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Old 06-20-2007, 08:08 AM
 
85 posts, read 439,264 times
Reputation: 105
Default Moving to Britain from America

Hi,

I've been thinking about leaving the US for a while now, and the only country I think I would be happy living in is England. I traveled to London and surrounding areas two years ago and I absoluely loved it. Anyway, my question is this: how difficult is it for an American citizen to immigrate to the UK. I don't expect it to be easy, but is it impossible? Also, is England in a better situation than the US in terms of economics and social structure, etc. Personally, I think that America is a disaster. If anyone could help me out I would really appreciate it.

Thanks.

 
Old 06-20-2007, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,045 posts, read 4,180,073 times
Reputation: 2715
Well, first you would need to look into immigration issues. Unless you have some sort of work visa/sponsorship from a company over there or are married to a UK citizen, then I imagine it would be very difficult to just move over. Sorry, I can't give you more detailed info on that end (I emigrated to Ireland with Irish husband). I've heard mixed reviews of the UK from many expats living here in Ireland. The weather is pretty bad (even if you think you love the rain), the healthcare is pretty atrocious (but free!) and if you think 3.50 for a gallon of petrol is bad, well it's around 8$ a gallon there. There's good and bad of course with anywhere you go and believe me, the grass is always greener! I know what you mean about the US being a disaster, but you would be guaranteed to appreciate it far more (warts and all) after you left! Good luck and no, I doubt your move would be impossible! Where there's a will, then there's a way.
 
Old 06-20-2007, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Valencia, Spain
954 posts, read 6,279 times
Reputation: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltaire View Post
Hi,

I've been thinking about leaving the US for a while now, and the only country I think I would be happy living in is England. I traveled to London and surrounding areas two years ago and I absoluely loved it. Anyway, my question is this: how difficult is it for an American citizen to immigrate to the UK. I don't expect it to be easy, but is it impossible? Also, is England in a better situation than the US in terms of economics and social structure, etc. Personally, I think that America is a disaster. If anyone could help me out I would really appreciate it.

Thanks.
Hi Voltaire,
I'm Britsh, though now living in Spain. I got out of the UK four years ago because of the way it was going. Mega high prices for everything, uncontrolled immigration....and crap weather! I've never lived in the States so don't know how it compares but I'd say that you are probably better of going somewhere else rather than the UK. In the UK, the average price for a house is somewhere around 150,000. It's also a bit to much of a 'Nanny knows best' place for me. The Health Service is about 7th or 8th in the world listings. Also, being a member of the EU, Britain is being flooded with immigrants from Eastern European countries that have just been granted EU membership, so unless you have some kind of skill, you may find it rather difficult to get employment.

The problem with visiting a country and "absolutely loving it" is that when you actually live in that country, it's a whole different ball game....as I found when I moved to Spain. Have you ever considered Spain? Feel free to PM me.
 
Old 06-20-2007, 11:21 AM
 
Location: England
579 posts, read 2,308,943 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltaire View Post
Hi,

I've been thinking about leaving the US for a while now, and the only country I think I would be happy living in is England. I traveled to London and surrounding areas two years ago and I absoluely loved it. Anyway, my question is this: how difficult is it for an American citizen to immigrate to the UK. I don't expect it to be easy, but is it impossible? Also, is England in a better situation than the US in terms of economics and social structure, etc. Personally, I think that America is a disaster. If anyone could help me out I would really appreciate it.

Thanks.
To get into England is hard legally but easy illegally, its not impossible if you have a degree or equivalent then that would help.

Many Americans on the forum who live in England have said how they want to or would like to move back to the US, things in England are not easily available as they are in the US i have noticed that when ive visited there. When it comes to talk about England most of my posts are negative so im not going to bash about the state of this place but i have a passion of hate with this country and i cant wait enough to get out of here and got my fingers crossed that my oppertunity doesnt collapse, im in your situation but the other way around will only really consider the US and think this country is the pits.

As mentioned visiting is different than living, many brits are moving away now than ever for various reasons, high taxes, illegal immigrants etc etc.
 
Old 06-20-2007, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,040 posts, read 14,206,524 times
Reputation: 19328
I have lived near Oxford for 18 years now, and love it. I love the beauty of the countryside, the lovely villages , the history and the architecture too. Yes England does have its problems, the healthcare is not as good as the French one but it's not that bad( I should know having sadly had to use it quite a bit) and it is free for all . As an employee you get decent paid holidays ( 4 weeks minimum), paid pension, paid maternity leave etc.. The thing that worries me the most at the moment is the loss of our civil liberties due to the ruddy "war on terror" and England IS becoming a Nanny State. However I think your experience will vary widely depending on where you live. Oxfordshire is fantastic and I am always thankful for living in such a brilliant place with easy access to the theatre, concerts, opera, jazz, tons of different clubs and societies, we are only an hour and a half from London, 45 minutes to Stratford upon Avon ( And the RSC), and under 2 hours to Bath. What else could anyone want ? I would quite like a couple of years in the US ( New England or Northern California) but I think I my heart will always be here. Economically we are doing pretty well, and though there are some social problems , these exist everywhere. The thing I hate the most here is "chav" culture , people getting drunk because they are too boring to have a life , people who swear, and sleep around. Even worse is "super-chav" culture where so called celebrities with IQ of pea-pods have somehow become heroes for the average Brit. It drives me nuts. But all in all I think England is a pretty good place. People are quite tolerant, the society is secular so no freaky fundamentalists ruling society, and plenty to do. Plus Europe is on our doorstep and lots of places to visit.
 
Old 06-20-2007, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Tampa baby!!
3,258 posts, read 5,468,904 times
Reputation: 1706
I lived in Manchester which is obviously different than London in terms of EVERYTHING!! Emigrated with English husband though so not much help there. By the way, although health care isn't charged for separately, they pay a lot more taxes as well as a council tax in addition to rent which is paid by EVERYONE that lives there, not just by the one that owns the property. This can be quite a lot and imagine it is in London compared to Manchester.
 
Old 06-20-2007, 02:31 PM
 
Location: England
579 posts, read 2,308,943 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridadreamer View Post
I lived in Manchester which is obviously different than London in terms of EVERYTHING!! Emigrated with English husband though so not much help there. By the way, although health care isn't charged for separately, they pay a lot more taxes as well as a council tax in addition to rent which is paid by EVERYONE that lives there, not just by the one that owns the property. This can be quite a lot and imagine it is in London compared to Manchester.
Exactly what i said in the other post about the taxes, if us brits had to pay for healthcare majority wouldnt be able to afford the costs because of the high taxes.
 
Old 06-21-2007, 03:24 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,040 posts, read 14,206,524 times
Reputation: 19328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarchy View Post
Exactly what i said in the other post about the taxes, if us brits had to pay for healthcare majority wouldnt be able to afford the costs because of the high taxes.
Yes the taxes are high, but you do get a lot for it and the social net is really pretty good.
 
Old 06-21-2007, 05:13 AM
 
Location: England
579 posts, read 2,308,943 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
Yes the taxes are high, but you do get a lot for it and the social net is really pretty good.
What do we get a lot of, for paying high taxes??
 
Old 06-21-2007, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,040 posts, read 14,206,524 times
Reputation: 19328
You obviously don't think we do but being poor here in Europe is darn side better than in the US ( free healthcare, paid holidays ( minimum 4 weeks a lot of people get a lot more), maternity and paternity leave, pension, police, education ( even with Tony's blatant disregard for keeping university free as he had promised pre-elections, believe me it's a lot cheaper than studying in the US, I know I studied there and it does hurt a lot more), tax credits for poor people, child benefit, disability allowance,sick leave, carer's allowance,etc... is it perfect of course not but it could be a lot worse. Britain does have an underclass of poor people but our taxes though not as efficiently used as they should be do provide a modicum of security for the most vulnerable in society.

You get a lot more for your money in France or Germany but Britain isn't quite as bad as all that. We need to make the benefits system more efficient and less bureaucratic though as it is true that a lot of it is wasted. It does not have to be that way though.
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