So you’ve got your sights set on the good ol’ U.S. of A., huh?
You’re not alone. In fact, 12% of all British emigration is to the US. For many, hopping across the pond is a dream move. But to make that dream a reality, there’s a whole host of practicalities you’ll need to consider.
Here are 5 things you need to know when it comes to moving to USA from UK.
Let’s dive in.
1. Visa Costs & Timeframes
If you’ve been considering a permanent move to the USA from the UK, you should already know that you’ll need a green card. It’s the cost and length of waiting that often catches folks off guard.
To apply for permanent residency, you’ll need to complete an I-485 form. For most people, this will cost $1,225. That’s roughly £845.
It’ll take a while, too. Six months is fairly standard for single applications, but processing times between 12-18 months are not uncommon, either.
2. Pet Quarantine Requirements
Importing pets into the US is more relaxed than in many other countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regulate all pet movement, but requirements do vary by animal.
Dogs, for example, must be at least 30-days old and vaccinated against Rabies. Otherwise, they’re likely to face quarantine, which will only complicate an already stressful move.
Once on US soil, make sure to register with a local vet, ASAP. States vary in their vaccination laws and regulations, and you don’t want to be caught out.
3. Currency Exchange Costs
To limit currency exchange losses, consider opening an account with a US bank that has UK branches.
This way, you can start transferring funds before arrival. Remember, transfer services can save money over bank-to-bank transfers, but are often not regulated by the FCA.
4. Health Insurance
You’re likely to have spent your years so far enjoying free healthcare, courtesy of the NHS. In this sense, moving to USA from UK can be a huge culture shock. Without insurance, a single day in the hospital could cost around $4,000.
Even with an insurance policy, monthly premiums of between $200-300 are standard. For retirees without any employer coverage, $1,000 per month can be considered a minimum.
5. Tipping Culture
Most Brits are somewhat familiar with US tipping culture, but beyond restaurants, it can be difficult to know precisely when it’s appropriate. For example, the three Bs (bellboys, beauticians, and bartenders), will all expect a tip.
With standard tipping rates ranging from 15% to 25%, it’s crucial that you factor tipping into your budget plans. If you feel hard done by, remember that workers in several US industries aren’t protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Moving to USA from UK
The USA is a beautiful country, but upheaving your entire life and traveling the globe is no easy task. No matter which state you’re heading for, they’ll be a lot to move.
To prevent your budget being swallowed by transportation costs, use our quote calculator to get the best prices for cross-country removal services.
Then, while you wait for your flight date, check out our 5 top tips for a smooth family move.