Moving abroad can be complex enough within the EU, How much more difficult is it to move to a non-EU country where you need visas. It's always worthwhile taking expert advice.
Moving abroad can be complex enough within the EU, How much more difficult is it to move to a non-EU country where you need visas. It’s always worthwhile taking expert advice.

As the UK has recently experienced another ‘arctic plunge’ in the middle of spring, it’s no wonder that applications to emigrate are up by 15 per cent from the same period last year.

The report from Global Visas, a UK business that provides people worldwide with international visa, relocation and immigration services, found that Canada (27 per cent) topped the most desirable country to which to emigrate, with Australia coming a close second (22 per cent).

The UK submitted the highest number of requests for visas (16 per cent), followed closely by India (13 per cent) and then the Philippines (11 per cent).

Gary Smith, global sales and marketing director at Global Visas says: “The bad weather combined with a lack of jobs has prompted an increase in the number of requests for visa applications to our UK office.  People are currently looking to move overseas for brighter career prospects, better living conditions and quality of life”

UK family emigrate to Maine for more sunshine hours

In 2010, Ross (24) from Fife, Scotland, and Lauren (25) from Maine, Portland (US) met while on holiday in Florida and fell in love. They got engaged and Lauren obtained a fiancé visa before moving back to the UK with Ross in December 2010.

The conditions of her permit meant that within the first six months of living in Scotland, she was required to get married. Lauren was granted a spouse visa after the wedding which entitled her to stay for two more years before applying for permanent residency.

However Lauren became homesick and the couple were generally fed up with the continuous rain and cold temperatures dampening their spirits. In 2012 they decided they wanted to move back to Maine. Lauren is currently pregnant and hopes to have her baby in the US.

Portland was an obvious move for Lauren but it also seemed like an ideal location to Ross with its oceanic climate and job opportunities. The couple were excited by the idea of being able to take their children to the beach in the summer when the weather is typically hot and dry with low humidity levels. Winters are damp but mild and Portland sees an average of 1,953 hours of sunlight each year compared to only 1,500 hours in Fife.

Lauren was already a US resident so it was just Ross who had to apply for a green card. The couple decided to approach a specialist company for expert advice and completed their application through Global Visas.

Long and difficult

Lauren hadn’t used a visa company to obtain her previous permits but the couple decided that because they knew how long and difficult the process could be to obtain a green card, they would need to research their options and speak to different consultancies.

Ross and Lauren have gone through all the visa applications plus his Green Card and are now on their way to the USA
Ross and Lauren have gone through all the visa applications plus applying for his Green Card and are now on their way to the USA

Ross says: “The thing we chose Global Visas is the high success rate. The whole process was well structured. The company won’t take on clients that they don’t think they can help so if you are looking for advice when moving overseas, just telephone them to see if you could be eligible.

“Global Visas is also clear from the outset about how it operates and what is required in terms of documents and payments. I was fortunate because Lauren’s family offered to pay the fees in a one-off imbursement but the company gave me various options as well such as a monthly finance plan with set instalment dates.

As well as filling out the documentation, Lauren had to petition that Ross should be granted a green card because they were married and Lauren was born in the US. In January 2012, Ross received a case number identity and was asked to go through a series of medical exams in London in May 2012. He then received a letter to say he was scheduled for a final appointment. The good news arrived on the 12 April 2013.


Ross says: “Once you are given a case number, you know that you will be called up for a final interview in London. I was told straight after my last consultation that I had been granted a green card. The feeling was overwhelming, particularly for Lauren who was relieved she would soon be reunited with her family. We booked flights in July 2012 in the hope that within a year we would be leaving the UK and fortunately our plan has worked out.”

Ross says “When I move to the US, I will miss friends, work colleagues, and family but everyone is very encouraging about our move. The scenery is beautiful in Maine, the quality of life is brilliant and the area is quiet. We have managed to buy a house already and there is enough room for kids and for when my parents come and stay. I work in social care which is a big thing in Portland so there are plenty of job opportunities. I also play ice hockey, a popular sport out there, so I hope to join the local team.”

For more information, contact Global Visas through: