Name: Maria Hughes
Originally From: Sheffield, Yorkshire
Moved To: Palmer, Massachusetts
Visa Type: Company Transfer Visa and Spouse Visa
Emigrating for employment reasons rather than lifestyle is likely to become far more prevalent over the coming years. However, a new job opportunity being the primary motivating factor behind starting a new life abroad is nothing new.
Take Maria Hughes. Maria had never entertained the thought of living in another country until her husband, Rob, was offered the chance to relocate to Massachusetts by his company in the mid 1990s.
“Rob was really interested in the job,” recalls Maria. “Therefore we were left with two options: Either Rob went to the US alone for a month at a time and had a long weekend back in the UK at the end of it… Or we relocated. We were a young married couple. The answer was obvious.”
Rob emigrated through a company transfer visa with Maria tagging along as a ‘spouse’. However, Maria hadn’t realised that as a ‘spouse’ she was not actually entitled to work in the States. This, she says, made the settling process very difficult. “We’d rented an apartment in a block full of professionals so I was unable to befriend our neighbours – they were all too busy working to socialise,” continues Maria. “To get myself out and about I used to take long walks and in time I got speaking regularly to familiar faces that I used to see along my route.”
Despite her initial struggles, Maria says that life in the US soon became easier, especially after having her two children – Ross and Lana – which changed her lifestyle dramatically. “I no longer had long, boring hours waiting for Rob to come home from work. I began meeting other parents and everything started falling into place.”
Today, Maria is a green card holder, meaning her initial visa restrictions have been lifted. She is now working as a teacher – the profession she had in the UK – and admits to being happy she emigrated.
“When I compare the differences between my childhood and that of my children, I know that we made the right choice to come here. It’s been one incredible journey so far and I’m certain there’s more to come.”