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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, I know I could probably search through these forums for so long, and deduce the answers I seek from similar stories to mine, but I have been researching for a few days now, and I'm up to my neck in information and trying to sort it all all. Besides, a lot of posters here seem friendly and willing to offer advice.

I am currently 20 years old, seeking to move to Whales in the UK. My girlfriend lives there with her family, and we want to find our own place there to live. I am currently on a leave from university, hoping to return to school and work eventually when I have my life settled. My current employment in the US is through a local photography company, where it has been for the past 6 years, and offers no sort of offices outside of the area, which makes the visa part a rather large pain.

From what I've read so far, I do not qualify for the 75 points needed for a tier 1 visa due to me not having a master's degree yet. In this case, I would have to find a work opportunity that is willing to hire me, in the UK, before the move. Any advice on how to go about this, would be more than wonderful, as I feel I have hit a brick wall on this one.

Past that I would need my US passport and a moving service to get my belongings to me. It wouldn't be much, mostly clothes and some personal belongings, no more than 500lb.

I just want to make sure that I've got everything i can think I need. I've tried to read a lot of guides on such a move, but some go one way with it, others go another way.

As of now, my biggest concern is the job, I have a full resume, willing to email, use skype to make calls, any means necessary to be employed and eligible to move. I just hardly know where to look for a company willing to hire me. It's difficult to express skills, abilities, and experience not being face to face or over the phone with someone.

The reason for my moves are mostly personal, but are strongly motivated, many disinterests in lifestyles here, policies, and obviously my relationship plays a factor. I just want to know and make sure that I am doing this correctly, simply, and hopefully not breaking the bank on funds. If anyone could also give a rough estimate on the total costs, basically after its all said and done, of such a move, would be more than helpful.

Thanks for any advice you all can offer.
 

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Ok, I know I could probably search through these forums for so long, and deduce the answers I seek from similar stories to mine, but I have been researching for a few days now, and I'm up to my neck in information and trying to sort it all all. Besides, a lot of posters here seem friendly and willing to offer advice.

I am currently 20 years old, seeking to move to Whales in the UK. My girlfriend lives there with her family, and we want to find our own place there to live. I am currently on a leave from university, hoping to return to school and work eventually when I have my life settled. My current employment in the US is through a local photography company, where it has been for the past 6 years, and offers no sort of offices outside of the area, which makes the visa part a rather large pain.

From what I've read so far, I do not qualify for the 75 points needed for a tier 1 visa due to me not having a master's degree yet. In this case, I would have to find a work opportunity that is willing to hire me, in the UK, before the move. Any advice on how to go about this, would be more than wonderful, as I feel I have hit a brick wall on this one.

Past that I would need my US passport and a moving service to get my belongings to me. It wouldn't be much, mostly clothes and some personal belongings, no more than 500lb.

I just want to make sure that I've got everything i can think I need. I've tried to read a lot of guides on such a move, but some go one way with it, others go another way.

As of now, my biggest concern is the job, I have a full resume, willing to email, use skype to make calls, any means necessary to be employed and eligible to move. I just hardly know where to look for a company willing to hire me. It's difficult to express skills, abilities, and experience not being face to face or over the phone with someone.

The reason for my moves are mostly personal, but are strongly motivated, many disinterests in lifestyles here, policies, and obviously my relationship plays a factor. I just want to know and make sure that I am doing this correctly, simply, and hopefully not breaking the bank on funds.
You will have a major problem relocating to UK (it's Wales, btw) as a young American. There just isn't a suitable visa category that meets your needs, such as working holiday, as US has reciprocal agreement with very few countries (Ireland is the only country in Europe, to my knowledge). There used to be BUNAC program for recent graduates (you still wouldn't have qualified), but this hasn't been reinstated after a recent change in UK regulations.
So there are only three options you can explore, none of them straightforward or meets all your needs.
You can enrol on an educational course, such as degree study, in UK and get a student visa. This allows you to live in UK to attend lectures etc, and also enables you to work in spare time during term and full-time during vacations. The snag is you need to pay a large tuition fee, typically £8000 to £10,000, and you need to have enough money coming in each month to support yourself, either through scholarship, your parents or some other sources.
Or you can be sponsored for a visa by a UK employer for Tier 2. Unless you qualify for a shortage occupation, they have to convince the authorities here that they couldn't find a suitable applicant among resident workforce after extensive recruitment campaigns and you have the unique skills and experiece needed for the post. It would be highly unusal for you to meet these requirements.
Finally you can apply for settlement in anticipation of marriage to your girlfriend (fiancé visa). This too is a major undertaking, and requires a portfolio of evidence to show deepening, long-term relationship, serious intent to live as married couple, with suitable accommodation and job prospect in UK. I don't know how long you've known each other, or how committed you are to each other, but they will look for solid evidence to substantiate your relationship and genuine intentions. I think 2 years is the minimum you need to have known each other, including frequent personal visits, letters, emails etc.
Otherwise all you can do is to come over as a visitor, which allows you to stay in UK (but not work) for up to 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I actually think finishing my education while there might be the best course of action. Tuition would be covered and all i would need was to work to support myself. My next question would be then, when i graduate, and its said and done, can I just apply for a regular tier 1 visa? Should be eligible via the points system after a master's degree I would assume. And then be on a tier 1 visa until the 5 year period of residency to apply for citizenship.

As far as I know, theres no limitations of the student visa is there? I can own or rent property, work, and carry out normal functions of a student lifestyle?

ps - thanks a lot for listing it all out for me! very helpfull
 

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I actually think finishing my education while there might be the best course of action. Tuition would be covered and all i would need was to work to support myself. My next question would be then, when i graduate, and its said and done, can I just apply for a regular tier 1 visa? Should be eligible via the points system after a master's degree I would assume. And then be on a tier 1 visa until the 5 year period of residency to apply for citizenship.

As far as I know, theres no limitations of the student visa is there? I can own or rent property, work, and carry out normal functions of a student lifestyle?

ps - thanks a lot for listing it all out for me! very helpfull
Who will pay your tuition fee? As an non-EU international (overseas) student, you will be charged around three times more than home students each year, around £8000 to £10000, as I said. And fees for Masters will be even higher, around £12000-15000, £20000 for MBA. Plus you have to meet all your living costs without working. Any money you hope to earn in spare time and in vacations cannot be used to prove your financial viability. You must have an independent source, either from your savings, parents or commercial sponsorship/scholarship.
Studying for a degree or a Masters isn't meant as a way to staying on in UK to get a job. You are expected to return home after your studies, and that will be the condition of your student visa. Now there is a visa category that allows a short-term work after graduation (more like an internship), but any time you spend in UK won't count towards settlement (permanent residency) and again you are expected to go home at the end of it. There is nothing to stop you from applying for Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa towards the end of your studies (switching is allowed on student visa longer than 6 months), but just having Masters will hardly give you the required points total, as you have no record of experience and salary commensurate with your qualification.
If your ultimate aim is settling permanently in UK with your girlfriend, then you should consider a different approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have about £60,000 set aside for my education. Which, by your estimates should be enough, if I'm catching everything that your saying. I fully planned on finishing my education in the UK from the get go anyways, and if it allows me to work and be somewhat of a resident until my education is finished, then it seems like the solution to me, or is there something I'm not seeing?

And I would have no problem to come back to the US until able to acquire a tier 1 visa, Age would be 20 points, masters is 35, any income over £20,000(as long as I keep record of it, as you said) in the course of 12 - 15 months is at least 15 points, and 5 for of been in the uk before for work or study. Thats 75 points unless I've forgotten something?

And yes, it is my final goal to settle in the UK, regardless of the girlfriend. I enjoy it over there so much more than I do here, hence the urgency to get out of here.

then you should consider a different approach.
Is there anything else? My options seem pretty limited from what I can tell. Forgive me if I seem pushy on the subject, just trying to figure out the best way to achieve my goals.
 

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Think of it as a long-term goal. First your education. Then return to US and get a job commensurate with your new qualifications. Then after a year or two solid work experience apply for Tier 1. Come over and look for jobs. Get fixed up and set up home here. After 5 years, indefinite leave to remain, and after further year (or straightaway when married to a Brit) apply for naturalisation. I make it 11-12 year plan!
 

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Think of it as a long-term goal. First your education. Then return to US and get a job commensurate with your new qualifications. Then after a year or two solid work experience apply for Tier 1. Come over and look for jobs. Get fixed up and set up home here. After 5 years, indefinite leave to remain, and after further year (or straightaway when married to a Brit) apply for naturalisation. I make it 11-12 year plan!
If you omplete a masters at your age you will get a Tier 1 visa.

Another thing to look into mate is that the US can be quite picky they may not recgonise your qualifications back home. rememeber a bachelors degree in teh UK is 4 years a lot of employers want 4 year bachelors in the states.
 
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