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Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Sunday 12th August 2012 quote quote all
So upon a recent trip to Italy with my girlfriend I proposed while in Florence and she accepted, so now I'm starting to plan about moving abroad for hopefully the middle of next year.

I've had a look on the interweb and there seems to be a cluster bomb of information regarding things I need to do, I would be very grateful if some of you chaps could give me a hand with things I'll need to do.

We are going to be filing the K1 Visa application in the coming month or so, I am under the impression that it takes about 4-6 months to process but can be up to 10, does anyone know what the average time would be?

I was going to try and go there with just a couple of suitcases but I might need to think about shipping some stuff. Can anyone point me in the direction of a website that would give me a quote?

I've had a visa before so have a SSN and an American bank account which I'm assuming will be helpful, as I will have somewhere to send my money. I'll be submitting a work permit form after I get married along with my permanent resident application which I know can take about 6 months to go through.

I'm going with the view that a car is a necessity, so looking at purchasing one with cash, which I should imagine wouldn't be too much of a hurdle, albeit I understand it will probably be crappy, I'm preparing myself for that. Will insurance be much of issue? I ran through allstate.com the other night and it came up at $500 for 6 months on a 2002 Mustang GT (wishful thinking on car here) but I doubt it would be that simple, bearing in mind I have no real history in the US. What would my option be?

I'm going to be looking at the worst credit cards that anyone can get just to pay it off and establish a credit history. (If these exist? I know they are around in the UK)


I know I've contacted a few of you before via PH by email and you've offered some invaluable advice. I'm over the moon that I'll be able to spend my life with such an amazing woman and have my dream come true by living in America. smile

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Sunday 12th August 2012 quote quote all
Is a UK Police Certificate the same thing as a CRB Check?

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Sunday 12th August 2012 quote quote all
Oh and one other thing, I've seen that for the K1 I need to have a physical examination conducted by a Knightsbridge Doctor, which costs £210, is this right? I read it can only be done by them.

Famous Graham

26,553 posts

112 months

[news] 
Monday 13th August 2012 quote quote all
Friend of mine just went through the process for a prospective spouse (I think that's the K1 - applying while single, with a view to marrying?). I'll ask him for some input. I know he was getting despondent about time frames when it all suddenly fell into place.

As for credit cards - I was able to get a Capital One "Immigrant" card ($500 limit) after 3 months, but that was after shelling out a $400 deposit for a phone contract 2 months previous and getting a little history there. (I'll get that back February next year).

It wasn't a huge deal though, practically speaking, as my checking account came with a Mastercard anyway (albeit debit, but I'm not one for loans/credit etc).

Had no trouble with electricity or cable after 6 months (first 6 I was staying in a fully provided apartment paid for by the company, so no need to).

Oh, and regards shipping - I definitely would. I put some stuff in storage without really thinking things through. It's already cost me the same as if I'd shipped it :/

Edited by Famous Graham on Monday 13th August 14:24

Famous Graham

26,553 posts

112 months

[news] 
Monday 13th August 2012 quote quote all
Yep, he was K1 as well (he's just got the visa and it expires in November, so they don't give you a long time to get the status change sorted once you're over there and hitched).

Yes, the Knightsbridge doc is the only one.

They started pulling the paperwork together this time last year and, from filing to receipt took 9 months on the nose.
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jimmyjimjim

3,541 posts

125 months

[news] 
Tuesday 14th August 2012 quote quote all
Polarbert said:
I was going to try and go there with just a couple of suitcases but I might need to think about shipping some stuff. Can anyone point me in the direction of a website that would give me a quote?
If you're looking for a permanent or semi-permanent move, you'll be wanting to ship as much as possible out there, except for electrics - think of it as either pay to ship it, or pay more to replace it at some point. Google is your friend here; I (the company) used Cadogan Tate, who were fine - there are a lot of competitors here.

Polarbert said:
I've had a visa before so have a SSN and an American bank account which I'm assuming will be helpful, as I will have somewhere to send my money. I'll be submitting a work permit form after I get married along with my permanent resident application which I know can take about 6 months to go through.
I'd imagine that this should help enormously with credit history.
What are you looking to do over there?

Polarbert said:
I'm going with the view that a car is a necessity, so looking at purchasing one with cash, which I should imagine wouldn't be too much of a hurdle, albeit I understand it will probably be crappy, I'm preparing myself for that. Will insurance be much of issue? I ran through allstate.com the other night and it came up at $500 for 6 months on a 2002 Mustang GT (wishful thinking on car here) but I doubt it would be that simple, bearing in mind I have no real history in the US. What would my option be?
Seems a little low - do you have a US drivers licence already, if so, fo how long? I can believe it would be that low if you have held it for a few years, even if you've not been driving.
California does mean that at least you don't have to worry about winter driving.
I'd certainly go for American cars for low(er) insurance.

Polarbert said:
I'm going to be looking at the worst credit cards that anyone can get just to pay it off and establish a credit history. (If these exist? I know they are around in the UK)
Yes, I've still got my first $100 limit card! Just keep checking the mail, you'll be bombarded soon enough with offers.
As Graham said, getting a cell phone helps, but if you've got an SSN and bank account already, I doubt that you'll have any issues here, frankly.

Polarbert said:
I know I've contacted a few of you before via PH by email and you've offered some invaluable advice. I'm over the moon that I'll be able to spend my life with such an amazing woman and have my dream come true by living in America. smile
Sounds like you know what you're getting yourself in for, having been out before, so good luck and best wishes!

My only qualm in your situation would be the cost of living in CA.

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Thursday 16th August 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for all your advice chaps. My fiancee left this morning. Very much looking forward to going over there. I really didn't think all this would happen, its going to be a massive change for me but I'm very much looking forward to it!

So is a police certificate the same thing as a CRB check?

Going to be gutted to have to get rid of my Clio! I wanted to keep it for a very long time. (Although having had it for 6 and a half years that might be considered time enough!) Its the thought of downgrading I don't look forward to. Oh well.

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. thumbup

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Thursday 16th August 2012 quote quote all
Oh and no I don't have a US drivers licence. Thats something to add to the list!

jimmyjimjim

3,541 posts

125 months

[news] 
Thursday 16th August 2012 quote quote all
Shame; then you get treated as a new driver. It's worth looking at the California DMV site and reading uyp on the requirements - some states allow foreigners to convert their driving licences by simply taking a wrritten test (NJ?), others you have to take the practical as well, which is a little bit of a pain in the arse, as you have to find someone willing to put you on their insurance and lend you a car (rentals are not acceptable!) to take the test.

jimmyjimjim

3,541 posts

125 months

[news] 
Thursday 16th August 2012 quote quote all
Polarbert said:
So is a police certificate the same thing as a CRB check?
From the sounds of it, you and I would say yes.
Which means USCIS will say no, especially if it means you get to pay more....

GavinPearson

5,478 posts

138 months

[news] 
Thursday 16th August 2012 quote quote all
The best thing to do in terms of getting a guideline for visa processing times is to look at the USCIS website and determine which center it will be processed through, in turn this gives you a pretty accurate time.

These people can help you move:
http://www.teamrelocations.com/contact

For the car my recommendation is to get something domestic and popular like an SUV if you want insurance rates to be low. A pony car will be expensive for grey headed drivers with good records, and more so for new immigrants with no significant credit record and no drivers license.

In my experience the best thing to do for a credit card is to open a bank account with a healthy amount of money and ask the personal banker for one of the banks' credit cards - this should be able to get you going.

Famous Graham

26,553 posts

112 months

[news] 
Thursday 16th August 2012 quote quote all
jimmyjimjim said:
(rentals are not acceptable!) .
ZipCars are, as long as you clear it with them a few days prior.

jimmyjimjim

3,541 posts

125 months

[news] 
Thursday 16th August 2012 quote quote all
Interesting; I spoke to the DMV a few days prior on mine, got told to do one - must, like everything else, vary from state to state.

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Thursday 16th August 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for that Gavin.

I'm not sure whether the application will be processed at a field office or a service centre, but the service centre aims to do them within 5 months, which would work out okay.

I feel like I'm getting stressed already at doing this, but its going to be worth it in the end. smile

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Thursday 16th August 2012 quote quote all
Okay I've found out about the Police Certificate. Thats £45.

Does anyone know if an I-864 will be required? http://london.usembassy.gov/i864.html I've read that it is when submitting a K1 fiance visa but on the London embassy website it states that it is not required. I'm assuming I would have needed evidence of support as most of my money is in things I'll be selling.

jimmyjimjim

3,541 posts

125 months

[news] 
Friday 17th August 2012 quote quote all
Polarbert said:
Okay I've found out about the Police Certificate. Thats £45.

Does anyone know if an I-864 will be required? http://london.usembassy.gov/i864.html I've read that it is when submitting a K1 fiance visa but on the London embassy website it states that it is not required. I'm assuming I would have needed evidence of support as most of my money is in things I'll be selling.
From the link, not for the K visa, as it's non immigrant. Once you've got yourself tied down however, you then need one for the application for change of status from non-immigrant K visa to conditional permanent residency.

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Saturday 18th August 2012 quote quote all
Yeh I'm slightly confused by that, as other things I've read relating to the K1 indicate that you need evidence of the ability to support yourself. I'll have to double check that.

Matt Harper

3,681 posts

88 months

[news] 
Saturday 18th August 2012 quote quote all
Do you not need an affidavit of support from your wife-to-be?

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Saturday 18th August 2012 quote quote all
Matt Harper said:
Do you not need an affidavit of support from your wife-to-be?
Possibly but she doesn't think she will be able to provide it as she is beginning graduate school and so claiming loans from the government. My aunt who is a citizen was going to do it

Polarbert

Original Poster:

17,521 posts

118 months

[news] 
Sunday 19th August 2012 quote quote all
Does anyone here think its necessary to hire a lawyer to do this k1 visa? I've looked through it and I don't see what having a lawyer would add in terms of value.
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