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Moving to the UK

A Comprehensive Guide on Relocating to the UK

This guide will cover all the essential steps to move to the UK. From visa types, to healthcare, and housing. All the information and requirements for moving to the UK will be thoroughly discussed, so you are well-prepared to face all the complexities of relocating.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats ourselves, we understand what you need, and offer the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us to jump start your move abroad!

Planning how to move to the UK? Even though it’s a country that can offer a lot of opportunities, there are numerous factors that should be taken into account. For example, you need to be certain about the type of visa you will need, the average cost of living, whether you will ship your belongings or not and/or require storage facilities. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, what do you need to move to the UK? Despite being a desirable relocation destination, with Brexit’s transition period looming and all the complexities that this political climate entails, you will need to be clear on how hard or easy it is to move to the UK in your specific situation. Obtaining a visa is difficult in most circumstances, and with the additional post-Brexit difficulties, you are likely full of questions and in need of assistance.  Contact our team of experts who can help you with any and every aspect of your visa process.

Here, you will be able to explore in detail all the things you need to know when moving to the UK, from getting a visa, to the country’s fast-moving housing market, and the banking and tax systems. You will learn about the many benefits of moving to the UK, from its renowned transport and healthcare systems, to the top-notch education options for your children. If you are wondering why moving to the UK could be the right option for you, then you will certainly find the answer after navigating this comprehensive guide.



Whether you are moving abroad for the first time or relocated multiple times before, the process raises many questions. Our complete guide to relocation will ease your doubts along the way, from the initial preparations to how to negotiate a relocation package, we help you GO! prepared with the key answers.

The process of moving to the UK might become overwhelming, even if you are a seasoned nomad. But that is to be expected. Relocating is always full of complexities and you will need help before, during, and after your journey. During this time, you will have questions about moving, shipping, and storing your household goods, and this will most likely be the first of many obstacles you have to tackle. What about your cat… and your dog? Is moving to the UK with your pets difficult? What vaccinations are required for the UK?  Before you start packing your bags, these are many of the factors you must consider. Our comprehensive relocation guides will guide you throughout the entire process, you will find all the relevant information you require. We have useful tips for every aspect of relocation, from the early stages of planning your move until when you are settling into your new home.


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Visas & Work Permits

One of the main aspects of relocation is jumping through the legal and migratory hoops. You will need to be clear on how to get a UK visa or work permit, should you need one.

The UK visa types, costs, and requirements may be hard to navigate, particularly now with the added complexity of the post-Brexit transition period. If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, then all the guidelines will stay the same, but if you are a national of any of the countries affected by the transition period, then you will have face these obstacles. Do not panic, there are government schemes in place to allow you to move and stay in the UK. The most important thing is that you adequately inform yourself on the UK visa application processes.

The UK visa costs depend on several factors, mainly the type of visa, and whether the application was made inside or outside the UK. Just to give you an idea, a Tier 2 General Visa costs 1220 GBP (1,585 USD) if you apply from outside the UK, but costs GBP 704 (USD 915) if you apply from inside the country.

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Getting accommodation in the UK is not to be taken lightly. The housing market is incredibly fast-paced, so you will have to know exactly what to do in order to secure a home. Be ready to be quick on your feet, because nice places go fast.

The upside is that the UK has many different types of housing to offer, so you will have plenty of choice! From modern apartments, to the classic Victorian terraced houses, and warehouse spaces.

You will also have to be clear on what you can afford. Bear in mind that the average rent in Greater London is around 1,700 GBP (2,200 USD) per month, much higher than the national average of around 1,000 GBP (1,300 USD). You will also have to factor in the cost of utilities in the UK, which tend to be higher than the rest of Western Europe.

If you are thinking about investing in property, you will want to know the how it is to buy a house in the UK for foreigners. For starters, properties come with a hefty tag price. The average house price as of November 2019 was around 230,000 GBP (300,000 USD). Prices in London average 475,000 GBP (600,000 USD). Acquiring property does not give you any rights to citizenship, so be clear about what the future holds before putting your money into real state. Also, be aware that due to the post-Brexit transition period, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the housing market. It may be a good idea to get advice from our InterNationsGO! home finding team who work with partners that are experts in local housing markets around the world.

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Both the public healthcare system and health insurance sector in the UK have pros and cons. If you are having difficulties understanding what these options entail, our UK healthcare system section will help inform your decision. You will find information on your public and private alternatives, and other essential aspects of health care, such as finding a doctor, and giving birth in the UK.

The country’s National Healthcare System (NHS) is regarded as one of the best in the world. As an expat, you will be entitled to all the services provided by the NHS, reducing health care costs to the minimum. Should you decide to get private medical insurance, you will certainly have faster access to specialists, better facilities, and reduced waiting times.

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Banks & Taxes

One critical aspect of life as an expat will be gauging the local tax system and swiftly opening a bank account in the UK that serves your needs.

When relocating, you will likely have financial commitments in both your home country and destination, meaning that you must educate yourself on tax systems, moving money between countries, administering finances in different currencies, and more.

To successfully juggle all these factors, it is important to have at hand information on the best banks in the UK, what you will need to do to open a non-resident bank account, and how much taxes are in the UK.

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Are you trying to figure out the differences between state, public, private, and international schools in the UK? Look no further. InterNations GO! provides in-depth information about the complex UK education system.

If you are relocating with your children, one of the best ways to give them a broad and diverse education is by sending them to an international school in the UK. This form of school system is a great way of exposing them to a variety of cultures and personalities from around the world, so your child will grow an appreciation for world culture. The benefits of this style of education system ensure that students are getting the best of international education standards and are not limited to the national curriculum. With global markets becoming the new norm, this system will give your child the best shot at tomorrow.


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It is likely that you have already secured a job if you have decided to move to the UK. But if you haven’t, one of your first priorities will be to look for work in the UK. Stop wondering about how to get a job in the UK and get online. With apps like Gumtree, Indeed, Totaljobs, and Glassdoor boasting tens of thousands of job listings at any time, finding your next career can be as easy as writing a CV, uploading it and pressing apply.

Although the job market in the UK is highly competitive, there is a lot on offer. Regardless of all the uncertainties around Brexit and the threat of a global turndown, the economy is steadily creating more jobs and increasing pay levels. To give you an idea, for those in full-time work, the average salary in the UK is currently GBP 35,000 (USD 45,420) per year.

The UK’s tax system and NHS ensure that solid social security measures are in place for your family if there are ever times of hardship. Moreover, business culture in the UK makes working life an enjoyable experience; bring passion, dedication and discipline, and you will be rewarded with polite, courteous behavior alongside tongue-in-cheek humor that the Brits are famous for.

If you are more of the type to take things into your own hands, you should find yourself looking at becoming your own boss. In the UK, self-employment is at 15%, its highest point since records began. This may be because in the era of the internet, it’s much simpler to manage your business with automated accounts. Moreover, people are increasingly opting for the freedoms that come with being self-employed.

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If you are thinking of living in the UK, then you will certainly have to consider the cost of living of your soon-to-be home. Is it expensive to live in the UK? It is. In fact, one of the most intimidating financial aspects of moving to the UK is how expensive it is to buy or rent accommodation.

What about public transportation in the UK? Newcomers will be pleased with how easy it is to navigate the entirety of the country. A vast and efficient network of overground and underground rail, and frequent bus services that have an easy-to-use contactless payment system, make national travel a stress-free adventure. If you decide to get your own car, what do you need to know about driving in the UK? Just to get you started, you need to be prepared to drive on the left side of the road. If you are not comfortable with this, start driving in more remote areas until you gain confidence. Also, the UK uses miles per hour (mph), not kilometers per hour (kmph).

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Updated on: March 23, 2020
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