Immigrating From UK to USA: How Does The Process Work

Did you know that the US is the second most popular destination for immigrants from the UK? Even in 2022 immigration from the UK to the USA remains steady. In this post, we will take a look at the finer details of moving to the USA from the UK and some of the services immigrants may need such as an immigration broker, a currency broker, and a moving company.

Immigration From UK to USA: 101

The United States is a nation of immigrants (though not all of them came voluntarily). The hands that built America came from all over the world, sailing across the Atlantic (or Pacific) and headed to the land of opportunity in search of freedom and a better life. Even to this day, the USA remains the dream destination for hopefuls from all over the world, and each year, over 1 million immigrants arrive in the great nation ready to make new lives for themselves.

Whilst most new arrivals to the US come from Latin America, the country is still a popular destination for Europeans and especially citizens of the UK who have steadily made their way to America ever since the Mayflower first docked at Plymouth some 300 years ago. It’s easy to see why too, after all, Americans and their British cousins speak the same language and share many cultural similarities. Furthermore, much of the eastern seaboard is still named after towns in England helping to stave off any onset of homesickness.

However, in modern-day America immigration is not quite as simple as it used to be. The country has considerably tightened up its entry policies and there are now quite a few requirements to satisfy, and a hefty bureaucracy to navigate before obtaining a “green card”.

Getting Sponsorship

The U.S Consulate in London advises that UK nationals applying to immigrate usually need a sponsor – this is a legal American citizen or permanent resident. The sponsor must initiate the process by filing a petition on the applicant’s behalf with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A sponsor can be a relative, a friend, or a prospective employer.

The kind of sponsor you have affects the scheme under which you can apply for a green card – the family sponsorship is for helping UK citizens join family or spouses in the US and the worker program is obviously applicable for economic migrants who have found a job.

Note that if you do not have a sponsor then the immigration process will prove to be considerably harder.

Consider Using an Immigration Broker

Once a sponsor has been identified and filed the relevant documentation, the applicants can apply for the green card via the work or family resident visa route. Whilst applicants can try to navigate this whole process yourself, it can get tiring and so it may prove easier to hire an immigration broker or visa specialist.

Getting a U.S. Bank Account

Getting a US bank account is not exactly easy. However, once a visa has been obtained and a local address secured, expats are free to apply to open a bank account. There are a lot of different banks offering accounts in the US and so it is well worth taking the time to do some market comparisons to identify the lowest fees and best rates.

Applicants who still have family or business interests back in the UK may wish to try and identify which bank offers the best fees and rates on international transfers.

Money Transfer Services or Currency Broker

Whilst a US bank account will prove essential for receiving a salary and paying bills, it is not really the best way to send or receive money to or from the UK.

Any immigrants who intend to send large sums of money from their UK bank account to their new US one would be wise not to rely on the banks for this. This is because banks charge wire transfer fees, as well as apply unfavorable “markups” on foreign currency exchanges.

Instead, immigrants can save serious money by using a money transfer specialist or a currency broker who can offer low fees on transfers as well as better exchange rates. When moving money from the UK to the US, it is better to identify a broker in UK to handle the transaction.

Moving Company or Shipping

Most of us have accumulated treasured personal items over the course of our lives and we may be loath to leave this behind. However, there is no denying that the costs of shipping items from the UK to the US can be very high.

It is probably just not cost-effective to bring household items such as furniture or even electronic goods. It may prove wiser to sell off everything one owns and buy new items once a house has been secured in the US.

Final Thoughts on Immigration From UK to USA

The American dream is still there for the taking and with the UK entering a period of decline, immigration from UK to USA is set to rise over the next few years. We hope you found this useful – the one key point we would reiterate is regardless of whether you use an immigration broker, or moving company, you absolutely should consider using a currency broker before you move your money out of the UK.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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