Author Topic: Divorcing and moving to NC  (Read 352 times)

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Offline teacakes

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Divorcing and moving to NC
« on: February 11, 2017, 01:25:03 PM »
Hi. I moved to the UK on a spousal visa in 2008 and have been eligible for full citizenship for some time now, but have never bothered, current status is ILR.

My husband and I have decided to divorce. We're being pretty amicable about it, thankfully. I'm planning to move to NC, where I can crash a friend's house until I'm up and running again. We're still sorting out where we'll get the divorce, but mostly agree on who is taking what.

I'm here because I'm nervous about re-establishing myself in the states, as I mostly haven't lived there in a decade. I no longer have a bank account there, or a valid license in any state.

- I expect I need a job and bank account to get a lease; probably need proof of address to get a bank account/license. Where's the best place to start?

- Will my UK credit (decent) follow me back to the US? Or will I be starting at zero? If I'm starting over, any recommendations on the best way to start building credit in the US today, although I'm still in the UK for a few months? (And don't have a US address?)

- If I move back in September, will I get a penalty because I didn't enroll in ACA last month? Or I get some kind of grace period to establish residency and sign up? ACA didn't exist when I moved away. (I don't plan to be working for at least a few months after moving, if that's relevant.)

- I'm not really planning to ever move back to the UK, but as I am eligible to be a citizen, I think it might be wise to get it before I go, just in case. Will I then retain that forever, even if I only visit occasionally? Any other thoughts about this? (It's a lot of money. Maybe it's not worth it at this point?)

Thanks so much for any tips or answers you might have.

Offline larrabee

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Re: Divorcing and moving to NC
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2017, 01:42:32 PM »
I would definitely recommend getting your citizenship before you leave. You just never know what the future holds.  :)
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Divorcing and moving to NC
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 01:48:17 PM »
Very sorry about your divorce.

It's much easier to do things in the US.  You should be able to use your friends address or even a post office box to open a bank account and get a license.  You definitely don't need a job to get one.

No idea about ACA.

If you think there is any chance you may want to move back to the UK in the future, get citizenship.  If you don't, it will basically be impossible to return (to live).  If I were you, I would get it.  Almost like an insurance policy in case you find you aren't happy back in the US.

Offline TravelingFrog

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Re: Divorcing and moving to NC
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 02:38:26 PM »
I'll give a third vote for getting your UK citizenship before you leave.

You never know what the future will bring and having UK citizenship will give you a lot more options if you ever decide to move back to the UK.

If you've got the money for citizenship (about £1250, I think), it won't hurt to get it. It's a big chunk of change, but worth it in my opinion.
July 2012 - Fiancée Visa | Nov 2012 - Married
Dec 2012 - FLR | Nov 2014 - ILR | Dec 2015 - UK Citizen

Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Divorcing and moving to NC
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2017, 10:08:20 AM »
Just wanted to chime in and agree on the dual citizenship thing. Even if you think you'll just be visiting a few times, that will definitely make the process easier (especially if they crack down on immigration in the future). Agree with everybody else that you don't know what the future holds! You may move back and decide you actually don't like the lifestyle back home as much anymore as a lot has changed in a decade and you actually may want to move back to the UK. If you can afford to do it, I think it would be a benefit to keep your options open.

RE jobs/etc., do you currently work anywhere with ties to the US? I only ask because I know that the company I work for is a global company and originates in the US and has several locations there. While I may not be able to transfer in the same role, I might b able to look internally fr roles in the US and already having an in at the company might help. If you aren't in a position to do that, perhaps you could start browsing the jobs available and start applying for some as you get closer to your departure date. It definitely wouldn't hurt to have a head start on applying for jobs prior to you arriving back in the US as it might help bring some positivity. If you are staying with your friend until you can find a place of your own, I'm sure you can use their address as your current address when setting up accounts/etc.

Offline MarsBar

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Re: Divorcing and moving to NC
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2017, 09:30:05 PM »
Hi teacakes,

I'm sorry to hear about your divorce.

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- I expect I need a job and bank account to get a lease; probably need proof of address to get a bank account/license. Where's the best place to start?

You'll definitely need a job and bank account to get a lease, as well as some money in the bank for application fees and deposits (varies, but typically 1 month's rent + pet deposits if that applies to you). Many landlords / leasing companies require your monthly salary to be at least 3 times your monthly rent but can go up to 5 or 6 times (or more) for some luxury properties.

You will be able to get a bank account using your friend's address. I recommend walking into a bank branch and opening a bank account in person. If you try to do it online you probably won't be approved because they'll have a hard time validating your ID off your credit report alone. You should be able to open a bank account with your passport and social security number. You probably will not need proof of address.

Check your state's DMV website for your licensing requirements. Expect to have to take whole test again if your previous license expired a long time ago. If you still have your old US license, you can take it with you and see if they will exchange it for one in your new state without having to take the exams. It just depends on your new state and how long your license has been expired. You may need some proof of residence for the license, but your bank account should suffice. There may also be a form your friend can sign that verifies you are living at their address.

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- Will my UK credit (decent) follow me back to the US? Or will I be starting at zero? If I'm starting over, any recommendations on the best way to start building credit in the US today, although I'm still in the UK for a few months? (And don't have a US address?)

Your UK credit will not follow you back to the US. There are some banks that have Expatriate services departments that will pull UK credit reports to decide if they will open US credit accounts, but these tend to be top tier services for bank members with tens of thousands in deposit at the bank. Still, it's worth asking the regular consumer credit departments if they can help. Companies like American Express, HSBC, RBS, and Barclays all have solid presence in the US and may be willing to transfer your UK account to the US or use your UK credit in consideration of a new US account. People have been successful with this in the past.

As for your US credit, it depends on how long you've been gone and if you kept any credit lines open while you were in the UK. It would be worthwhile to pull a 3-bureau credit report with FICO scores from someone like CreditCheck Total, myFICO, or one of the 3 bureaus: Experian, Equifax, TransUnion. If you see any errors on your reports, fix them. An OK score that needs some help will be in the 600s. A good score is in the 700s or above. With a job and a score in the 700s you'll probably be able to open credit cards pretty easily.

If you're in the 600s or below and finding it hard to get an unsecured credit card after 2 or 3 attempts (be sure to read the qualification guidelines for each card before you apply - some have minimum credit score requirements), you might want try a secured credit card for 6 months to 1 year, where the bank will automatically open up an unsecured card for you after you've proven that you've managed your credit and payments well. You may also be able to get a car loan in the 600s but your rate will be better in the 700s.

You wont be able to open US unsecured credit cards or loans until you have proof of US residence, income, a bank account, and possibly a Driver's License or US state ID. Some banks may require you submit this info in the application or supplementary to the application, especially if your US credit report is looking slim. I don't think there's much you can do right now from the UK, but once you get back to the US it should move along quickly.

Check out myFICO.com for lots of info on how lenders asses your credit, how to build it, and how to maintain it. Run those reports and scores - this is definitely something you can do now b/c correcting errors can take a while.

Quote
- If I move back in September, will I get a penalty because I didn't enroll in ACA last month? Or I get some kind of grace period to establish residency and sign up? ACA didn't exist when I moved away. (I don't plan to be working for at least a few months after moving, if that's relevant.)

I don't even know if you can enroll in ACA now. The best thing you can do is check out the exchange website for your new state and see if there's information on special enrollment circumstances. This might fall under a "change in circumstances" (or something to that effect). You're in uncharted territory with a lot of other folks. There's always open market insurance plans and short term policies to hold you over until you're employed. Just be wary of short term plans, they are meant to protect you in catastrophic situations only and may not pay out for regular health care or minor illness.

Quote
- I'm not really planning to ever move back to the UK, but as I am eligible to be a citizen, I think it might be wise to get it before I go, just in case. Will I then retain that forever, even if I only visit occasionally? Any other thoughts about this? (It's a lot of money. Maybe it's not worth it at this point?)

Absolutely get your citizenship before you leave. Start now - the process can take a little while. When I did my citizenship something like 13 years ago, I actually qualified the day before I left the UK! It was by the skin of my teeth. I sent my application from the US and did my naturalization ceremony at a US Consulate. That was back before the UK did citizenship tests and interviews though. So be sure to check how long applications are taking to complete and if you can do any interviews, tests, and naturalization ceremonies abroad. If not, you could theoretically go back to the US and return to the UK as needed for these formalities, but there's the cost of the plane tickets and hotels to consider.

I've seen a lot of people say they were never going back and decided not to get their citizenship and then regretted it. Always better to get it and never use it than not have it when you really want or need it. I didn't think I was going back either and well... lets just say I'm glad I have my Citizenship!

Timing the Citizenship is probably the hardest thing on your list. Everything else is just a bunch of paperwork and showing up places with ID! You'll do fine and it'll all settle into place pretty easily. Good luck on your move back.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 09:35:49 PM by MarsBar »
Moving back to the USA? Visit Dive Into America on Facebook, a support group for DCF applicants by yours truly.

Online nctami72

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Re: Divorcing and moving to NC
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2017, 01:34:00 PM »
You won't be penalized for not having health insurance because you were under NHS care.

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