From Tea Time to Tex-Mex: Guide to Moving from the UK to Texas

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Maybe you’re considering moving from the UK to Texas for the weather or the food, a retiree looking for a change, or a business owner looking for a new location. Whatever the reason, Texas is a good choice. Texas has good schools, a rich history, and a strong job market.

Moving can always present challenges and obstacles. Especially when relocating from one country to another. But it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. We’ve prepared this guide to help you learn how to move to Texas from the UK.

Key Points:

  • Moving from the UK to Texas requires careful planning and attention to detail.
  • Obtaining a visa is crucial for entry into the US.
  • The cost of living in Texas is generally lower than in the UK.
  • Healthcare and insurance options in Texas vary and can be more expensive than in the UK.
  • Consideration should be given to financial and business affairs before moving.
  • Various types of visas are available, depending on the purpose of your move.
  • Consultation with immigration attorneys and experts can be beneficial.
  • Stay informed about changes in immigration policies and procedures.
Aerial view of Stansted Airport London and its landing strip on a misty day - Texas View

Planning To Move To Texas

Moving from the UK to the United States takes a little adaptation, considering the differences between the two countries regarding laws, currency, national health system, etc. 

But you’ll first have to take care of getting a visa, which involves a lot of paperwork and time to get done. Then, you’ll need to get your financial affairs in order (pensions, taxes, etc.). After that, you must decide how to get an income: are you retired? Are you going to get a job? Are you going to open your own business?

Finally, it would be best to consider your objects and properties. Do you have a home to sell? Are you going to transport your furniture to the US?

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Moving to Texas From the UK

Moving to another country, and in this case, another continent requires careful planning and attention to detail so that you don’t get any surprises. We’ll explore the steps to help you achieve that and make this transition as smooth as possible.

Get a Visa

Before making a move, be sure to handle all necessary matters. Obtaining a visa is extremely important. Entrance into the U.S. is not permitted without one. Your situation and reason for moving will determine which kind of visa is needed.

A green card allows you to live and work in the US permanently. Here are the reasons why you can apply for a Green Card to make your stay more permanent;

  • Green Card through Family
  • Green Card through Employment
  • Green Card as a Special Immigrant
  • Green Card through Refugee or Asylee Status
  • Green Card for Human Trafficking and Crime Victims
  • Green Card for Victims of Abuse
  • Green Card through Other Categories
  • Green Card through Registry

For up-to-date details, visit;

Map of Europe - Texas View

The Cost of Living Compared

The cost of living in the United Kingdom is generally higher than in Texas. One source, MyLifeElsewhere, reports that the United Kingdom is 11.2% more expensive than Texas, with groceries being 32.1% less expensive in Texas.

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Another source, LivingCost, provides a broader comparison between the United States and the United Kingdom, reporting that the cost of living in London is higher than in New York City.

However, Expatistan provides a more detailed comparison between specific cities, reporting that the cost of living in London is generally more expensive than in Dallas or Austin, Texas.

CategoryUnited KingdomTexas
Cost of LivingGenerally higherGenerally lower
Rent (1 bedroom apartment in city center)£1,073.33$1,062.50
Groceries (1kg chicken breast)£5.63$8.55
Electricity (1 month for 2 people)£69.23$141.84
Water (1 month for 2 people)£30.00$59.55
Internet (1 month, 60 Mbps or more, unlimited data)£31.00$65.00
Phone (1 month, unlimited data, prepaid)£20.00$50.00
Taxes (income tax and social security)32-42%0-37%
Comparison of Living Costs in Texas and the UK

Note that the data for rent, groceries, electricity, water, internet, and phone are based on the averages for Dallas and Austin, Texas, as provided by Numbeo, and for London, United Kingdom, as provided by Expatistan. The tax rates are based on the highest tax bracket for each location and may vary depending on individual circumstances.

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Healthcare and Insurance Options in Texas for UK Citizens

Healthcare and insurance options in Texas for UK citizens can vary depending on their specific circumstances and needs. Here is a comprehensive overview of the key aspects to consider:

  1. Healthcare System in Texas: Texas has a diverse healthcare landscape, ranging from public programs to private health insurance options. The healthcare system primarily operates on a personal healthcare model, with various providers, hospitals, and clinics available throughout the state. However, it’s essential to note that healthcare costs can be higher in the United States than in the UK.
  2. Public Healthcare Programs:
    • Medicare: This federal program provides healthcare coverage for individuals aged 65 and older and some younger individuals with specific disabilities. UK citizens who become permanent residents in the United States may be eligible for Medicare.
    • Medicaid: Medicaid is a state and federally-funded program that offers health coverage to low-income individuals and families. Eligibility criteria, including income and residency, vary from state to state. UK citizens in Texas may be eligible for Medicaid if they meet the income and residency requirements.
  3. Private Health Insurance:
    • Health Insurance Marketplace: UK citizens not eligible for public programs may purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Plans offered on the Marketplace vary in terms of coverage and cost. Open enrollment periods typically occur annually, but special enrollment options may be available in certain circumstances.
    • Employer-Sponsored Insurance: If employed in Texas, your employer may offer health insurance benefits. You can usually enroll in these plans during the employer’s open enrollment period.
    • Private Health Insurance Companies: Several private health insurance companies operate in Texas, offering a range of health insurance plans. UK citizens can explore these options to find coverage that suits their needs.
  4. Healthcare Costs:
    • Healthcare costs in the United States can be significantly higher than in the UK. Budgeting for medical expenses, including premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, is essential.
  5. Navigating the Healthcare System:
    • Consider working with a licensed insurance agent or broker to help you navigate the complex healthcare system and choose a suitable insurance plan.
  6. Emergency Care:
    • In a medical emergency, it’s essential to know the location of the nearest hospital or emergency room. In the U.S., emergency medical services are generally accessible but expensive without insurance.
  7. Prescription Medications:
    • The cost of prescription medications can also be high in the United States. Health insurance plans often include prescription drug coverage, so review the details of any method you choose.

In summary, UK citizens in Texas have several healthcare and insurance options, including public programs like Medicare and Medicaid, private health insurance through the Marketplace or employers, and coverage from private insurance companies.

Understanding the eligibility criteria, costs, and coverage details is essential when making healthcare decisions in Texas. It’s advisable to seek guidance from experts or insurance professionals to make informed choices based on your situation.

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Financial Affairs

Before relocating, be sure that financial concerns are handled. Pensions, taxes, loans, benefits, stocks, and owned properties are just a few matters to keep in mind. Check GOV.uk for further information about which elements to consider and whom to contact for pertinent issues.

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Utilizing online banking services for bank accounts and money management is wise. Also, become familiar with conversion, tax, and transfer services.

Austin Texas June 3 2018. Sculpture of Barbara Jordan American lawyer educator and politician in Austin Bergstrom international Airport. - Texas View

Business Affairs

Texas currently ranks 9th among the world’s largest economies. Texas is leading in economic growth among other states in the nation. This growth is due to several factors. These factors include natural resources, business reputation, and low tax rates. Business owners looking to relocate are wise to settle in Texas.

Starting a business in the US is legal without being an American citizen. However, it won’t give you direct access to a green card. Consult a specialized lawyer and tax consultant to know all the legal requirements of opening your business in the US.

Personal Affairs

Some things to execute:

  • Pack and ship furniture and personal items 
  • Transport vehicles
  • Sell, rent, or settle the current residence
  • Have a new home secured in Texas
  • Prepare for major cultural differences
  • Find new schools (if applicable)
  • Secure all personal documents
  • Report your move to necessary individuals and entities
  • Handle postage issues (valid change of address)
  • Find a new job (if applicable)

International moving companies will take care of all the details concerning the move. They will transport your furniture, look for a house (to buy or rent), find a school for your children, and everything else you might need.

You need to get on the plane and travel to your destination. 

Is the cost of living higher in the UK or the US?

The cost of living is generally equal in both places. One may rank higher in certain areas, but there is a steady balance. Compare the Price Index of both;

Living IndexRent IndexGroceries IndexRestaurant Price IndexLocal Purchasing Price Index
United States69.9246.8670.0665.7599.88
United Kingdom60.4230.9948.6863.7392.86
Cost of Living – UK Vs. US

After moving abroad, can you still maintain citizenship in the UK?

Yes. The US and the UK allow dual citizenship, allowing you to move between countries without visa applications freely.

Visa and immigration requirements for UK citizens moving to Texas

Moving to Texas, or any part of the United States, as a UK citizen involves specific visa and immigration requirements. The process can be complex and varies depending on the purpose of your move. Here’s a detailed overview:

  1. Tourist Visa (B-2 Visa):
    • If you plan to visit Texas for tourism purposes, such as vacations or short-term visits with family, you can apply for a B-2 tourist visa.
    • Application Process: You need to complete the DS-160 form, schedule an appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the UK, and attend an interview.
    • Duration: B-2 visas typically allow stays of up to 6 months, but the specific duration is determined by the immigration officer at the port of entry.
  2. Temporary Work Visa:
    • If you are coming to Texas for temporary work or employment, you will typically need a work visa. Common work visa categories include:
      • H-1B Visa: For specialty occupations.
      • L-1 Visa: For intracompany transferees.
      • E-2 Visa: For investors and entrepreneurs.
    • Application Process: The sponsoring employer in Texas must file a petition on your behalf. Once approved, you can apply for the visa.
    • Duration: Work visa durations vary depending on the specific visa category and terms set by the employer.
  3. Immigrant Visa (Green Card):
    • If you plan to live in Texas permanently, you may pursue an immigrant visa (Green Card) through various avenues, including family sponsorship, employment, or investment.
    • Application Process: The process can be lengthy and involves different pathways. For family-sponsored or employment-based Green Cards, your sponsor or employer initiates the process by filing a petition, and you must follow the steps outlined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    • Duration: The time it takes to obtain a Green Card varies widely based on the category and country of origin.
  4. Student Visa (F-1 Visa):
    • If you intend to study in Texas, you can apply for an F-1 student visa. This visa allows you to attend accredited educational institutions.
    • Application Process: You need an acceptance letter from a U.S. school, complete the DS-160 form, pay the SEVIS fee, and attend an interview.
    • Duration: F-1 visas are typically issued for the duration of your academic program.
  5. Family Sponsorship:
    • If you have close relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents living in Texas, they may be able to sponsor you for a family-based immigrant visa.
  6. Investor Visa (E-2 Visa):
    • If you plan to invest a substantial amount of capital in a Texas-based business, you may be eligible for an E-2 investor visa.
  7. Healthcare Coverage:
    • It’s important to consider healthcare coverage when moving to Texas. You may need to secure health insurance either through an employer or the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  8. Legal Assistance:
    • Given the complexity of U.S. immigration laws, it’s often advisable to consult with an immigration attorney who specializes in U.S. immigration matters. They can provide guidance and assistance throughout the application process.
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Remember that visa and immigration requirements can change over time, so it’s essential to check the latest information on the official website of the U.S. Department of State and consult with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in the UK for the most up-to-date guidance on your specific situation.

Additionally, proper documentation and compliance with immigration regulations are crucial to ensuring a smooth transition to Texas.

An Illustration of very fine outline of the world with country borders. - Texas View

Migration Types and Requirements

Migrating from the UK to Texas involves various requirements and steps, depending on your specific circumstances and the type of visa you are applying for. Here’s a table summarizing the key requirements for common migration categories:

Migration CategoryRequirements
Tourist Visa (B-2 Visa)1. Complete DS-160 form.
2. Schedule an appointment at the U.S. embassy/consulate.
3. Attend a visa interview.
Temporary Work Visa1. Find a job offer in Texas from a sponsoring employer.
2. Employer files a petition (e.g., H-1B, L-1, E-2).
3. Wait for petition approval from USCIS.
4. Apply for the visa at the U.S. embassy/consulate.
Immigrant Visa (Green Card)1. Determine eligibility based on family, employment, or investment.
2. Sponsoring relative or employer files a petition.
3. Wait for approval by USCIS.
4. Apply for an immigrant visa or adjust status.
Student Visa (F-1 Visa)1. Get accepted by a U.S. educational institution.
2. Complete DS-160 form.
3. Pay the SEVIS fee.
4. Attend a visa interview.
Family Sponsorship1. Have a close relative who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
2. Relative files an immigrant petition (Form I-130).
3. Wait for USCIS approval.
Investor Visa (E-2 Visa)1. Invest a substantial amount in a Texas-based business.
2. Business must be E-2 eligible.
3. Apply for the E-2 investor visa.
Healthcare Coverage1. Secure health insurance either through an employer or the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Legal Assistance1. Consider consulting with an immigration attorney to navigate the complex immigration process.

Please note that these requirements are subject to change, and it’s crucial to consult the official websites of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in the UK for the most up-to-date information and guidance specific to your situation.

Additionally, meeting all the requirements and providing accurate documentation is essential for successfully migrating to Texas.

Next Steps

here are the next steps for a UK citizen planning to migrate to Texas, along with links to relevant resources:

  1. Determine Your Eligibility: The first step is to determine your eligibility for the specific visa or immigration category you plan to apply for. You can use the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Wizard to help identify the appropriate visa category: Visa Wizard
  2. Gather Required Documents: Each visa category has its own set of required documents. Visit the U.S. embassy or consulate website in the UK for a detailed list of documents required for your specific visa: U.S. Embassy London
  3. Complete Visa Application (DS-160): For most visa categories, you’ll need to complete the DS-160 form. Start the application process here: DS-160 Online Application
  4. Pay Fees: Pay the required visa application fees and, if applicable, the SEVIS fee for F-1 student visas. You can find fee information on the U.S. Department of State’s website: Visa Fees
  5. Schedule an Interview: Visit the U.S. embassy or consulate’s website to schedule an interview appointment. Keep in mind that wait times for appointments can vary: U.S. Embassy and Consulate Locator
  6. Prepare for the Interview: Review the specific requirements for your visa category and prepare for the visa interview. Be ready to provide supporting documents and answer questions about your intended stay in Texas.
  7. Health Insurance: Consider researching and securing health insurance for your stay in Texas. If you plan to purchase insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit Healthcare.gov for more information: Healthcare.gov
  8. Legal Assistance: If you’re uncertain about the visa application process or need legal advice, consult with an immigration attorney who specializes in U.S. immigration matters. They can provide personalized guidance.
  9. Stay Informed: Keep updated with changes in U.S. immigration policies or procedures. The U.S. Department of State and USCIS websites are reliable sources for the latest information:
  10. Prepare for Your Move: Start planning your move to Texas once your visa is approved. Consider housing, transportation, and other logistical details to help ensure a smooth transition.

Remember that the visa application process can be complex, and requirements may change, so it’s essential to rely on official government websites and consult legal experts when needed. Best of luck with your journey to Texas!

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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
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Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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