Author Topic: Seattle to London, potentially!  (Read 336 times)

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Offline AJ_PNW

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Seattle to London, potentially!
« on: December 21, 2016, 05:12:09 PM »
Hello all,

To start, my fiancee is inching closer to relocation to the London office of her Seattle-based company. We've been together for a little over 3 years, lived together for 2 years, have been engaged for 1 year, and will be getting married in Seattle in May 2017! We're not quite 100% sure that we'll become expats, but it's looking more likely than not that we'll be making the move sometime 1Q 2017.

As for me, I work for a German-based company with branches all over the world. Once she gets her official go-ahead I'll be approaching my company with the very real reality that I'll be moving and would love to stay onboard via our UK offices.

Obviously we're thinking up a storm of questions that we'll be posting in the appropriate sub-forums. Most have to do with the dreaded visa process. With what research I've done, if I were to also obtain sponsorship from my company this becomes quite straightforward and easy to understand. If I do not get sponsorship I'd be coming over on a visa tied to her and whether or not I could seek employment isn't very clear to me yet, but I'll keep digging!

We love the UK having vacationed in England and Scotland in 2015. I'm a massive football fan, and I'll out myself here be it good or bad for my safety, having supported Chelsea since 2007. The prospect of  being able to catch matches live, in-person on a semi-regular basis excites me.

I've browsed the forums for a few hours now and I'm very impressed by the wealth of knowledge that has been collected and shared. This is quite the community.

That's all for now. I'll update this post as our process marches on!

Cheers,
AJ from the PNW

Online KFdancer

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Re: Seattle to London, potentially!
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 05:22:22 PM »
Yes, you would be able to work if you were a dependent on her visa.  In fact, you'd have a LOT more freedom than if you were on a work visa (can change company's, etc).  You'll just need solid proof that you've been living together for at least two years if not yet Married.

Living in the U.K. is definitely different than visiting.  But seems to be a bit easier for those from similar climates like the PNW!  I loved the UK as a tourist and I 'like' living here.  I don't love it.   ;)

Offline AJ_PNW

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Re: Seattle to London, potentially!
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2016, 05:40:36 PM »
Thanks so much, KFdancer. That's great information to have.

It would only be a 2 year assignment for her. We decided why not jump right in and make a major temporary life change before we have kids and settle down. It would be quite the experience. We have talked at length about potential challenges and difficulties and we continue to render that it would still be worth it. We have friends who have recently returned from a multi-year spell in London who absolutely loved it and came back vastly different people, in a good way!

The climates and weather of Seattle and London are eerily similar, so I'm sure in that regard we'll feel very much at home. Being from a very culturally and socially open city like Seattle we're very well equipped to be good guests

Online KFdancer

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Re: Seattle to London, potentially!
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2016, 05:49:07 PM »
Keep in mind about different visa types.  If she is transferring with her current company, she's likely going to receive a Tier 2 ICT visa.  This is a visa that would allow you both to live in the UK for a maximum of 5 years and does NOT lead to settlement.  To then get on a settlement path, you would have to return to the US for a minimum of 12 months before reapplying to return.  Just something to keep in mind.  If you really love it here, you won't be able to stay long term.

Plenty of people absolutely love it here.  I tend to be neutral.  I can see the good and bad of life in the UK.  I can also see the good and bad of life in the US.  No where is perfect.  My big complaint is that I don't have a great work/life balance in the UK which has been hard for me.  Others have had the opposite experience and find a better work/life balance in the UK.  Seems very dependent on one's field.

Offline Sirius

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Re: Seattle to London, potentially!
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2016, 06:23:28 PM »
Keep in mind about different visa types.  If she is transferring with her current company, she's likely going to receive a Tier 2 ICT visa.  This is a visa that would allow you both to live in the UK for a maximum of 5 years and does NOT lead to settlement.  To then get on a settlement path, you would have to return to the US for a minimum of 12 months before reapplying to return. 

Or the person who comes as a Tier 2 ICT dependant, finds a sponsor for a Tier 2 General visa while they are in the UK. They will need a Restricted CoS for that visa and will have to return to the US to apply, but the person on the ICT visa can remain in the UK.

Once a Tier 2 General visa is granted, they enter the UK and person on the ICT visa then switches to their dependant. Under present rules, there is no 12 month cool off for a dependant. Both are then starting on visa that can lead to settlement.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 06:46:15 PM by Sirius »

Offline AJ_PNW

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Re: Seattle to London, potentially!
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 08:23:11 PM »
Update:

She's officially been offered the job! Now we start the relocation process which will take some time (6-8 weeks just for visas, we're told). More to come!