Many Brits each year make the move across the pond to live in the USA. Even with the recent embargo on the green card lottery for UK citizens many are able to become permanent US residents through work, investment or family visas. When moving to the USA, it differs quite dramatically from moving within the EU. There are many official forms and documents that must be filled in before moving and when you finally have your visa in hand, there are still many hours of paperwork ahead.
Before You Leave the UK
Before you jump on the plane to the States, ensure that you’ve finalised important paperwork in the UK. Speak with your local tax office and let them know you’re no longer a UK citizen. They will be able to finalise your tax payments and advise you on whether you’re liable to pay tax when you’ve gone. They may also have a tax rebate for you if you’re entitled to one. You should also speak with any pension authorities you’re part of and request a pension forecast. You will need to enquire whether this will still be payable in the US if you’re an American resident. You should also make sure that you have the original copies of your birth certificate, marriage license, bank details, credit cards and valid visa in your passport that has at least 2 years left on it.
Official Documentation on Arrival
When you first arrive in the USA, you may be slightly overwhelmed by the process of obtaining official documentation. Some of the drawn out processes that you need to go through can seem laborious and tiring. The most important thing to remember here however is that you will only need to do this once so stick with it.
Some of the first important pieces of official documentation you’ll need are your social security number, your driver’s licence and any insurance for it. Your social security card can be obtained by visiting your local social security office. You need to take all your original paperwork with you, such as your birth certificate, passport, visa and marriage licence. Your social security number will come in handy for opening a bank account, setting up utility accounts and enrolling in many institutions. Your driver’s licence is equally as important when you live in the US. Even if you don’t intend to drive a car, it is good to have some kind of photographic ID with you other than your passport. You need your social security number before you can obtain your driving licence so remember to do this in order.
Once you have both of these important pieces of identification, you will find it is easier to open a bank account and to register with other agencies. If you’re planning on working in the USA you will need to ensure that you have recommendations and references from your time in the UK. The US job market can be fierce and the more official paperwork you take with you, the better your chances of obtaining a good job whilst there.
What Documents Do You Need to Retain in the USA?
If you’re planning to stay in the USA indefinitely, you may eventually want to become a US citizen. If this is something you think you will do, still maintain your British passport. It is always a good idea when living abroad to keep your passport updated in the UK. Not only does it make it easier when travelling back to the UK, but it also serves you well for identification purposes and for any future documentation you may need in the USA. Once you have these basic official procedures set up, you will find it much easier to become established in the USA.
Hey there I was wondering do I need anything if I go to the US for a couple of months I mean im not like moving there or anything just staying with my bf for a couple of months so would I need anything other than a passport
You can see more via the gov.uk link here. I hope this helps.
hey there i was wondering do i need anything if i go to the US for a couple of months i mean im not like moving there or anything just staying with my bf for a couple of months so would i need anything other than a passport
chappie - 13-Mar-16 @ 4:38 PM
@Maddie - as a returning resident, you would have to clarify that your time out of the country was for a temporary period. If you have been living in the UK permanently then you will be classed as a non-resident. If you have lived abroad for more than three years, you would have to enter as a non-resident. You can find out more via the US Customs and Border Protection, link here . I hope this helps.
EmigrationExpert - 29-Jun-15 @ 10:55 AM
I'm 17 years of age and I was born in America I have documentation for proof I would like to move over to America but I have no clue what I need to.
Maddie - 26-Jun-15 @ 8:21 AM
Hi, After graduating from University after getting a 3 year degree in history and then a PGCE, I would like to move to the US (preferable New York City) for 1 year to 18 months Plus I would like to work as a History teacher. I hav edone research on green cards, only problem is I don't understand any of it. So what Green card would I need? Thank you Aimee
NerdyGirl11 - 2-Dec-13 @ 2:41 PM
hello, ive met a woman online over a year ago & just couple month we started to fell in love & it went very brillantly, we each other on webcam & ive talked to her 2 sons which was very nice so I would like to move to USA to live with the woman that live there & she say she will help me with all the forms & documentations. Problem is am unemployed from UK & claiming benefits so am trying to do the right things here before I go but would USA accepted me moving in with the woman I met online as i'll be living with the woman also am deaf "disabled" but can talk & hear with hearing aid, the plan is when am settled at the woman home then I be looking for work in USA also I even consider voluntary work too, the woman say she will support me until I find work or get incomes but what should I do, any advice would be appreciated, thank you, George...
alex - 1-Dec-13 @ 2:49 AM
My husband and I are thinking of moving to the USA permanently. We are 55 and 58 respectively. My daughter of 27 would probably come with us. We would be in a position to buy a property outright (no mortgage). We would both wish to continue working and any advice regarding this would be appreciated - how do we obtain a green card. Can you advise as to what is required to buy a property and live in the US permanently
Joyous - 17-Oct-12 @ 3:07 PM
I wonder if your able to tell me somethings,Does one have to work if they want to
emigrate to U.S.Aand i am in hope toget married to my boyfriend ,but am wanting to come for a holiday first , I have to live
in the family home ,also how much money would one need and would I from Scotland need a visa and how long can onestay when over for a holiday
I have never been outside Scotland as far I also have family in the U.S.A
val o'kane - 5-Aug-12 @ 9:23 AM
I am a 32 single mum of a 7yr son, and I was thinking about moving to Chicago from N.ireland, for a better start in life for my sonThe only skilled trade I have is being a sewing machinist and at the moment im doing embroidery ,I would like to be able to set up my own business doing personalised embroidered tops with the knowledge of my currant job, with the money that my parents have for me.How do I go about applying to move and would I qualify to apply Many Thanks
Ange - 26-Jul-12 @ 9:27 PM
I'm a was born,live and work in the UK. I have an American fiancee who is a citizen of the USA. 2 months ago we got engaged and completed a fiancee visa , which is in process, with the intention to move permanently to the USA and marry my future wife.
I'm self employed and had an accident 2 months ago , damaging my leg. This has resulted in loss of income. At the present time I owe £2,500 to HMRC for back Taxes. Under normal circumstances I would have paid this off by 31 July 2012 but am not able to do this due to my injury and loss of income.
HMRC have accepted my offer of reduced payments, but my concerns are as follows:
1 If the is a small balance of outstanding Taxes when my immigration papers are being processed will this compromise my immigration?
2 If HMRC take legal action against me, will this potentially effect my immigration?
3 Will I be asked in the Immigraction process to declare such a small Tax debt given, that my intention is to pay it off in full?
thesun - 12-Jun-12 @ 5:57 PM
Hi.We are looking to move with my wife and 3 children to Northern Virginia Fairfax County.
My question is do I need to find work first or to apply for Social Security NR.
Can you please advice us how to stay permanently in USA we both are skilled workers and hard working people.
Zeni and Sonila.