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Hi all. I am a US citizen currently completing an MA degree in the UK with plans to move back to the US in September. The current plan is to begin the application process for a K-1 fiance visa for my other half within the next few weeks in the interest of saving some time on the process. However, I was wondering if anyone here knew a) if there are restrictions on whether you can begin the application process while living abroad and b) what those are. If worst comes to worst I can just have the paperwork sent to my family's address in the States and have them re-mail the documents to me in the UK, but does anyone know if that would be misrepresentation that I'd have to clarify it somehow as part of the process?

Another concern I have at the moment is whether I should be doing this at all until I have steady employment in the States which I can put down for financial sponsorship purposes. Between one thing and another I have a sizeable amount of money in stocks and bonds which I can access relatively easily, but I haven't found a lot of guidance on how much money is needed for your sponsorship to be accepted or for how long so I'm not sure if it would be enough in this case. Along similar lines, my family is okay with me moving back into the ancestral home until I have a job and my own place but obviously we'll want to get out of there and do our own thing when we're ready for that--are there any things I should know about when moving house with a guy who isn't a full citizen?

TL;DR: Should I begin applying for a K-1 fiance visa while living in England or wait till I'm back in the States? How much money do I need to be a financial sponsor? And is there anything I need to take into account if my partner and I moved house before his visa process was complete?
22nd-Nov-2012 03:09 pm - Passport Renewal [passports]
First, I want to thank everyone who responded to my previous post on culture shock; I have since been to a couple of events where I've been welcomed by British people, praised even, so I feel a bit more comfortable here. Socializing seems to be the best way for me to fit in, and I am hoping to meet some fellow Americans soonish too (Happy Thanksgiving, btw!)

Now then - my passport needs to be renewed. It expired 2 1/2 years ago and I'm not sure if I can renew it by post or just do it here in London. The last time I renewed it I filled out a form, sent some money & photos and that was that, pretty much. Do I need to do more now? Any and all answers welcome, and thanks!
12th-Nov-2012 12:11 pm - Talking About Hospitals [health, language]
I'm in the UK and writing something set in America. I've checked various UK/US translation sites and language comparison sites but can't find exactly what I'm looking for, so I'm hoping that some of you kind people can help me.

Here we could say "he put her in hospital" or "he hospitalised her" and in the right context it would be understood as meaning that he caused her sufficient injury that she needed hospital treatment. As far as I can tell, in the US "hospitalize" would mean someone put in hospital for treatment by a doctor, eg "she was hospitalized for depression". We use it like that, too, but I think you use only that meaning, and not the first one.

If I was setting the story in the UK the line would be something like "If you hospitalise him again I'll call the police." I'm looking for what an american would say instead of that, where the meaning is "if you injure him enough again that he needs hospital treatment".

That's the main thing I need, and I'll be grateful for any help with it. I have avoided having the character show up at the ER because I'm not sure how (or if) someone who wanted to conceal their identity and the cause of their injuries could do that. I have an idea (mainly from American tv) that anyone who goes to an ER for treatment gets a quantity of forms to fill in, and that these are to do with medical history and also for insurance purposes. The character has no insurance or legitimate employment but he does have cash. His injuries are not life threatening but need treatment, though nothing like an MRI or x-ray. Is it possible to pay cash and circumvent the forms, or if not, can the forms be filled in falsely to conceal someone's identity? It is set in California, where I believe all health practitioners are required to report having given treatment to someone they have reasonable suspicion was the victim of assault or abuse.

If anyone knows anything about what would happen in an ER if someone showed up with non accidental injuries wanting to conceal their identity and the cause of the injuries, anything at all would be helpful and much appreciated. If it's too complicated and/or too dependent on individual circumstances then I'll continue to be vague about what happens.

Thank you very much in advance.
16th-Oct-2012 10:27 am - Culture Shock [culture shock]
Does anyone in this community know how to deal with culture shock? I wish I could say that after nearly four years of living in the UK I have adjusted, but it seems as if I have not. I got my leave to remain visa last year, so technically I have made enough progress to satisfy the government, but deep down I still feel as if I am not really 'here' in any sense and cannot tell if this is ever going to end. I am married to a British national and have yet to make any real friends here (besides his, and those are few) and know no other North Americans here at all - which makes me feel even more isolated and even alienated. I really need to have therapy of some kind over this, as it is getting worse over time, and not better, and is causing me to be depressed and that just makes it worse.

If anyone could point me to some people or organization that deals with this specifically, I would be very grateful. As it is I'm going to have to get direct therapy for it, and see what happens from there...
4th-Oct-2012 07:12 am - Child care jobs in the UK [employment]
Hi all. I am wondering about child care jobs in the UK. Not nannying, but rather working in a pre-school or day-care type job.

Long story short: I'm American, currently living and working in Japan with my English boyfriend of six years. We want to eventually settle down in the UK, and are trying to make that possible, despite those strict new marriage visa laws... (Grrrr...:(

Should we one day be able to jump through all those hoops and live together in the UK, I'd need to find a job, of course. Does anyone know what the child-care industry is like there? Salary, job requirements,etc. Does a person need to have some sort of official training for such jobs?

While I don't have any sort of child-care certification, I HAVE spent the last 6 years working with children. (One as a live-in nanny, and five as an ESL teacher.) Currently, I teach in a school where I am usually the only adult present, and am responsible for the care and teaching of up to 15 kids at a time, ranging in age from 2 to 18. 95 percent of the time, I am alone with the kids; literally the only adult in the school. So far I have worked here for two years. It is a national chain of schools in Japan, and I could have references given by the native English speaking staff in the future.

Would that kind of experience be enough to get a job in a pre-school or day-care in the UK? (Assuming that I had the necessary visa to live and work there, of course.) If not, what could I do once living there to make myself marketable in the field?

Any advice or information is greatly appreciated! Thanks a lot! Am cross posting to another comm, sorry if you get a double post.
11th-Aug-2012 03:41 pm{no subject} [passports]
personal blogging
Have any of you applied for a US renewal passport from inside the UK? How long did it take to get it back after you sent it in? It's not terribly urgent, but I really need to send it off to get a new visa put in it. Bad timing :(
4th-Aug-2012 10:20 pm - N-445
default jasper library
So now I have my N-445. Any idea what "Any Immigration document you may have" actually means?
haiku impossible
This may give some insight into why the "race problem" is rather different in our two countries

3rd-Jul-2012 02:57 pm - Coffee vs. Tea in the UK? [food]
{aiw} alice → won't go back now
Hello everyone,

I apologize in advance, as this is probably a very silly question...

I am writing a story featuring a British character who quite relies upon his morning coffee. Then I thought about the (I assume) stereotype concerning Brits and their tea. I'm thinking that tea is probably generally more popular in the UK than coffee, but how much more so? Would it be notable or odd for a person in the UK to have a strong preference for coffee, at least in the morning? Or would it be fairly common? I'm guessing common, but I don't want to get it wrong in my story...so I thought I would check here. I did try searching elsewhere but I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.
1st-Jul-2012 05:30 pm - A new citizenship test? [citizenship]
haiku impossible
No, apparently this isn't a joke.


Mind you, the current one, full of useless numbers that no born-here Brit knows or cares about, is probably even worse.

27th-Jun-2012 11:46 am - Super Noodles
Fellow Brits (and people living in the UK)!

Do you think there would be any issues with my Mum sending a big box of Super Noodles to me in the US? She's worried because of the little foil packet full of the powdered flavouring that is in each one ("What if they think it's cocaine?!") and she doesn't want to waste money if they're going to be ruined/rejected.

What do you guys think?
24th-Jun-2012 09:56 am - Mothers' Day/Fathers' Day
Coffee spoons
I've been noticing lately that my American relatives/friends/Americans on The Internet seem to be quite into celebrating Mothers' Day/Fathers' Day in a different way than my British relatives/friends.

Certainly when I was growing up (in the UK), Mother's Day/Father's Day were for your mother/father (and, perhaps, your grandparents), they weren't for other mothers/fathers in your life. I think this is still broadly the case for my British relatives/friends.

Whereas the Americans I encounter often see it as important for, say, you to celebrate your husband - and not in a helping the children to celebrate him kind of way, for you to sign a Father's Day card, buy him gifts from you kind of way - and, more generally, for you to celebrate Mothers/Fathers in and around your life. For instance, there's a thread here which asks "which dad should I celebrate?" and the OP is trying to decide whether she should spend Father's Day with her dad or her husband.

Maybe I'm out of step with what happens in the UK (I don't have children) but, if we had a child, I would expect my husband to help the child to make a card or whatever but I wouldn't expect him to make an effort to celebrate me, I'd expect him to do that for his mother. I'd do the same for him.  It wouldn't even occur to me to have as a dilemma whether I should spend Father's Day with my dad or my husband - one is my dad and the other is not!  Obviously, the former would win.

Is this a transatlantic difference or have I just made it up?
22nd-Jun-2012 07:16 pm - True Love
So recently there was a series of...six? episodes called True Love on the BBC. In the third Episode, 'Holly', Billie Piper plays a teacher who falls in love with one of her students, Kaya Scodelario. Scodelario is about 20, but plays 16 and looks maybe even 14. I have a question about the episode in regards to american and british(UK) perspectives.

SpoilersCollapse )
LOC Arnika
The changes to UK family migration are not quite as drastic as the leaked letter suggested:

Statement of Intent on the UKBA web site

Nevertheless, if you were planning to rely on savings or third party support as proof of maintenance, you might want to apply yesterday.

Changes will be in effect from 9 July 2012, there will be transitional arrangements for those already in the UK on a spouse visa.
British Adults Taking Longer to Fly Nest

I find this QUITE interesting. Back in high school, I long distance dated an Englishman for three years, and a large part of the reason we broke up is that I felt like I was "growing up" and he was perpetually immature. One of the ways this manifested is that I was 18 and finalizing plans to move out, go to university, and be on my own, and at 22, he had no plans nor desire to move out of his parents' house. At 27, he just completed his degree, and he is still living there. Still pretty sure he doesn't have plans to leave.

But seeing this article, I realize that maybe he isn't as weird as I thought. Weird as in I think this starkly contrasts the American ideal of, "Get out, get an education, get a job, ASAP." Same with getting that driver's license as soon as you turn 16 (though that wasn't the case for me). Aforementioned Englishman also just got his license at 27.

Also, interesting that it is twice the amount of men as women that live at home.

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