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USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Old Mar 23rd 2014, 5:30 pm
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Default USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

his is my first time on here. I have lived in the USA since 2002. I came with my husband and 5 year old daughter. We now have a 9 year old son. We have had a really challenging time in the US. We came to live with my father-in-law and his wife in California. However, he died suddenly following a heart bypass surgery, about 9 months after we arrived. We had to decide whether we were going to stay or return to the UK. We mistakenly stayed (we have a history of making impulsive bad decisions!) We moved to Colorado on an E2 visa having sold our London house andinvested in a trucking company. Fast forward to 2004, our son was born with heart disease, contracted fungal meningitis but miraculously fought it off. He then had open heart surgery at 6 motnhs old and is due for another open heart in a year or two for subaortic stenosis. All very traumatic. Following that the recession killed our construction related trucking business. Luckily, I had started a successful, unique preschool in my home. We are now operating within an art center in a small mountain town in Colorado. Both my husband and I run the bussiness and teach. We are very well known in the community and the preschool and afterschool programs are very well loved as they are so unique. So......we love our business, our amazing friends and all the families of our enrolled children. We both come from big families, although my mum died last year (I was unable to visit her or go to the funeral because of my visa problems), my sisters don't particularly like me and the 3 of them are quite close (they haven't ever visited me in the USA). My husband's sisters are lovely and we miss them and his mum very much. When my mum died, I got tremendously homesick and became desperate to go home. We also have money problems left over from our failed business and our income has dropped to a third of what it was. I am not permitted to work outside of our business which can be very difficult. I haven't been home since we came here in 2002 as we would probably not get the visa stamp in our passport that we would need to return to the US. Well, we are going through our e2 visa renewal and they have sent a request for evidence. We are now waiting to hear if we will be given another 2 years. I actually just want to run away from the US and start all over again in the UK. I want free healthcare for my son. I want good food. Rain. Stability of citizenship. I am really hoping they turn down our visa so that I can tell my community, friends and children that we have to go rather than me choosing to uproot my family for sentimental reasons.Any advice? Anyone in a similar situation? I have successfully run our Reggio Emilia inspired school for 5 years and I was a special ed teacher in the uk for 10 years.
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Old Mar 23rd 2014, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

OK. Now I'll reply!

First of all, I am full of admiration for your resourcefulness and the way you and your husband work as a team. It seems to me that despite enormous setbacks you have achieved a great deal in less than twelve years. You also seem to have a lot in Colorado that would be difficult to replace in the UK.

On the other hand, what you haven't achieved is security, either for healthcare for your son or your immigration status, and the latter in particular is limiting your options.

I'd be very surprised if the skills and talents both you and your husband have could not be translated into rewarding occupations in the UK, but the question is whether you could replace what you would be losing.

The choice might be taken out of your hands if you lose your visa application. Obviously you need to be prepared for that and have a contingency plan.

Meanwhile, I'd suggest doing some research on what the options are in the UK, so that you can make a comparison with what you have in Colorado.
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Old Mar 23rd 2014, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Sometimes you have to listen to your heart and not your head. It doesn't mean that its not a sensible choice if you plan it carefully. I have been in the US since 2006 and have been back and forth with immigration struggles which can be a drain. I have been homesick for the past two years and have finally made the decision to leave and will be home May 16th. The US is a place in my experience that can completely drain you. Everything is a battle and the the country is in bad shape. The American dream doesn't exist. If you truly feel that the UK is where you want to be and the being in the US is making you unhappy then go for it. There may be sacrifices but happiness is more important in my book. Im giving up my own house, new car, high paying job to move in with my parents while I get a job. Some people think i am mad and there are times when i do question my sanity myself. But my heart is in the UK with my family and I believe that if something is meant to be it will work out, and so far things are falling into my place for my move very nicely.
Good luck with your decision.
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Old Mar 23rd 2014, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

I agree with the above. We are starting from scratch when we return to the UK but its home. I also need good healthcare and a good school for my 5 year old. If you are hoping that your visa application is refused then isnt that a sign?

Go with how you feel. You both sound really well educated adults and Im sure you will have no problem with your careers if you return.
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 7:30 am
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Magic wand time - if you could wave a magic wand and make everything perfect, what would it look like? Where would you be? Then work from there I reckon! Must admit I wouldn't be busting myself in penury for an ongoing temporary situation if I didn't have to. If it feels like you are banging your head against a brick wall then keeping on banging it probably isn't going to make the headache go away.

I admire your resilience! That will stand you in good stead if you do decide to move on!
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Thank you for your responses everyone.
As I haven't been back to the UK in 12 years, it is very difficult to even remember what it is like to live there.

It would be hard to replicate our school and this small town community support, but not impossible.

My husband and I have a wonderful lifestyle business. We both work about 35 hours a week (together) which enables us to take our children to school and we are all together when they are on breaks. My 15yr old is just about to start her required volunteer project with us, so has been researching constructivist education, which makes me so happy that she will have a great understanding of her parents educational objectives (despite the fact she wants nothing to do with education when she leaves school)!

I have found the best friends of my life, here in Colorado. Luckily they all have the means to travel to the UK for extended holidays!

If I had a magic wand (excellent idea):

My school would be in the UK in the Stratford upon avon area, near our close friends.
My husband and I would continue to work together, either in a school setting or some other creative business.
My daughter would continue her education in an American style high school rather than have to do A'levels.
We would wipe our slate clean (no, we can't go bankrupt in the USA) by moving to the UK.

I won't make the choice to go back to the UK and throw away the school, but if they tell me to go back, I will do so happily. Our friend is in a position to sponsor me for my greencard, so if we get approved we will do that, gradually sort out our debts and start living again. Maybe that will stop my homesickness.

Has anyone else not returned for 10yrs or more, moved back and felt like they didn't fit in in the UK? All my friends over here are American. There are 3 local UK families in our town and I find that I have nothing in common with them. Am I going to be a fish out of water in the UK?

Hoping to hear other people's experiences and perception of the UK upon moving back after a long time away.

Thank you!
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Your latest posts doesnt suggest to me that you really want to move. If i were you then I would actually visit the UK and see how you feel when you are there. You might also want to think about talking to someone about the loss of your mother. You say you have been homesick since then but it may not actually be homesick it may actually be grief that you are dealing with.

Curious as to how a friend can sponsor you for a greencard?
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

I'm afraid I can't visit as it is unlikely I would get the actual visa stamped in my passport for my return to US.

You might be right about the grief but I also think any sane person would have given up by now and gone home. I don't know why I keep extending my stay, thinking it is going to get better. I think I stay because I am in a "better the devil you know" situation and I am frightened to return and be homeless and jobless. We have also lost so much money here that I want to try and recoup it but at the same time I don't want money to determine where I live.

I do not know my own mind, so it is probably best that USCIS is going to decide for me.

My friend has offered me a job that my lawyer deems worthy of an immigrant visa.
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Old Mar 25th 2014, 1:42 am
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

If I were you I definitely wouldn't go back to a place that you haven't even visited for 12 years. Things may not be exactly what you thought they were. Maybe resolving the issues where you are is the best course of action if you can't go to the UK and spend some time seeing how you like it there. Many people want to run away from things but from my own personal experience you can't run away completely and things follow you because a lot of it is based on feelings and you can't run away from yourself.

Just an FYI on the green card. Doing it the employment way is a lengthy process. Thats how I got my green card and it took 9 years filled with uncertainty of not knowing if they would approve it or not. Its a stressful project.
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Old Mar 25th 2014, 9:29 am
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Originally Posted by BlubellsInTheForest View Post
We would wipe our slate clean (no, we can't go bankrupt in the USA) by moving to the UK.
Can't you now file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to clean up your debts to get that off your shoulders? There is a maximum income requirement to file for Chapter 7 but Chapter 13 is always allowed. I believe that a Chapter 13 repayment plan can't exceed 5 years and the monthly repayment can't exceed what would be considered reasonable.

http://www.legalconsumer.com/bankrup...tate.php?st=CO

Last edited by Michael; Mar 25th 2014 at 9:35 am.
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Old Mar 26th 2014, 2:17 am
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

We went to see a lawyer and he said we would have to file for our corporation and personally which means our business wouldn't get approved for the E visa. All very complicated!
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Old Mar 26th 2014, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Since you are on an E2 visa, won't your 15y/o daughter age out in 3 years? Won't she then have to find her own visa to stay in the US, or return back to the UK? If this is the case. How does that possibility make you and your husband feel?

If you went back to the UK, your daughter could then qualify for home tuition after living back in the UK for 3years, an option that is out of reach if you stay in the US on another 2yr extension of your E2.

That's just my 2cents. I'm am American ex-pat living in the UK, planning my return back to the US. As a fellow ex-pat I would say follow your heart. It could be an extreme gamble, but if your heart isn't in the US, why continue fighting the visa stuff? Go where your heart is!
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Old Mar 27th 2014, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Just wishing you the best as you step forwards, it's all so very personal and yet it does help to get opinions and experiences. In case this helps at all, I agree with others that the simpler safer path that offers a foundation to build from is often best if this also reasonably aligns with your heart. The world seems to be getting harsher these days and building from a position of strength seems more important than ever, .. and I'm saying that as someone who never really did that very well in my own life! I think it can help to journal a little and just write out thoughts and feelings to get a feel for what matters most. Some clarity and revelation can come from writing that doesn't come so easily from thoughts alone.

I think it's also a good idea to spend some time following the politics in the UK. A lot has changed in the last 10 years, the government is drastically cutting social spending and local services. The NHS is being re-designed (or un-designed) and is in a lot of trouble and there have also been some very heavy handed initiatives and changes in all areas of education. I think it's fair to say that there is a lot of reasonable concern about where things are heading but these are personal views, and who knows how it will all evolve, Good to check into though and see if any of this factors in your own decision.

The US has plenty of troubles too, as well as being wonderful in so many ways (much easier to make friends in our experience, more open-hearted in many ways, and no litter!). But more significantly it sounds as if you are more vulnerable there. We moved to the UK from the US last year. My wife is American and I was away for 35 years. Overall we're glad to be here but it's a mixed bag, there are many things we miss dearly about the US. Which is as it should be, each culture has its own qualities and challenges.

I think it helps to ask where you feel your own unique energy and drive will best thrive and find nurture. And where you can have better access to the resources you require to achieve your goals. One of the best things about own move wasn't the move itself but the self-revelations that occurred as we tried to make our decision: who are we and what really matters to us? Some surprises there, and the insights will help us whatever our next steps! Best wishes..
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Old Mar 27th 2014, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Originally Posted by Bluegrass Lass View Post
Since you are on an E2 visa, won't your 15y/o daughter age out in 3 years? Won't she then have to find her own visa to stay in the US, or return back to the UK? If this is the case. How does that possibility make you and your husband feel?

If you went back to the UK, your daughter could then qualify for home tuition after living back in the UK for 3years, an option that is out of reach if you stay in the US on another 2yr extension of your E2.

That's just my 2cents. I'm am American ex-pat living in the UK, planning my return back to the US. As a fellow ex-pat I would say follow your heart. It could be an extreme gamble, but if your heart isn't in the US, why continue fighting the visa stuff? Go where your heart is!
She will age out when she is 21 and our aim was to get our green card by then. This is very difficult because I am ready to go home but my husband thinks we shouldn't give up. My daughter does not want to go to the UK and be separated from her best friend/boyfriend and I am not ready to be the one who pulls the plug for the whole family.
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Old Mar 27th 2014, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: USA to UK being sentimental or a sensible choice

Originally Posted by mickok View Post
Just wishing you the best as you step forwards, it's all so very personal and yet it does help to get opinions and experiences. In case this helps at all, I agree with others that the simpler safer path that offers a foundation to build from is often best if this also reasonably aligns with your heart. The world seems to be getting harsher these days and building from a position of strength seems more important than ever, .. and I'm saying that as someone who never really did that very well in my own life! I think it can help to journal a little and just write out thoughts and feelings to get a feel for what matters most. Some clarity and revelation can come from writing that doesn't come so easily from thoughts alone.

I think it's also a good idea to spend some time following the politics in the UK. A lot has changed in the last 10 years, the government is drastically cutting social spending and local services. The NHS is being re-designed (or un-designed) and is in a lot of trouble and there have also been some very heavy handed initiatives and changes in all areas of education. I think it's fair to say that there is a lot of reasonable concern about where things are heading but these are personal views, and who knows how it will all evolve, Good to check into though and see if any of this factors in your own decision.

The US has plenty of troubles too, as well as being wonderful in so many ways (much easier to make friends in our experience, more open-hearted in many ways, and no litter!). But more significantly it sounds as if you are more vulnerable there. We moved to the UK from the US last year. My wife is American and I was away for 35 years. Overall we're glad to be here but it's a mixed bag, there are many things we miss dearly about the US. Which is as it should be, each culture has its own qualities and challenges.

I think it helps to ask where you feel your own unique energy and drive will best thrive and find nurture. And where you can have better access to the resources you require to achieve your goals. One of the best things about own move wasn't the move itself but the self-revelations that occurred as we tried to make our decision: who are we and what really matters to us? Some surprises there, and the insights will help us whatever our next steps! Best wishes..
Thank you for your advice. I look forward to the replies on this forum and the simple act of writing helps to clarify how I feel. I think we are in a pretty unique situation as we have not been able to risk returning to the UK since we left and have had very few family visit us. Therefore, we have long since forgotten the realities of living there. We left the UK as our family ties were not strong and we were going on an adventure to sunny California. We are now in snowy Colorado, poor and the cost of living is high here as food is so expensive. It is very friendly here and our community is so supportive. My main worries are: Will we be able to start/buy a business that affords that same sort of lifestyle (not monetary) in terms of time with each other and our children. Will we become part of a small community again? I just don't think I am brave enough to sacrifice our school, close it down and go back to the UK. So, I suppose I have to find my own version of happiness amidst all the things that are wrong with my current life. Unless of course my visa gets turned down. I check up on it every hour and still no decision. has anyone else been in a similar via situation? It is sad to us that my eldest sister who lives in California decided against becoming a citizen because she could have then sponsored us for our green card and we would have it by now. She is one of those people who think everyone should have to fight for what they want and not be given the easy way out. In fact, most people want to move back to be nearer family and we are the opposite.
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