Oh man, I feel you. I ended up getting a UK Citibank account when I first moved here for my masters because they had a deal with my university that they'd do something or other with my student loan cheques. Can't remember! It's not a proper bank here though, with only like one branch in the entire country, so it's a bit of a pain. The credit card thing is a real ballache though... After about three years of living here, with a mobile contract, I still got denied for two store cards. Part of this is because they use the electoral roll as part of your proof of address and I can't vote! I recommend having Experian put a note on your credit report that you aren't eligible to vote. Not sure this actually helped me, because it wasn't until a few years later that I tried to get a credit card again (this time one of those ridiculously predatory high interest ones). I managed to get that, and after a few months of having it, was approved for a Real credit card.
@TheLifestyleCreep YES THIS.
Well, I keep reading articles like this: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/29/young-londoners-flee-capital-region-house-prices I live in Birmingham in a spacious 3 bedroom house with a garden that is literally only worth £127,000...... but I'm not sure whether the downgrade from London was worth it.
$221 entry fee?? That is insanity. I've run 6 big city marathons around Europe and they've all cost roughly €70 max ($88). I think even London, which is similar to NYC in terms of difficulty to get into (and which I didn't get into again for next year grrr), costs about £70/$110.
I found out after about 6 months of dating my exboyfriend that he expensed nearly all our dates as "dinner or drinks with potential client". Eventually he got fired. (For that? I don't know. We had already broken up.)
@garysixpack Same situation with citizenship, I think it's 5 years. And you can work and everything during the five years, it's just the uncertainty that if your marriage doesn't work out you can't get permanent residency at the end.
@garysixpack No I understand that - the thing I was pointing out is that in the US the process is "get married --> apply for green card" whereas in the UK it's "get married --> apply for 5 year (previously 2 year) visa --> apply for permanent residency IF you're still together after that point".
@Aconite Ah I didn't realise that! My friends actually got married when it was still 2 year spouse visa --> straight to indefinite leave to remain, before they changed it to five years. My boyfriend and I have looked into various possibilities when my work visa expires in 2016 (I'm eligible for permanent residency then, but don't earn enough money anymore to qualify for the route I was on). I think I'll get a family visa then and then FINALLY ILR in 2017 when I'll have been here for 10 freaking years already.
This is really interesting, because I'm only really familiar with people marrying to get residency in the UK, where I live. The way it works here is that you can get a spousal visa valid for five years, and then if you're still married at the end of that time, you can apply for permanent residency. So the first visa is a little bit easier to get (no interviews or medical checks, from what I remember about my friends) and costs £885 ($1493, so exactly the same!). But then you have to apply again for permanent residency five years later which I think costs about the same. I'm not sure if this process is better or worse? I think it costs more over time, but requiring people to still be married after a few years in order to get permanent residency kind of makes sense to make it more difficult to have a sham marriage.
This is super interesting. I notice that all of the respondents are women, was this intentional or not?