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Topic: To move or not to move  (Read 647 times)

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To move or not to move
« on: January 19, 2022, 03:06:40 AM »
Hello All,

We are a family of 3, i am my wife work on software industry and we have a 11yo who is in 6th grade in US. We are US citizens but we are considering moving to UK. We spent couple of weeks in London last month and we absolutely loved the place and people. We felt people are more welcoming and more tolerant.

Our biggest concern right now is how our son will adjust to schooling in the UK, we did some basic reading and found out the schooling system are so different in UK.

Could you please help us with following Qs

1. Should we target moving for our sons 8th year or 9th year secondary school?
2. How difficult will it be for kids to get used to different schooling system (US to UK, if done it before)?
3. Which schools welcome overseas students in either 8th or 9th year?


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2022, 06:29:17 AM »
I may or may not have A LOT of info that may help inform you. But first, a question: what visa will you get that enables you to live and work in the UK? Or do any of you hold a second citizenship?


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2022, 09:48:12 AM »
11 year olds have already started secondary school and working towards exams.  Switching systems will get harder every day that passes and be virtually impossible once in Year 9 or 10.

As Kate said, I’m guessing one or both of you hold British citizenship and don’t need to find a visa sponsor (no small feat).


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2022, 02:23:57 PM »
Thanks for your responses.

All three of us are US citizens and do not hold any other citizenship. Companies we work in allow tranfer into UK and they will sponsor our visas. I am not sure if student visa will be covered as part of transfer.

>> Switching systems will get harder every day that passes and be virtually impossible once in Year 9 or 10
Could you please elaborate? It is virtually impossible to move before year 9? We are considering either year 8 or year 9, definetly not after he starts high school here in US.

Your responses are very much appreciated.


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2022, 03:03:47 PM »
Uk year 8 = US 7th grade.
UK year 10 = US 9th grade

I was a teacher in the UK for 7 years. I was schooled under the US system.

As a teacher, I used to get very annoyed indeed when a student started at our school after Year 9 (UK). This was because qualifications are sat at the end of Year 11. Many many schools now start the curriculum for these exams in Year 9, at some point. The qualification grades that you get at age 16 (in Year 11) will determine what you can study beyond and even what universities you should consider looking at. The grades you get are very important to the teacher and school, as both are judged by their students grades (which is nucking futs).

The other reason to start no later than year 9 is because many schools will be full for the subsequent years. The years of movement between (state, in particular) is before year 9 and in many areas, schools are oversubscribed and the schools that you would want your child to attend simply won’t have a place. Even getting a place after Year 7 (when secondary school starts in the UK) can be difficult in some areas and choice will likely be limited. You may have to take what you’re given.

Your child would get a dependent visa, not a student visa. A dependent visa (dependent on your visa or your spouse’s) would allow your child to attend any state (or private) school that will have them.

Bear in mind that Tier 2 ICT (intra company transfer) visas do not lead to settlement and in many cases have a maximum number of years that you can live in the UK.


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2004-2008: Student Visa
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2013-2016: New Tier 2 (changed jobs)
16/12/15: SET (LR) successful! - It's been a long road...
12/05/16: Citizenship ceremony!


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2022, 06:50:00 PM »
As Kate said, the intra company transfer visa is a temporary visa.  You cannot change employers and switch to a visa that leads to settlement (permanent residence).  It’s pretty harsh.  You could live here for 9 years, your child could have their secondary education and university level education here and have to leave.  Like no choice, no options, just MUST leave. It’s a very real consideration. 

Kids choose “their path” and what they want yo be when they grow up by about age 14.  It’s pretty much locked down at 16.  It’s too young and too inflexible in my opinion. 

I would HIGHLY encourage you to negotiate an American School with our employer as part of the package.  That’ll allow your child many MANY more paths as they grow.  They would easily be able to attend university in either country and slot into either system.  A child’s education is usually a given with an expat package, but just make sure it’s in there!

Overall, primary school education is considered to be superior in the UK.  That switches with secondary school (middle/high school). From that point, the USA education system out performs the British system.  Of course, this can vary in the US, depending on region/state/local schools. 

Can I be nosy and ask why the desire to move to the Uk?  This wasn’t where I wanted to be, it just kind of happened by accident. I’m certainly happy here but I like to think I would be happy anywhere.  Both the UK and USA are good countries.  I genuinely do not believe either is superior to the other. 


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2022, 04:37:17 AM »
Thanks for your responses.

My employer will sponser Tier2 General which qualifies me to apply for residency.

We are considering private school for our son and hopefully that will be less restrictive? Also we are planning to move before his year 9 for sure (2023 school year).

Now coming to the reason for considering move - we have stayed in the US for close to 20 years, we never had plans to stay this long in the US. Moving to UK takes us closer to India and this makes it easier for us to visit our family there, we love how historical UK is, architecture of buildings there, lastly we are crazy about travelling and proximity to Europe which allows us to make many trips there..

May be am wrong here but i felt people in UK dont worry about accumulating wealth and working long hours as in US, this is just my observation and I like that about UK. May be this is due to how healthcare is free there.. Would love to hear your views.


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2022, 08:22:26 AM »
Private schools have their own entry requirements. You’d have to contact an individual school. Check websites. Some private schools here don’t start until Year 9, though that is definitely no longer the norm. Some ‘prep’ (ie independent primary) schools go through Year 8, but again, not all.

Quality varies HUGELY at independents. It’s not always a case of ‘you pay for what you get’ as a couple cowboys are out there, but this is not the norm. In an independent, you want to look for small class sizes, not just the facilities they offer. Most independents have struggled from the pandemic, if not before. Your son really shouldn’t have problems getting into an independent, provided you look outside the Erin, Harrow types (but even some of them may bite your hand off to get your son).

There is still a rat race here, make no mistake. But I also get the sense that we work to live, not the other way around as it is in the US. And yes, healthcare is paid through your taxes, but it is not the same at all as in the US. You don’t have ‘check-ups’ or ‘my cardiologist’ unless you have a specific health condition or an issue arises. Preventative medicine/culture is not really much of a thing here. You read guidance and take care of yourself.

For example: I was ASTOUNDED when my sister said she was contacting her son’s paediatrician to discuss how long her son should isolate for after testing positive for covid. Here, we’d look at the guidance ourselves or we can call a number and speak to a min. wage call centre worker, not an actual, trained doctor about a mild case of covid.


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16/12/15: SET (LR) successful! - It's been a long road...
12/05/16: Citizenship ceremony!


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2022, 09:53:33 AM »
Just an FYI, Tier 2 visas were retired with Brexit.  But fantastic that you don’t have to do an intracompany transfer and can be grated a skilled worker visa instead. Definitely a game changer!

I’m in the south and personally feel the rat race more here than in the USA if I’m honest. I think that’s part you because the work day starts and ends later.  And shops close early so you really can only get things done at the weekend.

Yes, it is easier to travel to Europe. Don’t interchange easier for cheaper though.  That’s a common misconception. We were looking at going away over a 3 day weekend and it’s £1200 to £1600 for flights and three nights hotel (basic) depending on where we go. That’s no baggage and no frills. But yes, you can go to European cities for a weekend, which you can’t do in the USA. Definitely with Covid, I’d caution having “easy travel” as a pro. I’ve seen a lot of immigrants very unhappy the last two years because they were going to do ALL the travelling but instead they’ve been stuck in strict lockdowns and huge fees for testing in the few times we’ve been able to travel.

And it would definitely be a shorter flight to India. No doubt!

I’d recommend looking at living in the north or Scotland. That definitely seems where people are happiest. Don’t live in the south like me. And you couldn’t pay me to live in London.  ;D


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2022, 02:58:52 PM »
As Kate said, the intra company transfer visa is a temporary visa.  You cannot change employers and switch to a visa that leads to settlement (permanent residence).  It’s pretty harsh.  You could live here for 9 years, your child could have their secondary education and university level education here and have to leave.  Like no choice, no options, just MUST leave. It’s a very real consideration. 

That is not correct. It was true when you arrived on a Tier 2 (ICT) visa years ago, but the immigration rules changed last month: the Skilled Worker visa was brought in (and replaced the Tier 2 General visa)

Who cannot apply to switch to this visa

You cannot apply to switch to this visa if you’re currently in the UK:

    on a visit visa
    on a short-term student visa
    on a Parent of a Child Student visa
    on a seasonal worker visa
    on a domestic worker in a private household visa
    on immigration bail
    because you were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds

You must leave the UK and apply for a Skilled Worker visa from abroad if you’re in one of these categories.


https://www.gov.uk/skilled-worker-visa/switch-to-this-visa
« Last Edit: January 28, 2022, 03:19:43 PM by Sirius »


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2022, 03:06:50 PM »
   double post


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2022, 03:23:40 PM »
Just an FYI, Tier 2 visas were retired with Brexit. 

Only the Tier 2 (General) visa was replaced, just before the end of the EU transition period.


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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2022, 04:05:39 PM »
Thanks Sirius, Thats good to know.

We are currently finding it very hard to find any private school that even accepts our application for 2023 year 9 admission. We have contacted over 20 private schools and they are all oversubscribed already, we are well past the deadline.

This came as a shocker to us as we started the process close to two years before 2023 school year and yet private schools are already full.

Does anyone have any info that can help us secure admission in a good private school? We are considering school admission consultancy companies as well.

Please share your experience with secondary private school admissions

Thanks



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Re: To move or not to move
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2022, 04:19:17 PM »
That is not correct. It was true when you arrived on a Tier 2 (ICT) visa years ago, but the immigration rules changed last month: the Skilled Worker visa was brought in (and replaced the Tier 2 General visa)

Who cannot apply to switch to this visa

You cannot apply to switch to this visa if you’re currently in the UK:

    on a visit visa
    on a short-term student visa
    on a Parent of a Child Student visa
    on a seasonal worker visa
    on a domestic worker in a private household visa
    on immigration bail
    because you were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds

You must leave the UK and apply for a Skilled Worker visa from abroad if you’re in one of these categories.


https://www.gov.uk/skilled-worker-visa/switch-to-this-visa

It absolutely still exists but is a moot point, as the OP’s employer will sponsor a Skilled Worker visa anyway.

https://www.gov.uk/intracompany-transfer-worker-visa

Girish, for top schools, parents will have signed their children up literally from birth.  There will be movement of kids as people move but likely waitlists are in place for others. I’d absolutely recommend utilising a specialist education consultant to help guide you.  They will have the experience needed to find a placement.


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To move or not to move
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2022, 07:08:09 PM »
I can only help with all-girls. Many (but not all, by any means) would bite at the chance.

I did work at a school once that used to somewhat regularly receive ultrasounds of foetuses that parents wanted to ‘get on the list.’

Edit: are you looking at London/ SE only?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2004-2008: Student Visa
2008-2010: Tier 1 PSW
2010-2011: Tier 4
2011-2014: Tier 2
2013-2016: New Tier 2 (changed jobs)
16/12/15: SET (LR) successful! - It's been a long road...
12/05/16: Citizenship ceremony!


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