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Ever thought about moving to the UK: American’s top 5 questions answered by legal experts

As the prospect of living abroad can appear rewarding, many Americans are turning their attention to Europe for a new life. This is particularly true for the UK, which offers the chance to move somewhere new with no language barriers for English speakers. With a 118% increase in Google searches for “immigrating to the UK” last month in the United States, Americans are curious about whether they could move to the UK and how.

To help you better prepare to move, or to identify if it is the best option for you, legal experts from Upcounsel.com used search analytics tool SEMrush to reveal five of the most searched questions on Google about moving to the UK whilst providing explanations on all legalities and answers for your most asked questions!

  1. How much does it cost to move to the UK?

Finances are one of the most popular reasons that people want to start a new life abroad. However, from visas to flight tickets, fees before settling in the UK can already be a challenge. In response to the commonly searched question, “How much does it cost to move to the UK” , experts from Upcounsel.com said:

“It is important to get a basic idea of how much it might cost you before making your immigration decision. We recommend you consider costs in terms of: visa application fees, national healthcare surcharge, flight tickets, the shipping fees for your belongings, housing deposits, etc. 

While some costs vary a lot depending on which city you are moving to, settlement visas have a fixed price of up to $4000. If you have never lived in the UK nor have family there, you may want to apply for a full-time work or study visa first, which ranges between $600 to $2000The healthcare surcharge fee, which would entitle you to services from the NHS, must be paid, costing nearly $750 per year for anyone over eighteen or $560 for those below eighteen. ” 

  1. Should I move to the UK?

As starting a new life in another country can be stressful and unpredictable, immigration can be one of the hardest decisions to make. Whether it’s because of friends or family, food or weather, our ties to America are likely to make us hesitant when facing this choice. To help you feel more prepared for decision making, here is how experts from Upcounsel.com answered the commonly searched question: Should I move to the UK? 

“If you want to move to the UK for a different lifestyle, it’s a totally personal choice. Don’t rush into any decision before you collect all the information., You need to make sure you’re familiar with rules and regulations in the UK that may be different from here. For example, as a legal resident, you will have access to free healthcare, and free state schools; but you may also want to be aware of property council tax and a higher income tax than the US. It is very necessary to weigh up these positives and negatives and consider how much importance these hold for you.”

  1. How to move to the UK from the US?

To answer the most commonly asked question: How to move to the UK from the US, experts from Upcounsel.com commented:

“There is no single answer to this question, as different options of migration routes are available to Americans who want to live there, which are known as the indefinite leave to remain or settlement in the UK. The most common route people take to live in the UK for more than six months is to get a work visa. An employment that provides sponsorship and meets the salary requirement of $30,600 gives you eligibility to apply for permanent residence after working there for five years. 

If you happen to be exceptionally wealthy or have a familial connection to the UK, then there are other visa options for you, such as an investor visa with at least $2.4 million financial requirement. Student visas also allow you to live in the UK but you would need to apply for other visas after graduation as they do not directly lead to permanent residence.”

  1. What’s the legal requirements to move to the UK?

Another popular question related to moving to the UK from America is: What’s the legal requirements to move to the UK? To answer this question, Upcounsel.com commented from a legal expert’s perspective:

“It is very important to check if you have a right to reside in the UK, and, as mentioned before, a visa application is needed in order to work there. Please be aware that it is a requirement of the Immigration Rules that all applications submitted must meet constitute a “valid application,” including correct personal information, fees paid in full, legal identity documents, and genuine answers to immigration history, such as number of refusal received, etc. You could always seek professional help from immigration lawyers or advisors if you are struggling to handle visas or immigration needs.”

  1. Can my American partner move to the UK?

In response to the question of Can my American partner move to the UK?, Upcounsel.com provides some comfort to any couples facing long distance across the pond:

The answer is mostly yes if you are married, in a civil partnership, or similar relationship for more than 2 years. A family visa or dependent visa are what you could go for when applying. However, even though one person is a British citizen or already settled in the UK, your application still needs to go through the full process with all legal documents. For example, you may need proof of relationship status, combined income, English language proficiency, or length of time you’ve spent in the UK.”

We kindly ask that if you choose to use this piece, you include a link to the company that conducted the research and provided experts’ comments: https://www.upcounsel.com/ as a linked credit allows us to keep providing you with future content that you may find useful. 

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