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Emigrating to the US from the UK: A beginner’s guide

By LLM Reporters on 14th May 2021

The vast lands of the US offer up many an opportunity for those looking to gain a good education, prosperous career, and an improved way of life while living in some fairly stunning surroundings, too. Perhaps it is the draw of not having to learn a new language or a relationship that draws you to the US, or you are simply in search of the ‘American Dream’, whatever your decision for making the big move, we are here to help navigate you. From where to settle to how you can access jobs and achieve citizenship, we’ve compiled a beginner’s guide to emigrating to the US to help you on your way. 

Where to move to? 

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Research to find the best location for you and your family

Being such an expansive land, where you move depends on so many factors. Why are you moving to the US? If it’s for a job or particular university that you or a family member is attending, then the decision is made for you. If you’re looking for locations first, then you will want to undertake plenty of research. The weather varies wildly from one state to another, while house prices, job opportunities, laws and customs, foods and the natural surroundings will differ vastly, too. For some inspiration on which states to move to for better health and improved quality of life, check out our previous article here

Jobs

Job search online
Employment visas will generally be based on a specific offer of employment

You are allowed to work in the US if you hold an employment-based immigrant visa, a permanent resident card (green card), a work permit or a temporary employment visa – employment visas will generally be based on a specific offer of employment. Whether you are seeking advice from immigration solicitors in Birmingham Bristol, Belfast or beyond, making sure that you have the very best guidance and expertise to hand will make for a smooth transition for you and your potential travelling companions. 

From New York City to Seattle to Boston and Washington DC, there are many exciting places in which you can seek out a work opportunity to suit you, so have a good look around and seek out the roles that you can bring your set of skills to.

Healthcare

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Under the Affordable Care Act, most immigrants will qualify for health coverage

Moving from the UK where healthcare is free at the point of use will certainly raise questions about how healthcare is accessed in the US and in this section we hope to clarify. Under the Affordable Care Act, most immigrants will qualify for health coverage, and immigrants are entitled to enrol in individual health plans just as any other lawfully present US resident. As it states on healthinsurance.org; “Lawfully present immigrants – including those in the US temporarily on work or student visas – are eligible for premium subsidies”.

It is certainly worth doing further research around your specific circumstances as a job offer may well come with healthcare insurance, too.

Travel

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Explore the beautiful mountainous regions, canyons and beautiful beaches

From the breath-taking islands of Hawaii to the mountains of Colorado to ski down and the brilliantly bustling cities to awe-inspiring lakes, canyons, beaches and natural parks that are scattered throughout the huge country, once you’re in, it’s actually quite difficult to leave. And you may as well make the most of the myriad of amazing sights that are on offer, with easy travel between states and such a vibrant mix of experiences available to you. If you’re looking to drive, it is worth noting that some states may require you to hold an international driving permit and that driving is on the right side of the road.  

Green cards and citizenship 

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Once you have held a green card for five years, you can apply for U.S citizenship

Moving to the US from the UK is no different from emigrating from any other country, and the simplest way to relocate is to apply for a green card, which can be achieved in a number of ways. Once you have held a green card for five years (or three years if you are a spouse of a US citizen) you can apply for US citizenship, which requires a 10-step naturalisation process, taking you well on your way to becoming a fully-fledged US citizen.