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Moving to the US? Answered

Hey there. 
After I have *hopefully* gone to uni and came out the other side with a degree I am considering moving out to the USA, probably to or at least to somewhere near San Diego. Nothing is set in stone for now so any suggestions on other places would also be helpful.

But my main problem is that I have started to grow some plants back in Britain and don't particularly like the thought of just leaving them, so what are the laws on bringing plants with me? I know they are just plants but it's all the time I've put into them and to be honest, they're the first few plants I haven't killed.
Any tips or stories of emigrating to the US would be great.

As I said, this is just a thought, but I need to know more about how to go about moving there and what happens before I can truly decide.

Thanks for your help :)




Best Answer 5 years ago

If you want to bring any plants you need to check first with the United States Department of Agriculture. Even bringing soil from other countries is strictly regulated. United States have more flexible immigration laws compared to other countries. You could come over the US by applying for a student or work visa, then apply to become a naturalized resident. After a number of years you can apply for dual citizenship. That means that you are a British and an American citizen at the same time. I think that since you are still a minor you would have to wait to initiate any applications. Use this time and acquire an education that would make you valuable to an American company. For more information check the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Best regards!

Thanks, that's really helpful. Dual citizenship sounds pretty darn cool, if I dare say so.

Yeah, as I've said I make long term plans just to make sure everything goes according to plan. I won't be thinking of moving for another 5-8 years or so. Just want to have the facts at my disposal.

Thanks for all the links

This has got a bit out of hand with all the 'WE WANT GUNS' 'YOU CAN'T HAVE GUNS' crap, I only wanted to know how I would get about maybe becoming a citzen of the USA later in life if I was to get a job and a house. I'm not convinced I want to be part of a country where people who have fundamentally different ideas also have guns to settle their arguements... Thanks for all the people who actually gave answers that were relevant.

I live in the center of the USA. I don't think right now is a good time to come here. Our people are about equally divided on the issue of RESTORING the constitution(teaparty)... or TRASHING the constitution (Obama). You might have heard about the recent ban on guns going on here. This is an assault on our constitution and our freedom. I would wait and see how all this plays out before coming here. These issues could easily erupt into another civil war or other armed conflict. Obama is pushing for bans on guns, and all the gunstores are SOLD OUT of guns and ammunition in every city!!! . The citizens are getting ready for what is to come. I think if you wait a couple years to see how this works out would be a good idea. I am amused that you are worried about your PLANTS... while our country is falling completely apart! If you are unaware of these facts, it is because the newsmedia is not doing their job recently.

Thats a bit of an extreme outlook on what is actually going on in this country. No ban has or will go into effect. Even if it does they are not taking any guns away from people. Just preventing certain ones from being manufactured or sold. Civil war is very unlikely. There may be a lot of right wing nut jobs out there but not enough to kick off a civil war.

A better reason to wait is to see how the economy plays out. If you do get a visa so come live here you may have a really hard time finding a job. Especially with sequestration hitting next month. Hopefully things will work them selves out over the next 4 to 6 years your in college.

As for the plants. They won't be able to come. If you do find a way to get them over here they will sit in customs for quite a while without sun or water. So you'd likely end up with dead plants.

I can't really comment on US politics, I don't know enough about what's going on.

Yeah, I tend to make plans for the long term and a medical degree is enough years to qualify as long term. Hopefully things will have sorted out by then.
Thanks for the reply

A knowledge of US politics and history is REQUIRED of immigrants. No harm starting early.

Once you are AT university, then join BUNAC, which will get you a low cost visa and a chance to work for the summer in the USA. Best thing I ever did - I have friends from that trip to this day.


Former President Clinton enacted the Federal Assault weapons ban in 94. That banned Assault "style" rifles and high capacity magazines. for 10 years! The United States did not erupt into civil war then.

No where in the constitution does it say that a private citizen needs an assault rifle. Do you think you can defend the constitution with a pistol grip a bayonet lug, and a magazine of 30 rounds of .223 Remington? There is no civilian rifle on the market place that will protect you from a C130 gunship shooting 105mm rounds at you from thousands of meters away


Your founding fathers were very, very smart (and English, at that point I suppose ;-) ), but they didn't conceive of 230 odd years in the future of a time when one man could mow down and kill 26 people in less than 10 minutes.

I still don't see how one gets from "A well regulated MILITIA" gets to be every one can own whatever the heck they want. A militia is organised by state actors to work for the state.

It is a tragedy when innocents get murdered but It is the fault of the person using the gun, not the gun itself. Our society is saturated with "pretend" violence in movies and videogames (is a big part of the real reason the tragedies happen). If guns are banned, then only the law obiding citizens will obey the order. Criminals and government TYRANTS will not obey the ban. Here are some quotes from our founders:

" A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independance from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." George Washington

" The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson

" The constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government." Patrick Henry

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from it's government." Thomas Paine

"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future." Adolf Hitler


Hitler RELAXED the gun control rules in Germany, after the Weimar republic's draconian restrictions. When people DID take up arms (cv the Warsaw Ghetto) they were COMPLETELY annihilated by the wehrmacht. I can get you the references if you really want them.

As I said before, your founders lived 230 years ago. The world is a different place, and the weaponry available now is somewhat more advanced in its killing power.

You are right that you cant fight a c130 gunship... cant fight the local sherrif either because they WAY outgun any citizen. However, recently many local sherrifs around the USA have pledged to uphold the constitution and fight any gun confiscation attempts by the feds. All the sherrifs except one in florida signed this pledge. (other states too) THEREFORE ... no need to outgun the local sherrif!! Similarly... the men in the military take an oath to UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION. They do not take an oath to support the president!!! Therefore... it might not be necessary to fight a C130 gunship if they honor their oath. The news is biased to the liberal/socialist point of view but that only represents HALF of the citizens in this country. The other half are patriots that uphold the constitution. You might want to glance at this website to see what you are not getting on the liberal news. look at TEAPARTYCOMMUNITY.COM or THEBLAZE.COM for a sample of that point of view You mentioned clinton's gun ban didn't erupt into a war....but.... This is different. I have never seen what is going on now. I hear that many gunstores are sold out of bullets and most guns also. I personally do not own a gun, but almost everyone i know does have several.

You also mentioned that we don't need an "assault rifle." That is not what i would call it. I would call it a DEFENSE rifle. The constitution gives us a right to bear arms. This is not to go hunting with. It is not to protect us from home invasion. It is placed in the constitution to protect us from OUR OWN GOVERNMENT if they become tyrants. Which they ARE recently. I could go on... but the issues are better explained by the 2 websites I mentioned earlier.

Hold your horses! Oath of enlistment mentions obeying the orders of the President of the United States. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Armed_Forces_oath_of_enlistment They don't have to vote for Obama but they do have to support him.

I am all for people owning guns. But if you want to own a gun get it because you think it looks cool, you want to protect your family/self from realistic threats or for sport /hunting purposes. Not because you think you can form a militia and protect the United States because bottom line  if the Government wants to take your guns away they will politely knock on your door with a tank and take them.

Two points:

1. You are WAY off-topic.
2. Before you shout any more about "defending the constitution", may I respectfully sugfest you actually *read* it?

The second ammendment gives citizens the right to bear arms as part of an organised militia .

Assault rifles are called assault rifles for a reason. They are designed for attack, not defense. People who live in homes with any kind of gun inthem are four times as likely to the victim of a gun incident as those living without guns (that's US statistics only).

You live in the centre of the US? IIRC, gun related deaths in that area are forty times the UK murder rate (adjusted for population size), and the only coubtries with higher gun-death rates than the US are controlled by drug gangs or have active warfare on their own soil.

Now, if you want to take this any further, there is already a topic on this in the Forums.

+48.1 % of the USA voting population in 2012

Fascinating! I haven't heard anything anywhere about "banning guns." I've heard lots about improving the system for making sure that crazy, violent people aren't allowed to buy guns, and I've heard lots about improving the system to ensure that military hardware stays in the hands of the military instead of untrained civilians.

It would appear the OP is only about 16, and clearly not from the USA, so parochial politics has passed him by.

I was aware of this issue but it hasn't been presented as that large an issue overseas. I would be waiting a few years before I move simply to raise the money to get a house and be able to live for a while whilst finding a job.

I know it sounds ridiculous that I am so worried about my plants, but I'm not exactly the most normal person ever xD

Thanks for the advice

you should get a student visa and go to school here. when i went to college there was a lot of foreigners with visas That way you can decide if you like 'merica or not. Although I would recommend living in Texas. Its the best state in the "Union". You can even BUY PLANTS HERE!!!1!! (they sell plants at walmart, and guns)

Try the website
http://www.britishexpats.com for LOADS of information.

Plants are going to be a complete no-no though.

If you'll miss them so badly, donate them to a friend with a web-cam, then you can check up on them on a daily basis...

Here is some info from a Canadian who worked and lived in Nevada,to work in the US you have to show that the skill set and knowledge you bring to the country for a job is one that can not be filled by a US citizen.You must provide a letter from the prospective employer stating such and remember that once you get to the US they are the only company you CAN work for during your stay. Expect to receive only a temporary Visa and prior to it's expiration, to stay longer must go to US immigration facility and request an extension.They will adjudicate your request right there on the spot and if they think an American can do your job or if the company has not successfully convinced them you are the only one for the job,they will deny your extension and you will have to leave the country prior to or on the day your Visa expires( hope the officer got layed and is in a good mood and I'm not joking). If the company has little experience hiring foreigners you should expect to do all the heavy lifting to get this done. You will need lots of $$$$$$ and a good British Immigration lawyer who specializes in US visa applications.What ever feedback you have received about dual citizenship and that other crap! put it out of your mind right now.With US unemployment at high levels and the Economy in terrible shape dont even expect to get there unless your an IT specialist, physicist,or another high in demand specialization.If your looking long term plans do more online research.
The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence
Good Luck