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Moving to America

62 replies

nikkim · 20/02/2005 16:46

My dp and I have been looking to move from Lancashire for a while and have now decided that if we are going to move it may as well be a big one so have decided on America, but that is as far as we have got.

Mumsnetters who know America - or who live there - where would you recommend?

And a legal question, can my ex stop me leaving the country with our daugter if we are going to secure a better standard of life than we have presently and we can both forge successful careers out there?

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august24 · 20/02/2005 17:30

Check into visas, they are not as easy to get as some countries(the USA doesn't use a point system like Canada and Australia) Also keep in mind that if you get a work visa it doesn't entitle your partner to one and visversa. I had a german friend who was misrable for years because she couldn't work. If you have the visas worked out, then you are sorted.

I am moving back to Boston in a little over a week, if you have any other questions please ask.

MeerkatsUnite · 20/02/2005 17:37


I wish you all the very best with this but would have to say that this can be a very long and drawn out process if you do succeed in getting there. As it stands UK citizens are not eligible to take part in the Green card lottery so this particular route is closed off to you.

What jobs do you have?. This is also important as well.

Would suggest you look at the following website:- for more info.

jampots · 20/02/2005 17:38

my pal went over 5 years ago with her dh's job and originally was in Baltimore then after a couple of years moved out to Sacramento and now back in Baltimore since last year. She loves it

Ameriscot2005 · 20/02/2005 17:43

It's not easy to move to America. Visa eligibility is very tight. It's also hard to move dependents unless you are married.

What sort of ideas did you have yourselves? What job skills do you have that might be in demand in the US?

You'd probably need to get permission from the court to take your daughter away from easy access to her father, and if he wants to kick up a stink, then he could make it hard for you. It depends on the extent of his parental rights.

Ameriscot2005 · 20/02/2005 18:02

Sorry, my post sounds really negative .

It is hard to move to the US, but if you have the right skills and are perhaps willing to make compromises (such as getting married), you can do it.

Let me know if you need more visa information, or info about general moving issues and "culture shock".

nikkim · 20/02/2005 19:22

My dp is a design engineer and I am a teacher, although I am currently working towards being a child psychologist.

Dp has been offered work in the US before and was told that they would organise the necessary paperwork as they have to prove that a US citizen can't do the job.

I know that we are not eligible to eneter the visa lottery having done some research.

It is interesting that people have mentioned Canada as that was my first choice, but I thought that it would be a more difficult option, maybe not.

Didn't realise that we would have to get married though, being an RC without an annulment that is not an option at the moment. I was hoping to calm the post divorce waves before embarking on that route.

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Ameriscot2005 · 20/02/2005 19:35

Sounds like DP is eligible for a H1 visa - so his priority would be to find someone willing to employ him and sponsor him for a visa. The new visa quotas come out in October every year, and they are used up on day 1, so it's important to have your application in well ahead of this.

If you want to accompany him, you'd have to be married. An annulment is part of canon law and irrelevent to getting a visa. You would both have to be free to marry in civil law which sounds like you'd need to be divorced. Then you can remarry and apply for your visasn (before October in your year of application).

You could of course go your separate ways and both apply for H visas in your own right. I'm not sure how easy it is for an overseas teacher to secure an H visa, but I imagine you should be able to find the information fairly easily on the web.

Going to Canada may be easier - and I imagine equally palatable to you. There is a points system for immigration to Canada and you can probably work it out for yourself -

If your ultra long-term goal is to be in the US, you'd have more options by being in Canada. You could eventually get Canadian citizenship which would then qualify you for a TN visa (movement of NAFTA workers)

nikkim · 20/02/2005 19:42

I am divorced so that isn't an issue, and appreciate that my annulment is irrelevant to the american embassy!! However to me it isn't and therefore although in the long term marriage may be an option it isn't something I can see myself doing for a few years.

After reading your comments we looked into the Canadian points system and we both more than qualify. They also allowed for a common law partner rather than simply married couples which is obviouly a bonus for us. I was even seeing America as a step on the way to Canada rather than the other way around. My dp company has offices in Canada but the vacancies get snapped up and I think he wants to move companies anyway.

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joesy · 20/02/2005 19:47

Hi Nikkim My dh is a design engineer and during 2000-2001 we lived in San Diego. My dh was subcontracting for Nassco a large ship building company. San Diego is where I would live if I was ever going back to America for good. What type of design engineer is your dh?

joesy · 20/02/2005 19:48

Sorry dp nikkim

Ameriscot2005 · 20/02/2005 19:48

The marriage/annulment thing is one of the principles you have to deal with - whether getting an annulment is more important to you than getting a visa. You have to appreciate with immigration that you don't have your full set of human rights .

nikkim · 20/02/2005 19:51

I appreciate that if I want to move to another country I am the beggar not the chooser!

I messed up my last marraige and next time I get married I want it to be because it is what I truly want and not because I want to emigrate.

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nikkim · 20/02/2005 19:52

there you go joesy trying to matry me off just like the American embassy!

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Ameriscot2005 · 20/02/2005 19:53

Hey, I married for a Green Card [grin}

nikkim · 20/02/2005 19:53

Not sure what sort of design engineer he is , my knowledge of his job soesn't really extend beyond when he gets paid and how much it is!

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nikkim · 20/02/2005 19:53

Do you look like Andie Mc Dowell?

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nikkim · 20/02/2005 19:54

Although actually it was the french bloke with the big nose!

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Ameriscot2005 · 20/02/2005 19:54

Those are the important bits, Nikki!

Ameriscot2005 · 20/02/2005 19:54

Those are the important bits, Nikki!

nikkim · 20/02/2005 19:54

At least you know why you got married! I can't for the life of me work out why I did it first time!

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Ameriscot2005 · 20/02/2005 19:55

I am closer to Andie McDowell than DH is to Gerard Depardieu.

BTW, we've been married for 18 years and have 5 children

nikkim · 20/02/2005 19:57

well I am sure there is more to it than a green card then!

Right if I am to blag my way into a foriegn climate on my dp coat- tails I had better keep him sweet so might go and do some hoovering.

Thanks for the advice - I will probably have more to ask you!

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Ameriscot2005 · 20/02/2005 19:58

Fire away - I have been through US immigration twice, which is more than most.

philippat · 20/02/2005 20:00

nikkim, if you go for Canada just be prepared for a LOOOONNNNGGGG wait....

we put in our application nearly two years ago (and it costs a fair amount of $)... just been told we are about to get to the final hurdle... unfortunately in the meantime we have decided not to go, but that's a bit irrelevant here

You WILL have problems with your ex if he's not keen. Actually you could have problems just visiting there. Don't assume Canada will be easy without getting married, either - the common law partner bit was really intended to help gay couples qualify.

If you want to go to the US (even via Canada), face the fact it is going to cost you a LOT to do it in lawyer's fees. You don't, however need a lawyer for Canada unless you have difficult circumstances.

nikkim · 20/02/2005 20:35

Why does nobody want us??????

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