British citizens may relocate from the United Kingdom (UK) to the United States of America (USA) by applying for one of the visas provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Foreigners, including British citizens, may obtain a visa for employment or study purposes, for citizenship, or for a specific situation that will allow the applicants to spend a limited amount of time on the American territory. If you want to immigrate to USA from UK, our immigration lawyers in the USA can offer in-depth advice on the main types of visas that can be requested by a British citizen.
|Short-term visit visas for UK nationals||
ESTA visa waiver – for stays of less than 90 days
Long-term residence visa requirement (YES/NO)
Types of visas available for UK citizens
|Non-immigrant visas, immigrant visas|
|Temporary residence options||Non-immigrant visas (student, business, highly-skilled worker, intra-company transfer visa, religious work visa, athlete/sportsmen visas)|
|Green Card options||Employment, family reunification|
|Access to investor visa||
YES, EB-5 visa
|Timeframe for obtaining a residence permit (approx.)||9 to 12 months|
|Family reunification visa availability (YES/NO)||YES, visitor visa, spouse/fiance visa|
|Investment visa requirements||Minimum investment USD 500,000 in the creation of a business and at least 10 full-time jobs|
|Spouse visa availability (YES/NO)||YES|
|Citizenship requirements||Living in USA for 3 years (marriage) or
5 years (Green Card)
|Timeframe to obtain a US passport (approx.)||Approx. 12 months|
|USA-UK double tax treaty (YES/NO)||YES|
|Immigration services (YES/NO)||YES, assistance in applying for non-immigrant and immigrant visas, Green Card, and citizenship|
|Post-immigration support (YES/NO)||YES, support in renewing residence documents, assistance in registering with the tax authorities|
Types of visas for UK citizens moving to the USA
UK citizens have several options in terms of visas when immigrating to the USA. These are categorized into two important types of visas: immigrant and non-immigrant ones.
Choosing the type of visa depends on how long the British citizen plans on staying in Miami or in any other US city and the reason for immigration.
Here are the main reasons under which a UK citizen can immigrate to the United States:
- the tourist visa which is one of the best ways to see if relocation here is really an option;
- the business visa available for British citizens seeking to start a business in the US;
- the business for employment purposes – there are several types of such visas;
- the student visa for those who enroll with Miami-based universities and other educational institutions;
- the partner visa which is available for those engaged to American citizens and come here to get married.
In most cases, British citizens who wish to move to US from UK will choose employment visas for immigration to Miami as these are also a great way of obtaining a Green Card.
Non-immigrant visas in the USA
Persons who are citizens of UK may be interested in moving in U.S., for a determined period of time, in which case it is necessary to apply for a non-immigrant visa.
The non-immigrant visa can be issued by the USCIS office for a wide range of legal situations, which can refer to visiting the American territory, to employment and similar matters. The American authorities can offer numerous non-immigrant visas, including for specific jobs.
For example, British citizens may apply for temporary employment in U.S. and in this situation, they may obtain specific visas, such as H, L, O or P. The P visa can be employed by persons who are considered artists, painters, athletes and who will perform their work in U.S.
British persons are also allowed to enroll in a local educational institution. In this case, it is necessary to request a visa prior to starting the respective studies. Persons who want to study in USA (including exchange students) may obtain the F or M visas. Our immigration lawyer in the US can offer more details on the documents that should be submitted by anexchange student and can help clients interestedin moving to USA from UK.
Immigrant visas in Miami
Those who want to immigrate to USA from UK and permanently relocate here will need to apply for an immigrant visa that will allow them to obtain American citizenship. There are several ways through which foreigners may receive immigrant visas, the most common procedure referring to obtaining the American green card through a family member. In this sense, the persons who are considered close family members of a US citizen or of a permanent resident may obtain the green card through a simplified procedure. The close family members refer to the following types of persons:
- children under the age of 21;
Documents related to relocation to USA from UK
The list of documents that need to be presented to the USCIS when immigrating to the US from the UK implies a valid passport and supporting papers related to the reason for immigration. When moving to Miami or any other US city for employment purposes, the labor contract must be appended to the application.
In the case of family sponsorship, information about the sponsors must be provided. In case you want to relocate to USA from UK our specialists can help you prepare the documents required for a successful immigration procedure. We have also created a brief infographic with the main relocation options:
The best way of settling to USA as a UK citizen
The US is one of the most sought countries when it comes to immigration and British citizens will find easy to establish themselves here thanks to speaking the same language. When combined with the sunny weather of the State of Florida, Miami seems like the best option.
The two choices for those who want to immigrate to Miami or any other US city from UK remain employment and family sponsorship. These are also the easiest ways for the US Green Card.
Those who relocate to US from UK based on employment can obtain work visas and the most sought ones are the EB-1 and EB-2 visas which imply receiving a Green Card soon after entering the country.
There are also the H-1B, L-1, O-1, E-1 temporary work visas for non-immigrant citizens of the UK who come to Miami for specific work-related activities that imply a limited duration, however, those interested in changing these types of visas are invited to discuss their options with our immigration lawyers in USA.
Considering the important number of British citizens already living in the UK, family sponsorship is also a good option for those who want to relocate to Miami from this European country. Another option would be applying for a spouse visa for US.
Feel free to ask any questions on how to immigrate to USA from UK to our lawyers.
Relocating to US from UK based on employment
British citizens can relocate to the US based on work contracts. This is one of the easiest ways of immigration to this country and especially to Miami where there are plenty of job opportunities.
Immigration from UK to the US based on a work contract implies finding employment with a local company and relocation can occur after the job offer is accepted. Then, the employer must start the relocation procedure with the USCIS.
If you are a British citizen and want to move to the US, our immigration lawyers in Miami are at your service for guidance in obtaining an employment permit, including a Green Card.
Family sponsorship for UK citizens
The US hosts a large community of British expats and those who plan to move here based on sponsorship can rely on the support of their Miami-based relatives to immigrate here. Both the sponsor and the British citizen must meet certain requirements, however, this is an easy way of relocating.
An important aspect to consider when it comes to family sponsorship is that the citizen who already lives in the US must meet specific income requirements. These are imposed at the state level, which is why for information on the amounts of money required in the State of Florida, you can obtain relevant information from our US immigration lawyer.
Also, when immigrating to Miami based on sponsorship, one of the important documents to submit is related to the relationship between the UK citizen and the sponsor.
Family-based immigration to Miami can be permanent, therefore can come with a Green Card for the British citizen, in the case of parents, spouses, and children. However, the conditional residence is also available for distant family members, such as grandparents.
If you have family members living in the US, do not hesitate to discuss with our lawyers the options available in order to immigrate to the United States from UK.
How to obtain a Green Card for US as a UK citizen
One of the main reasons that make foreign citizens move to the US is obtaining a Green Card. This is the equivalent of the permanent residence permit in the UK and Europe, in general. However, the conditions for this type of permit are very different from one continent to the other.
The first aspect to consider is that in certain cases the Green Card can be obtained directly upon relocation from UK to the US.
The ways of obtaining a Green Card are several, one of the most popular being the Green Card Lottery which, as its name says, implies a lottery in which applicants can enroll.
For skilled migrants, the Green Card can be obtained through employment. This comes with several advantages, among which the right to work right after moving here and a high salary.
Most UK citizens choose this path of immigration, however, it is also possible to move to Miami by setting up a business.
The steps for obtaining a Green Card as a UK citizen when moving to USA imply:
- filing for the immigration visa,
- waiting for the approval list,
- filing for the Green Card.
An important thing to know about the US Green Card is that it is issued in a limited number per year. This is why it is recommended to use the services of our immigration lawyers in Miami to find out the optimal period to file for this visa.
The Green Card is also the only route to US citizenship.
How to obtain US citizenship as a British national
British citizens who want to obtain US citizenship have several options. Out of these, having a Green Card and marriage is the most common. It is also possible to obtain citizenship if the UK citizen has a US national as a parent.
Green Card holders can apply for US citizenship after 5 years of living in the country.
In the case of those married to US citizens, the minimum residency requirement is limited to 3 years.
Other requirements must also be complied with when seeking to obtain a US passport as a British citizen. One of these refers to passing the naturalization test.
The test is made of four categories: speaking, reading, writing, and civics. For British citizens, it is quite easy to pass this exam when it comes to the first three parts. The last part of the test is made of 10 questions about the American culture and history out of which at least 6 must be answered correctly.
When it comes to those who want to retain their British passport and apply for US citizenship, there are various conditions that are considered by the US authorities. Even if it is not prohibited to have dual citizenship, we recommend you ask for detailed information and advice from our immigration lawyers in the United States.
Services provided by our lawyers when moving to USA from UK
The procedure of relocation to USA from UK can be difficult in terms of document preparation which is one of the most important services provided by our immigration lawyers. We will review all papers and let applicants know if anything is missing in order to meet all requirements imposed by the US authorities. Then, we can advise how to prepare for the immigration interview in order to obtain the desired visa.
Our services do not stop once the visa is obtained, as our lawyers can also help expats with housing and insurance services in order to make their transition easier.
Why relocate to USA from UK?
Apart from the differences in the weather which are an important aspect considered by some UK citizens moving to the US, the employment and business opportunities presented to others are among the main reasons for immigration. The fact that both countries have English as their official languages makes it easy to transition from one country to another.
No matter the reason one has to immigrate to USA from UK, our lawyers are at their service for assistance in obtaining the desired visas. You can also watch our video:
British citizens living in USA
According to news channel BBC, the following statistics are available on the number of UK citizens living in the USA:
- 1.3 million UK citizens live in the United States (similar numbers are available for Australia and Canada);
- 24% of the British expats in the US are pensioners;
- around 2,500 of the UK citizens living in the US spend an important part of the year in Mexico.
UK citizens are invited to contact our Miami immigration lawyer for more details on the immigration procedures that can apply for this nationality.
Citizens who want to immigrate to USA from UK can also choose suburban areas such as North Miami or Doral. We also have lawyers there who can help them. In case you are interested in obtaining a spouse visa for US, our team of lawyers is at your disposal for this service too.