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Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Old Aug 12th 2011, 6:32 pm
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Default Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Hi,
I have decided, like many others before me, to finally make the move from the UK to New York. As many have also said before me, I love the city and have visited before. I do realise the cost of living is high there but I am very committed to doing my research in order to make this dream happen.

What I am thinking about at the moment is getting a job here in order to save some money. I was then thinking on asking a friend to spend 3 months with me on the 90- day visa in New York to experience the city in more detail before taking the plunge to go ahead and apply for a more permanent visa. I am also considering being an "au pair" for a year to also gain experience of the city.

I, therefore, would like to ask any brits (but any nationalities welcome) how they found a job in order to make their visa application successful. Also, how long does the whole visa process take? From my research, the answers vary so I would like personal stories and experiences.
With regards to money and housing, I have looked at various Manhattan estate agents online and am aware of property prices. It would just be me moving (ideally I would convince my friend too as he loves an adventure but I am not relying on this).
Concerning social life, I know New York has a reputation as the "city that never sleeps" but you can't do a lot if you don't know anyone! Therefore, my next question is; how quickly do you meet new people? What sorts of things do you typically get up to with them?

Lastly, could you describe a typical day in New York for you and do you regret moving?


Thank you in advance for all your help,

Jess
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 7:19 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

What is your line of work/experience etc.

You need to have a profession which is in demand here before employers are willing to sponsor (put in time and money) you for a visa.
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 7:21 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Originally Posted by jessrox2 View Post
What I am thinking about at the moment is getting a job here in order to save some money. I was then thinking on asking a friend to spend 3 months with me on the 90- day visa in New York to experience the city in more detail before taking the plunge to go ahead and apply for a more permanent visa.
How do you plan to get the 'more permanent visa' i.e. which visa route? What do you do?

Welcome to the forum btw.
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 7:29 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

I'm a recent graduate of Spanish. I have retail experience and also school experience.
I am aware that I may not have enough experience but I believe I can sell myself well. Do you think the ability to speak spanish could be useful for me or not?


At the moment I'm still trying to gain work experience, mainly by working in schools. I was hoping on going down the employment visa route but I realise this may not be successful for me due to my limited work experience. Therefore, I was also considering the student visa route in order to obtain an american qualification and I have read that this is a good starting block to gaining a green card.

Also, thank you for the welcome :-)
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Hello Jess,

Before you start planning your Manhattan social life, read this first:

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=585898

If you're going the college route, do you have sufficient funds to pay out-of-state tuition, living expenses etc?
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Originally Posted by jessrox2 View Post
I'm a recent graduate of Spanish.
A degree, or masters?

Originally Posted by jessrox2 View Post
I have retail experience and also school experience.
What sort of experience? Bit of a difference if 'retail experience' means you worked as a shop assistant against being a national manager of a chain of shops - nothing wrong with being a shop assistant, but it's just not going to lead to a visa for the US or mean an employer will go to the cost/hassle of sponsoring your visa (although not sure they would for a manager either, but hey!).

Originally Posted by jessrox2 View Post
I am aware that I may not have enough experience but I believe I can sell myself well.
Unfortunately though, selling yourself well won't be of any use if you don't qualify for a visa in the first place.

Originally Posted by jessrox2 View Post
Therefore, I was also considering the student visa route in order to obtain an american qualification and I have read that this is a good starting block to gaining a green card.
Sounds like a good plan, but you mention finding a job to save up money in your first post, so are you aware of how much this will cost? With international fees and cost of living, you won't get much change from $50,000 for a US degree course I wouldn't think.

I'm not saying you shouldn't go for it, because of course you should give it a try. But you do need to know if it's realistic before you plan too far ahead, and the visa is obviously the biggest stumbling block for most people. Have a read of this to see which you'd qualify for, and then you can come back and ask questions about it...............http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulaski's_Ways%3A_How_to_Live_and_Work_in_the_USA

HTH a bit, good luck.
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Hiya
It is pretty difficult to move to the US, and being determined to move to one area makes it more difficult. Like everyone else has said, it's the visa you need to think about first. There is lots of useful information on this site about different visas.
If you decide it is your long term goal to move to the US, then you could think about progressing with a career with a company in the UK which has offices in the US, and which is willing to do transfers. You would need to excel to be able to move as the company needs to show that you worth the effort in moving you.
This is what we did. Hubby worked for the company for a few years in the UK and was then offered a transfer to the US.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Originally Posted by jessrox2 View Post
Do you think the ability to speak spanish could be useful for me or not?
It is useful - there are lots of people in the US who speak Spanish (or, at least, a version of it).

Unfortunately it will be of little or no use to you when it comes to trying to find a job and a visa because ... there are already lots of people in the US who speak Spanish ...
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
It is useful - there are lots of people in the US who speak Spanish (or, at least, a version of it).
The differences between Castilian (the Spanish spoken in Spain, not forgetting Basque, Catalan et al) and American Spanish (taught in schools) and Latin American Spanish (spoken all over the continent) is a very interesting topic.

Last edited by sir_eccles; Aug 12th 2011 at 10:22 pm. Reason: because I almost did
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
The differences between Castilian (the Spanish spoken in Spain, not forgetting Basque, Catalan et al) and American Spanish (taught in schools) and Latin American Spanish (spoken all over the continent) is a very interesting topic.
I know that a Spanish friend of mine says that when he flies to the US he cannot bear to listen to the "Spanish" sound track for the inflight movies and prefers to listen to them in English ...
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Old Aug 13th 2011, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

After reading the wiki link on ways into the US....from what little you've said, think very long term plans instead of a quick fix route to the US.

Don't do the dodgy VWP faffing around thing. Au pair is less likely, coming from the UK.

Get a masters and some solid work experience, or study in the US would be the best options as of right now.
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Old Aug 14th 2011, 5:25 am
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Originally Posted by jessrox2 View Post
Hi,
I have decided, like many others before me, to finally make the move from the UK to New York. As many have also said before me, I love the city and have visited before. I do realise the cost of living is high there but I am very committed to doing my research in order to make this dream happen.

What I am thinking about at the moment is getting a job here in order to save some money. I was then thinking on asking a friend to spend 3 months with me on the 90- day visa in New York to experience the city in more detail before taking the plunge to go ahead and apply for a more permanent visa. I am also considering being an "au pair" for a year to also gain experience of the city.

I, therefore, would like to ask any brits (but any nationalities welcome) how they found a job in order to make their visa application successful. Also, how long does the whole visa process take? From my research, the answers vary so I would like personal stories and experiences.
With regards to money and housing, I have looked at various Manhattan estate agents online and am aware of property prices. It would just be me moving (ideally I would convince my friend too as he loves an adventure but I am not relying on this).
Concerning social life, I know New York has a reputation as the "city that never sleeps" but you can't do a lot if you don't know anyone! Therefore, my next question is; how quickly do you meet new people? What sorts of things do you typically get up to with them?

Lastly, could you describe a typical day in New York for you and do you regret moving?


Thank you in advance for all your help,

Jess
As for right now, with the economy still being in the toilet and companies not really having the money to sponsor anyone who isn't in a highly specialized field, I'd recommend looking at the two websites below.
Yes NYC is very expensive, even with your pound to dollars conversion its stupidly pricey. Start saving up!


http://www.mountbatten.org/mipweb.ns...y_a_year_in_ny

http://www.bunac.org/uk/workamerica/
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Old Aug 14th 2011, 3:20 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
It is useful - there are lots of people in the US who speak Spanish (or, at least, a version of it).

Unfortunately it will be of little or no use to you when it comes to trying to find a job and a visa because ... there are already lots of people in the US who speak Spanish ...

Agreed. You have almost as many Spanish speaking people in NYC as you do English speaking. I realise that there are all different types of Spanish dialects but in NYC( and in much of the states) people who speak Spanish are a dime a dozen.
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Old Aug 14th 2011, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Originally Posted by jessrox2 View Post
I'm a recent graduate of Spanish. I have retail experience and also school experience.
I am aware that I may not have enough experience but I believe I can sell myself well. Do you think the ability to speak spanish could be useful for me or not?


At the moment I'm still trying to gain work experience, mainly by working in schools. I was hoping on going down the employment visa route but I realise this may not be successful for me due to my limited work experience. Therefore, I was also considering the student visa route in order to obtain an american qualification and I have read that this is a good starting block to gaining a green card.

Also, thank you for the welcome :-)
As others have pointed out, There are about three million people who claim to be native speakers of Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican and other national origins living in NYC. There are many non native speakers of spanish as well

To teach you need NYS license. To get permanent residence for school teachers is not easy.

If you choose to go to Grad School (for a student visa) keep in mind, even the cheapest education will probably be more expensive than you imagine.

Expect to show about 30-35,000/year room+ board for a CUNY degree.
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Old Aug 15th 2011, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Advice from people who've moved from UK to New York

Other people have already highlighted to hurdles you might face so rather than me saying the same thing I'll just give my experience.

I came over on a J1 visa - initially for 6 months, that got extended to 12 months and then the maximum 18 months. In that time I met my future wife so when the J1 expired I returned to the UK for around 5 months while I waited to re-enter the US, marry and then go on to get a green card.

While I stress the legitimacy of the marriage, the truth is it's the only reason I was able to return - my degree was enough to get me on the J1 but realistically speaking it's not strong enough to have got me sponsored by a company that wanted to hire me. Had I not got married I'm pretty confident I wouldn't have been able to return.

You also mentioned meeting people - everyone's experience is different but I tend to feel the typical New York experience is that it's hard to meet people here. As I say, that differs for everyone.

Lastly you asked about a typical day - well, it's the same as anywhere. Get up, go to work, come home from work. Throw in chasing a landlord over an issue, a jog round the park or paying a few bills. It's the same as living in most big cities really - you quickly forget the tourist side and you just get on with functioning.
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