Moving to Wales from US

Moving to Wales from US

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    Wales is located in the southwest region of Great Britain. The country is famous for its mountainous national parks, Welsh language, and culture.  Wales has a varied geography. There are three national parks and five areas of outstanding natural beauty, which cover quite a good landmass of the country.

    A Visa is an authorization granted to a foreigner that permits them to leave, stay, remain, or to move to another territory. To visit the United Kingdom (UK) for study, work, tourism, or any other reason, an individual is required to go through the visa application process. The application process includes furnishing specified travel documents and paying the visa fee.

    Moving to Wales from US

    There are various types of visas to enter the UK, the eligibility is based on the applicant’s purpose of visit. The application process can be carried out online and the documents can be submitted during the visa appointment.

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    Wales Visa Types

    Some certain kinds of visas are mentioned below. People thinking of moving to Wales need to provide the required visa.

    Tier 1Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4Tier 5
    InvestorsWorkLow skilled employeesStudentCreative
    EntrepreneurEmploymentLabour marketDoctoral extensionSporting

    There are other visas like settlement visas, family visas, ancestry visas.

    Wales Visa Requirements

    There are quite a few documents that are mandatory before applying for a visa:

    1. UK Visa application form
    2. Two passports sized pictures
    3. A valid passport of yours
    4. A proof that you can bear the cost of living there.
    5. Proof of accommodation
    6. Detailed travel information
    7. Tuberculosis test results
    8. Biometric information
    9. A valid letter of invitation
    10. Paid visa fees

    There are some additional requirements of you are employed, these include:

    • Letter from your employer confirming your post, salary, and other details.
    • If you are self-employed then business registration documents are required.
    • If you are a student, a letter from your education provider confirming your enrolment is mandatory to provide.

    Do U.S. citizens need visa for Wales? US citizens do not require a tourist visa to go to Wales. US passport is enough as long as it is valid for 6 months from the date you plan to visit Wales. Americans moving to Wales are the people who can take the best advantage of this particular thing.

    How much does it cost for visa to wales? It generally depends on the type of visa you are up for. But on average it requires an amount of $125 for a visit visa for 6 months and about US$475 for a visit visa for 2 years.

    How long it takes to get wales visa? Processing of visas generally takes about 15 – 30 days from the day of registering. The non – settlement applications take about 3 to 4 weeks and the rest take about 11 – 12 weeks from the date of applying.

    Citizenship / Immigration

    Unless you have citizenship based on ancestry you will have to apply for naturalization in any of the following:

    • Naturalization after five years
    • Naturalization after three years in the UK as the partner of a UK citizen.

    Wales citizenship requirements

    If you are not married to a British citizen you will need to fulfill the following requirements to apply for Naturalization:

    1. You must be 18 or above and are having a good state of mind.
    2. You should be able to communicate in the English language or Welsh language or even Scottish Gaelic.
    3. You should intend to live in the UK.

    How to apply for Wales citizenship

    There are three ways to prepare your application for naturalization:

    1. Submit an individual application. 
    2. Apply through a National Checking Service. 
    3. Apply through an agent.
    • After that, you need to provide your biometric information. 
    • Once your form is complete, you will need to send it with the fee.
    • Wait for the decision. It takes about 6 months to decide on your application. 
    • After the approval of your application, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony and then you are done.

    Wales citizenship by investment

    Tier 1 Visa

    This investment visa allows the holders and their dependents to reside in the UK and ultimately become eligible for UK citizenship where they satisfy the eligibility criteria.

    For this applicants need to invest a minimum amount into the UK and maintain that amount during their residency. You have to make investments in the active UK – registered companies, with no donation required.

    This visa is now closed by the UK government and has now been replaced by Innovator Visa and Startup visa for the young entrepreneurs who are willing to start their business in the UK.

    Let’s know more about these types of visas:

    UK Innovator Visa

    This category of visa is designed mainly for experienced businessmen. You must fulfill the following requirements before applying for this visa:

    • A minimum investment of £50,000 is required.
    • You can reside with your family for three years with this visa and after three years you can permanently settle in the UK.

    UK Start-Up Visa

    This category of visa is designed mainly for early-stage young entrepreneurs. You must fulfill the following requirements before applying for this visa:

    • No minimum investment is required.
    • You can reside with your family for two years with this visa and after two years you can apply for UK Innovator Visa.

    How do I become a citizen of Wales? You must satisfy all the eligibility criteria for citizenship and naturalization. There are 2 categories of naturalization, for applying for citizenship in Wales:

    • Naturalization after 5 years and an additional year.
    • If you are a spouse of a UK citizen then you fall under naturalization after 3 years.

    Eligibility criteria for naturalization:

    • Your age must be 18 years or more than that.
    • You must be able to communicate in the official languages of Wales i.e., English, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic.
    • You must be employed by a UK-based organization.
    • During the last 5 years, you must not have been outside the UK for more than 90 days.

    Does Wales allow dual citizenship? Dual citizenship means you can be a British citizen and also a citizen of any other nation. And yes dual citizenship is allowed in Wales which is not needed to be applied.

    How long do you have to live in Wales to become a citizen? To become a citizen of Wales you need to physically stay in the country for 5 years with no absence.


    Taxes are necessary contributions imposed on individuals by a government entity. From an accounting perspective, there are multiple taxes to pay attention to. These include payroll taxes, state income taxes, and sales taxes.

    Taxes in Wales

    BandTaxable IncomeTax rate
    Personal allowanceUpto £12,5700%
    Basic rateUpto £12,571 to £50,27020%
    Higher rateUpto £50,270 to £150,00040%
    Additional rateOver £ 150,00045%

    Taxes in Wales vs USA

    Tax Rates in WalesTax Rates in US

    Is tax higher in Wales? For 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 tax years the National Assembly for Wales has decided to keep the rates the same as the UK rates. There will be no overall change to the basic, higher, and additional tax rates for Welsh taxpayers.

    Do you pay more tax if you live in Wales? You will only pay the Welsh rates if you live in Wales for longer than anywhere else in the UK during a tax year. The tax taken from your wages or pension will be adjusted automatically so you pay the right sum across the tax whole year.

    How much is council tax a month in Wales? The average band council tax for Wales for 2021-2022 is £1,731. This includes £1,403 for county councils, £290 for police, and £39 for the community.  This band figures for billing authorities, police, and community councils.


    Wales is recognized for its stunning natural beauty, friendly people, and affordable property. Wales property comes in a variety of types, forms, and sizes, including historic flint cottages.

    Renting Property in Wales

    Rent Smart, Wales is in charge of landlord and rental property registration and licensing.

    Landlord or agent responsibilities:

    This law requires landlords to register themselves and their rental properties. Leasing and/or management services must be licensed. To perform letting on behalf of others, agents must be licensed. Agents do not need to register.

    Tenant responsibilities:

    1. Consider your rent budget.
    2. If you get housing assistance or a local housing allowance, make sure the rentals are affordable.
    3. Prefer your home. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can use a letting agent. Contact the local housing authority, the more area you are willing to search, the better.
    4. Prepare the relevant paperwork for employer identification, immigration status, and credit history that may be requested. Maybe they want a tip. Others may require a rent guarantee. If you don’t have a guarantor, contact your local municipality.

    Buying property in Wales

    Our useful guide walks you through the house buying process in Wales.

    1. Determine your relocation costs and your borrowing capacity.
    2. Find a good home within your budget.
    3. Schedule a viewing for a house you like. You can search for house viewing tips beforehand, many estate agents now offer virtual viewings.
    4. After selecting one, make a fair offer. The sale is confirmed once the seller’s estate agent has both parties’ solicitors’ details.
    5. Find a lawyer, finish your mortgage and start the conveyancing procedure.
    6. It will take a few days to get the title documents and draft a contract. Around this time, you should get your mortgage offer and all associated terms and conditions. You’ll need it to exchange contracts.
    7. Your lawyer will tell you when to sign after you’ve been insured.
    8. The seller’s solicitor will notify the estate agency and the locks will be released. The property is now yours.

    Can US citizens buy property in Wales? Yes, US citizens can buy property in Wales, even if they do not live permanently in the UK. Purchasing a property in the UK as a US citizen becomes easier if you buy the property without any additional borrowing on a mortgage as it might become problematic if you apply for such debt.

    Can you rent a house in Wales? You can rent a property in Wales, UK by registering your property with RentSmart Wales as per the regulations for the housing Wales act 2014. Landlords can license themselves as a self-manager of their property or may apply for a licensed agent and have to adhere to a code of practice.

    Can I buy my house from housing association in Wales? You can buy a council home from the housing association in Wales if you pass the eligibility criteria of the right to buy the act. You can apply to purchase your council home if

    • If you are a reliable tenant
    • It will be your only house
    • If you had lived with the public sector landlord for more than three years.

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    In Wales, everyone needs to plan their future, get ready for a job, and find and apply for the correct apprenticeships, courses, and training at Careers Wales.

    Job Market in Wales

    The top five vocations in Wales, according to Emsi’s ranking of the top 20 in-demand roles based on newly added job posts in March 2021, were nurses, care workers, administrative jobs, van drivers, and cleaners. Education, IT, storage, and retail are among the other industries with roles in the top 20. Lecturer, technical architect, validation engineer, community employability mentor, assistant electrical, engineer intervention and prevention worker are some examples of jobs available in Wales.

    The latest WorkForce Survey data (December to February 2021) illustrate the pandemic’s effects on the job market. Wales had a 73.2% employment rate and a 4.8% unemployment rate. This is 0.8 percentage points up from the quarter but down from the year. The annual decline from September to November 2020 was the second greatest since similar data began in 1992.

    Many occupations in Wales pay six figures including bonuses and benefits. The top pointed jobs in Wales are given below.

    Job titleAverage salary
    Technical architect£81,182
    Validation engineer£81,182
    Agency nurse£59,290
    Solutions architect£59,037
    Gas installation engineer£58,701
    Governance manager£57,715
    Registered mental health nurse£56,611

    How can I get a job in Wales?

    You can get a job in Wales from:

    • Checking out UK job pages where a range of vacancies of different sectors get constantly updated every time and again.
    • Check out job bulletins from newspapers to find hundreds of vacancies across Wales.
    • If you belong to the European free trade association then you can search for a job through the European employment services website, a job portal that is governed by the European Commission within the European economic area.
    • Search job from the government running online websites for job openings throughout the UK.
    • Use social media to find a job and make a professional presence over there.
    • Grow your contacts and networks to step into a job vacancy that has not been advertised.
    • Register in recruitment agencies for a suitable job position.
    • Get into freelancing for self-employment or set up your business.

    How old do you have to be to get a job in Wales? To get a job in Wales one must age 16 or more. However young children aged 13 to 16 years must require a work permit as per the restrictions and regulations of the child employment act, UK.


    Healthcare facilities in Wales are provided by the NHS Wales, the Welsh public health service that provides free or partially taxed healthcare to all the permanent citizens of the country. The key principle of NHS Wales is to provide the finest healthcare to all residents, regardless of price.

    Healthcare in Wales

    NHS Wales is the principal provider of healthcare in Wales. NHS Wales provides free healthcare to all permanent inhabitants of Wales, funded by general taxes.

    Public vs Private Healthcare

    If you can afford it, you can get private health care and a wide range of alternative and complementary treatments. Considering NHS vs. private healthcare? We are providing some on the differences between public and private healthcare systems in Wales.

    NHS vs Private Healthcare Waiting Times-

    While the Government has established targets to reduce wait times, the system still suffers, notably. However, for life-saving procedures like heart bypasses, the NHS usually offers prompt and world-class care. Most private health insurance plans now include virtual GP access that allows you to be seen faster and receive treatment sooner, helping you to receive the care you need when you need it.

    Comfort in the NHS vs Private Healthcare-

    Private healthcare facilities might be more luxurious and sophisticated than NHS ones. Private treatment usually includes hotel-like amenities such as private lodging, an ensuite bathroom, and a larger food selection. In most cases, you will get unlimited visits and see the same specialist. You may see a member of the consultant’s NHS team instead of the consultant.

    What kind of health services are available in Wales? The two types of health services that are available in Wales are:

    • NHS trusts
    • Local health boards

    Is healthcare free in Wales? The Welsh public health service, NHS Wales provides healthcare services in Wales that are free for the permanent residents in case of any emergency.


    Wales’ education differs from that of the rest of the UK. For example, in Wales, a considerable percentage of students are taught entirely or mostly in Welsh.

    Education System in Wales

    Compulsory schooling:

    The child’s age on September 1 determines their educational stage admission. Education is mandatory starting the term after the child’s fifth birthday and can be done at home or school. St John’s College, Cardiff, Ruthin School, St Michael’s School are top institutions for compulsory education.

    Secondary schooling:

    A-level or BTEC qualifications are optional for secondary school students aged 16 to 18. Also available since 2007 but ungraded until 2014 is the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification.

    Education Consortia:

    Wales has four formal education consortia. Flintshire, Conwy, Wrexham, Gwynedd, Denbighshire in North wales. Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion etc in South West and Mid Wales. Central South Wales has Bridgend, Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan etc. and Caerphilly, Newport, Torfaen etc are in South East Wales. The consortia are in charge of improving education in their respective localities and schools.

    Besides, further education covers full-time and part-time schooling for adults over the age of 16. Students often enter higher education at the age of 18.

    Is education in Wales free? Children aged between 16 to 18 are exempted from tuition fees. They are also eligible to get education maintenance allowance, financial constituency fund, and financial support from local guardians.

    How much does it cost to study in Wales? High schools in Wales charge annual tuition fees of £9,000 to £11,000 for graduate study.

    Cost of Shipping

    While moving from the USA to Wales, UK, it is important to figure out the cheapest shipping services, customs, and options to make a hassle-free move of your goods and belongings at the airport or harbor. Here we will discuss various cost-effective options to shift your belongings to the UK on time and in good condition.

    Cost of shipping to Wales from USA

    When it comes to international shipping, it is important to know the timeline and cheapest delivery options of the courier companies. The delivery time depends on the type of courier service you choose to deliver your belongings in the UK.

    The factors that are considered while determining the price of the parcels or goods include:

    • The overall weight of the goods
    • Delivery period
    • Size of the packages

    Several other factors are considered while selecting shipping options, such as delivering on weekends, tracking services, value-added services, and free packages, etc.

    The list of general options for shipping customers’ orders, goods, and services from the USA to Wales, UK are as follows:

    Shipping MethodPriceDelivery Time
    UPS Worldwide Express$190.462-4 business days
    UPS Worldwide Saver$188.806-10 business days
    UPS Worldwide Expedited$170.575-7 business days
    UPS Worldwide Express Plus$230.462-5 business days
    Fedex International Priority$198.203-5 business days
    Fedex International Economy$182.206-10 business days
    Fedex International Next Flight$245.202-5 business days
    USPS Priority Mail International$76.106-10 business days
    USPS Priority Mail Express International$87.603-5 business days

    How much does it cost to ship to Wales? The shipping of goods and furniture to Wales costs $35.65 to $52.38 based on delivery time and shipping services.


    The only way in which living in Wales is different from the US is the cost of living expenses. The cost of living in the capital city of Wales, Cardiff, is 38% cheaper as compared to the capital city of the US, San Francisco. This means that relocating to wales will be cheaper for you but it depends on what you spend, how you spend and the location you live.

    Cost of living in Wales vs USA

    The table below shows the comparison between the average monthly living expenses in Wales and the US. They are categorized based on the US average of 100. A value below 100 means Wales is more economical than the US average and vice-versa.

    The Cost of living in Wales is 97.0 out of the US average of 100.

    Cost of livingWalesUSA
    Single person expenses$2070  $1500$10000 $
    Family of four expenses$40020$4500$10000 $

    Living in Wales as an American

    Pros & Cons

    Till now, you have learned about the wonders of this wonderful country in the UK. So, before making a move you must be aware of the cons that might hit you in your way but not need to worry as it would pass because the positive points will outweigh the negative ones.

    Living costs are cheaper than in the USA. Mountains, castles, and monuments occupy major areas.
    Rich in art, history, and culturegroceries and utilities cost is high
    Stunning mountains, castles, and beachesOne has to cautiously drive
    Welsh people are friendly and welcomingThe people of Wales are very patriotic. Welsh people speak Welsh not English
    full of Outdoor recreation and experiencecommunication issues as names of towns and cities are different to spell and pronounce
    Great place for Rain loversThis country receives high rainfall resulting in living issues and waterborne diseases.   

    Is Wales a good place to live? Yes, Wales is a lovely place to stay. Not only for holidays, living in Wales offers an affordable and fantastic quality of life with economic and cultural diversity, recreational topography, and effortlessly making your stay, rest, and work enjoyable.

    Is it expensive to live in Wales? The living costs in Wales are 15% less than in the other UK States, which makes it an attractive and affordable option for experts to move permanently to the country. The annual salaries and property costs are also lower than that of the UK average.

    Can a US citizen live in Wales? A US citizen can live in Wales for up to 180 days without a valid visa. However, your passport and visa must be valid to stay in Wales for those 180 days. There are many visa types so you must choose one that suits your stay.

    Is Wales a good place for expats? As a popular state of the United Kingdom, Wales is a well-known destination for expatriates who are searching for a new career in the field of services and tourism.

    Best Place to Live in Wales

    Usk, Monmouthshire

    It is a town and community in Monmouthshire, 10 miles northeast of Newport.  It is located on the River Usk,  which is spanned by an arched stone bridge at the western entrance to the town. Usk castle above the town overlooks the ancient crossing point.

    Aberdyfi, Gwynedd

    Aberdyfi is both a village and a community in Gwynedd, Wales,  located on the northern side of the estuary of River Dyfi.  The population of the community was only 878 at the 2011 census. But since the city is great enough to reside in, the population is on a raise frequently.

    Cleddau Estuary,  Pembrokeshire

    The River Cleddau consists of the Eastern and Western Cleddau rovers in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. They unite to the important harbor of Milford Haven.

    Llandeilo and Tywi Valley,  Carmarthenshire

    The handsome market town of Llandeilo fuses farming feet with country chic.  Sat atop a hill overlooking the River Tywi, its narrow streets and pastel-painted Georgian houses are amazing to look at.

    Narberth, Pembrokeshire

    Narberth is a town in Pembrokeshire Wales.  It was founded around a Welsh court and later became a Norman stronghold on the Landsker line. It became the headquarters of the hundred of Narberth.

    Penarth. Vale of Glamorgan

    If you prefer scenic routes to be on the coastal side, you should consider Penarth. This place is also comprised of grand architecture from the Victorian period which makes the real estate market very attractive.


    Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and is its largest city overall. Since it is the capital city, it contains lots and lots of the country’s culture and arts,  making it the ideal place for anyone interested to go through the culture of the country.


    This city is well known today for its outstanding scene,  with some of the country’s best restaurants found in the market town. If you like to walk this city provides you with easy access to some of the most beautiful Welsh countryside. This city also has the extremely stunning Black Mountains.

    The mumbles in Swansea

    The Sunday Times named the Mumbles as the best place in all of Wales. The growth of resident satisfaction continues to increase in Swansea and so it is one of the best places to reside in Wales.


    Cardigan was built around a Norman Castle,  meaning it shares much of the history that other areas of Wales possess. This place also boasts a long river ideal for boating or gentle water sports.  It all combines to make Cardigan a tranquil town to settle in and one of the best in Wales.

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    Culture & Climate


    The country has a distinctive culture, including its language, customs, politics, festivals, and music. Wales is primarily represented by the symbol of the red Welsh Dragon, but other national emblems include the leek and the daffodil.

    Although sharing many customs with the other nations of the United Kingdom, Wales has its distinct traditions and culture, and from the late 19th century onwards, Wales has its popular image as the “land of song”, in part due to its unique tradition.


    Wales has an oceanic climate with Atlantic storms and weather patterns sweeping across it through most of the year. It is humid with relatively mild temperatures ranging from the low 40s in the winter to the mid-60s through the late spring and summer. Though the temperature rarely falls below freezing, during the day, Wales is also windy. That, combined with damp and cloudy conditions, can make otherwise moderate temperatures feel bitterly cold. Nights, throughout the country, can be 20 degrees Fahrenheit colder than daytime.

    Fog is also common in Wales. It rolls in along the coast at any time of year, but it is equally likely to settle—as low-hanging clouds—on the mountain peaks. This can make mountain hikes more challenging than the mountains’ sizes might lead inexperienced hillwalkers to believe.

    What is the culture of Wales? The Welsh culture has Celtic roots, and the land was once part of the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages, it was ruled by Norman knights and was conquered by England in 1282. When the United Kingdom was established in 1707, Wales became part of it.

    There are vast farmlands, mountains, and forest areas, many protected as national parks. The population is over 3 million, and Cardiff is the capital city and biggest urban area.

    What kind of weather is in Wales? In Wales, a country belonging to the United Kingdom and overlooking the Irish Sea, the climate is oceanic, cool, humid, and cloudy for most of the year. The wind blows frequently too. Fog is common in Wales. It rolls in along the coast at any time of the year, but it is likely to settle on the mountain peaks.


    The Wales national football team (Welsh: Tîm pêl-dried Cenedlaethol Cymru) represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales (FAW), the governing body for football in Wales and the third-oldest national football association in the world, founded in 1876. The team has qualified for the FIFA World Cup once, in 1958, when they reached the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champions Brazil. They then went 58 years before reaching their second major tournament, when – following a rise of 109 places from an all-time low of 117th to a peak of 8th in the FIFA World Rankings between August 2011 and October 2015[5][6] – they qualified for UEFA Euro 2016, where they reached the semi-finals before again losing to the eventual champions, Portugal. A second successive UEFA European Championship followed when Wales reached the round of 16 of UEFA Euro 2020. They also progressed through UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying to the quarter-finals, though this was played on a two-legged, home-and-away basis and is not considered part of the finals tournament.

    Historically, the Welsh team has featured several players from Wales’ top club teams, Cardiff City and Swansea City. These two Welsh clubs play in the English league system alongside fellow Welsh clubs in Newport County, Wrexham, and Merthyr Town. However, the majority of Welsh football clubs play in the Welsh football league system. Wales, as a country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee and therefore the national team does not compete in the Olympic Games.


    It is quite clear that Wales is quite a nice place to reside in. Also, it is very easy for the Americans moving to Wales to stay and find a good way of living there. There is no extra expense and this is the foremost reason why and how to move to Wales from the US. fact, for everyone Wales, is awesome for residential purposes. It provides you with a lot of great facilities. There is an amazing place to live in Wales. Wales is a very attractive country for anyone who likes to walk, try new tastes, etc. Also, the country has been voted the top country to visit in 2014. The country offers beautiful scenic views and places to visit.

    The culture and traditions of the country make it one of a kind. The weather and climate are very suitable to live in. The country offers you everything you need at the priority which is more than enough.

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