Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Guide To Being An Expat... The Taylor Method

So you want to be an expat.

Great! We're always looking for more members for our expat support group! We meet Sunday evenings right after Strictly Come Dancing.

(I kid.... there's no support group... not that I've been invited to, anyways.)

Hello everyone. My name is Taylor and I've got a problem. I like standing on random patches of snow in English zoos and eat Marmite on toast for breakfast.

In order to be an expat in England, you must:
1. Learn the difference between a cookie and a biscuit.
2. Know ALL the rules of cricket.
3. Sing inaudible songs at a football game. (RAAAUHHHMAYYY roughly translates to "red army". Learn it and live it.)
4. Eat and enjoy pickled onion crisps.

I'm kidding again. Jeez, I can't take anything seriously, can I?

I guess what I should be saying is that there is no straight cut method to being an expat. I wish there was though; that would have made my process a lot easier.

I get asked all the time by hopeful expats: "How did you do it?!"

In short: I fell in love with a lovely man with an accent and moved the legal way.   

Simple algorithm to being an expat: work at a summer camp + date an English bloke = INSTANT EXPAT!

It took a lot of patience, a lot of money, and a lot of long distance relationshiping. So when I said "instant expat", I was kidding again. Sorry, that's the last time. I promise.

I am on the Fiance(e) Visa, which basically means we're engaged and are planning to get married. DUH. The catch is, we have to get married within 6 months of when my visa was approved. And I can't work until we are married. And we had to PROVE our relationship existed.

"What do you mean prove your relationship?!"

Besides the actual application (which I'll get to in a second), I had to send lots of fun stuff to the UK Embassy in New York which included: Skype records, Facebook records, my previous flight details to see him, his previous flight details to see me, details of us traveling together, letters from our family members saying they've met me/him, photos, photocopies of cards/letters to each other, my bank statements, his bank statements, my previous pay slips, his previous pay slips, picture of engagement ring with receipt (to prove we're actually engaged), information of our prospective wedding venue, his employment contract, his work history, my work history, copy of my birth certificate, copy of his birth certificate, copy of my drivers license, copy of my social security card, copy of my passport ID page, 2 recent passport pictures, and that's just what's off the top of my head.

Look, we exist! If this doesn't prove our relationship, I don't know what does! I'm willing to look like a fool in front of this guy. Let me in your country, please.

The application itself was just a time consuming and information prying fun sucker. By the time I had to print it out it was about 12 pages long (no exaggeration). It asks lots of information about you, your parents, and your "sponsor" (basically the person you are moving for. In my case, my sponsor is the Fiance).

Also, I had to drive to an immigration office and get my biometrics done before I could send off my visa package. That means that I just had to make an appointment to get lots of fingerprints taken. They used these fingerprints when I entered the UK to make sure it was me entering on the correct passport and visa. UK Border Control really means no funny business!

No really, please let me in your country! I have a date with Robbie Williams!

So the Taylor Method to being an expat is to fall in love, get engaged, and be fully willing to marry someone from another country. Easy enough! (Kind of.)

To be honest, that's the only way I know how to be an expat. Unfortunately, a lot of countries don't let you just move for the sake of moving. You need a substantial reason, like work or studying.

But there are lots of ways to do it! You just need to find out whats best for you. Try studying abroad or looking into different opportunities your citizenship provides for you (for example, commonwealth visas for the commonwealth countries). Although I can't give you a detail by detail description of every possible way to make the move to another country, there are lots of places around the internet that can!

Try looking at different expat websites for articles, forums, and other blogs that can help you out! The sidebar on the right hand side provides some Taylor approved expat websites, all of which have first-hand experiences from expats all over the world.

Good luck with all of your adventures no matter what side of the pond you're on! 

One happy expat!

Any hopeful expats out there? How are you preparing to make the move? Anyone already an expat? What advice do you have? Share your stories!


  1. '1. Learn the difference between a cookie and a biscuit.'

    One of my favourite moments on QI:



    1. Hilarious! That may have made my day!
      Biscuits and gravy is quite the delicacy at my parents house, too!

  2. I love your blog!!! That is all.



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