Welcome to British Expats Abroad
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    1. #1

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      Mart is on a distinguished road

      Young professional couple looking to relocate to California. Advice needed.

      Hi,

      Great site by the way!

      Myself and girlfriend have just started to think about moving to the US. In particular San Fran/LA area. Problem is we don't know where to start and reading on the internet is just a mind boggle.

      I'm relatively young (33) and my girlfriend is 26. We both have professional careers. I'm a design director for a leading UK design agency and my girlfriend is a UX architect (online/website stategy) California is the leading place for digital and I'm pretty sure branding is up there too.

      Does anyone have any advice on how we approach the move? Would it be best to find a job first/get sponsored? Or just go? What type of visas or processes are available/the best approach? I would love to get some advice off someone who has done the same.

      any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance

      Martin.

    2. Moneycorp - Commercial foreign exchange since 1979
    3. #2

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      Plymouth
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      David Saunders is on a distinguished road
      I moved to San Francisco in 1995 and lived Downton for two years then moved to the East Bay for 10 years. Walnut Creek in Contra Costa County. Beautiful. It was easy back in 1995. My wife is American and moved back to CA with me following once you she was hired by Bank of America. I went on a return ticket, went to the Social Security office in SF. I got a SS number right away and temporary leave to stay quite soon after. That was it back then. I still have my green card.

      I have super memories of my time in Northern CA.

      Now? I hear of so many people wanting to go live in CA but believe me it is not easy these days. 9/11 changed everything. To get sponsored I believe you would have to be a person with extraordinary skills such as a Surgeon or have a start up business that is funded. I hate to say this but I think you will struggle. Sorry.

      If you just go it will be tough especially in the Bay Area .. SF rents are now about $3000 a month average. Then you have to think seriously about healthcare which is a challenge. For me it was easy as my wife was covered with BofA so I was lucky.

      A visa is so very tough to get these days.

      I met quite a lot of Brits who just went and took low paid jobs these were mostly students who didn't need much and didn't worry about healthcare (you should) I knew a couple who spent their life savings on a pub and were illegal residents they lost everything and were kicked out of the country.

      Martin you should think very long and hard about just going especially as you are a couple.

      Why not look up the British Embassy in San Francisco or the UK Consulate in SF then approach them? They will doubtless tell you how it is.

      All I can say is good luck but be prepared to be disappointed.

      David

    4. #3

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      David Saunders is on a distinguished road
      By the way we moved back to England and my wife is now a British Citizen and loves it she has really settled in well here. Me? I'm always unsettled and would go back to the SF Bay Area tomorrow.. BUT my wife won't up roots again :/ I have had a couple of jobs offered in the Danville area but I'm 64 (a very young 64) now and it would be a folly to go back. Do what you can though but beware.