Which visa to apply for if any?

Old Apr 3rd 2019, 6:44 pm
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Question Which visa to apply for if any?

Hi, my husband and I have 4 children 2 reside here in the USA, and 2 reside in the UK, we are permanent residents in NC and own a modest townhouse here, we are moving back to the UK in a couple of years (we are reaching retirement age) we both have arthritis and would like to be able to spend some of the winter months here in the USA for the milder climate in our townhouse and to visit with 2 of our children and their families, whilst being permanent residents in the UK (living there the majority of the year) how would we manage that? would we be restricted to the ESTA a 90 day visa every year or is there another way? TIA
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Are you all British citizens? If so why not just apply for your US citizenship and then you can come and go freely between the two countries without needing a visa?
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

We could but that is a bit daunting to us, we only renewed our green cards last year and didn't really want to go down that route, but thanks for the suggestion.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Originally Posted by Cazmar1 View Post
We could but that is a bit daunting to us, we only renewed our green cards last year and didn't really want to go down that route, but thanks for the suggestion.
Why is it daunting to you? It would just give you freedom and flexibility. Remember only a citizen has the right to enter the US, you could be refused entry on the VWP. It’s not a risk I’d be prepared to take with children/grandchildren living there personally.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Being British Citizens we felt after continuing our NI contributions all these years that when we retired to the UK we will not have any issues with Medical or Tax issues, also we will be entitled to UK pension eventually and being an American Citizen we are not sure what if any ramifications there would be with regards to eligibility. There is so much to consider before making our final decisions.......TIA
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Originally Posted by Cazmar1 View Post
Being British Citizens we felt after continuing our NI contributions all these years that when we retired to the UK we will not have any issues with Medical or Tax issues, also we will be entitled to UK pension eventually and being an American Citizen we are not sure what if any ramifications there would be with regards to eligibility. There is so much to consider before making our final decisions.......TIA
Your NI contributions don’t give you eligibility for the NHS anyway, it’s based on residency. So as soon as you move back to the U.K. you’d be covered.

Having dual citizenship would have no impact at all on your British pension or NHS use.

Your call, but in all honesty after 20+ years in the US and with half your immediate family living there, I’d not be risking access on a tourist visa personally.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 7:03 pm
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Question Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

You have taught me more in the last few minutes that I have been able to find (straight answers) on the web in the last couple of months.
really appreciate your advice and knowing that now it is certainly something I am going to look into, phew i was under the impression it was all or nothing, both sides of the atlantic.
thank you so much!
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Originally Posted by Cazmar1 View Post
Being British Citizens we felt after continuing our NI contributions all these years that when we retired to the UK we will not have any issues with Medical or Tax issues, also we will be entitled to UK pension eventually and being an American Citizen we are not sure what if any ramifications there would be with regards to eligibility. There is so much to consider before making our final decisions.......TIA
US citizenship does not affect your entitlement to the UK State Pension in any way.

I agree that getting your US citizenship is the best way. You can then come and go as you please and avoid any risk of not being able to return. That seems crucial when you have family living here.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Originally Posted by Cazmar1 View Post
You have taught me more in the last few minutes that I have been able to find (straight answers) on the web in the last couple of months.
really appreciate your advice and knowing that now it is certainly something I am going to look into, phew i was under the impression it was all or nothing, both sides of the atlantic.
thank you so much!
Hey, look at me imparting knowledge!

There are lots on the forum who have dual citizenship (or even three or four citizenships), it doesn’t affect your eligibility for a UK pension at all - you could even claim your pension if you got citizenship and stayed living in the US. It works the other way too AFAIK, you’ll also be able to draw your US pension even if living in the UK (I’m sure somebody will correct me if I’m wrong on that).

There is a Wiki article about the pros and cons of getting US citizenship which would be well worth a read.

Good luck.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Originally Posted by Cazmar1 View Post
Hi, my husband and I have 4 children 2 reside here in the USA, and 2 reside in the UK, we are permanent residents in NC and own a modest townhouse here, we are moving back to the UK in a couple of years (we are reaching retirement age) we both have arthritis and would like to be able to spend some of the winter months here in the USA for the milder climate in our townhouse and to visit with 2 of our children and their families, whilst being permanent residents in the UK (living there the majority of the year) how would we manage that? would we be restricted to the ESTA a 90 day visa every year or is there another way? TIA
I'll re-iterate: Get Citizenship. You'll never have to worry again whether you might be refused entry.

You hint that you would keep your townhouse to stay in while visiting. Just imagine, owning a home here but not able to visit because you've been refused entry. It could also be argued that owning a property here makes you more likely to be refused entry as it could be construed as intent to overstay your VWP.

You'd be crazy not to.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post




you’ll also be able to draw your US pension even if living in the UK (I’m sure somebody will correct me if I’m wrong on that).


Good luck.

Not wrong. Entirely correct.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
US citizenship does not affect your entitlement to the UK State Pension in any way. ….
I should bloody well think not - I have been paying voluntary contributions precisely so I can get my British State Pension while continuing to live in the US!
…. I agree that getting your US citizenship is the best way. You can then come and go as you please and avoid any risk of not being able to return. That seems crucial when you have family living here.
Another vote for dual citizenship, with the only drawback being the matter of having to file US tax returns for the rest of your life, but I would consider that to be a minor inconvenience in exchange for the unrestricted right to enter the US to visit my children whenever I want, for as long as I want.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Originally Posted by Cazmar1 View Post
Hi, my husband and I have 4 children 2 reside here in the USA, and 2 reside in the UK, we are permanent residents in NC and own a modest townhouse here, we are moving back to the UK in a couple of years (we are reaching retirement age) we both have arthritis and would like to be able to spend some of the winter months here in the USA for the milder climate in our townhouse and to visit with 2 of our children and their families, whilst being permanent residents in the UK (living there the majority of the year) how would we manage that? would we be restricted to the ESTA a 90 day visa every year or is there another way? TIA
The visa “snow birds” generally use is the B2. I would be surprised if anyone on here recommended you apply for that given your current options.

You mention you want to be “permanent residents” in the UK. I assume you are referring to tax resident? You can’t just choose that, it’s dictated by your actions. Spend enough time in the US and you can become tax resident there as well as the UK, even on a visitors visa, both have their own tests for tax residence that are separate, it’s not either or. Owning a property in the US could factor in to that as well.

Depending on your assets you probably need to consider inheritance tax and from what you have said I would think health insurnace would be the biggest consideration. How would you get affordable US coverage, especially with preexisting conditions as a tourist? As a USC/PR some benefits like Medicare may help you there, but not on a tourist visa.

Last edited by tht; Apr 3rd 2019 at 11:21 pm.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 11:45 pm
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Default Re: Which visa to apply for if any?

Thanks everyone for you helpful responses,
It would make much more sense for us to become citizens after what you all have said, and that is our intention now, we obviously want unlimited access to visit our children/grandchildren here hopefully for a good few years until we are old and weary...lol so thank you all for your advice.
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