Retiring to USA from UK

Many UK citizens have dreams to retire in another country, some choosing to retire to warmer areas of Europe and others want to retire further away, such as in the US. However, the US has immigration restrictions in place, so it is not always possible for people to retire to the US from the UK.

Whilst it is usually fairly easy for US citizens to retire in a foreign country, the same does not go for non US citizens retiring to the US. There are only some limited ways that a non US citizen can retire to the US.

The majority of British nationals who immigrate to the US do so by obtaining an employment visa, which would be through sponsorship from a US employer. Another way that British citizens are able to get a visa is through a family member (who is a US citizen) sponsoring them.

How can you retire to the US from the UK?

For British nationals who have not already obtained a Green Card to enable them to live in the US, the EB-5 investor program is open to retirees. This involves the retiree investing in a pre-approved US enterprise and the current minimum investment amount is $500,000.

If the retiree provides this investment amount, there is an opportunity to become a full US citizen and reside in the US permanently. It is not a retirement related visa, as it is open to all investors but it is probably the only option for most retirees if they do not qualify for another method of obtaining a Green Card. It also opens up the opportunity to obtain an immigrant visa for a spouse and children aged under 21.

How does the EB-5 program work?

Each year there are 10,000 Green Cards available under the EB-5 program and the program is aimed at investing in areas of the US with a higher unemployment rate that the national average. The criteria of the investment includes that the investment will be into a new commercial enterprise creating at least ten full-time jobs, or to provide financial support to a business that is struggling.

British nationals that are interested in the EB-5 program can get introduced to pre-approved investment projects that fit the criteria, rather than having to find their own project. There are Regional Center partners that investors can work with to invest the minimum amount in.

The EB-5 program’s process

  • 1. Pay in the investment of $500,000 plus an administrative fee to an approved program.
  • 2. Submit the application to the US Citizen and Immigration Service
  • 3. Receive a temporary Green Card
  • 4. After 21 months you can apply for the conditional stats to be removed from the Green Card
  • 5. After five years you can apply for naturalization.
Are there any other options for retirees to live in the US?

There is one other option, which is the Green Card Lottery but there is a high number of applicants and low number of Green Cards issued this way, which means it is not a guaranteed option.




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