Research is free and escapism is a favorite hobby of mine. I’ve been looking into the various ways my husband and I could move to the UK.

I’m a UK citizen, so I won’t have any difficulty. The challenges are all on the husband, poor sod.

Best case, D gets a job offer from a place that’ll sponsor him for a Tier 2 visa. Nice thing about that is the employer wants to get their money’s worth, so he’d probably be sure of employment for most of the term. The digital art industry, she is a little fraught. Tier 2 visa is good for at least three years. So, at least two rounds of that frightfulness (assuming

Tiny little bonus, husband works in a field that’s been officially deemed in short supply, so that knocks about 20% off the income threshold. What a handy way to keep local wages down, too. Hm.

It’s not clear if he could work for an employer other than his sponsor (in the same industry) on that visa. He’s allowed to take on additional work in the same industry up to 20 hours a week. Must add that to my growing list of questions.

But the odds of successfully chasing down a job offer from six thousand miles away? Not great. It’s not impossible, but it’s not great. My father landed his gig in the USA via a recruiting agency that was headhunting for any and all IT talent looking for greener pastures. Digital artists? Not so much with the head-hunting. We certainly aren’t expecting any help with relocating (and the costs of that are a headache for another day).

The other route, of course, is that I head over there and then “send” for him on a spousal visa. Downside: we’d be apart for at least six months (the minimum amount of time it would take me to meet requirements – that’s assuming I can find work right away) and the fee is nearly double that of a Tier 2 visa. It also leaves him stuck on his own in the USA for that time, which would be nigh-impossible for him to manage.

The upside of the spousal visa is that it doesn’t matter if my husband has a job offer or not. As long as I’m making at least £18K/year, he can remain with me.

Hidden cost #14: there’s a healthcare surcharge attached to all UK visas. It makes sense, but man, it’s another cost to worry about. £200 for each year of the visa’s duration, due at the time of application, thankyerverymuch.

Even if that dreadful orange man isn’t elected into high office, the husband and I are thinking more seriously about leaving the USA. There just seems to be more work for him in the UK. But “seems” and “actual” are two very different things. Every successful migration has a push and a pull. The “push” is currently rambling on Twitter about protecting American citizens from immigrants (I’m both, which list does that put me on?). The “pull”, however, is proving elusive.