Moving UK parents to the US

Old May 4th 2021, 1:35 pm
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Default Moving UK parents to the US

My parents are in their 70s, and I'm starting to think about what will happen as they age and need more help. I'd like to be there for them, which is of course difficult at 3,000 miles.

Of course one option is to move back. The other is to move them here.

I'm wondering who has had experience of the latter.

I know the logistical difficulties, namely two big ones (a) the whole bureaucracy of immigration and (b) the whole hassle of setting up in a new country. I also know the practical challenges, especially their need to pay for private healthcare (which they probably could, but would not want to, afford). In addition, there's the huge cultural adjustment.

Indeed, this set of challenges is so great I'm inclined to think it is not viable. My wife keeps saying I need to think about it seriously, but when I do I break out in a cold sweat.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience of bringing older parents over, and can share insights.
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Old May 4th 2021, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

The only bit of advice I can offer is have you discussed this with your parents? Older people sometimes aren't too keen to up stakes and leave the familiarity of their surroundings and friends, especially if the move is to a different country. I can understand and empathise with your wish to look after them, but if they're quite happy where they are then your decision may be made for you. Best of luck.
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Old May 4th 2021, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

They like the idea in theory. They like the US, could afford a decent house, and would value the proximity to family. But I think they have not necessarily absorbed the full sense of what a relocation, compared to a vacation, would be like.
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Old May 4th 2021, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Another thing to think about is that the time will come when they are unwilling or unable to take a transatlantic trip. So, do they have siblings, other children, close friends, who, if they relocate to the USA, they may be unable to see again?
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Old May 4th 2021, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Originally Posted by classicmds View Post
They like the idea in theory. They like the US, could afford a decent house, and would value the proximity to family. But I think they have not necessarily absorbed the full sense of what a relocation, compared to a vacation, would be like.
It's a hard one isn't it? I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the huge cultural adjustment, I've read so many stories on BE over the years from people who thought that moving between one English speaking country to another would be a doddle, only to have a very rude awakening.

I don't know much about the US immigration system, but is there any chance your parents could come over for 6 months or even a year, rent a place, and see how they like it?
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Old May 4th 2021, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
I don't know much about the US immigration system, but is there any chance your parents could come over for 6 months or even a year, rent a place, and see how they like it?
Yes, I'd thought about that. I think they could either do it for three months at a time a visitors, or apply for green card and be here six months at a time. I think the main problem is health insurance, which would need to be maintained year round.
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Old May 4th 2021, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Another thing to think about is that the time will come when they are unwilling or unable to take a transatlantic trip. So, do they have siblings, other children, close friends, who, if they relocate to the USA, they may be unable to see again?
Good question. They don't have many close friends or family in the UK. But I do think they'd miss the UK and the rootedness they have in a place. In a way I feel it would only really make sense at the point that they would have to be in some kind of residential care, but that, of course, is probably too late in the day to make the move.
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Old May 4th 2021, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Originally Posted by classicmds View Post
Good question. They don't have many close friends or family in the UK. But I do think they'd miss the UK and the rootedness they have in a place. In a way I feel it would only really make sense at the point that they would have to be in some kind of residential care, but that, of course, is probably too late in the day to make the move.
First world problem, I know. My wife & I are 70, can’t decide where to live etc. etc. It’s kind of hanging over your head that at some point, the music stops, you have to stay wherever you are like musical chairs - even if it’s not really a good place to live out your final years.

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Old May 4th 2021, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Originally Posted by classicmds View Post
Yes, I'd thought about that. I think they could either do it for three months at a time a visitors, or apply for green card and be here six months at a time. I think the main problem is health insurance, which would need to be maintained year round.
if they use the VWP, they can stay 90 days per trip (no back to back trips).

If they get a B visitor visa, they can stay 6 months per trip (no back to back trips).

If they get a green card, they must live in the USA permanently (not 6 months per year as you stated).

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Old May 4th 2021, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Originally Posted by classicmds View Post
My parents are in their 70s, and I'm starting to think about what will happen as they age and need more help. I'd like to be there for them, which is of course difficult at 3,000 miles.

Of course one option is to move back. The other is to move them here.

, especially their need to pay for private healthcare (which they probably could, but would not want to, afford).

.
If you only think they could probably afford it, you need to make sure they can...... you are talking maybe a couple of thousand dollars a month here until they might be eligible for Medicare after 5 years as legal residents.
You say they could afford a decent house (which they would purchase) so unlikely to get subsidies for Obamacare policies.

As someone else has said they could try coming over for 6 months (B1 visa) renting somewhere and trying it out. They might hate the place as a permanent base!
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Old May 4th 2021, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

If they purchased a property in the US, and intended to stay for no more than six months under the B visitor visa, would that make getting the B visitor visa harder (i.e. raise suspicion they were trying to move since they had property?)
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Old May 4th 2021, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Originally Posted by classicmds View Post
If they purchased a property in the US, and intended to stay for no more than six months under the B visitor visa, would that make getting the B visitor visa harder (i.e. raise suspicion they were trying to move since they had property?)
The B1 is usually obtained by older people - those who are not likely to work illegally. As your folks are 70+ they fit the profile perfectly
Don't think that owning a property is going to influence getting the B1. There are plenty of folks who have bought property (Florida comes to mind) and who only visit for 3 months at a time.
The costs of owning property and only visiting for up to 6 months might be prohibitive.
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Old May 4th 2021, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

And you have to interview every time you want the B visa right? So you'd go for six months, back to UK, back to US embassy for the next year?
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Old May 4th 2021, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Originally Posted by classicmds View Post
And you have to interview every time you want the B visa right? So you'd go for six months, back to UK, back to US embassy for the next year?
10 years
The US B1/B2 Tourist visa is valid for 10 years after issue. It means that after that time, you will need to renew your B1/B2 Visa if you want to visit the United States again. Apr 15, 2021
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Old May 4th 2021, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Moving UK parents to the US

Afternoon,

I'm an American who has moved cross country to be with my husband after my retirement. I dislike it here. I'm 72 and longing for the day that I can move myself back to the State I grow up in and spent 68 years of my life.

Fortunately, I'm in the same country but unfortunately, living in the deep south is the extreme opposite of living just outside of Manhattan where my career was, my friends are and my pleasure pursuits were. Like your parents I moved and was close to my eldest daughter and three of my four children. While I love them all, the move has been difficult and the culture foreign.

IMHO your parents will not enjoy living in the US away from all that they know and hold dear. Yes, they will enjoy the novelty and the close proximity of you and your family but they will long for "home".

Why not allow them to see if they can get a B tourist visa. In this way they can come for several months and return to their home after their visit. If they are healthy, they might be able to get travel insurance for their healthcare.

If you bring them here and they require nursing home care, it will cost you a fortune. Why? Because you will be sponsoring them for residency and as such you will have to be their financial sponsor as well.

Really think about the pros and cons of this before even suggesting anything to them.
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