Any American ex-pats out there?

Yes, it is. Having been through the visa process myself, you can only really get a job if you get offered a job from a UK company - you can't really ask for one, unless you're super skilled in a niche industry like hedge funds and willing to accept a lower salary than a native Brit would be paid or if you worked elsewhere like the USA.

Then you have to supply a huge amount of paperwork with your passport, previous addresses, police checks, medical checks, bank statements etc - even if you have a migration consultant do it all for you, you still have to supply the documents. To make it easier for myself in the future, I keep these documents neatly organised in a pile so that I can readily access it at any time. It's literally about 1 ream of paper. And I have digital backups from when I scanned them to send it on, and it's about 21gb of stuff. Insane amounts of bureaucracy.

Then you have to have lived in the UK for 5 years to qualify for indefinite remain to leave. But these are subject to restrictions, you can't be outside of the UK for more than 3 months at a time, or otherwise they reset it.

Then you have to apply for citizenship, which costs thousands of pounds.

After a long time of waiting, you might get granted a British passport. But at that time, you have to be young (under 40) and paying a net tax contribution (over £35k) and have a total clean bill of health (or at least, a benign health condition that doesn't cost the NHS).

It's not complaining, but the trope that anyone can come and settle (from outside the EU) is just plain untrue. The UK is one of the hardest countries in the world to get naturalised - very similar policies to the USA, Switzerland or Japan for non-EU nationals.

/r/AskUK Thread Parent