Are you considering a change of scenery? Maybe you’re in the states already, or you’re looking to move from another country, to see if the American Dream really holds up. Maybe you’re considering a Florida move? Florida sounds like a great place to live! Sun, beaches, nature, DisneyLand… What’s not to love? So, now we’ve decided where you’re going, what do you need to know? Anything you need to prepare for, or need to take into account? Here is a list of things you might need to know, before we’re able to get that landline changed to a Florida phone number.
Check online for International Travel Restrictions
If you’re moving from the Uk to the US, some things will be an easy transition, like the language, for example, as long as you don’t mind changing “Rubbish” to Trash, and things like that. Overall, But before you get ahead of yourself, it’s worth checking if there are any current restrictions regarding travelling.
Make sure everything is settled
Before you move, it’s important to make sure that all your accounts, assets, banks etc are all in order. Make sure any loans or accounts you have open have no outstanding balances, let your local council know you’re leaving, ensure you’ve notified and/or left your job with appropriate notice. if you need to sell your house, or let your landlord know you’re leaving and ensure that your contract allows you to leave when you’re planning to. You’ll also have to notify any utility companies too – water, gas, electricity, council tax etc. They’ll close down your accounts with a closing balance (if applicable) and will usually ask for a forwarding address to send any final or outstanding bills to. Make sure any payments, scheduled post, any kind of subscriptions are cancelled, basically, anything that ties you to your current address, make sure it’s all tidy in preparation for your fresh start.
Research the area you’re looking at in Florida.
Okay, so you’ve decided you’re going to Florida, but Florida is a big place, and not everywhere will be the same. Its important you do your due diligence on your new area. Checking reviews and just generally seeing what people say about the area is a good idea – after all, if you’re immigrating, you’re about to lose your only stability and support in the form of friends and family, so it’s important that you check out the general area first. Look into what areas are good to buy or rent property. Check the general living costs, local amenities, schools etc, if you have a family you’re bringing or are hoping to at some point. Make sure you check the timezone difference – the USA has 4 different time zones.
Make sure you have a ticket in to the states
Moving to the states isn’t quite as simple as packing a bag and leaving. You have to be able to offer something to the economy. And depending on your circumstances, this will ascertain what kind of visa you’ll need to move to the states. You can get a working visa if you have a skill, or professional trade that is in demand, or if you’ve been offered a job already in the states, you can get a sponsored Visa. If you’re not getting a sponsored Visa, research on what skills are currently in demand. Alternatively, if you have family members in the US, you can apply for a family VISA. It’s best you do your research on the different types of Visas and what’s required yourself.
Don’t burn your Bridges
While it’s great to be planning a move and getting that fresh start you so desperately deserve, it’s not a chance everyone gets. Being excited is fine, but don’t get ahead of yourself, and don’t burn your bridges. Leave on good terms, even with ex employers. You never know when/if you may need a way back in, circumstances could happen to force you to move back, and that could be difficult if you’ve not ended on a good note. Keep in touch if you can, and don’t get rid of your UK Passport – it could still come in handy, if you wanted to apply for dual citizenship.
Apply For an SSN
A Social Security Number, or SSN for short, is basically the US equivalent to a National Insurance. Make sure you apply for one so the government is aware, and how to tax you appropriately, along with any benefits you may be entitled to.
Ensure you have a Health plan
If you’re moving from the UK to the USA, it’s important to note that healthcare is mainly private, meaning you’re likely going to have to do a bit of shopping around to make sure you have insurance and healthcare that works for you, as America does not have the NHS. Also, make sure you have travel insurance for the journey there. You’ll be transferring a lot of goods and assets, so it’s essential that you have coverage.
Don’t forget your belongings
Once you’ve begun packing, you’re probably going to want to think about how you plan on transporting your things to the US safely. Another research task may be necessary here. There are companies that will move your things internationally, so have a scout around before agreeing on the first quote that comes your way. Make sure it’s someone reputable. You want your things to be as safe as humanly possible, so see what companies have to offer.
Hopefully these will be enough points to get you thinking and planning your super move with as little stress as possible. After all, moving is stressful, no matter how far away you’re moving. If you have a support network around you, use them. It’s always great to have help. And finally, look forward to your next chapter! Moving doesn’t mean negative – get excited! You’re planning on moving to Florida! You’ll soon be walking along sandy beaches in the evenings, or hiking up mountains and taking leisurely strolls through national parks.