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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

Recently I've been doing a lot of research on how to move from the US to the UK. I've had my heart set on living there for a very long time and am now trying to figure out the best course of action.

I currently make just under $25,000 (roughly £15,500) a year before taxes as a cosmetologist, but I've been told that licensure is not required in the UK in order to be a hair stylist (or beauty therapist), so there goes my initial thought of obtaining a work visa as a skilled tradesperson.

However, I have been entertaining the idea of returning to school next fall and finishing up my degree in art/graphic design. I was thinking I could get my prerequisites out of the way at a college here and transfer to a university in England for my last year (or two) of school.

So I'm wondering how tough will this be, if even possible? How much money will I be required to save in order to do this? Are there any organizations that can help me? Is there perhaps a different route to living in the UK that might be better suited to my situation?

Thank you!
 
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I doubt very much you could get sponsorship as a hair stylist. University is an option but others can give you more info on the actual requirements but just so you know you wont be moving to the UK as a student. Its a temporary visa with some but limited ability with strict requirements to be able to stay after. If you can not meet those requirements you will be heading home after spending thousands on international fees & living costs.
 

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Hi there,

However, I have been entertaining the idea of returning to school next fall and finishing up my degree in art/graphic design. I was thinking I could get my prerequisites out of the way at a college here and transfer to a university in England for my last year (or two) of school.

So I'm wondering how tough will this be, if even possible? How much money will I be required to save in order to do this? Are there any organizations that can help me?

Thank you!
One thing you can do is attend a school in the US that offers a study abroad program in the UK. It would give you a semester or year to live in the UK and see if you really like it. There are multiple benefits to this route. Your school would help with the arrangements. Since you'd be attending as part of your US studies, the credits earned would be applied to your degree requirements. And since it would be part of your US studies, I'm almost certain you can use your US financial aid. And I think some programs allow you to pay the same tuition rates that you pay in the States, but you would want to see if your school offers that.
 

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Since none of the other visa schemes available to some other nationals is offered to US citizens, such as ancestry and Tier 5 youth mobility scheme (aka working holiday), studying is just about the only realistic way of experiencing life in UK, other than as tourist or falling in love with someone with the right to residence. Sponsored work visa is next to impossible because you won't have experience and qualification in a shortage occupation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have considered studying abroad for a semester or two just to be sure I like living there, however I also know that the visa required for study abroad programs is not the same as the visa one needs in order to actually attend a university as a resident. The study abroad visa is more like a tourist visa in that it expires after a few months and cannot be transferred to a work visa, more or less (which is what i would hope to do). From what I have gathered from the other threads on this board, it seems that employment is easier to come by for foreign residents if they earned their degree from a British university. Perhaps these people were referring more to post graduate students?

Also, as far as employment prospects in my field go, I have looked over the employment shortages list provided in a different thread and saw that there is a demand in my future field of graphic design. I'm sure the demand for graphic designers is not as high as it is for doctors and engineers, however that does give me some hope that finding a job over there won't be impossible.

Simply put, I've decided that I'm going back to school and I'd like to be living in the UK within the next five or six years. Does it make more sense for me to finish up my schooling here and proceed to look for employment in the UK afterwards or should I do the last part of my schooling over there to make the transition to the workforce easier?

Thank you very much for your feedback! It's very appreciated!
 

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Bear in mind that the shortage occupation list changes and in a couple of years graphic artists may no longer be on the list. Additionally, in order to be eligible for a Tier 2 visa the job must pay a minimum salary which is currently around £20,000 and could possibly be higher in a couple of years.

If you decide to continue your schooling in the UK remember that you'll be paying international student fees and if you need loans you'll have to arrange them with a US lender like SallieMae or similar. You'll also need to show that you can cover your living costs which means £1000/month for 9 months for a London program or £800/month for 9 months outside of London.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks nyclon, that's helpful. I realize the job market is always changing and that no matter how I decide to go about it, moving to the UK will be an expensive endeavor. But knowing that there are a lot of hoops I'll have to jump through doesn't discourage me. If anything it makes me want it even more.
 
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