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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am hoping to move to the UK in about three years after I finish my military service in the US and I am also thinking of opening an international savings account now with a British bank so I will have money when I get there. The main question I have is: If I already have an account there, will it help me gain a better chance at residency in the UK or is it still the same thing as normal immigration laws?

Thanks for any advice or info.

Shawn
 

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I dont know for sure, but I cant see why having a UK bank account would make any difference to your application, unless you have a huge funds available in it showing that you wouldnt need to work or take state benefits. You'll need sponsoring by an employer as normal I'd have thought
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I think it might be difficult to get a UK bank account, actually. They are quite strict about proving your address and such, and restrictive of what sort of account they will give people. I am currently on a 1 year student visa and just haven't been able to get a good account. I am hoping that when I switch to a 2 year post study work visa that I will be able to get a better bank account.

If you are in the UK because you are stationed there you MIGHT be able to get one, but I think they might expect you to just go through the military banking system and might not be all that willing to let you open an account. The amount you have to deposit, unless it were REALLY a lot, probably wouldn't entice them much. I had a large initial deposit between savings and student loans and they seemed entirely unimpressed.

I doubt having the account in the UK would help as far as immigration. Having savings in the US in dollars will do you the same amount of good as having that money in the UK. Since you are making money in dollars at the moment I would think, you would have to be converting your currency every time you make a deposit, so with currency fluctuations it could help or hurt you in the long run. Of course no one knows what the dollar will be worth in 3 years, it might buy you more £s or less. It's always a gamble.

I would suggest just saving what you can so you can show substantial nest egg. But in the end, for immigration, they just like to see that you have savings so you won't end up on the street or needing financial support for which you will not be eligible. You'll still need to deal with either meeting the requirements for the Tier 1 Highly Skilled or Tier 2 sponsored worker visas, I would think.

Best,
Elizabeth
 

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You probably will find that there are two different kinds of accounts in the UK - those for residents and non-resident accounts, which may or may not be restricted. Having a UK account won't help a bit in getting a visa, especially a work visa - and when you finally do become resident in the UK, you'll have to change or convert your account to a resident account.

Work visas are tough to get, especially when unemployment is high in your target country. You want to start working on developing some sort of skill or experience in your field that is in demand in the UK. It makes the job hunt go much better.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the advice everyone. Bev if it is at all possible could I contact you by email about a few things as you seem to have alot of information at your disposal. I don't mean to disrespect the other posters, but I just feel that you may have the best information to date.
 

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Thanks for all the advice everyone. Bev if it is at all possible could I contact you by email about a few things as you seem to have alot of information at your disposal. I don't mean to disrespect the other posters, but I just feel that you may have the best information to date.
I've got no objection to fielding some e-mails (or private messages), but unless you're dealing with stuff that is highly personal, it would be nice to share the information with everyone on the board. We have lots of lurkers who may be in a similar situation and could benefit from the information.

Also, when I went to live in the UK, it was a transfer through my employer, so I didn't get involved in all the details. We've got a number of folks here on the forum who have much more recent experience working their ways through the British immigration system.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Just to reiterate what other posters have said:
1. Having a UK account has no consequence for your eventual immigration success. US account is more than sufficient, as you will be applying for visa at your local designated UK consulate, showing evidence of local (i.e. US) funds.
2. As Bev and others have said, your plan must be a very long term one, as there's no easy way for Americans to immigrato to UK (or vice versa, for that matter). There is no ancestry or youth mobility visa (for certain Commonwealth citizens only). Only two realistic ways include marrying or being a partner (of either sex) of a British or EU/EEA citizen (easier if it's the latter), and some kind of work visa (Tier 1 or 2 of points based system or PBS). For the latter, you either have to be highly qualified and experienced, or being sponsored - usually but not invariably by US corporation with UK operation as intra-company transfer. For the latter, you must be in a senior position (not a general clerk etc) and have worked for them for some time. There are other categories with limited work opportunities, such as full-time student and voluntary/charity worker, which will at least give you a taste of living in UK. Other categories like being an enterpreneur or academic/artist/sportsperson etc are usually beyond the reach of ordinary people, as you must be extremely rich (e.g. investing large sums in UK and creating jobs for locals) or internationally acclaimed.
 
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