (as a matter of fact I was just made redundant yesterday :) ). It is very expensive to live here and very difficult to get into the property market. Not sure which part of the country your fiance is from?

I went the whole 9 yards-- finacee visa, limited leave to remain and settlement which, just like US immigration, is money, money, money.

The reasons, plain and simple, I moved here first were 1) my husband had gone back to Uni so it made sense and 2) the fiancee visa procedure for the UK was less hassle and shorter a time frame, as in I mailed all the stuff out to them and I got my visa in the post 2 days later.

There's another online forum which is www.uk-yankee.com you may want to check out if you're considering a move to the UK. If you need any more help just give me a shout :)

Edited by Mrs GH

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Nich-Nick - thanks for the other threads; I'm having a look.

Cmoore - Congrats on finishing school! I think if we do go through with the US visa, we'll go back to Scotland at some point too. We're also saying the 3-4 years now, but I can see how it could easily start to be pushed back.

Mrs GH - Thanks for the other forum, I'll have to check that out. My fiance owns his flat in Glasgow, so that would give us a bit of an advantage, but it's finding a job that really worries me. I was on a post-study work visa there earlier this year, looked for a job for 6 months but could not get hired anywhere.

So it'd be interesting to see what people are choosing with the current economic situation.


The Story So Far:

Sep 2009 - Met at University in UK

Apr 1 2011 - Engaged!

Apr 18 2011 - Sent I-129F...hoping for the best.

Apr 29 2011 - NOA 1 - California Service Center

Jul 14 2011 - NOA 2 (76 days after NOA 1)

event.png

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Nich-Nick - thanks for the other threads; I'm having a look.

Cmoore - Congrats on finishing school! I think if we do go through with the US visa, we'll go back to Scotland at some point too. We're also saying the 3-4 years now, but I can see how it could easily start to be pushed back.

Mrs GH - Thanks for the other forum, I'll have to check that out. My fiance owns his flat in Glasgow, so that would give us a bit of an advantage, but it's finding a job that really worries me. I was on a post-study work visa there earlier this year, looked for a job for 6 months but could not get hired anywhere.

So it'd be interesting to see what people are choosing with the current economic situation.

Yep, I'm sat jobless in a flat in Glasgow as I write this.


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When my husband and I first got together and during the visa process I was happy to leave Scotland for the US. I was keen to have a change of scenery, and of course totally focused on being with my other half. Two years down the line, the novelty has worn off a bit and I am looking at ways we can move back to Scotland. Don't get me wrong - I like the States, but I would like us to move back in 2 years MAX. I miss my family and my own culture. Luckily my man likes Scotland. Like everyone else however, we have to think about what we can do for a living over there. As we will likely be starting a family over there, finances will be crucial!


Filed I129F: 18th February 2009

NOA 1: 24th February 2009

NOA 2: 10th July 2009

Received Packet 3: 28th July 2009

Packet 3 sent to London embassy: 5th August 2009

Medical: 7th August 2009

K1 Interview: September 2009

Visa received: September 2009

Moved to USA: 19th October 2009

Married: 23rd October 2009

Green Card received: March 2010

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Being in a long-distance relationship and waiting for my K1 visa this year was the longest, most depressing time ever.

But now I've been living in California with my SO for about 3 months and I really miss home.

I dont know if everybody has a long adjustment period or if its just me, but its really hard being here.

Don't move to the US if you aren't sure its what you want to do.

It is very, very different here in ways that you can't ignore. They might not bother you, but they are definitely there.

After all that work and money, I can't help but fantasise about taking my SO back to England with me.

But then my greencard would be revoked so I guess I'm stuck here. Its a tough situation :/

Basically, don't change your life if you aren't 1000000% sure its the right thing to do!!


TIMELINE

2 0 1 1

3rd Feb - 129f Sent

10th Feb - NOA1

16th May - NOA2

8th August - Interview in London. APPROVED!

29th August - POE at SFO

7th Oct - Married

10th Oct - AOS Filed

17th Oct - NOA Letter(s)

20th Oct - Biometrics Letter (for 14th Nov)

28th Oct - Biometrics (walk-in)

2 0 1 2

3 Jan - Service Request Put In

13 Jan - EAD Approved

17 Jan - Interview Notice Received

24 Jan - EAD in hand

16 Feb - Interview Date. APPROVED!

2 0 1 3 / 2 0 1 4

21 Nov - ROC Filed

2 Dec - NOA

6 Jan - Biometrics (walk-in)

15 May - Card Ordered / Approved

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I would move from California to England in a heartbeat . . . if they had blue skies, sunshine, and 75 degree weather in December, the beach 5 minutes away from my home, and $4/gallon gas so that I can drive all of my classic cars and bikes at my heart's desire without having to worry about MOT and rust and rain and . . . you name it.

Until then, California it is. I think I would jump in front of a bus before moving to any place again where rain and gray skies are part of daily suffering. Then again I also prefer a Starbucks coffee over a tea.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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I'm with Brother Hesekial - I have never regretted moving to California! Well, almost never. When any family member is ill or needs my support then I do wish I was back home, but they are the only thing I truly miss about England.

But, that's just MY experience; of course everyone has different criteria for what constitutes the ideal place to live, and I've also been luckier than most in having very close and supportive in-laws.

Unfortunately, the only real way to know is to try both countries for a while! But, as jingo says, that's not easy to do - unless you can wait out the three years it'll take to become a US citizen.

Job prospects were certainly a huge consideration at the time (I didn't realise how much I minded the English weather until I moved to a sunny country ;)), and certainly I'm earning far more here than I ever had any hope of earning in the UK.


sharasugar.pngsharanomsugar.png

07/11/2006 - First met

08/22/2008 - K1 Visa in hand

12/27/2008 - Marriage

05/20/2009 - AOS complete

10/06/2011 - ROC complete

04/20/2012 - Annaleah born!

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(I didn't realise how much I minded the English weather until I moved to a sunny country ;))

One of the toughest things to deal with in moving to Scotland was no summer. Now, I can deal with a crappy winter as long as I have the promise of a nice toasty summer. Wind and rain, rain and wind. More wind. More rain. The damp. :angry:

However, last summer there was a bit of a heat wave and then there was the problem of no air conditioning.... it is a no-win situation for me. GH is a hardy native and fine-tuned to deal with such things so he doesn't notice.

Edited by Mrs GH

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One of the toughest things to deal with in moving to Scotland was no summer. Now, I can deal with a crappy winter as long as I have the promise of a nice toasty summer. Wind and rain, rain and wind. More wind. More rain. The damp. :angry:

However, last summer there was a bit of a heat wave and then there was the problem of no air conditioning.... it is a no-win situation for me. GH is a hardy native and fine-tuned to deal with such things so he doesn't notice.

That heat wave came about 2 days after I left!! I spent 14 days of August in soggy, rainy Scotland!! Lol The only time it bothered me was when we went to see the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh! I think we stayed for an hour then left - the rain was pouring sideways and it was freezing!! Lol I agree - I can take the winter (heck, I live in Maine!) as long as there is a summer to follow!

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I did the move to the UK when I was a newlywed and ended up living there for 12 years. Take it from an American who's done her time, it is NOT easy to make the transition. I thought because I'd done a term abroad in London and six months on a working holidaymaker visa I'd be fine. WRONG. The first three years were a hard slog, trying to make friends, find a career path, learn all sorts of new phrases and terms and cultural touchstones and fit in. I eventually hit my stride, and life became, well, normal. Bear in mind most of this time was pre-Skype, cheap calls and email anywhere but your desktop computer, so I was very cut off from my parents and Americans in general. (There were a lot fewer of us then back then in the UK -- it wasn't until my last couple of years that I met any Americans who were actually living there for any purpose but a temporary work assignment.)

I eventually moved back to the US with my now ex, seeking what we thought would be a higher quality of life. In retrospect, this was probably not a perfect move. I had a stable career and a social circle I was comfortable in, and I gave it up to be a consultant and live in a city where I knew only a couple of people besides my husband. I have had to rebuild my entire identity again, make new friends, find a new line of work (the economy dried up my contracts) and in general start from square one.

If you do the move back to where you're from (whether it be the US or UK), if you've been gone a while be prepared for this: nothing will be the same. Sure, some of your friends and your family will be there, but you probably won't have your job or your beloved former home or the patterns of life you had been used to. You'll have to relearn things when you repatriate and you'll feel silly asking questions about what is supposed to be your own culture.

But right now I'm not clamouring to move back. Jobs in my former line of work were always hard to come by, and housing is still as expensive as ever in London, where I would almost certainly have to move. I'm making the best of it in LA and not letting myself kick myself too much about whether or not returning to the US was a good idea. All I know is I don't know if I could handle a third transatlantic move!

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I was very cut off from my parents and Americans in general. (There were a lot fewer of us then back then in the UK -- it wasn't until my last couple of years that I met any Americans who were actually living there for any purpose but a temporary work assignment.)

Now, I swear there are thousands of Americans in London! I've known some all my life growing up and can't seem to turn a corner without hearing American voices in a cafe or being served by American workers in shops. How did they all get there?


TIMELINE

2 0 1 1

3rd Feb - 129f Sent

10th Feb - NOA1

16th May - NOA2

8th August - Interview in London. APPROVED!

29th August - POE at SFO

7th Oct - Married

10th Oct - AOS Filed

17th Oct - NOA Letter(s)

20th Oct - Biometrics Letter (for 14th Nov)

28th Oct - Biometrics (walk-in)

2 0 1 2

3 Jan - Service Request Put In

13 Jan - EAD Approved

17 Jan - Interview Notice Received

24 Jan - EAD in hand

16 Feb - Interview Date. APPROVED!

2 0 1 3 / 2 0 1 4

21 Nov - ROC Filed

2 Dec - NOA

6 Jan - Biometrics (walk-in)

15 May - Card Ordered / Approved

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