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tcsparky 05-06-2017 10:00 PM

Has Anyone moved to UK?
 
I have decided that I want to move to the UK. I have friends there who are encouraging me to come, and I have always loved my visits. I also have a place to live- one of my friends has a large house and willing to rent to me.

I have started applying for teaching jobs. Many of the schools offer to sponsor an international candidate if hired. I found information on applying for a work Visa. I *think* this is the process: get written job offer, send in job offer with completed application and a check for $900. Wait 8-12 weeks for an answer.

Has anyone else done this? What does the process actually entail? What do I need to know that I probably

Thanks everyone!!!

jolene 05-06-2017 10:22 PM

I don't have any info to share but we visited there last summer and have friends in Scotland. Love that place. Want to go back. Jelly, Xister.

Sassmofi 05-07-2017 02:48 AM

I have been living in the UK for over 4 years now.

1. After you receive your job offer and the company agrees to sponsor you, the company must first prove they cannot fill the position from within the UK. Usually the company will write a job specification particularly tailored to you. The company is required to to advertise the position for a month (could be 6 weeks as it has been some time since we went through the process).
2. If the only suitable candidate is yourself, the company will need to submit an application to the employment tribunal which only meets once a month and the application has to be received 2 weeks before the tribunal or it will be reviewed in the next month. The tribunal will review the application to make sure the criteria are met.
3. After the tribunal has approved the application for sponsorship, the visa application process begins. Your offered salary must minimum requirements in order for you to support yourself (I believe it is now just under 20,000).
4. You will fill out information online for your biometrics (some of this will include information on your parents). They will also want copies of your bank account balances. Marriage/Divorce Documents, birth certificate, etc
5. After you submit the visa application, you will receive notice to get photographed and fingerprinted. I believe the location was the local social security office which will send the information to Home Office.
6. Once all is complete, the time to complete the visa can very. DH's company paid for an expediter. Our completed information and passports needed to go to the embassy in New York and the expediter personally walked them into the embassy and received our visas in about 3 days. If you don't have an expediter, I believe it can take several weeks to get your passport and visa back.

DH works for a large global company with headquarters in the UK. They do sponsorships all the time. The advertisement was posted in August. The sponsorship application just missed the deadline for the September tribunal and was processed during the October tribunal. We submitted our visa application in October with the biometric appointment at the very end of October. We had the passports and visa in our hands in about a week with the visa start date at the end of November.

tcsparky 05-07-2017 08:09 PM

Sassmofi- W.O.W.

You gave me a lot of great info. And it is a lot more involved than I originally thought. I'm glad you responded. I am looking to apply for a teaching position (there is a teacher shortage there now), so if I want to start for the Fall term, I need to get hired soon!

Thank you so much!

My friends were a lot more clueless than I am. They said, "Just move over here first and then get a job. " I didn't want to be an "undocumented immigrant" and told them that I would follow the proper procedures, even if it meant waiting longer.

navane 05-08-2017 01:30 PM

I used to live in the UK. I was initially there on a student visa to complete my postgraduate studies. After my student visa was up, I looked into going back on a work visa. I had been in an 8-year relationship with an Englishman and, at the time, getting married, doing another degree or having a work visa were our options for me legally remaining in the UK long-term.

I found it very difficult to obtain a job as the rules were very strict back then (appx 2005). As Sassmofi explained, the employer needs to be able to convincingly articulate why a British citizen cannot fill the job. The UK government did have a reduced requirements list for some international hires - but those were for jobs in areas of great need such as technology, medicine and engineering (not my fields).

I did find a *perfect* job in London that was as an international/American student adviser for UCLA at a satellite office in London. The requirements were that the applicant have a strong background in academic advising (check), knowledge of the American/California university system (check and check) and also international student experience (check). I applied and they were very interested in me.....but then they got all hung up on the fact that they were going to have to petition the government for permission to hire me. So, it ended up being a no-go. I ended up not ever moving back as there was no justification for it and marriage wasn't on the horizon.

If the UK is in desperate need of primary school teachers, then you might be in with a shout. Sassmofi gave an excellent run down. Good luck!

tcsparky 05-08-2017 08:02 PM

Navane,
Thanks for the info. It was very helpful. I am actually applying for High School Science teaching positions. One is with a managed Academy chain. Right there in the application is a note about letting them know if I will need a sponsor to work in the country. HOPEFULLY that means that they are familiar with the process and are prepared to do it.

Fingers crossed!!

navane 05-09-2017 12:18 AM

That sounds promising!

tcsparky 05-12-2017 08:55 PM

I've applied for three teaching positions this week. And the Passport Office cashed the check I wrote to renew my passport. So....progress!! With them not getting out of school for the summer until mid-July, there will be ongoing vacancies being announced. Hopefully a few will be willing to do Skype interviews. :D

tcsparky 03-10-2018 09:21 PM

I have a job offer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So now the process starts. The school interviewed me and several other foreign teachers, as well as several local teachers. Due to the well-known Science teacher shortage, the principal is sure she will be able to get permission to hire me.

Now to apply for a Work Visa. I won't give notice to my current employer until I have the Work Visa in hand,k because that apparently is not a sure thing.

But.............if all goes well...........I'll be moving in July!!!!

Tom Earp 03-11-2018 01:38 PM

Odd isn't it that easier for Brit's to move into USA than Americans to move to Britain!:rolleyes::confused:

navane 03-11-2018 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcsparky (Post 2454740)
I have a job offer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So now the process starts. The school interviewed me and several other foreign teachers, as well as several local teachers. Due to the well-known Science teacher shortage, the principal is sure she will be able to get permission to hire me.

Now to apply for a Work Visa. I won't give notice to my current employer until I have the Work Visa in hand,k because that apparently is not a sure thing.

But.............if all goes well...........I'll be moving in July!!!!



Wow, congratulations! In which city/region would you be living?

NYCMS 03-11-2018 04:17 PM

Congrats on the job offer! Here's my two cents from having friends who've moved from the US to the UK...of course, those on this board who've done so can speak to this best, but I've not seen these things mentioned so thought they're worth a post. And given the timeline from when you first posted about this, you may have already checked into this!

Look into the tax situation so there are no surprises. My understanding is that you are dually taxed: you are taxed by the U.S. and also pay taxes to the UK.

I'd also investigate fully the cost of living wherever you might go - London, for example, makes living in NYC look cheap. Not sure how other parts of the UK stack up, but it's worth doing. You're fortunate to have a friend who will rent you a room but even so, I'd get the details on that (how much is the rent) along with other cost-of-living items like groceries, transportation (the tube/bus in London is pricy or will you need a car?), etc. so that there will be fewer surprises when it comes to how far your salary will go.

Your friends over there - if they're American and understand how living costs translate - can help as well. There might be online calculators that can help, I know you can find them for comparing cost-of-living among US cities.

Keep us posted and good luck!

tcsparky 03-12-2018 09:05 PM

Tom, you're right- it is definitely easier for a foreigner to get a job here than for an American to get one in the UK. I guess other countries are pickier??

I'll be living in the eastern region of Essex on the coast, about 2 hours north of London by train. It's a lot of rural, with little towns and villages scattered around.

As for the tax situation, from what I can find out, I would only pay US taxes if my income exceeded a certain amount. I'm not sure exactly what that amount is, but I was told that as a teacher, I'd definitely make under that threshold. A friend who just moved back from there was making 45K (pounds) a year, and he never paid US taxes.

I'll be living with a friend, and sharing expenses. From what we're working out, it will definitely be cheaper than living here by myself! Most of the bills are less than what I'm paying now, and I'd only be paying half.

Applying for the work Visa is expensive, though. $900. That's a pretty good sized chunk of change. My teaching certificate and driving license will be valid there, so that's two less things to have pay for immediately.

The job starts in September, so I *think* I have enough time to get everything done and applied for / passed through by then!!

NYCMS 03-12-2018 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcsparky (Post 2454787)
I'll be living in the eastern region of Essex on the coast, about 2 hours north of London by train. It's a lot of rural, with little towns and villages scattered around.

While you're there you should drive north of Essex to Norfolk - specifically Holkham Beach, this vast, incredible beach on the North Sea that has been called the most beautiful in all of England. The whole area - small villages along the coast - is spectacular. Norfolk is the 'county' just north of Essex.

Wishing you lots of luck - sounds like it's really coming together - and hope you will post about your adventures from time to time!

tcsparky 03-28-2018 08:31 PM

I filled out a lot of employment paperwork and emailed it back. Today they asked for a scan of my passport. Not sure what else is happening, though. I can't apply for the Work Visa until they have received approval to hire a foreigner. However, school doesn't start until September!

WhiteDaisy128 04-02-2018 11:24 AM

I'm currently living in the UK (we arrived Summer 2016 and will go home Summer of 2019; we previously lived in the UK from Summer of 2009 - Summer of 2012).

We *LOVE* life here in the UK, but we are only on a 3 year contract, so we know we'll have to go back to the USA when our time is up. Because of the way my husbands work arrangements are made, it's not the same process you are going through - but it sounds like you are on the right track.

It's amazing how different things are - considering we all speak English; but it's all wonderful. :-) There are great travel opportunities, awesome schools, etc.

Good luck in the process and if there are any general moving to the UK questions that I can answer, I'm happy to do so. Will your new work pay for a shipping crate? Make sure you ask about relocation benefits - in general, EVERYTHING is so much more expensive here.

tcsparky 04-18-2018 08:37 PM

Whoo hooo!!!

I heard from the school today. They have received permission to sponsor me, and are waiting for their sponsorship license to arrive, so they can email a scan to me. I will then use the license to apply for the Work Visa!!

I keep reminding myself not to get impatient. School doesn't start there until September, so there is no reason to feel rushed. My term here doesn't end until the second week of June, so I couldn't go before then anyway.

But I am doing a little happy dance right now!!

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

navane 04-18-2018 11:59 PM

Congratulations!! :)

tcsparky 04-25-2018 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhiteDaisy128 (Post 2455337)
Will your new work pay for a shipping crate? Make sure you ask about relocation benefits.

I don't know. The vacancy advertisement didn't mention relocation benefits. I priced a small shipping create today.....over $2,000. Yikes!!

WhiteDaisy128 04-26-2018 09:28 AM

Before you commit, make sure you know what you are getting in to price wise. Moving to a foreign country is very expensive. Are you going to ship your stuff? Sell it all? Put it in storage? In general the cost of living in the UK is much higher than in the US. Will you buy a car here? Car insurance is crazy expensive.

It's an AWESOME adventure, but make sure you know what you are getting into as there is quite a bit of upfront costs.

tcsparky 04-26-2018 08:26 PM

Some of this is already worked out. I'm sharing a house with a friend there. Our salaries are about the same, only instead of me paying all the bills (like I do here, now) I'll only be paying half. The bills are equivalent or cheaper than what I am paying now, so I am calculated to actually be paying less in bills after I arrive. As far as a car, I won't need one right away. The school is right on one of the main bus lines that run almost from my front door to the corner of the street near the school. So- perfect!

I plan to take with me as much of my clothes as I can, along with some personal items (laptop, ipad, a few books & DVDs, photos, my diplomas). I am allowed 2 suitcases on the flight, and can pay to bring one extra, so three large suitcases should get me enough stuff to last til Christmas. The rest will be put into my sister's attic, and I'll bring it over with a few suitcases at a time as I need, or whenever my sister comes to visit.

Other things, like my sewing machine, china set and cedar chest, will be given to my niece. A lot of stuff, like my vast set of professional education books, have been donated to the library of the school where I currently teach.

I've visited 2-3 times year for the past 5 years, so I've seen that things cost more. Lunch here is $10, and there it's 10 (which is close to $14), so it does cost more. But we've gone over how much we each make, and how much each person will pay, and so far it looks like it will be a win-win for moth of us!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhiteDaisy128 (Post 2455983)
Before you commit, make sure you know what you are getting in to price wise. Moving to a foreign country is very expensive. Are you going to ship your stuff? Sell it all? Put it in storage? In general the cost of living in the UK is much higher than in the US. Will you buy a car here? Car insurance is crazy expensive.

It's an AWESOME adventure, but make sure you know what you are getting into as there is quite a bit of upfront costs.


NYCMS 04-28-2018 04:52 PM

Congrats on all the progress - I hope you'll keep posting about your experiences once you're over there teaching!

WhiteDaisy128 05-08-2018 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcsparky (Post 2455996)
Some of this is already worked out. I'm sharing a house with a friend there. Our salaries are about the same, only instead of me paying all the bills (like I do here, now) I'll only be paying half. The bills are equivalent or cheaper than what I am paying now, so I am calculated to actually be paying less in bills after I arrive. As far as a car, I won't need one right away. The school is right on one of the main bus lines that run almost from my front door to the corner of the street near the school. So- perfect!

I plan to take with me as much of my clothes as I can, along with some personal items (laptop, ipad, a few books & DVDs, photos, my diplomas). I am allowed 2 suitcases on the flight, and can pay to bring one extra, so three large suitcases should get me enough stuff to last til Christmas. The rest will be put into my sister's attic, and I'll bring it over with a few suitcases at a time as I need, or whenever my sister comes to visit.

Other things, like my sewing machine, china set and cedar chest, will be given to my niece. A lot of stuff, like my vast set of professional education books, have been donated to the library of the school where I currently teach.

I've visited 2-3 times year for the past 5 years, so I've seen that things cost more. Lunch here is $10, and there it's 10 (which is close to $14), so it does cost more. But we've gone over how much we each make, and how much each person will pay, and so far it looks like it will be a win-win for moth of us!!

Sounds like you are on top of it! Get ready for a grand adventure! I love living in the UK and wish I could stay here forever!

tcsparky 05-10-2018 07:21 PM

WhiteDaisy,
Do you still have a US bank account? I'm asking, because I have a few bills that will still need to be paid here by direct debit. I don't know how to transfer money from my UK bank account to a US bank account. I asked at my bank (a small regional bank) and got blank looks.....then a shrug.

WhiteDaisy128 05-11-2018 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcsparky (Post 2456350)
WhiteDaisy,
Do you still have a US bank account? I'm asking, because I have a few bills that will still need to be paid here by direct debit. I don't know how to transfer money from my UK bank account to a US bank account. I asked at my bank (a small regional bank) and got blank looks.....then a shrug.

Yes, we do still have a US Bank account and US credit cards (you'll want to keep up your credit so when you repatriate you have enough credit to buy a house, rent a place, buy a car, etc.). Our Capitol One credit card does not charge and international transaction fee, so that's what we mostly use here. There are several companies that don't, so look around.

Our situation is a bit different because my husband is actually still paid in US dollars (as a direct deposit into our US bank). We use transferwise to move money back and forth and keep an eye on the exchange rant and try to move big chunks of money when it's most favorable. We can also take money out of ATMs with our US card and then walk it into our UK bank to deposit it - that's the absolute best exchange rate you'll probably get, but you are limited to X amount of money each day.

tcsparky 05-11-2018 08:46 PM

Yes, I learned pretty quickly that the exchange fees were awful! My credit union only charged a $2.00 exchange fee per transaction, so it was definitely a great deal. I pulled cash from the ATM on every trip after the first one.

My situation is a bit opposite yours, I guess. I'll be paid in pounds by a UK school into a UK bank account. But somehow I need to get money transferred into my US bank account to cover a couple of bills (student loan and storage). The credit union employee just shrugged and gave a strange look.

I do have a seldom-used checking account with Bank of America, but the person I spoke with there said that they don't do international banking. It can't possibly be this difficult. Bad guys in movies do this all the time!!

WhiteDaisy128 05-12-2018 08:32 AM

You'll have to have a UK account and a US account and use a service like Transferwise to move money. It's really easy. You should be able to keep your credit union account if you are happy with it and just turn pounds into dollars in Transferwise (or a similar service).

Definitely find a card that has no international transaction fee at all. We have a USAA Visa card, a Charles Schwab card, and a Citibank Mastercard with no international transaction fees.

You'll get a debit card from your UK bank and that's fine to use too, but make sure you don't let your US credit score suffer from lack of activity.

navane 05-16-2018 12:57 AM

One programming note: make sure you tell your US bank and credit card company that you are moving to the UK before you go. Back when I lived there, they put a freeze on my accounts and cards a few weeks after I arrived because they thought my transactions overseas might be fraudulent. Getting it sorted out was easy and only took a phone call; but, it took a day longer than it should have due to the time difference.

tcsparky 05-17-2018 08:06 PM

Thanks for the advice, WhiteDaisy and Navane! I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go along.

The school told me a few weeks ago that they would receive their sponsorship license on the 11th of May. I got in touch with them on Tuesday, because I hadn't heard from them. Bad news....temporary setback. The school's application to sponsor me was denied. Whoever filled out their form had checked me off as a supply teacher (substitute teacher), which isn't an approved foreign hire.

So, they have now re-filled out the form (hopefully correctly) and expect to have the sponsorship license in their hands in 4 weeks. Then send me a scanned copy. Only THEN can I fill out the Work VISA application. Which can take 2 weeks - 120 days, per the embassy website. <sigh>

I thought getting a job offer in February gave me plenty of time to get everything cleared to start a job in September. Maybe......maybe it will be cutting it close. We'll see!!

tcsparky 05-25-2018 07:34 PM

One piece of good news-- I heard from the DofE, and I should receive an emailed copy of my UK Teaching License on Tuesday! So, at least a step in the right direction.

A friend of mine there said that a report on BBC stated that there were the fewest number of Work Visas extended last month due to quotas. The school seems confident that a Science Teacher carries enough "points" that there should not be an issue.

So, back to waiting!

tcsparky 05-31-2018 07:48 PM

For some reason today I went back and re-read the letter from the school offering me a job. In one of the paragraphs, it says that "the college will apply for the appropriate Tier 2 work visa on your behalf." :D:D:D:D

I wish I had registered that months ago- it would have saved me so much worry. This also explains why they wanted to know the earliest date I would be in the country, so I could come by to get "the security process started." They need my fingerprints.

If I am reading this correctly, then I won't have to wait for the work visa and can go over as early this summer as I want to. The work visa will be applied for once I arrive, and the school will have people to handle it. Phew!!!

I probably should have read that much more carefully the first time!

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

tcsparky 06-15-2018 08:44 PM

Lah lah lah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The school's business manager emailed me a Visa ID# - the school successfully applied for and was granted my Work Visa! I will fly over on July 5, attend a rugby dinner with my friends on Saturday, and report to the school for Induction on July 10.

Whoot whoot!!!!!

NYCMS 06-16-2018 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcsparky (Post 2457129)
Lah lah lah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The school's business manager emailed me a Visa ID# - the school successfully applied for and was granted my Work Visa! I will fly over on July 5, attend a rugby dinner with my friends on Saturday, and report to the school for Induction on July 10.

Whoot whoot!!!!!

Congratulations!! Big day indeed.

Hope you'll keep us posted on your new adventure - best wishes for a successful move!

navane 06-16-2018 06:21 PM

Congratulations! Best wishes for a successful move!

tcsparky 07-11-2018 02:18 PM

This week has been super crazy. Last Friday, I arrived in the UK after a harrowing connection in Toronto. I handed over my passport and boarding card to the Immigration fellow. He read that I was arriving in the UK for work, and asked for my Visa. I told him that it was attached electronically to my passport. He said that no, that's not how it works, and put me aside in a holding area.

I spent the day in the detention area while they called the school to figure out what was going on. So.....the school thought they HAD applied for my Work Visa, but they had only gotten my Certificate of Sponsorship. I showed Immigration the offer letter from the school, the emails they had sent me telling me that they had gotten the Visa, and the Visa number they had sent to me.

After sitting there all day (without any personal possessions, in a room with people who WERE actually trying to get into the country illegally), I was released on Immigration Bail and given one week in the country to try to get everything straight. I am being deported on Friday of this week. They determined that I had not used deception, that it was an honest mistake on both my part and the school. I am not banned from the country!!!!!!!

The UK taxpayer is footing the bill for my ticket to my "country of origin." I will then file for the Visa while int he US, and return in August. The Immigration officer also pointed out that even if I had gotten the Visa, I'm not allowed to enter the country until 14 days prior to the first day of my contract- which is Sept 1.

I went to the Club on Saturday to watch the England soccer game with my friends. By the end of the game, everyone in the club knew that I was being deported and wanted to meet me!!! I was the local curiosity that day. When I went to New Teacher Orientation at the school on Tuesday, the principal called me into her office to make sure that I was OK, because she was concerned I was traumatized. I assured her that I will be fine, and am excited to be here.

The school is amazing, the other teachers are so friendly, and the students are super-cute in their white shirts, ties and black crested blazers. I can't wait to actually get started!!!!!!!

NYCMS 07-11-2018 05:50 PM

tcsparky Wow...just wow. I can't even imagine how scary that was to wonder if you could get in and then stay, to be put in a holding area and have to be in the "unknown." I'm sorry you had to go through that. It sounds like someone/some office didn't inform you correctly about how soon you could arrive before the job started.

At least you've got all that out of the way and have time to relax before you head over to start teaching. It all sounds so exciting and do keep us posted!

andthen 07-12-2018 12:40 PM

Yes wow, oh wow!! Given all of the issues you've certainly handled yourself with a lot of grace and dignity!! Good for you that you're taking it all in stride. I think if it were me I would have been traumatized but at least now you know so should someone else in your circle decide to move there for work you can some impart some hard earned wisdom.

tcsparky 07-23-2018 06:25 PM

And moving forward!!!

I have now received the FBI Background check, and have paid the NHS fee and the VISA Application fee. As part of the process, I have to appear in person at an official Application Center. Luckily, there is one near me, just over the river in Memphis! The earliest appointment available at the Application Center is next Monday, 30 July. There, they will take my biometrics and check over my documentation.

If everything is in order, then I will overnight the application and documentation to the UK Embassy in New York. The application site says it takes about 3 weeks to process, and then they will overnight it back to me. I will receive a notification email when it is completed and on the way to me. As the appointment for the Application Center is so late in the month, I may not get my passport and Visa back until mid-August or later.

Now, that isn't so much of a problem, because school doesn't start until Sept 3. However, I would like to have a few weeks to get settled in, collaborate with other teachers on lesson plans, get my classroom set up, go shopping for school clothes...... And maybe spend some time at the beach!

Really, I'm just anxious to be there and have this whole process over with.

tcsparky 08-08-2018 11:04 AM

Argh! Double Argh!!!!!

I got an email about my Visa application from the office processing it. The email stated that while Visa applications normally process in 15 days, since mine is "complex," it may take longer.

I can't email or call to ask questions. This is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NYCMS 08-10-2018 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcsparky (Post 2458745)
Argh! Double Argh!!!!!

I got an email about my Visa application from the office processing it. The email stated that while Visa applications normally process in 15 days, since mine is "complex," it may take longer.

I can't email or call to ask questions. This is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tcsparky, I can only imagine the frustration....and did they say what it is that makes your application "complex"?


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