Relocating to the USA
Each year, many people from the UK, decide to sell up and head west, across the great pond to make a new life in America.
Despite the language and cultural links between the US and the UK, the land of Uncle Sam is a very different country to old Blighty and you need to know upfront what you need to do to ensure a successful move.
There is more documentation to complete out in advance, and even when you get a visa, you will still be facing even more paperwork.
Before leaving on a jet plane to the US, make sure you’ve completed important paperwork in the UK. Contact your local tax office to inform them you’re an ex-UK resident. They can then finalise your tax matters and advise if you need to pay tax after your departure. You might even get a tax rebate.
You also need to deal with your UK pension arrangements by asking for a statement or forecast, and whether you can receive it while residing in the US.
You must also have original copies of birth certificate, marriage license, bank details, etc, along with a valid visa in your passport with at least two years remaining. On arrival in America, you will probably be overloaded by the procedures you will go through to get official documentation, but you only have to endure it once, so just grin and bear it. Once you become a US resident, you will first need to get a social security number, a driving licence and associated insurance.
The licence will help you, even if you don’t plan to drive, by serving, along with your passport, as valid photographic ID. Be advised, you must have a social security number in order to get a driving licence.
With these vital forms of ID under your belt – or indeed in your pocket – you will be able to open bank accounts and generally be a registered, known entity to bodies and agencies. To be legal to work in the US, you must have appropriate references from your former UK employers.
The American jobs market is competitive and tough, so the more documentation you can produce, the better your chances of getting into paid employed. If your aim is to stay in America on a long term basis, or take up US Citizenship, it would be wise to keep your British passport updated in case you ever have to return to the UK for either a holiday or to stay.
Valid and up to date passports are always useful for identification purposes and helping you get appropriate official documentation which will help you build a secure life in the US. Getting paperwork and dealing with bureaucracy can be somewhat time consuming, laborious, and tiresome, but once you possess all the relevant documents and have set up all necessary official procedures, you will then be well on the road to becoming established in America.