Author Topic: Moving from D.C. To London with 3 kids  (Read 251 times)

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Offline mcatmay

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Moving from D.C. To London with 3 kids
« on: January 23, 2017, 03:18:58 PM »
Hi all! Just wanted to introduce myself as I'm sure I'll have questions soon - I'm part of a few online communities and was so grateful to see this one exists.

My husband just accepted a job offer in London. We have no family or friends and know very little about London (canary wharf) so the learning curve is steep - very steep. We have three kids - 5.5 years, almost 3 years and a 14 day old (yeah, I know - this is complete insanity - believe me, I'm questioning our good judgment;)

The hubz will probably move mid-April while I'll move wth the kids in June (oldest is in kindergarten and I'm thinking it might help her transition to finish out the year). Unless y'all tell me that I'm silly for waiting that long.

Other pertinent info - I'll have the ability to work under my H's visa but am totally overwhelmed by what I'm reading about the job situation. I'm a veterinarian that now works in the federal government doing nothing related to vet med. i work in health research now.

More pertinent info - I'm originally from France and have dual citizenship in US and France but let my French passport expire ages ago. I can certainly start the process to get one again but anticipate it a painful process and would only do so if it were really helpful in some way in the U.K. 

Right now, I'm most overwhelmed with locating a place to live. Any advice is most welcome! Some points of consideration:
1. Ideally no further than 45 mn commute for the hubby
2. Good schools. Open to private schools as needed
3. Family friendly
4. Top end of rent is £3000/month (I realize I'll have to do the math to convert to weekly)

I am not pushed to work but eventually would love to go back to work. Any advice on prep steps I can do on that front would also be incredibly helpful.

I realize this post may be too broad but any pointers are helpful as I'm totally clueless beyond what I've read in other posts and reading the moon series 'living abroad' London.

TIA!!!



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Online KFdancer

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Re: Moving from D.C. To London with 3 kids
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 03:29:36 PM »
Welcome.  Do you know if your husband will be receiving a Tier 2 ICT visa or a Tier 2 General?  That may affect decisions on your French citizenship (as an ICT visa is only temporary and for five years maximum).

While I'm not in London myself, I've always heard that the area between Clapham and Wandsworth is often referred to as Nappy Valley.

Decisions on schools won't be *too* big of a deal as your kids are young and they will likely transition between the two systems pretty seamlessly.  School lasts until the end of July here, so not sure if you would need to enrol your child in that time or not (unlikely not as they are young).  So even if you are on an ICT visa, you would still move back to the US and to the US system before secondary school here, which would be helpful.

Rightmove.co.uk is a good site to have a look at to see how far your budget will go.  Do you have pets?  If so that could reducing housing choices a bit but I suspect you will get a decent property for £3k a month.

Offline mcatmay

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Re: Moving from D.C. To London with 3 kids
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 06:47:20 PM »
@KFdancer, thanks for the quick reply.   My husband will receive the tier 2 general visa.

Thanks for the website rec. that's incredibly helpful. We have one cat we're taking but that's it. I'll see what I can find through the website.

I'll definitely focus in on 'nappy valley' (ha! The British wit applies even to house-hunting, I see :)




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Online KFdancer

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Re: Moving from D.C. To London with 3 kids
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 07:23:03 PM »
The Tier 2 General (currently) allows for settlement.  Your French passport could allow you to qualify to live and work without visas.  You'd need to research if your kids qualify for French citizenship.

However, if your husbands company is paying for all the visas, I would take that path versus the EU path (Brexit is leaving a lot of unanswered questions regarding EU freedom of movement).