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Did you make it in the USA !!

Did you make it in the USA !!

Old Mar 22nd 2003, 6:54 pm
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Default Did you make it in the USA !!

Well,
after reading some of the sad stories in the US from my fellow countryman, and I must admit theres enough to put any prospective emigrant off such as my beloved , Im begining to feel the AUSSIES ARE RIGHT ABOUT US WHINGING POMS !!

Id like if possible for you EX-PATS out there to comment on your success in the US, and how your lives have improved since leaving the UK behind.

So come on lets hear it for uncle sams land.

Cheers - Mark and debbie
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Old Mar 24th 2003, 3:12 pm
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Default Re making it in US

Moved here 15 years ago. Husband was in RAF and was posted to Boeing in Philly on a 4 year tour in the liaison office. Towards the end of his tour they asked him if he would be interested in working for them. Stupid question, of course he said yes but had to go back to UK for 1year to finish out his service. At the same time I started work in the same office, but was working for the Brit Embassy in DC, they were my bosses, but I never saw them, which enabled me to get an A1 Visa. When Hubby came back from UK he was my dependant, as long as I had that Visa we could both work here. Boeing sponsored him and that is how we got our green cards. Lived in Philly for 10 years, transferred on promotion to Arizona 5 years ago. Great life. Own house on a golf course with a pool in the back yard. Perfect weather, sunny every day, what is not to like. Have just come back from a holiday in Scotland and we had a great time. Always said we would not go back, but retirement back there is looking like it might be a possibility, we shall see when the time comes. Hope this answers your question.
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Old Mar 26th 2003, 5:04 pm
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Angry living the dream

Hi there Mark. I too have long dreamt about living in the USA. I am lucky enough to hold a US passport but Im really frightened about making the move. I have read countless sites on expats but they all seem so negative and they seem to want to come back.

My husband is desperate to go but I'm worried about my children, the health care, the job situation. Do you worry or does your wife?

On the other side of the coin, the housing looks fabulous, the beaches and the weather wonderful. Is this just an american dream or nightmare?

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Mar 26th 2003, 5:16 pm
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Default making it in US

It is all what you make of it. You can have a very nice life over here if you are prepared to work at it. It is the same as at home, nothing comes easy. Having a job to come to would help, then the healthcare etc. follows on. I have on the whole found the healthcare system to be as good if not better than the UK. My son was 16 when we came over here 15 years ago, he is married now with his own son, he went straight into college here and has never looked back. If you can get over the Culture shock on arrival then you can make it. Good luck
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Old Mar 26th 2003, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: living the dream

Originally posted by Americandream
Hi there Mark. I too have long dreamt about living in the USA. I am lucky enough to hold a US passport but Im really frightened about making the move. I have read countless sites on expats but they all seem so negative and they seem to want to come back.

My husband is desperate to go but I'm worried about my children, the health care, the job situation. Do you worry or does your wife?

On the other side of the coin, the housing looks fabulous, the beaches and the weather wonderful. Is this just an american dream or nightmare?

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
You have my sympathy, we're in exactly the same situation.
In my case its me thats pushing as my profession over there pays a lot more than here.

We've tried like many brits with kids, to make a good home etc.
But all I see is this government destroying the family make up etc - wheres my married allowance gone eh tony !!

Also now the euro red tape machine is in full swing you just get completley exasparated by all your efforts coming to nothing.

The big difference with the US is you choose to how to spend it, who you spend it on etc. No nanny state there thats for sure.
plus individuals get a lot more tax breaks than in the uk. yes healthcare is expensive, but if you have a good employer in your chosen profession it comes with the job - in my case it has to. So that leaves healthcare costs for the remaining family only.

For example my NI payment last month was over £ 160. id pay the same in the states for my health care plan for all 4 of us roughly $250. difference is there i would receive better healthcare than they ever provide here - AND BEFORE ALL THE LABOUR LUVVEYS OUT THERE START RANTING , YOU'LL NEVER , EVER CONVINCE ME ITS BETTER - YOU COULD ASK MY FORMER NEIGHBOUR BUT SHE DIED LAST WEEK LEFT ON A TROLLEY IN WATFORD GENERAL WHILE HER KIDNEYS PACKED UP. THEY CAME BACK TO SEE IF SHE WAS ALL RIGHT 1HR 22MINS AFTER SHE DIED - SO STICK THAT UP YER SOCIALIST PIPE SIDEWAYS.

Also in florida we could afford to eat out maybe twice a week at a restaurant, here me and debbie last went out on Xmas day for lunch.
I can afford to enjoy my car, rather than sit there and wonder if the £40 ( $60.00) of fuel i put in will get me to work and back for the week. In Florida last year, we drove around in a Voyager and refuelled for $18.00 roughly £11.50 for a full tank.

Its true the schools are not the best unless you go private, but as a parent dont you have a resposibility to ensure you help your child to achieve his or hers dreams - so you bloody well help them rather than sit there and watch corrie. .

Quite simply it just comes down to as you said at the start of your post, you'll probably work as hard and your bills will probably on the house over there be the same as here - but do you have a swimming pool, do you have sun 320 days on average. do you have a glorious beach on your front door - sorry even Bournemouth on a good day cant compete with any gulf beach. You can afford to eat out without having to break the bank.

And for any average UK family thats got to be worth the effort to try and live there.

Mark and debbie
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Old Mar 26th 2003, 9:08 pm
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If you are prepared to work hard I believe there are more opportunities in the US than anywhere else in the world.

Yes health care is expensive, but you get what you pay for unlike the UK where you pay and get bugger all. We pay nearly $500 a month for health insurance but last year my husband had to pay 15,000 pounds in NI as he was self-employed and all that got us was waiting lists and incompetent medical help. I agree that it is better to decide where you put your money rather than donating it to a welfare state. Work all your life and pay NI to get 70 quid a week, no thanks.

We are loving it here. Lots of sun every day, so much more personal space and we won't be returning to the UK unless we have to.
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Old Mar 27th 2003, 1:55 am
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Originally posted by Vicky88
If you are prepared to work hard I believe there are more opportunities in the US than anywhere else in the world.

Yes health care is expensive, but you get what you pay for unlike the UK where you pay and get bugger all. We pay nearly $500 a month for health insurance but last year my husband had to pay 15,000 pounds in NI as he was self-employed and all that got us was waiting lists and incompetent medical help. I agree that it is better to decide where you put your money rather than donating it to a welfare state. Work all your life and pay NI to get 70 quid a week, no thanks.

We are loving it here. Lots of sun every day, so much more personal space and we won't be returning to the UK unless we have to.
Moving here was the best thing. New York was about the same as London, crowded and expensive, but since we left everything has improved.

Cars are half the price, and we sold a tiny 2-bed terraced house in London and bought a house almost four times the size for two-thirds the price, and with 1½ acres of land.

Most things are about as many dollars in the US as pounds in the UK, including restaurant meals.

And right now the Americans think we Brits are the best things since sliced bread - the daily discussion in the office is almost embarassing as everything that CNN and Fox reports involved "American and British soldiers", and today they were running a feature on British expertise in urban warfare.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 27th 2003 at 1:59 am.
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Old Mar 28th 2003, 1:53 pm
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Yes I made it too, and I didnt bring in any orange squash (see other threads) I live in the deep south (Louisiana) where it seems a British accent will get you 20 IQ points extra. Every day I am around new people, i get the same comments, "love your accent" and then they want to chat. Cant believe that my Leyton, cockney accent is so popular!
If you are employed by a large organization health care is no more expensive than in the UK (I pay $350 a month for a family of 5) and the GP level care here is very good, the US system has lost the victorian attitude to the patient still inherent in the british hospital system. I have been here 15 years and never thought about returning to live in the in the UK. So give it a try and PLEASE remember that you cannot replicate a British lifestyle (juice duvets curry and Yorkshire pudding) here any more than you can live in a huge american house with all the "mod cons" and a pool in teh back yard for $160K in the UK!
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Old Mar 28th 2003, 4:45 pm
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I must agree that it is better to not try and replicate your UK lifestyle if you really want to settle into your new life in the US. Of course there are things that I miss like Walkers crisps, Marks & Spencers chocolate eclairs, but you know when I go to the UK I don't bring anything back with me.

I try not to substitute for these items with similar items, but look for something totally new.
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Old Mar 29th 2003, 4:02 am
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Originally posted by Vicky88
.... I try not to substitute for these items with similar items, but look for something totally new.
Good on ya Vicky!

You're one of the few Brits that I've seen take a sensible attitude. When I left the UK I left for good, (and for better! ) and made a conscious decision not to hang on to all things British.

Sure things are different here, and there are a few things I miss, but I have no intention of forever having to visit the UK to stock up on Marmite and Hobnobs, or to pay the expat-shop prices. If you want to succeed here take America as you find it, enjoy what it has to offer, and leave behind what you left in the UK.

Oh! .... and if you move south of the Mason-Dixon line your accent will open doors for you! It was strange at first, and is still a little wierd, especially when recently one of my colleagues said to someone else, in the middle of a serious departmental meeting, "Be quite, I want to listen to <Pulaski>, I could listen to him talk all day!"
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Old Mar 30th 2003, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: living the dream

Originally posted by Americandream
Hi there Mark. I too have long dreamt about living in the USA. I am lucky enough to hold a US passport but Im really frightened about making the move. I have read countless sites on expats but they all seem so negative and they seem to want to come back.

My husband is desperate to go but I'm worried about my children, the health care, the job situation. Do you worry or does your wife?

On the other side of the coin, the housing looks fabulous, the beaches and the weather wonderful. Is this just an american dream or nightmare?

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
Hope you read my posting, and it helped you all along on that decision. As for me and my family we are going, the house is on the market and the permenant residence visas are in our hands now. On friday just gone you'd have had to pulled me off the ceiling I was that delighted after our interview / medical at the embassy.

My wife made up her mind to give it a crack on the basis that you only live once and life is a journey not a destination !!

And as i said in the earlier responce, give me the sun sea, and all the rest of it.

One more thing like my wife your a USC as you stated, your children even though there UK born can now automatically claim US citizenship from the moment you land. We found this out at the visa interview as the law had changed in late 2000 on this.

There's only 3 requirements to satisfy, one is the son / daughter of USC, second is must be permenant resident in US and the thirs at this moment i cant remember - its nothing major the first 2 are the most important.

That information for my wife was the deciding factor, hope this helps.

I get the feeling like my wife your UK born rather than US, and qualified through one of your parents - Am I right !!
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Old Mar 31st 2003, 8:52 am
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Sorry everyone else on this thread, the previous post was for Americandream only. Apoligies for not making that clear.

Mark
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Old Apr 1st 2003, 10:49 am
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Reading all these postings has made me even more desperate to move to the States. I've posted already asking for help with Visas. But any of your thoughts would be great. I'm a British Citizen - is the best way for me (and my boyfriend) to try to live in the states to get in on the Visa Waiver Programme and look for work? I understand from another poster that you shouldn't let on you're looking for work. Has anyone moved to the States this way? Are the only other ways through: being posted through work or through family sponsorship? I've got an Aunt in NY. How does it work? Does she sponsor me and my boyfriend gets in through me or do we have to marry first? Thanks.
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Old Apr 2nd 2003, 12:50 am
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Originally posted by Itchy Feet
Reading all these postings has made me even more desperate to move to the States.
There are basically six ways that you can get a visa to live and work in the US:

(i) Marriage (or engagement in anticipation of marriage) to a US citizen.
(ii) You have skills that are in short supply in the US e.g. IT, scientific or medical training.
(iii) You have an employer who is willing to transfer you - but even the employer has to make a good case for you - so you have to be a manager unless you fall under category (ii), above.
(iv)get a greencard in the diversity lottery (UK citizens, except N.Ireland are not eligible)
(v) You own a business (does not get you permanent resident status i.e. no greencard)
(vi) You are an "investor" i.e. you have at least US$1m in assets to bring with you.

It is not easy to get even a recruitment agent to take you seriously if you are not already in the US, but if you are getting a visa under (ii) above then you need a job offer before you can get the visa. It's a chicken and egg situation.

I would strongly recommend that you don't come to the US to seek work without a visa as no reputable employer would take you on as an employee even if there was work to be had, but as the US is, by most accounts, effectively in recession you are unlikely to find any work at all. And it is not just a matter of finding an employer to sponsor you for a visa - it has to a job that he can't expect to fill with an existing US citizen or permanent resident.


If you enter illegally and they catch you you will be deported and banned from returning (for ten years I think).

If you want to come to live in the US then, as a British citizen, the only realistic options you have are (ii) or (iii) in my list above.

Which ever way you try to do it, it is going to be very difficult, but if you really want to it is possible.

I hope this helps.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 2nd 2003 at 1:00 am.
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Old Apr 2nd 2003, 8:26 am
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it's just so hard to get to live there! since posting i got a reply from a lawyer who verified that i could come over under visa waiver scheme and look for work?! i'm eligible for the US lottery, but it's not a definite thing. don't have skills that i'd imagine would be sought after - work in television drama (?) - but my boyfriend runs his own IT consultancy business. Perhaps that's the best avenue. I'm determined we'll get there! Thanks for your help.
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