The research continues, and the nasty surprises pile up. At this point, I’m feeling rather like Arthur Dent bashing on a locked filing cabinet within a disused lavatory in a dark, stairless basement that has a sign saying “Beware of the leopard!” on the door. Some of this stuff, I didn’t dig up until I’d visited the relevant UK gov websites several times. No wonder immigration lawyers never lack for work.
In a nutshell:
Financial cost of going the spousal visa route: $2250 / £1700 (at least*)
Emotional cost of ditto: Huge.
Financial cost of going the Tier 2 route: $2400 / £1880 (visa fee, plus healthcare surcharge, plus mandatory savings account requirement unless one’s job sponsor is a “guaranteed” sponsor.)
Emotional cost of ditto: not quite so huge.
And that’s just the bureaucratic fees. I’ve been making guesstimates about moving a forklift palette’s worth of stuff and two cats and oof. No wonder folks migrate with just the clothes on the backs and whatever they can fit into their checked baggage.
I’ve started correspondence with some recruiters in the UK that place with companies that would use The Husband’s skills. They’re being refreshingly upfront about what a PITA it is for employers to sponsor visas but, dammit, if it’s really a shortage occupation, someone’s got to be willing to do it at some point.
* A UK chum who imported his USAian wife tells me he’d spent about £5,000 on it when all was said and done.