January 2016

Five Things You Need to Know About US Expat Taxes for 2016

When it comes to US expat taxes, there may be a lot you don’t know! In addition to the confusing laws, deductions, credits and qualifying factors, things change from year to year. So let’s take a look at 5 things you may not know about filing US taxes- but should.

Can I use the Returning Resident visa if I have have been away from the UK for over two years?

No, you cannot use the returning resident visa if your ILR is expired (after two years residence outside the UK it becomes invalid). We have not seen anyone successfully apply this way. You will need to start the process over again, meeting the financial requirements and will not qualify for ILR again for five years. If you are planning to leave the UK for longer than two years, it is strongly recommended that you should aquire citizenship before you leave.

Can I travel to the UK before the date on my visa application?

They will usually make your visa valid from the date you put on the application, so you can't travel before this date unless they have put an earlier date on your visa, such as the date it was issued. It is not valid for entry before that date.

What documentation is required to show adequate spousal accomodation?

In addition to proving that you have adequate income to support a family, a family visa application must also include proof that the accomodation is adequate. You will need to provide details of the place you will live and any proof necessary to show they have permission to live there (from a landlord etc.)
  • Land registry (deed) documents to show ownership
  • Mortgage statements
  • Rent book or tenancy agreement
  • Council tax statements
  • Property
  • ...

How do I get US size passport photos while in the UK?

US and UK passport photos are different, but there a number of ways to get photos that meet US passport photo requirements that are published on the embassy website. 1 The embassy has lists of photographers, however most professional photography studios have camera settings that meet the requirements. US passport photo requirements are also the same as the photos for US visa applications. Some photo booths also support US visa photos, such as those found outside stores such as Sainsbury's or at...


Selfridges, aka Selfridge & Co, is a chain of higher end department stores in the UK. Some stores may also carry American food products.

Marshmallow Mateys

The only thing like Lucky Charms and easier to get!

Lucky Charms

A childhood favourite, Lucky Charms can be ordered from Amazon and found at a few stores.

White/Light Corn Syrup

Some recipes are difficult without corn syrup, such as homemade caramels. Multi-packs from Amazon are the best buy.

Visit our affiliate partner

UK Yankee is a resource and community for expatriate Americans living in or planning to move to the UK, established in 1999. Please join the discussions in our friendly expat community.