Go Back   British Expats / Living & Moving Abroad / USA / US Immigration, Citizenship and Visas

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Jul 20th 2017, 10:45 am   #1
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 6
T G Hayward is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Moving to the US:

Hello Expats!

I hope you're all well, nice to 'meet' you.

Firstly, I'm almost certain that there exists a thread on this topic already so my apologies for this. I have never been a frequent forum user and I'm sure this is breaking all kinds of forum etiquette - I promise I'll get up to speed quickly though.

My name is Tom, I live London but for the last 18 months I've been in a long-distance relationship with a wonderful girl from Salt Lake City. I've now got to the stage where I've had enough of long-distance and am looking to move over to Utah - which I completely fell for when visiting.

However, I have absolutely no idea how I would go about doing so. During my very embryonic research I stumbled upon this sight and thought it might be prudent to message some Brits who have made the move from the UK to the States. What is involved in the process? Is it costly? How long does it take? Is it feasible etc? I'm not naive, I know it's not going to be easy but I'm extremely committed!

Any help you might be able to provide would be so so so appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Tom
T G Hayward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 20th 2017, 11:14 am   #2
old age pensioner
Concierge
 
mikelincs's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: ex ex-pat, in Seaton
Posts: 20,637
mikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Quote:
Originally Posted by T G Hayward View Post
Hello Expats!

I hope you're all well, nice to 'meet' you.

Firstly, I'm almost certain that there exists a thread on this topic already so my apologies for this. I have never been a frequent forum user and I'm sure this is breaking all kinds of forum etiquette - I promise I'll get up to speed quickly though.

My name is Tom, I live London but for the last 18 months I've been in a long-distance relationship with a wonderful girl from Salt Lake City. I've now got to the stage where I've had enough of long-distance and am looking to move over to Utah - which I completely fell for when visiting.

However, I have absolutely no idea how I would go about doing so. During my very embryonic research I stumbled upon this sight and thought it might be prudent to message some Brits who have made the move from the UK to the States. What is involved in the process? Is it costly? How long does it take? Is it feasible etc? I'm not naive, I know it's not going to be easy but I'm extremely committed!

Any help you might be able to provide would be so so so appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Tom
Welcome to BE.

These are the ways to get to the US, please have a read.

Pulaski's Ways: How to Live and Work in the USA : British Expat Wiki

You have a very easy way, either go for the Fiance visa, travel to the US, get married within 90 days and apply for AOS. OR go over to the US on ESTA, get married, return to the UK and apply for the CR1 visa, then travel to the US once you have got it.
Travelling to the US on ESTA, getting married and then adjusting status is fraught with possible difficulties, the worst outcome of which COULD be a lengthy ban from the US
mikelincs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 20th 2017, 11:35 am   #3
Often not so civil...
 
civilservant's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: The Boonies, GA
Posts: 5,142
civilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Mike has given you the answers - only thing I can add is to read, digest, then read again. Then ask questions. You are about to learn a whole new language - immigration speak!
civilservant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 20th 2017, 12:16 pm   #4
Closed Account
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 38,867
ian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Quote:
Originally Posted by T G Hayward View Post
I've had enough of long-distance and am looking to move over to Utah...
So long as your intent is to get married, you have an easy path ahead of you. If you're not ready for marriage, then this is going to be an uphill climb... and a rocky one at that!


Quote:
What is involved in the process?
I see that mikelincs has given you the best starting link, so consider this: there are generally 3 ways to get to the US: family-based, employment-based, and investment-based. Family-based is, as already mentioned, the easiest route. If marriage isn't yet in the cards, then that leaves employment and/or investment... neither of which is easy or inexpensive!


Quote:
Is it costly?
Hard to say... since it depends on who's paying for the visa. For a family-based visa, about $2,000 (not including travel). An employment-based visa won't really cost you anything, but the US company that hires you will need to spend between $5,000-$10,000 to sponsor your visa. For an investment-based visa, anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000.


Quote:
How long does it take?
For a family-based visa... anywhere from 8-10 months roughly. Sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. For an employment-based visa... well, that depends on the visa - so anywhere from 2 months to a year or more.


Quote:
Is it feasible etc?
Yes.

Ian
ian-mstm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 20th 2017, 12:27 pm   #5
Iran / USA
Moderator
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 55,430
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Number one question is, are you and your girlfriend ready to marry? The answer to that will determine the type of visas available and how long they take.

Rene
__________________
K1 Journey began March 6, 2003
US Citizenship Oath April 24, 2009
Extended Immigration Timeline
Noorah101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 20th 2017, 12:45 pm   #6
Lt Col (Retd)
Premium Member
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 41,988
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Hi Tom, welcome to BE.

Many of us here have been through what you are contemplating. It seems daunting at first, but is very doable, and much more common than you might expect. I met my wife on-line 19 years ago (we have been married 17 years), and there are at least three active members here on BE who met their spouse on line before Mrs P and I met.

If you have agreed to get married the biggest and most significant decision you will need to take is whether to apply for a fiancé visa and get married, or get married and apply for a CR-1 spouse visa.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but the route is different, with the fiancé visa having more steps, more fees, and a significant gap during which work will be impractical or impossible, but you get to be together sooner. Whereas the spouse visa is a "one step process" - you apply for a visa (which has several steps) and you are sent a green card shortly after you arrive - there is no second round of form-filling in the US, unlike the fiancé visa which has more forms after you get married.

With the CR-1 marriage visa you can work upto the day you leave the UK, and are free to work the moment you have cleared immigration - literally right there in the airport if you had a job to go to!

You don't need a visa to get married in the US, so long as you plan to leave again (to apply for a visa), whereas your fiancée would need a visa to get married in the UK even if she wasn't planning to settle in the UK.
__________________
As quoted in the Grauniad.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 20th 2017 at 2:17 pm.
Pulaski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 20th 2017, 1:00 pm   #7
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 667
Twinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

I can assure you that a marriage-based (fiancé or spouse) route is not anywhere near as daunting as you might think it is. It's time-consuming and the waits are longer than one would like but I have to say I found the whole process quite simple and straightforward. The forms are pages and pages long but they don't ask anything that you don't already know (name, date of birth, etc). It's not an advanced calculus paper. If your relationship is genuine and you're a person of good character then you have nothing to fear.

I'd say getting here is the easy part. Leaving home, settling here and seeing this as home is the hard part for many people (see the many threads here about homesickness, wanting you go back to the U.K., struggling with the different way of life, etc). I appreciate you have visited, and visiting someone who lives here and staying in their home is somewhat different from staying in a tourist resort, but all the visits in the world won't prepare you for how different some things can be. I visited in excess of 40 times before I moved here. But there are some things you can't do as a visitor (work, for example) so you cannot appreciate the differences and frustrations beforehand.

I wouldn't worry about the visa process if you are going down the marriage route. I'd focus on beyond that and what living here would entail. Look into the available opportunities in your field of work. Would you need to re-train? Would your qualifications count here? What's the employment situation like in Salt Lake City? How much can you expect to be paid? Can you afford the rent in your chosen area? What social activities are available that would interest you? Just some of the questions you should be thinking about. It's all well and good moving for love, but you need to be happy with the other aspects of your life too.
Twinkle0927 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 20th 2017, 2:11 pm   #8
Forum Regular
 
Jack8602's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2015
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 251
Jack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond reputeJack8602 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Politest opening thread ever.

Welcome Tom, there's many folks here who'll help out with any questions you have going forward.
Jack8602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21st 2017, 8:02 am   #9
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 6
T G Hayward is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Hi all - thanks for having me, it's good to be here! I can't tell you how grateful I am for your advice so far, thank you.

So it appears like the marriage-based visa is probably my best route to proceed. And, thankfully, yes I am ready to marry which appears to improve my logistical outlook! How does it work with employment status through the marriage channel though? Do I have to have a job offer already lined up before I arrive on the marriage visa?
T G Hayward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21st 2017, 8:06 am   #10
old age pensioner
Concierge
 
mikelincs's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: ex ex-pat, in Seaton
Posts: 20,637
mikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond reputemikelincs has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Quote:
Originally Posted by T G Hayward View Post
Hi all - thanks for having me, it's good to be here! I can't tell you how grateful I am for your advice so far, thank you.

So it appears like the marriage-based visa is probably my best route to proceed. And, thankfully, yes I am ready to marry which appears to improve my logistical outlook! How does it work with employment status through the marriage channel though? Do I have to have a job offer already lined up before I arrive on the marriage visa?
No, not for either of them, you just need to decide which visa to go for, they both take about the same length of time, but with the CR-1 you are in the UK waiting, but once you arrive in the US after the visa being granted you are able to start work straight away as you will be a green card holder. With the fiance visa you have to wait in the US for the adjustment of status to be granted before you can work.
mikelincs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21st 2017, 8:11 am   #11
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 6
T G Hayward is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
No, not for either of them, you just need to decide which visa to go for, they both take about the same length of time, but with the CR-1 you are in the UK waiting, but once you arrive in the US after the visa being granted you are able to start work straight away as you will be a green card holder. With the fiance visa you have to wait in the US for the adjustment of status to be granted before you can work.
Morning (well good evening perhaps?) mikelincs!

If I were to proceed with the second option, how long could I expect to wait for the adjustment of status before I can work?
T G Hayward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21st 2017, 11:20 am   #12
Iran / USA
Moderator
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 55,430
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Quote:
Originally Posted by T G Hayward View Post
Morning (well good evening perhaps?) mikelincs!

If I were to proceed with the second option, how long could I expect to wait for the adjustment of status before I can work?
That 2nd option is called a K-1 fiance visa.

You don't have to wait for the adjustment of status to be completed. As part of the AOS package, you apply for an EAD (Employment Authorization Document). You must first marry, then apply for AOS/EAD. It takes about 90 days to get the EAD in hand. So you're looking at several months where you aren't work authorized.

Now that you've chosen a marriage based path, you should post your questions in our marriage based visa forum.

Rene
__________________
K1 Journey began March 6, 2003
US Citizenship Oath April 24, 2009
Extended Immigration Timeline
Noorah101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21st 2017, 12:05 pm   #13
Closed Account
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 38,867
ian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond reputeian-mstm has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
With the fiance visa you have to wait in the US for the adjustment of status to be granted before you can work.
No, you don't.

Ian
ian-mstm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21st 2017, 1:59 pm   #14
Lt Col (Retd)
Premium Member
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 41,988
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
No, you don't. .....
Agreed but you do have to wait for your EAD which takes anywhere between 2 and 4-5 months after you get married. .... Working for a few weeks between arrival on a K-1 and getting married is going to be impractical in most cases as you then have to stop work and wait for your EAD pending processing of your adjustment of status.

The effective result for most people is that you aren't going to be able to work for 5-8 months after arriving in the US on a K-1.
__________________
As quoted in the Grauniad.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 21st 2017 at 2:04 pm.
Pulaski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 21st 2017, 2:55 pm   #15
Rete Female
Concierge
 
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 38,832
Rete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to the US:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post

The effective result for most people is that you aren't going to be able to work for 5-8 months after arriving in the US on a K-1.
That's because most people are either young or stupid. Sorry but it is true. They are young and want those 90 days to live together to test the waters and marry on the 87th day and then don't have their paperwork together and only file for AOS maybe 2 to 4 weeks after the marriage. Add another 90 days for the EAD and you have 6 months of down time.

The mature way is to come to the US, marry within a week or two of entry, file within 7 to 10 days for AOS. We were able to get our certified marriage certificate straight from city hall 5 days after the wedding.

The K-1 is not a test the water visa but a marriage visa. So you enter and marry almost immediately.

Now I sit back and wait for people to jump all over me for my viewpoint.
Rete is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   British Expats / Living & Moving Abroad / USA / US Immigration, Citizenship and Visas


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 9:34 am.


Powered by vBulletin: ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1999-2010 BritishExpats.com