Author Topic: New to UK Yankee  (Read 550 times)

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Offline Vantrappen

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New to UK Yankee
« on: February 04, 2018, 12:24:48 PM »
Hello folks, my name is Peter.

I moved to the UK in 2011 with my wife (British) and my daughter (now age 15). We moved here from Michigan to help with my mum-in-law who was aging (and passed away in Sept). I met my wife in South Florida some 30 odd years ago where we lived for many years.

Adjusting to life in England has been a challenge and I was pleased when I found this forum. I live in Surrey County, near Godalming where I work for Sainsburys. I'm also musician, music producer, graphic artist, web developer and have had a number of odd jobs since moving here.

I have concerns about my Visa, Social Security and US Taxes but will save that for another time and in a separate forum.  8)

Online larrabee

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2018, 12:54:38 PM »
Hi Peter, welcome to the forum.  :)
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 Rick Stephens

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2018, 01:53:12 PM »
Welcome Peter!


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Offline KFdancer

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2018, 01:57:30 PM »
Welcome!

Offline jimbocz

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 01:49:50 PM »
Hey Peter, not long ago we were driving near Godalming and had a debate about how to say it.  Is it like GODalming or GOdalming?

Offline Vantrappen

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 03:57:50 PM »
Thanks for the nice Welcome!
it is GODalming ...

The town has existed since Saxon times and probably earlier. It is mentioned in the will of King Alfred the Great in 899 (where it and Guildford are gifted to Alfred's nephew, Æthelwold) and the name itself has Saxon origins, 'Godhelms Ingus' roughly translated as "the family of Godhelm", and probably referring to one of the first lords of the manor.
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Offline Dennis the Menace!!

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 08:25:17 PM »
Hi,

Welcome to the forum Peter!

There's a good section of the forum for tax/social security and dual US/UK treaties questions along with another section for Visa queries, check them out !

For a long time, I'd refer to the place as 'God Damning' !  Eventually I got used to how it's supposed to be pronounced - 'Goddle Ming' !

Cheers, DtM ! West London and Slough UK!

Offline margo

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 01:55:56 AM »
Welcome! I have a friend in Godalming, it's a lovely place :)

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Offline durhamlad

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 03:06:56 PM »
Welcome to the site Peter.
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Offline Vantrappen

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 06:55:26 PM »
 :) Thanks Dennis and all ...

Yes, GODalming is a lovely town ...

I have a funny story for would-be Ex-pats moving to the UK.  When I received my passport back from New York in 2011 it was stamped 12/01/2014 = which I took to mean December 1st 2014. There was no other correspondence to indicate anything else so... mid 2014, maybe August, I went to get some "free" counseling from an Immigration attorney to renew my visa.  She was quick to point out that I was overdue by 8 months. The English put the Day first when writing a date, as in January 12, 2014. Doh!

I might have been kicked out of the country had I not been married to my wife for nearly 30 years and have a young daughter. Now I'm half way through a 10 year plan because the laws changed in 2012. Ack! I tried arguing my side of the situation but they were not sympathetic. Surely I'm not the only American to fall for that!? ... Live and learn




Offline KFdancer

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 07:19:24 PM »
:) Thanks Dennis and all ...

Yes, GODalming is a lovely town ...

I have a funny story for would-be Ex-pats moving to the UK.  When I received my passport back from New York in 2011 it was stamped 12/01/2014 = which I took to mean December 1st 2014. There was no other correspondence to indicate anything else so... mid 2014, maybe August, I went to get some "free" counseling from an Immigration attorney to renew my visa.  She was quick to point out that I was overdue by 8 months. The English put the Day first when writing a date, as in January 12, 2014. Doh!

I might have been kicked out of the country had I not been married to my wife for nearly 30 years and have a young daughter. Now I'm half way through a 10 year plan because the laws changed in 2012. Ack! I tried arguing my side of the situation but they were not sympathetic. Surely I'm not the only American to fall for that!? ... Live and learn

Ouch!  That was an expensive mistake!!

Offline physicskate

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2018, 08:49:57 PM »

Pre-July 2012, weren't you issued ILE if you'd been married for 4 years outside the UK??
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Offline ksand24

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 10:31:59 PM »
Welcome to the forum :).

Pre-July 2012, weren't you issued ILE if you'd been married for 4 years outside the UK??

Only if you asked for it AND you had already taken the Life in the UK test.

However, at some point before 2012 they stopped allowing people to take the test as visitors (can’t remember exactly when), so most people were unable to qualify for ILE anyway as you needed proof of U.K. address to take the KOL test.

However, you could request a spousal visa with KOL Required which meant you were issued a spousal visa but you could switch to ILR as soon as you had passed the Life in the UK test.


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Offline Vantrappen

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2018, 12:40:57 PM »
Thanks again for the feedback. My Outlook app is still throwing messages into the Junk folder. Ack!

Anyway, I've never heard of the ILE and apparently I missed that boat long ago.

I was in Michigan in 2011, and went online to answer about 50 detailed questions, the end of which I was told to send my Passport and $1300 (via credit card) to the British Embassy in New York. No other correspondence or help was offered.

So, I took a leap of faith and paid the bill, sent my passport off and waited. The passport came back eventually and had nothing but the Spousal Visa Stamp (right to work), the date: 12/1/2014 and "no public funds". All very cryptic. No welcoming letter, no instructions, nothing of when I was to renew or how to.

This past May, when I was due to renew my Visa on the 2nd Quarter of my 10 year plan. I found that they now require a £500 National Health "surcharge" although I am and have been paying NI tax. And the fee went up = again. It took 4 months to get our passports back. We were unable to take a holiday on our 30th wedding anniversary in June.

Sorry, I know this should be talked about in another forum. We actually contacted our MP to see if they could find out what was taking so long. He did in fact, inquire (enquire?) after the issue for us. I guess it helped but they were very indignant that we would try to circumvent the process. lol

Offline lyonaria

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Re: New to UK Yankee
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2018, 02:01:42 PM »

This past May, when I was due to renew my Visa on the 2nd Quarter of my 10 year plan. I found that they now require a £500 National Health "surcharge" although I am and have been paying NI tax. And the fee went up = again. It took 4 months to get our passports back. We were unable to take a holiday on our 30th wedding anniversary in June.

Sorry, I know this should be talked about in another forum. We actually contacted our MP to see if they could find out what was taking so long. He did in fact, inquire (enquire?) after the issue for us. I guess it helped but they were very indignant that we would try to circumvent the process. lol

Dang, that's an unfortunate thing to do, reading a UK expiration date in the US fashion. Definitely wish you all the best with your 10 year journey.

I don't know exactly which fee you are taking about having raised (since there's two of them now), but the visa fees go up every year, generally around 20% so you'll want to take that into account for the next one.

AND the NHS fee is being raised this year. It was £200 per year and they are now raising it to £400 per year. Which is really rough. I mean it doesn't have anything on the health insurance costs in America, but £1000 IHS fee (2.5 years) plus the visa fee is gonna hit people hard.

ETA: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/05/annual-charge-paid-by-migrants-for-using-the-nhs-to-double

Link in case you're interested to the article I saw about the raised IHS fees.
The usual. American girl meets British guy. They fall into like, then into love. Then there was the big decision. The American traveled across the pond to join the Brit. And life was never the same again.