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Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Old Oct 23rd 2011, 1:06 pm
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Default Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

I've looked throughout the forum but can't find a 'checklist' for activity for moving from UK to US...i.e. for all the stuff that needs to be done AFTER the Visa has been granted.

If there is a Wiki or post that covers it, please re-direct me! Thank you.

My Situation is this
I am UKC. Wife is USC. My Visa was granted last month, so we have 5 months to move! We're going to Santa Barbara, Ca. ( as soon as our house sells)

If there isn't already one, does anyone have a definitive 'checklist' for activity? Preferably with first hand experience - that they USED successfully!

The sort of things I'm looking for include
1. Removal companies from UK to Ca
2. Taking two large Mountain Dogs on the flight (best airline for this)
3. What to do (literally) when we arrive? i.e. self drive or get a taxi (with dogs and luggage) from LA to Santa Barbara
4. Short term rental accommodation for the first week or so...or stay at a motel/hotel
5. Storage facilities for when our household belongings arrive
6. How to arrange Cell phones BEFORE we get there (so we have it when we arrive)
7. How to get set up with computers etc (for Skype and email)
8. Initial Insurance cover (for the first few weeks at least)
etc etc

Any advice you have, even about which days are better to travel (weekdays/weekends) and the best way to handle the last couple of days over here...would be very helpful

Plus...All the other priorities to add to this list

You can see, I'm not asking for much!! But I'm sure someone else has gone through all this before - and can point out all the hidden pitfalls.
Thank you very much for any help/advice

Anthony
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Originally Posted by AntMcG View Post
I've looked throughout the forum but can't find a 'checklist' for activity for moving from UK to US...i.e. for all the stuff that needs to be done AFTER the Visa has been granted.

If there is a Wiki or post that covers it, please re-direct me! Thank you.
This might help: http://britishexpats.com/wiki/List_o...n_about_Moving
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Congrats - exciting stuff!

Short of your employer or some other sponsor taking care of all your moving out/transport/moving in costs, sell as much stuff in the UK as you can BEFORE going - it's amazing how much some things will cost in reality, despite the research you may have done in advance... If this means going without a few things for a week or so before hand, do it - it's worth the stress reduction!!!

... with no US credit history you may find that security deposits will be needed for a lot of things...

I imagine that your belongings will ship in to Longbeach, like ours did. It can be anywhere from 5 to 8 weeks before you get your hands on your stuff... so you may need to be in short term accomm for that period - the trouble is that this is expensive if you're not very careful and if your situation means you can't take certain options - we had 3 dogs that came out on the flight with us... and typically you may have to give 30 days notice to move out of the short term accomm - that meant for us we had to stay in it longer than ideal - and pay for it - that was a few $K we hadn't anticipated!

For example, some hotels will take dogs, but 2, not 3... plus we wanted to be close to work and the shops etc so Her In Doors didn't feel too isolated, so that meant the lower price parts of town were out of our selection... my employer did engage a company that specialises in this to help us, and they paid the first month too...

The actual physical move - packing & shipping etc was handled by GB Liners in the UK - they were truly excellent - we had just one very delicate glass that didn't survive the trip - not valuable or sentimental etc - just one item out of literally thousands. We went with bulk insurance, based on weight - the other option is to have each item individually inventoried and assessed for value - could take longer than the life of the Universe! We quickly realised that if the container with our stuff in it fell overboard (they do - I used to work in the container ports business!) we'd get $105K based on $15 per pound in weight and a total weight of belongings of 7,500 pounds - not bad for a few sticks of furniture!

Get car insurance sorted asap and use this to cover your rental car insurance as soon as you can, until you get your own vehicle - this too will save you a bundle.

In our experience the short term accomm we stayed in for the first 2 months had internet etc - shop around because it can be way more expensive than the equivalent in the UK...

We had our stuff in storage for a few weeks because of this - it cost about $800, most of this being to unload/reload more than the actual storage.

We flew our 3 dogs with Pet Air in the UK (www.petair.co.uk I think) - absolutely brilliant - can't praise them enough - and they use British Airways - they took care of everything in terms of paperwork, medical etc etc. Look in to local airport/city/county/state requirements for vaccinations esp. rabies. Phoenix had a very pragmatic approach.

I can't speak for self drive or taxi at the other end... for us it was rental - we rented the biggest thing on 4 wheels we could find that wasn't a Hummer (there's only 1 place for a Hummer, and that's on the battlefield - anything else is pretentious crap!) - we had 3 dogs, in 3 crates, plus 9 suitcases and hand luggage - you'll need a big taxi for all this PLUS there's the time needed after you get off the flight but BEFORE you 'come in' to process the paperwork for the dogs, get the authorisation to pick them up, then once you have your wheels, to actually go somewhere else on the airport or just outside, to actually get your dogs - that's a process that will easy take up the bulk of 2 hours.... oh, and you may have to drive around too to find a 7-11 or similar to get a money order to pay the release/customs fees for the dogs before they get released - it was $40 but they only took money orders!

HOWEVER, you may be really knackered after the flight - we were lucky - I know the area here well enough and we arrived in evening after taking a lunch time flight - not too bad...

It may be cheaper though to just book a really big taxi in advance and let them know about the buggeration factor etc - and if you go the rental route - just have the car for a day or 2 - rentals from airports are way more expensive than anywhere else...

We got our rental/belongings insurance and car insurance sorted through AIG, and it wasn't expensive - both we could pay monthly with just 2 months payment up front - not too bad. We went with maximum everything insurance for the first 6 months, just to cover us while we figured out how everything works in practice - piece of mind!

We travelled out on a Tuesday - no holiday/business rush that you get on weekends and the start/end of the week - worked very nicely, and I took the rest of the week off at the US end to get settled in, find our feet etc... get the dogs registered with the city etc etc - not expensive but you don't want your dogs getting lost, picked up, and being euthanised 'soon' because they're not tracked & registered...

We applied for our SSN 2 weeks after arrival, got them a week after that...

Bank accounts were set up in advance through AIG - not sure they do this service anymore (we have been here a year almost) - Wells Fargo don't seem to be too hung up on the SSN/foreigner bit... just know that your first paycheck is likely to be an actual cheque, not a BACS-like transfer at first - it's to do with how banking is set up over here - it's like each state is a separate country, and the language and currency just happens to be the same... this caught us out big time - my first paycheck took nearly a month to find its way as fully cleared funds in to my account - lucky our US credit card (HSBC) with big limit arrived just in time!

You may want to go with a local credit union rather than a big bank - they (big banks) all seem to be equally crap... your employer or colleagues will recommend a good local one...

I'm sure there are other things to share - can't think just now but let me know!!!

Good luck

Cheers

Harry
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Harry - thank you SO much for going to the trouble of explaining all that stuff.

Sounds simple

Best wishes
Anthony
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Thanks Geoff - that's the one I missed!
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

The Marriott Residence Inns are long stay suites with cooking facilities...they take dogs. There is usually a daily charge per dog. We found it impossible to get a rental apartment with two dobermans...but that was in New Jersey.

It really is best to rent for the first year or so until you get used to the area before buying. Is there anyone in the UK that would look after your dogs until you got on your feet? The breeder looked after mine...they lived in the house and became part of her family.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Oct 23rd 2011 at 7:24 pm.
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Old Oct 23rd 2011, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Originally Posted by AntMcG View Post
Harry - thank you SO much for going to the trouble of explaining all that stuff.

Sounds simple

Best wishes
Anthony
Anthony - you are most welcome. As you get closer to the move date, and you have specifics, feel free to ping me a private message.

I presume you pronounce your name with a 'T' in the middle, not a 'th' - please don't lose your Britishness and go all 'th' on me - otherwise you'd be joining the group known as the 'thossers'!!!
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Old Oct 24th 2011, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Break those thoughts down...the wiki does actually cover quite a lot of them, and there are a lot of threads also covering a lot of them, such as the dogs.

Some will be quite general but the gist should still relate to the location for most of your questions.

The insurance question comes up often, and there's a couple of recent threads covering that.

Mobile phones, google the area you're planning on staying in for coverage and then buy pay as you go phones to get you going, other wise you'll just have to wait around till you get SSN, it'll make you life easier.
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Old Oct 24th 2011, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Originally Posted by AntMcG View Post
I've looked throughout the forum but can't find a 'checklist' for activity for moving from UK to US...i.e. for all the stuff that needs to be done AFTER the Visa has been granted.

If there is a Wiki or post that covers it, please re-direct me! Thank you.

My Situation is this
I am UKC. Wife is USC. My Visa was granted last month, so we have 5 months to move! We're going to Santa Barbara, Ca. ( as soon as our house sells)

If there isn't already one, does anyone have a definitive 'checklist' for activity? Preferably with first hand experience - that they USED successfully!

The sort of things I'm looking for include
1. Removal companies from UK to Ca
2. Taking two large Mountain Dogs on the flight (best airline for this)
3. What to do (literally) when we arrive? i.e. self drive or get a taxi (with dogs and luggage) from LA to Santa Barbara
4. Short term rental accommodation for the first week or so...or stay at a motel/hotel
5. Storage facilities for when our household belongings arrive
6. How to arrange Cell phones BEFORE we get there (so we have it when we arrive)
7. How to get set up with computers etc (for Skype and email)
8. Initial Insurance cover (for the first few weeks at least)
etc etc

Any advice you have, even about which days are better to travel (weekdays/weekends) and the best way to handle the last couple of days over here...would be very helpful

Plus...All the other priorities to add to this list

You can see, I'm not asking for much!! But I'm sure someone else has gone through all this before - and can point out all the hidden pitfalls.
Thank you very much for any help/advice

Anthony
Hi Anthony
Check out Craigslist Santa Barbara for rentals and newspaper Santa Barbara Newspress for short and long term rentals, I use to live there, not to far away from there now if you need any help contact me. That is where we first arrived, when we left England. For a bank www.rabobankamerica.com they are local and if you use direct deposit there are no monthly fees. Good luck
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 2:18 am
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Don't forget to turn the gas off. Oh - and write a big, long list of other things not to forget.
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Old Oct 26th 2011, 2:25 am
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Default Re: Practical Check List for moving from UK to US

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
Oh - and write a big, long list of other things not to forget.
You REALLY don't want to forget to do this... I found it useful to make this list on the flight over...
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