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New York is an iconic city and a popular destination for professionals moving with their careers. With so much to offer in New York City and so many options for living across its Five Boroughs, the choice can be bewildering. This guide has been written to help you with your move to New York.
The information below will help get you started and lead you through the moving process. Packed with practical information, this handy guide you what you need to know both before and after you arrive. It’s also written by expats who are experienced international removals professionals.
If you’re moving from the UK, New York (NY) needs very little introduction. The “City that Never Sleeps” is the largest in the USA and a genuinely global centre.
New York City (population: 8 million) is familiar to us all through the media, in popular culture and the US East Coast also has strong historical and cultural links with the UK. And it’s not just about the Big Apple either. There’s plenty to explore in NY State, which borders Lake Eerie and Canada to the north and northeast (Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal are only just hours away by car). To the north, less than 200 kilometres away, you’ll find rugged countryside, such as the High Peaks Wilderness.
Famed for its incredible energy, diversity and creativity, New York is synonymous with icons such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and buzzing Wall Street. The Manhattan skyline, a thicket of skyscrapers, points to its role as an international financial hub. The largest population centre in the USA, New York is home to 8 million, with 23 million living in the metropolitan area. You’ll therefore find an excellent local infrastructure, with extensive housing options and international schools, and plenty of cultural activities, from Broadway theatre to museums.
As a UK citizen, you’ll need to have a job lined up before you can move, but the sheer size and economic significance of New York make it ideal for the next step of your career.
The global centre of banking and finance, New York has always been an economic powerhouse; advertising, healthcare, and high technology rank among the big hitters. Countless service providers, notably law firms, accountancy firms and consultancies, also make their base here. The US media and publishing hub, New York is also home to creative industries such as digital media, architecture, design, and fashion.
The headquarters of corporate America, the Manhattan district is home to the Central Business District, where you’ll find the New York Stock Exchange and numerous Fortune 500 firms. Big banking finance and insurance sector names include American Express, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, MetLife, and Morgan Stanley. Other names are like a “Who’s who” of business: bookseller Barnes & Noble, consumer products manufacture Colgate-Palmolive, pharmaceuticals firms Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer, entertainment giant WarnerMedia, and telecommunications conglomerate Verizon, to name a few.
The USA is well-known for its low levels of bureaucracy and opportunities for business to grow, which will help make your transition easier. You’ll also find plenty of networking opportunities, and numerous business associations exist. Concerning personal income tax, bear in mind that there are federal and state deductions, plus contributions to social security. In New York, local income tax rates are progressive but low. A double taxation treaty applies between the USA and UK, so you won’t pay tax twice on the same income.
Once you have secured work in New York, you can start organising your visa and work permit. There are many different visa types for moving to America, and the application process can be very detailed so it’s advisable to talk to a US immigration specialist or solicitor.
If you want to contact a specialist, you can speak to Sterling Lexicon’s visa consultants who can help. The first 30 minutes consultation is free.
As a UK citizen you cannot expect an NHS level of state coverage. As a foreign national you will need to pay for all medical treatment. Simple things you would take for granted in the UK such as seeing a doctor or receiving a prescription can be enormously expensive! If you’re an expat, it’s highly recommended that you take out healthcare insurance to cover you and your family members. Bear in mind that you’ll need to budget for the expense. You should also make it part of your employment negotiation and look at how you cover everyone moving with you.
With healthcare insurance you can expect a high standard of healthcare and treatments. Major hospitals include New-York Presbyterian Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital, both with a network of healthcare facilities. For hospital waiting times, see https://www.hospitalstats.org.
It’s advisable to do some research and get a quote. Several major companies offer healthcare insurance. If you need any guidance, contact the Sterling Lexicon team.
Housing costs in a world capital like New York will inevitably be high, and they will take up a more substantial part of your budget than those of any other US city. For information about housing, including prices, see the US Census Bureau; property websites such as Realtor, Property Shark, and Zillow are valuable information sources too. Companies such as Sterling Lexicon can also provide information about housing cost differentials. A good realtor (estate agent) will make a huge difference to your experience of securing the right place for you and your family to live.
Within Manhattan expect city apartments, funky loft spaces and eye wateringly expensive Brownstone houses, but there is more. The sheer size of New York, including the metropolitan area, offers you an enormous selection of larger detached properties with gardens. Within New York itself, the eastern Queens borough balances suburban living with accessibility, and is relatively affordable. Neighbourhoods worth checking out include Astoria, Bayside, Bellrose, Forest Hill, and Flushing. Just to the north of the New York city boundaries, Yonkers, in Westchester County, also lies within easy reach of the centre. Cedar Knolls, Northeast Yonkers/Colonial Heights are located with the county. All these districts in Queens and Yonkers offer quiet, established residential locales. Properties usually boast three or more bedrooms, and some are built in a traditional style.
If you’ve children of school or college age, your choice of neighbourhood will often be defined by your school choice. New York has a high level of international schools and schools teaching the International Baccalaureate.
Preschools cater for children aged from 3 to 5. Elementary/middle school are for children aged roughly between 6 to13, and high school is for children aged 14-17.
The education system can be divided into public schools (i.e. publicly funded; in New York City run by the New York City Department of Education) and private schools. The former come under the category of either “traditional” or “charter”; the regulations governing the latter are less stringent. Magnet schools offer a specialized curriculum. Private schools are often faith-based and operated by Christian denominations.
The privately run British International School of New York teaches the British National Curriculum and International Baccalaureate (IB). Also private, the Nord Anglia International School New York, one of several international schools run by a British-based firm, offers an international curriculum. Fee-paying internationally oriented schools Dwight School, the International School of Brooklyn, and the bilingual French-American School of New York offer the IB. Public high schools teaching the IB include the Brooklyn Latin School and Yonkers Middle School.
It helps to combine your school search and home search together. It is worth talking to an international relocation company who can provide you with guidance on the process of searching for a home and a school in New York, or any of the cities across the state. For example, Sterling Lexicon has home finding and school finding services via its USA offices.
Once you have secured your property and the lease details, you can start planning your international removal. When you move to New York, America, from the UK, you’ll normally require a sea shipment for the majority of your belongings and an airfreight shipment for your most essential personal belongings.
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It is best to get a quote for your international move to New York from the UK. This will help you budget and plan effectively. Get a move quote here.
You will need to have a place to stay and an address in New York for when you arrive and for the weeks between all your possessions being packed and their arrival at destination. Temporary accommodation is a good option. There are different types, that can be arranged in New York, or even in the UK before you depart.
If you would like help sourcing the best value temporary accommodation in the State of New York and in the UK, check with your moving company if they offer this. The Sterling Lexicon team would be happy to provide a competitive temporary accommodation quote.
It’s important to ensure your documentation and customs forms are all completed correctly. This will save a lot of time and cost later down the line. Several items are either prohibited or restricted and are subject to customs duties. It’s best to have an understanding of these. Check out this overview of the US Customs requirements here. Speak to your Move Consultant if you are unsure.
Your items will be travelling across thousands of miles. If you wish to protect your household goods during transit, you’ll can complete a transit cover form detailing an inventory of items you wish to insure and their insured values.
Check with your international mover that they are using professional packing teams to pack your household goods. Ask about the training they receive, the quality of the materials the mover uses and how eco-friendly and recyclable they are!
Allow at least 4-6 weeks in total for transportation by sea and customs clearance.
When your household goods have cleared customs, your international mover will normally be in contact with you to arrange a date and time for delivery to your new place. If you choose Sterling Lexicon, they have professional crews in the US who will unpack and place some essential items in your house or apartment, allowing you to enjoy your first meal in your new home.
Welcome to your new place! You will need to have sorted out the practical things like setting up your utilities, local medical registrations, broadband, WiFi, etc. It is also a really exciting time as you can get out and start to explore your local area. Find local expat clubs and get stuck in to everything New York has to offer. Whatever you do, make sure you are safety aware.
There are also companies who can help you with getting set up and settled-in. As an example, Sterling Lexicon can offer a maid service or handyman to get everything into place and connected. They can also help with utilities, settling-in and introductory tours to acquaint you with your local area.
The first few months of your arrival can feel like a whirlwind, but now it’s time to start living like a local and enjoy your new home! If you’d like to talk about anything in this guide, simply contact your Move Consultant.
Each year we help individuals and families with their move to New York. We help with their visas, finding homes, schools, moving and support at destination. Everything needed to start a new chapter of living and working in NYC. Check out the Sterling Lexicon locations here.