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Old Apr 14th 2012, 3:54 am   #136
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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Originally Posted by valspal View Post
Hi i am from UK but have been living in California for 28 years. I usually go home for a couple of months every year or two. I stay with my mum in Windsor, which is a train ride from London. I have been following your post with interest because i am often thinking of moving back and where would i like to live etc over the years. Economics and my daughter have prevented it so far. I am 52 and female. Maybe we happen to be there at same time and i can be of any help.
Thanks so much. I will keep posting here as time goes on and I will keep your offer in mind. Windsor is a lovely place, isn't it? It's too bad you can't find a way to go back if that's what you want. Do you like where you live now in California?
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Old Apr 14th 2012, 3:59 am   #137
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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Originally Posted by UkWinds5353 View Post
Sile

I don't think moving to a different country and leaving all you know behind is goofy at all, if you know in your core that the place where you are is not the place you wish to call home. A leap of faith,yes but its no different than any other judgement call we make in our every day life.It does however require greater planning and extremely reliable financial resources.

You can allways move back home if things were not to pan-out as planned.But what you can't do is turn back the clock and live a dream that has past you bye.These type of goals have an expiration date on them especially for individuals in our later years that move some where without knowing the lay of the land.At 65 years of age this goal is doable even if we've never lived in the country in question.

But to move to a strange new culture in a different country, is easier when we are in our 40's, and 50's in terms of socializing to make new friends, and in terms of setting up a support network and everything else that helps us to acclimate to a new place. I say, do careful research about every possible aspect, and if you are sure this is something you truly want,go for it.

Personally for me,I'm thinking about two areas,the outlining area of manchester because I enjoy being near but not in a large city.And the north has the reputation of being friendlier. Also in consideration an area about 50 miles near London. I'm still researching options.
Thanks for this thoughtful post. It really made me think again about the idea that I don't want to regret later on not doing the things I have wanted to do and living my life to the fullest.

Manchester has been mentioned so much...I think it sounds like a place I should look into further.
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Old Apr 14th 2012, 4:07 am   #138
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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Originally Posted by Diddly View Post
Hello

I've read this whole thread with interest.

I'm Irish, from Dublin but now live in England. When I first moved I lived in Central London and with every successive move have moved further out. I now live outside London in a semi-rural area but we are looking to relocate again. This time a much bigger move.

Rusty has said pretty much everything I wanted to about Ireland. It is a fabulous country but one which has changed hugely in the last decade. The boom has left a large legacy, especially in Dublin where large swathes of the city are covered in soulless new housing developments. If by moving you want a more quintessentially Irish house then I don't think those are for you.

I would happily move back to Ireland if employment for my husband were an option. His area is very specialised and one that unfortunately there is no market for currently there. If I were to move I would look at coastal or slightly inland Wicklow, Meath or north Co. Dublin. While these areas have suffered boom development with people priced out of Dublin using them as commuter areas there are still many 'old' towns largely unchanged. Bungalows are very common in these country towns and you will be able to get far more land for your money. You would need a car but if you were near a train station Dublin would be easily accessible.

London and surrounding areas are very expensive. Property prices are ridiculous. Public transport is also very expensive. We are 35 mins on the train for central London, a one way ticket is £6.60 There are slightly cheaper options by way of travel cards (£18 I think) but fares are only set to rise. London is a wonderful city full of opportunity but for me, personally I've had enough. It's busy, frenetic, expensive, dirty in parts.

Weather wise south east England generally has a slightly better climate than Ireland. That said, both are frequently wet and grey. However, there is something amazing about walking on a beach when it's wet and windy. That's one of the things I miss most about living in Ireland. There are stunning stretches of coast within a few miles of where I grew up. I loved walking our dog there in Winter (off lead). Now to take my dog to a beach I have a much bigger drive.

Without knowing what type of environment you envisage yourself living it's hard to suggest specific areas.

I realise I'm waffling now so to summarise, I would say definitely don't rule out Ireland from your move plans. I often read this blog which is an American woman's experience of moving to Ireland knowing nobody. It has a large foodie element which I love but even if cooking isn't your thing it might be informative.

http://anamericaninireland.com/
Thanks for the info....very helpful. Btw, I read that blog every week!
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Old Apr 22nd 2012, 11:15 pm   #139
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

Hello once again. I now have a few more questions about moving to the UK. This time it's about how to come over whilst waiting for my Irish citizenship. As I have mentioned, I am in the process of getting it, and I have been told it could take anywhere from a year to a year and a half. It is also possible that it could come sooner but I can't be sure. So, I know that I can come to the UK and stay up to six months as a visitor, but I think if I come as a visitor there is no hope of applying for any kind of extension, or leave to remain. I am trying to figure out how I would be able to come in any other way. As a self employed person I won't be looking to take a job away from anyone. I imagine I would have to prove I am self sufficient and would not be applying for any kind of benefits. So how do I come into the country as a US citizen waiting for my Irish citizenship so I can legally live and settle in the UK? I want to do this exactly right and legally, of course.

Last edited by sile; Apr 23rd 2012 at 12:28 am. Reason: Correction
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 3:04 pm   #140
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

Nobody?
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 3:12 pm   #141
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Post Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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Originally Posted by sile View Post
Hello once again. I now have a few more questions about moving to the UK. This time it's about how to come over whilst waiting for my Irish citizenship. As I have mentioned, I am in the process of getting it, and I have been told it could take anywhere from a year to a year and a half. It is also possible that it could come sooner but I can't be sure. So, I know that I can come to the UK and stay up to six months as a visitor, but I think if I come as a visitor there is no hope of applying for any kind of extension, or leave to remain. I am trying to figure out how I would be able to come in any other way. As a self employed person I won't be looking to take a job away from anyone. I imagine I would have to prove I am self sufficient and would not be applying for any kind of benefits. So how do I come into the country as a US citizen waiting for my Irish citizenship so I can legally live and settle in the UK? I want to do this exactly right and legally, of course.
I think you just have to be patient and hope that the Irish passport authority issues a passport to you without a long delay.

OTOH if you are a multi-millionaire I think most countries - including the UK - would be very happy for you to swiftly become a resident lol!

PS. I've just discovered that Boris Becker and the Formula 1 motor racing driver Kimi Raikkonen live in the same canton where we are in Switzerland as it has the lowest tax rates...(sadly my spouse doesn't get the tax breaks )
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 8:24 pm   #142
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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Originally Posted by sile View Post
Nobody?
You could apply for a long-term tourist visa - the standard maximum length of stay is six months, but you can also apply for longer-term ones if you can prove you have enough money to support yourself.

You could also leave the UK at the end of a six-month stay for a week or two, then re-enter, thus starting off another six-month stay, although this might prompt some questions from the immigration officials when you come back. At the end of the day, they're most concerned with the fact that they don't want people coming in who are spongers, so if you do get pulled aside coming in and asked about your income, etc, be sure to have bank statements or other proof of income or savings with you.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 9:42 pm   #143
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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Originally Posted by Rusty Chainsaw View Post
You could apply for a long-term tourist visa - the standard maximum length of stay is six months, but you can also apply for longer-term ones if you can prove you have enough money to support yourself.

You could also leave the UK at the end of a six-month stay for a week or two, then re-enter, thus starting off another six-month stay, although this might prompt some questions from the immigration officials when you come back. At the end of the day, they're most concerned with the fact that they don't want people coming in who are spongers, so if you do get pulled aside coming in and asked about your income, etc, be sure to have bank statements or other proof of income or savings with you.
I didn't think I had to apply for a visa to come as a visitor for six months. Are you sure about that? Also, how does one apply for the longer term one you mentioned? Is that done before you come into the country or when you have been there nearly six months? I don't want to take a chance going in and out and hoping for the best. I need to do this the right way. My intention is to really settle down somewhere.
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 10:19 pm   #144
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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Originally Posted by sile View Post
I didn't think I had to apply for a visa to come as a visitor for six months. Are you sure about that? Also, how does one apply for the longer term one you mentioned? Is that done before you come into the country or when you have been there nearly six months? I don't want to take a chance going in and out and hoping for the best. I need to do this the right way. My intention is to really settle down somewhere.
You're correct that you don't need to apply for a visa if you're only planning to stay for up to six months. If you want to stay longer, you have to apply for one, either that, or take the risk that you might get turned away at the border if you leave at the end of the six months and then return shortly afterwards. You can apply for FLR (further leave to remain) while you're in the UK - details are here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/vi...eneral/extend/ - but you're probably better off applying beforehand. I can't find the exact page on the UKBA site about it, but here's the page about non-visa nationals: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/vi...isa-nationals/
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Old Apr 23rd 2012, 11:53 pm   #145
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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Originally Posted by sile View Post
I have never been to another country.
The sentence above leads me to advise you to visit England first before moving there. For someone who has spent her entire life in America and never visited another country, moving out of America, though exciting, would be rather unsettling and alienating I would think.
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Old Apr 24th 2012, 1:30 am   #146
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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The sentence above leads me to advise you to visit England first before moving there. For someone who has spent her entire life in America and never visited another country, moving out of America, though exciting, would be rather unsettling and alienating I would think.
Gee, thanks.
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Old Apr 24th 2012, 7:08 am   #147
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

I think you have to wait as long as it takes. Immigration is always a slow business - I've done it three times myself and never want to see another immigration official wielding forms as long as I live!

Regarding advice on moving back, my move has shown me how vital it is to start out in the right place. I rented short-term here (6 weeks) and now I wish I could stay longer. I suspect when we buy, it will be in this town. I recommend renting holiday lets in a few parts of the country and then seeing where you're happiest. Americans tend to think London = England, but nothing could be further from the truth. Like New York vs the rest of America, London is a world unto itself.

Go to Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Lake District, Yorkshire, the Peak District, Norfolk. Go to the coast and to the Dales. Try a city, a market town and a village. If in the end you decide England isn't for you, you'll still have had a "grand tour" and an amazing experience. (And this doesn't have to be expensive - you could stay in caravans rather than in cottages in many places). You'll find many of your preconceptions are wrong - you might think you wouldn't like the weather up north for example, but unless you've been here and experienced it, you can't know. There's not all that much difference between the climate in any part of the country - think the degrees of difference between DC and New York rather than the difference between New York and Alabama. You might think you have to be near a big city, but then realize that other things become more important to you. There's no comparison between imagining and doing and if I were you, I'd approach this as a big experiment, learning as I go.

Oh and don't come in the winter. This is the perfect time of year to arrive in Britain.

Last edited by sallysimmons; Apr 24th 2012 at 7:12 am.
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Old Apr 24th 2012, 1:50 pm   #148
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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The sentence above leads me to advise you to visit England first before moving there. For someone who has spent her entire life in America and never visited another country, moving out of America, though exciting, would be rather unsettling and alienating I would think.
Oh, wow. This, times a hundred! Especially since you're not moving with a job or family to orient you. Even a short visit first would be better than nothing.

I moved to Japan without having visited before -- but that was with an employer and lots of other people in the same position, plus I'd already spent time out of my home country. And it was still challenging. As was moving to California, where I at least speak the language. I think adventure is awesome, but you've got to give yourself the chance to succeed, and be practical about your preparation.

If you think a short visit isn't cost effective, Sally Simmons' idea of a 'grand tour' is fantastic. Kind of a 'try-before-you-buy' period. You could arrange your stuff to be shipped from the US at a later date, when you know you want to stay.

Even if you had traveled anywhere before, I'd still advise a pre-immigration visit, and since you haven't ever left the US I think it's absolutely vital. To assume it's an unnecessary expense is, in my opinion, very naive, as was your sarcastic response to Primula. It sounds like you might be rushing this.
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Old Apr 24th 2012, 7:37 pm   #149
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

Moshimoshi and primula,
The reason for my " gee, thanks" response is that it has taken me quite awhile to get to the point where I think I can do this, and then someone jumps in and says it's essentially a ridiculous idea to just go. But I am hardly rushing into this. I have been thinking about it and researching for years. This isn't just some flighty idea I just came up with yesterday. And saying I am naive...what is the point of that? I clearly don't know everything, otherwise I would not be on these boards asking questions.
Having said all that, I do appreciate your comments and suggestions and certainly have considered those ideas before you posted. I don't think visiting is an unnecessary expense, but it is an expense and I also hate flying, so I would like to just go once.

Sally, thanks for your thoughtful response and ideas. Although it sounds like a good idea in some ways, I would like to choose a place to rent for 6 months or so and travel out from there. Right now, I feel very discouraged and wonder if I should do this at all.

Last edited by sile; Apr 24th 2012 at 7:56 pm. Reason: Correction
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Old Apr 24th 2012, 8:15 pm   #150
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Default Re: American would love advice re:moving to England

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Moshimoshi and primula,
Right now, I feel very discouraged and wonder if I should do this at all.
I don't think you should feel discouraged, but I do think that visiting beforehand is an expense that should be allowed for.

If you are going to move there without visiting, you should allow a large financial buffer for unforseen expenses and return airfare, should things not work out. Be optimistic but careful.

I only say this because you're in a pretty rare situation, a) having never left the US and b) not having a job or family specifically bringing you to the UK.

There's no reason why it can't work out, but I do think you have to be extra cautious. It's going to be a really new situation for you, without the support many other expats have.

I love living overseas, but even in an English-speaking country there are challenges and surprises, big and small. Some days that's great, and some days it really wears you down.

If you've never left America, you might not realize that a lot of the stuff you regard as 'normal life' is actually 'American life'. A million little things; attitudes to alcohol, how people chat at bus-stops, where things are in the supermarket, where best to buy homewares. It all sounds sooo trivial, but when you're overseas there's no escape from the unrelenting unfamiliarity, and - cumulatively - it can get you down. If you haven't been overseas before, this is going to be a bigger shock for you than most. It might also be weird to find yourself a 'foreigner' for the first time.

Given your circumstances, I just think visiting before you make a huge commitment would be safer. Again, I love living overseas, and I believe in all the 'you only live once' sentiment! But if you're a footloose nineteen-year-old, or a completely fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type, you have to go into it with your eyes open. It's more than just getting a passport and shopping for a location.

Last edited by MoshiMoshi; Apr 24th 2012 at 8:24 pm.
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