Go back after 15+ years?

Old Jun 19th 2014, 4:05 pm
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Default Go back after 15+ years?

My soon-to-be husband is a UK national who still has his passport/citizenship (he's a US permanent resident since 1997). He has children here with his ex-wife, which is why he's remained here, but over the past few years the relationship has deteriorated, and he has considered returning to England. I am completely supportive of this (having no family ties of my own), but I wonder what difficulties we'd face in the "new Britain."

As a lifelong Anglophile, I stay current on the news and see the trend of Americanization abroad, which makes me wonder if we wouldn't just be moving to Anytown, USA with better accents. I know that he would need to earn a minimum salary to sponsor my visa...is this even possible? We both hold university degrees (his from UK, mine from US) and have ample job experience, but here we're both under-employed. Would it be the same there?

Sorry if I rambled a bit here - there's so much in that question, it was tough to break it down.
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Old Jun 19th 2014, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by puckishone View Post
My soon-to-be husband is a UK national who still has his passport/citizenship (he's a US permanent resident since 1997). He has children here with his ex-wife, which is why he's remained here, but over the past few years the relationship has deteriorated, and he has considered returning to England. I am completely supportive of this (having no family ties of my own), but I wonder what difficulties we'd face in the "new Britain."

As a lifelong Anglophile, I stay current on the news and see the trend of Americanization abroad, which makes me wonder if we wouldn't just be moving to Anytown, USA with better accents. I know that he would need to earn a minimum salary to sponsor my visa...is this even possible? We both hold university degrees (his from UK, mine from US) and have ample job experience, but here we're both under-employed. Would it be the same there?

Sorry if I rambled a bit here - there's so much in that question, it was tough to break it down.
Under-employment here is one of the driving forces in my return to the UK in a few weeks. My other reason is it's my country and I am very homesick here.

As for it being the same as going to Anytown, USA, I don't think so, although you may find this to be more the case in the London area or any other city that is a huge metropolis. While I haven't visited recently, I have been on this forum for over four years and read tons of comments about it from other expats. Granted, some things have changed and follow in the footsteps of the USA, but not everything.

For example, employees are treated much better over there and particularly if there is a disability, I understand. There are still lots of good employers in the UK - unlike here. It's like navigating a snake pit in the USA!!! I don't know if the UK has the "at will" employment laws that many states in the USA have but I seriously doubt it.

There are more immigrants from all over the world in the UK - the European Union states, the Middle East, Asia, etc. and they are more concentrated over there because the country itself is smaller.

Recently, there was a huge backlog of passport renewal applications processing in the UK. Some people complained and went to the media. Within a few weeks, the Government began to put measures in place to resolve the situation. If that had been the USA, I think it would have fallen on deaf ears - for a few years!

There are restaurants over there of ALL different kinds, not just UK food. There are far more choices in the grocery stores there than there are here - by far - and food is cheaper over there - and much better quality.

I think job opportunities all depend what field you are in. I recently looked at some job sites over there and there are some great jobs - and more of them than there are in many parts of the USA.

They do drive on the opposite side of the road over there and that is a learning curve.

Cars and houses are smaller and roads are generally busier than in the USA. There is excellent transportation by bus and train over there - right across the country. You are also closer to countries like France, Spain, Portugal, etc. and it is not expensive to go there.

Americanism has certainly affected the country but it is still years behind the callousness of the USA in that regard. Of course, some industries are global and there are American corporations in the UK.

If you are thinking of moving even within the USA, it would be an adjustment and I don't think it will be much more of an adjustment to go to the UK; however, others might disagree. I think it depends a lot on the attitude you have towards your new country and if you are looking forward to it or dreading it. If we look forward to something we have a way of surviving those adjustment phases.

I have to say, most people are a lot nicer and much more helpful in the UK than they are here. All around, it is a softer, gentler society in a most beautiful country. If you haven't found or have perhaps lost your soul in the USA, you should find it again in the UK.

When I first came to the USA years ago, I quickly realized it is "quantity over quality" here but it is the opposite in the UK.

Last edited by windsong; Jun 19th 2014 at 4:55 pm.
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Old Jun 19th 2014, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

You would definitely not be moving to "any town USA", the UK is nothing like the US. Take it from someone who spent the past 18 years in the US and moved back to the UK a month ago.
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Old Jun 19th 2014, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by puckishone View Post
As a lifelong Anglophile, I stay current on the news and see the trend of Americanization abroad, which makes me wonder if we wouldn't just be moving to Anytown, USA with better accents.
Umm, you just insulted the whole of the UK and everyone on this forum but I'll try not to take it personally

Two things spring to mind:

1 - Visit. It's an easy trip, and the only way to get a feel for the place.

2 - Good luck with the someone-else's-kids thing. If I had a shiny british penny for every drama with that story line I'd be a kajillionaire.

Good luck!
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Old Jun 21st 2014, 4:18 am
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

It doesn't sound as if you've visited much, if at all? Sorry if I've read that wrong. I would definitely recommend visiting to see for yourself.

Not sure what you mean by the 'new Britain'. It has evolved over the years like anywhere else, but is still very different from the US, apart from having more malls maybe. More American expressions are used in speech, that's about all I can think of.

Employment prospects probably depend on the sector.
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Old Jun 21st 2014, 9:25 am
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

I agree with others that you really need to visit the UK to see what it is like. You can't get a good idea unless you spend time there. Its a recipe for disaster if you don't know the place you are planning to move to (and I don't mean know it from your childhood or from TV).
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Old Jun 21st 2014, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by puckishone View Post
As a lifelong Anglophile, I stay current on the news and see the trend of Americanization abroad, which makes me wonder if we wouldn't just be moving to Anytown, USA with better accents.
I think, for better or worse, it's more a general globalization that affects the whole world. In this respect, I feel America is less "American" than it was in 1950, just as England is less "English."

I remember visiting France, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia and other countries in the 1960s. Each of those places was quite foreign and alien in exciting ways. Now they seem much less so.. but I don't ascribe it to trending towards America in particular.
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Old Jun 21st 2014, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by puckishone View Post
"

As a lifelong Anglophile, I stay current on the news and see the trend of Americanization abroad, which makes me wonder if we wouldn't just be moving to Anytown, USA with better accents..
Not sure about the "accents" but we have better spelling!
Dawning realisation that globalisation is not necessarily Americanisation but could be Anglicisation. Or is that belabouring a point?

Sorry! Just teasing. I am now off to the Paella Soiree in our French village with my Croatian and my German neighbours. Doesn't get more globalised than that.
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 12:22 am
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

I want to go back my family and friends is there, my hubby and children who was born in the UK don't see what I see.
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 12:24 am
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

after 20 years
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

maybe if i go they will want to go back
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 9:25 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

What I normally find for the most part on this site is that everyone, well most do not have a bad word to say about the UK. Me on the other hand, well enough said there. All I can tell you is that the UK is nothing like the US. Everything will be alien to you. Some folks on this site say that it's cheaper here, IT'S NOT! Believe me I am talking from experience. The past 30 years I had lived in Virginia ( still have a house there ) also lived in Las Vegas, and on the Eastern shore. Over those years my now ex Wife would come to the UK on vacation twice a year and in doing so you only see it through rose colored glasses, live here permanent and you will slowly, very slowly find that it's more expensive.

Example's
Gas/Electric depending on property you can expect to pay 1200-1500 GPB per year you do the calculation.

Council Tax.
Once again depending on property and where I pay 1200 GBP for two bedroom apartment, and you would pay that even if you rent.

Car Insurance.
Depending on company and car. No they do not take into account your US no claims.

Petrol.
Approx 5.50 GBP per gallon about 8 USD.

Groceries.
You will not get a better selection here than the US. There will be many things you will not find here.

Taxation.
On many consumer goods you will pay 20% Value Added Tax (VAT)

Citizenship.
My best advice for your soon to be Husband would be to take out US Citizenship. He would then hold US and UK passports. As he has been there since 1997 it should be no problem. His ( Green Card ) may expire should he be out of the US for an extended period of time....... But whatever you choose to do I wish you both all the luck in the World.

Thanks
John

Ps. You have to live it to get a proper view of living here. Some posters on here have not lived it they go by what they have read. Also the earnings requirement have gone up to allow entry to the UK by the Border Agency.

Last edited by London1947; Jun 22nd 2014 at 9:35 pm. Reason: change
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by London1947 View Post
Car Insurance.
Depending on company and car. No they do not take into account your US no claims.

.
Not true, there are companies that accept US no claims bonus.
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by London1947 View Post
What I normally find for the most part on this site is that everyone, well most do not have a bad word to say about the UK. Me on the other hand, well enough said there. All I can tell you is that the UK is nothing like the US. Everything will be alien to you. Some folks on this site say that it's cheaper here, IT'S NOT! Believe me I am talking from experience. The past 30 years I had lived in Virginia ( still have a house there ) also lived in Las Vegas, and on the Eastern shore. Over those years my now ex Wife would come to the UK on vacation twice a year and in doing so you only see it through rose colored glasses, live here permanent and you will slowly, very slowly find that it's more expensive.

Example's
Gas/Electric depending on property you can expect to pay 1200-1500 GPB per year you do the calculation.

Council Tax.
Once again depending on property and where I pay 1200 GBP for two bedroom apartment, and you would pay that even if you rent.

Car Insurance.
Depending on company and car. No they do not take into account your US no claims.

Petrol.
Approx 5.50 GBP per gallon about 8 USD.

Groceries.
You will not get a better selection here than the US. There will be many things you will not find here.

Taxation.
On many consumer goods you will pay 20% Value Added Tax (VAT)

Citizenship.
My best advice for your soon to be Husband would be to take out US Citizenship. He would then hold US and UK passports. As he has been there since 1997 it should be no problem. His ( Green Card ) may expire should he be out of the US for an extended period of time....... But whatever you choose to do I wish you both all the luck in the World.

Thanks
John

Ps. You have to live it to get a proper view of living here. Some posters on here have not lived it they go by what they have read. Also the earnings requirement have gone up to allow entry to the UK by the Border Agency.
Depends where you live in the States, obviously. Coming from California or New York, some of those items will seem cheaper than what we pay.
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Old Jun 23rd 2014, 2:11 pm
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Exclamation Re: Go back after 15+ years?

<<<@[email protected]>>>

FYI John - the Council Tax ie. housing tax for our very modest 3 bedroomed house in New Jersey (18 miles west of Manhatten) is a shade under US$15,000 per year! There is also an annual 'sewage' charge of approx $140 per year. In addition if we wanted to use the local municipal open-air swimming pool (only open full-time in the school Summer vacation period) then it's another $360 to pay

Groceries:

The US is a huge country with a population of 317 million, so no wonder there is a wider selection of food items. However, I wouldn't dream of consuming a lot of them as they're so unhealthy...

I certainly don't want to be eating things like Cool-Whip (artificial cream) and bread which lasts for almost a month (because of all the preservatives). I have no interest in buying jars of "Goober's" (peanut butter with stripes of jam).

I definitely don't want to consume meat and milk pumped full of hormones, genetically modified fruit and vegetables, irradiated strawberries/soft fruit (of course, none of these products labelled as such) and all kinds of food - even bread - sweetened with highly addictive HFC (high fructose corn syrup - which is very cheap to produce). You won't normally find adulterated food like this in the UK, although I'm alarmed to hear that Monsanto continues to push for introducing GM crops in the UK (currently banned in Europe).

I've been in despair when standing in the supermarket aisles in the US, reading the food labels and being unable to pronounce the names of the artificial (chemical) ingredients on say, packets of breakfast cereals...some which even proudly state in large text 'artificially flavored blueberries' etc.

The problem is, the Wholefoods grocery chain (where you can buy natural food) is very expensive and commonly known as 'Whole Paycheck'. Whole Foods Market | Whole Foods Market

At least a 'Trader Joe's' opened in our town, they don't have a huge inventory but at least many of their products have cut out most or all of the 'crap'. Trader Joe's

I strongly recommend that any US or UK resident watches the documentary 'Food Inc.' about how food is produced in the USA (free on online streaming for Amazon Prime members)...

UK Residents:
Food, Inc [DVD] [2009]: Amazon.co.uk: Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, Robert Kenner: DVD & Blu-ray Food, Inc [DVD] [2009]: Amazon.co.uk: Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, Robert Kenner: DVD & Blu-ray



US Residents
:
Amazon.com: Food, Inc.: Eric Schlosser, Robert Kenner: Movies & TV Amazon.com: Food, Inc.: Eric Schlosser, Robert Kenner: Movies & TV

I'm not resident in the UK but I go there frequently on visits and fill up the car with food to bring back to Switzerland and I honestly don't miss any American food products....I actually went to Costco in Coventry and brought back a huge tub of organic coconut oil and chia seeds, however I did buy US pretzels (Kosher/natural) for my spouse, Typhoo tea bags, box of Cadbury's Flakes, large sized 'Comfort' fabric conditioner and Fairy Liquid. I also went to Tesco's and bought things like Branston Pickle, a box of Jacob's Biscuits for Cheese, 2 dozen tins of Heinz Baked Beans, Marmite, some spices and curry sauces which I can't find locally.

I truly wish I could have brought back some proper back bacon from England, sadly it would have 'gone-off' on the drive back here...
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