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Money and moving advice?

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Hi all! 


I've got my medical coming up next week, so assuming all goes to plan I'm hoping to move in September! Just wanted to ask some advice in advance on a couple of things I've been wondering about. 


Money  - what's the best method of keeping money from your UK bank account easily accessible when abroad? My fiance is able to cover bills and rent etc while I wait for the work permit, but of course I'd like to be able to access my own money when needed.

I know Monzo has been recommended, but after looking into it there are a few horror story reviews that put me off (eg. money disappearing and unable to claim back). My parents recommended a Caxton card after using it on a trip to Europe but haven't used an option like this before - I'd love to hear any opinions on what's worked best for anyone. 


Moving all your stuff - I've been donating to charity shops and selling my things on Facebook and Ebay, but I still have a lot of stuff I'd prefer not to part with, and there's definitely more than would fit in 2 suitcases! Mostly clothing, shoes, jewellery and other small personal bits and pieces - no furniture, electronics, large items, etc. I'm tall with larger feet so it's taken a lot of time and money just to find clothes and shoes I like that fit, so I'd rather not have to get rid of everything and repurchase. 

My family are able to store anything I need to initially leave behind which is wonderful, but I wanted to know if there are any trusted companies that others would personally recommend for moving personal items abroad. A friend recommended 'Send My Bag' after moving to here in the UK from the US and having a few extra suitcases sent along, and I've heard DHL is an option. 


Thank you so much for any advice, I truly appreciate it! 

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I have used Starling Bank - https://www.starlingbank.com/ for the past few year when travelling abroad, including travel to the USA.


Very easy to use and very convenient, literally as soon as the transaction is processed you get a mobile alert, simple to move money in and out.


I opted for Starling Bank as it does't have the restriction like Monzo

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Posted (edited)


I still have my UK bank account and a credit card. The account is useful to transfer money with relatives or buy Christmas and birthday gifts sent from UK Amazon or other retailers. And when we travel to the UK, we use that account/credit card for cash, car hires, charge purchases and Air BnB type accommodations. To get larger sums of money to the US, I have used Transferwise for lower fees and better exchange rates.



I shipped 20-something boxes to the US with zero damage using 1st Move International. https://www.shipit.co.uk/  Watch their packing video on this page https://www.shipit.co.uk/safer-packing.htm



Edited by Wuozopo

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1 hour ago, Wuozopo said:


I still have my UK bank account and a credit card. The account is useful to transfer money with relatives or buy Christmas and birthday gifts sent from UK Amazon or other retailers. And when we travel to the UK, we use that account/credit card for cash, car hires, charge purchases and Air BnB type accommodations.




I left my main UK bank account open - I actually still had a couple of months left on a cell phone contract so I left money in there. I also had a Post Office Credit card which was set up online to pay directly from my checking account.  I don't use them anymore but left them open in case. I never transferred large sums of cash over here and for me, PayPal worked great. I set up a US PayPal account and was able to do birthday and Christmas gifts for the family like that. 

Lee & William

8/2/2014 - Sent I-129F Petition with USPS by Express Mail    
8/4/2014 - I-129F delivered to dropbox    8/6/2014 - NOA1 Text/E-Mail received    8/11/2014 - Alien Registration Number Changed (Text/E-Mail) / NOA1 Letter received by Mail    3/16/2015 - NOA2 Text/E-Mail received (224 days)    3/20/2015 - Sent to NVC    3/31/2015 - NVC Received    4/1/2015 - Case Number Assigned       4/7/2015 - NVC Sent to Embassy    4/10/2015 - London Embassy Received    4/11/2015 - Medical     4/15/2015 - Packet 3 Received    4/12/2015 - Packet 3 Sent    4/23/2015 - Packet 4 Received    5/18/2015 - Interview - APPROVED     5/30/2015 - Visa collected from courier    6/1/2015 - POE    6/14/2015 - Wedding 💍💍
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07/16/2019 - Biometrics completed (early walk in - successful) 
⏱⏱⏱ ....

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we used transferwise to move $ between the us and canada

i 485, 130, EAD and AP

04/09/2019    NOA1 received/check cashed i 485 and 131

04/19/2019    Rec'd appointment letter for biometrics

05/02/2019    Biometrics

05/15/2019    Submitted initial request for EAD expedite 5/22 faxed info

06/05/2019    EAD APPROVAL!!!!!!!!!!  06/06/2019    AP Approval

06/13/2019    Combo Card Received in Mail

06/19/2019    Social Security Card received in mail


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For money we have the account in the UK still open, and of course our joint account stateside. At first we transferred money with paypal or direct transfers via the bank, though that is a bit of a fuss. Ideally Transferwise or a service that's similar to that could be used.


My husband brought over *a lot* of stuff. Clothing, games, books, shoes, even many different kinds of electronics. It is possible, if you think it could fit into a few more large bags - to pay the airline for extra baggage. He rolled over all his frequent flier miles and went first class. That gave him extra luggage to begin with + he paid for additional baggage. But if you have way too much stuff that you think might need to go into boxes, a shipping company is usually used.

K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?


First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

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NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

Transferred: Potomac Service Center 3/26/19

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10yr Green Card Received: 5/2/19 - Error will need to file I90 >_<


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My advice for moving belongings is to get quotes from at least three companies. It really depends on how much/how valuable (to you) and how much you are willing to spend to transport your belongings. There is an online company that will ship different sized cubes but I can't remember their name. It looked like a good option for clothing (but not books). The cost factor in shipping is weight and volume and if you're unsure of that it can be useful to have an expert come out and give you a quote as a guide for what you can expect to pay. If it's a matter of you knowing that it could all fit in, say, six suitcases then it's easy to calculate how much it would cost to take on the plane, either now or in the future.  A quick internet search for international shipping will give you a few ideas. I used a local company (SE England) in the end, so I can't really give a personal recommendation. 

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Shipping by air is based on weight and faster.

Shipping a load in a shared sea container (my 24 boxes) is by volume so books, cds, vinyl, tools and heavier things costs no more than a box of feathers the same size. All movers provide free box and supplies delivery to you. 


If you are packing boxes, make an inventory list of each box as you pack. It's needed for custom's clearance of "unaccompanied goods", meaning you are not traveling with them. Insurance costs extra and requires a list with current (used condition) values. Take valuables on the plane with you. 



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With regards to bank accounts i will be keeping my current one open as a backup and I also use a TransferWise boarderless account which is very convenient and easy for transfering cash back and forth between currencies, it can also be used for other foreign currencies too should you go travelling and offers the actual exchange rate with a nominal fee for the service as opposed to a inflated rate which ultimately costs you more. It's also handy should you wish to send money as or for gifts back to the UK, should your funds left in the UK dry up 

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