Moving back to the UK with my USA Hubby

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Moving back to the UK with my USA Hubby


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Old 28th October 2010, 08:47 PM
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Default Moving back to the UK with my USA Hubby

Hi Everyone,

Hoping for some clarification. I apologise for the long winded rambles in advance.

I am a UK citizen with Permanent Residency for the USA. We have been married and living together for over 8 years. I came over here on a fiancée visa. Hubby would like the experience of new life, new country and so we are going to be moving back to the UK once we can get our house sold.

So doing my research I believe we will need a 'settlement' visa. Because we have been together for over 4 years he should be able to apply for ILR straight off the bat.
I have found the living in the UK test and materials so will be armed with that. (I had to laugh as I dismally failed the test personally)

1) Anyone have any advise/gotchas to share in regards to this? Especially with the applying online. We live in NE Louisiana.

2) When should we apply? We aim to leave asap but it really does come down to getting our house on the market and then sold. We have some repairs to finish to the house and a credit card to pay off (eta is JAN on that) so probably looking at being ready around Feb/March assuming the house sells in reasonable time. We are anticipating moving into an apartment while we wrap things up. I see the times lines average 2-8 weeks and that we can post date up to 3 months? Is this correct?

3) I have deliberated getting my citizenship but have decided that it's a) not quite in the spirit of things to pledge allegiance then promptly ****** off to the UK. b) going to cost about $1k (my greencard is expired so I would have to get that renewed also) and we'd rather spend that on his immigration. Also c) really not enthused about setting myself up for lifetime tax filing to the USA. We are considering this a permanent move. My father will probably disown me if I leave again, he seemed genuinely proud of my work ethic/abilities but understood my need to galavant off to find love and romance.

4) I will be returning to work for my family business so I have a job ready and waiting. We will be moving into my Mum's place temporarily while we look around and see whereabouts we want to/can afford to buy/rent a home.

5) Any shipping company recommendations? I have been looking at these folks (usainternationalmovers dot com aka Contour Logistics) We plan on bringing our primary electronics ((tv, consoles, computers etc) 110-->240 converters seem pretty easy to come by these days) and I am really hoping to bring our king size bed. No other furniture, everything else is going to be stuff, clothes, books, dvd's etc.

6) I would really like to bring my very shiny new 2010 Mazda 3 with me (Purchased, oh about 2 months prior to us making this decision, talk about kick yourself). I saw the info regarding needing to get the headlights changed, and the umm, VOSA test I believe it was, (sorry I am abbreviated out at the moment) that I will need to get for European compliance certification. I think everything else is in compliance except maybe the rear foglights, I honestly am not sure if it has any.

Has anyone done it and regretted the hassle? I was going to take the cheaper no-container, expect some dents and scratches option. I am thinking shipping it will still be cheaper than buying a new car in the UK even with the shipping and registration costs.

7) Money.. We don't have much in savings currently but I will be getting about 10k in retirement funds back after I've paid tax and penalties there and we are hoping to have around $40-50k left from the house sale after expenses there. Any advise on getting that to England without getting it chewed up in exchange rates and fees? Mortgage, credit card and car loans are with Chase who don't seem to have a UK presence. Our primary bank is a little local bank. I used to and my family still does bank with HSBC but prior inquiries have left me thinking that UK and USA branches are alien to each other. I'd rather not have to worry about paying US taxes later in life especially as by that point I'm guessing my residency will have been long assigned to the abandoned bin.

I will cut it short there.

Any advise is muchly appreciated. I have been picking up snippets of info here and there which are also vastly appreciated but it seems most folks are newly weds and or the UK partner is already in the UK and not an established couple looking at hauling 3/4's of a life/home with them. My own status is also providing me with a few niggling concerns. I need to dig my UK passport out but I have one of those niggles that by this point it has possibly expired. Pretty sure they are only valid for 10 years which puts it right on the might/might not be point.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 29th October 2010, 07:02 AM
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Can't help you much with the details, but a couple things occur to me in reading your message...

The question of taking US nationality or not is up to you. And I fully understand your not wanting to sign up for life-time tax filings. Just remember that your husband WILL have to continue filing US taxes, and once you move, he'll wind up having to file as "married, filing separately." There are a few disadvantages to that status, so just take a look at your finances before you make the final decision.

And are you really sure you want to have a left-hand drive car back in the UK? We get a good chuckle out of the British tourists over here in France who have to deal with toll booths and parking lot tickets and other such things "from the wrong side of the car." For a holiday trip to France, being on the wrong side of the vehicle is one thing, but having to live with a car like that as your primary means of transportation is something quite different.

You may also have trouble getting parts and service for the car. Even where a car maker sells the same model in different countries, the specs could be somewhat different. Maybe check with Mazda before you make up your mind.

Oh, and if your passport is expired, just contact your local British embassy. They'll be able to sort it out for you. (Warning, passport fees have gone up in the last 10 years.)
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 29th October 2010, 08:45 AM
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Your husband cannot apply for ILR until you have passed the Life in the UK test. If he has not yet taken and passed the test, he can request the 'KOL Req' endorsement on a standard UK spouse visa. This allows him to immediately convert it (payment required) to an ILR once he's passed the test.

1. Applying online is quite easy. You will then print the application, attend a biometrics appointment and send the application, biometrics and supporting documents to the consulate. Do you have a list of supporting documents required?

2) You are correct about the timeline for the visa.

4) This will be fine. It will help your application to have an offer letter or contract from this employer and you will need a letter from your Mother stating that you can live there and that there is adequate space for you and your husband to live for a period of time. You will also need a mortgage statement to show that your Mum owns the home (or a rental agreement if she rents it).

5) I moved with only 3 boxes, so I can't guarantee anyone, but you may want to think twice about taking a King-sized bed. As you are aware, it can be tough to fit them into the typical English sized bedrooms.

6) I would absolutely advise against this. I think you will find it a major hassle to drive a LHD car for the same reasons Bevdeforges mentioned.

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Old 29th October 2010, 04:18 PM
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Bev: Thank you, we will be making an appt with the Lady that does our taxes for some stupid questions so that gives me some things to ask about.

Holy moly you aren't joking about the passport fees, I looked that up last night, another $217 to tack onto the growing bill. Not to mention the impending visa fee increase that just happens to be taking place this month putting hubby's settlement visa up to 750 pounds. pfft.. Oh well we knew this wasn't going to be cheap.

LadyLiberty: Aye, I saw the test, I laughed, I got 8 out of 24, hubby 'claims' he got 21 out of 24 on the first try without googling. Smart arse..

Thanks the 'KOL Req' has opened me up a whole bunch more research threads. Searching is great as long as you know what to search for Looks like that may well gives us a 27 month leave to enter in which case we can get all this started today if we want.

Noted on the letter and mortgage info from Ma, no I don't have a supporting docs list yet, the online faq said that would be emailed at the end of the application. I figured that wasn't going to be too different from my USA visa though.

the FAQ also says: "Online forms are valid for 30 days from the day you submit it. We cannot accept application forms after this 30 day period, as the data expires and is deleted. You will be asked to complete a new application if you try to submit an expired application form to a visa application centre."

Does this mean we can run through the online application without actually commiting to anything? I didn't want to raise any red flags. We should be a simple case though, 8 year marriage, no previous marriages, no criminal histories, no kids etc.

As for the bed, I can't say I remember that really being an issue, to be honest. Even at University my rent rooms were big enough to have held one. Now getting it upstairs may well be an issue come to think of it. Our bedroom is just that though, it has a bed and two bedside tables. Nothing else, no dressers. We 'live' in our lounge. That's the part that is going to make us cry. Our current lounge is 30' by 20', it is wonderful. But we have lived in places that were a darn site smaller so we will manage I'm sure.

Oh, wardrobes.. crud that's right, built in closets not so much the big thing in the UK are they. I've gotten so spoilt in some respects. I haven't been back to the UK since '04 so I'm a bit out of touch with the little things. I'll have to start looking at housing again and getting a better gauge for floor plans. Thank you. Good food for thought.

To both of you regarding the car: Lawlz!! I had so not thought about the little things. I'd thought about the driving aspects and not being on the centre line and all that. But not about the toll booths etc. That's a bloody good point. Both my parents seemed to think getting it converted to RHD wouldn't be that big a deal but it is something I need to look into.

Thank you both, this is exactly the kind of real life advice/thoughts I was looking for.

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Old 30th October 2010, 08:20 AM
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Check out this helpful site for a list of supporting documents. The Spousal Visa

And, yes, you can go through the online application without submitting it. You can also begin it and save it for completion later (but only for a week, I think).

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