More and more British people are relocating to the USA with their employers as businesses become more internationally focused. Moving to a new country is a major step,but if your company handles the relocation they will have the experience to ensure that the move goes as smoothly as possible.
The USA is the 3rd most popular country for Brits to relocate to after Australia and Spain and there are around 700,000 people from the UK already living there so you will be amongst a small but significant minority of British expats. When it comes to the most popular places for Brits to live in the States it’s not surprising that New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are all favorites.
Finding a Location To Live
If you’re moving to the US with your employer, then you will have little choice about where to live since you will need to be within easy reach of your new offices. You may decide to live close-by to take advantage of more time with your family. Alternatively, you may decide to commute to take advantage of better-value housing or a more pleasant environment.
Whatever your preference, the decision is easier when you are going to an existing company location because you do not need to research different areas. You will also have access to advice from other colleagues already based there on the best locations for apartments/houses, schools, clubs, quality of life etc.
Try to take your relatives on a trip there first so you can all ensure out the new area together. If that’s not possible, then the internet is invaluable for finding out more about life in the States and in the specific area where you will be living. There are numerous expat forums and websites full of useful information, such as expat.com.
The Big Move
Since company moves are usually for a fixed, temporary term, then you are likely to be letting out your own home back in the UK. You may need to prepare your home for letting, maybe by redecorate, and you will also need to choose which pieces of furniture and belongings you plan to take with you. This will, obviously, depend on whether the property you will be renting in the States is furnished or not.
If you have very valuable or cherished pieces of furniture or maybe antiques and artwork then discuss with your international movers whether to ship them over or leave them in storage in the UK to avoid any potential damage. Otherwise, take everything you think you might need in your new home and life because retrieving something later from the UK may be difficult once you are in the States.
You will also need to find out from your packers and movers how long the shipping process will take. Wherever you are going to in the USA your furniture and possessions will take longer to arrive than you will – anything between 7 days and 3 weeks. So be prepared to stay in a hotel for a short while before moving into your new home.
It is vitally important that you sort out all necessary paperwork and documentation that you might need in the States – this could include insurance certificates, mortgage statements, birth and marriage certificates etc. Also check that you will be able to use your UK credit cards in the USA and open an American bank account as soon as possible because you will have no credit history there initially.
If you have school-aged children it would also be precious obtain a individual report from their current school to hand over to the new American school, particularly since the education systems are quite different in each country. If probable, organize your move to agree with the start of a new school year or school term to make the transition slightly easier for the kids.
For all of the family ensure you have adequate private healthcare cover and find out where your local doctor and dentist are in your new area as soon as possible in case they are needed in an emergency.
By preparing well in advance and employing professional packers and movers it is possible to have a fairly stress free move even when moving internationally.
And once you are in the US take the opportunity to enjoy a different way of life in a new country having different experiences and making new friends.