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Moving to the UK

A Comprehensive Guide on Relocating to the UK

This guide covers all the essential information to move to the UK: From visa types, to healthcare, and housing options. We will discuss the steps you need to take and the requirements you will have to fulfill for moving to the UK, so you are well-prepared to face all the complexities that lie ahead.

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

Wondering how to move to the UK? Even though it’s a country that offers a lot of opportunities, there are numerous factors you should consider if you want to start a new life there. For example, you need to be certain about the type of visa you will need, the average cost of living, how you will ship your belongings, and where you will live. 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 ongoing transition period and all the complexities that this political climate entails, you have to be clear on how hard or easy it will be 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 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. Your plans to move there are probably bringing up a lot questions, but look no further, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the answers you are looking for.



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 this is to be expected. Relocating is always full of complexities and you will need help before, during, and after your journey. Throughout this time, you will have questions about moving, shipping, and storing your household goods, and these will be the first of many obstacles you will have to tackle.

The logistics of moving your belongings to the UK may be a little confusing at first; there are several transport options available and many guidelines you must follow. Regardless of where you’re moving  from, there are many ways of ensuring your belongings arrive safely to the UK. There are, nonetheless, several points to consider before deciding on international moving options. The important things to bear in mind are keeping costs down, avoiding damage and breakages, and receiving your belongings on time.

What about your cat and your dog? Is moving to the UK with your pets difficult? What vaccinations are required?  Before you start packing your bags, these are some of the many factors you must consider.

Our comprehensive relocation guides will guide you throughout the entire process,  providing you with 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 and community.

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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,  you will have to 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 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 country. Just to give you an idea, a Tier 2 General Visa costs about 1220 GBP (1,585 USD) if you apply from outside the UK, but costs around 705 GBP  (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 want to weigh your options, check out our article on the Best Places to Live in the UK.

If you are thinking about investing in property, you will want to know 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 private 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 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, double taxation agreements, 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. One of the benefits of this style of education is that students get 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 open many doors for your child in the future. On the other hand, some of the disadvantages of enrolling you children in an international school is that they may have fewer opportunities to immerse themselves in the local community, culture, and language.


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If you are moving and planning to work in the UK, it is likely that you have already secured a job.  But if you haven’t, one of your priorities will be to look for one.  How do you get a job in the UK? A good initial approach is to start job hunting online. With apps like Gumtree, Indeed, Totaljobs, and Glassdoor boasting tens of thousands of job listings at a time, you can begin the process even before departing. Simply update your CV, upload it, and click on 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 downturn, 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.

Have you landed that dream job but you are unsure about what to expect? What is business culture like in the UK? Be aware that companies and organizations are usually hierarchical. British managers are usually firm, but formulate instructions as polite requests or even as simple suggestions. Being in control and effectively leading a team, while keeping a good relationship with employees is expected of a person with good management skills. If you will be part of a team, know that the UK welcomes team players, individuals goals should not negatively impact the team’s goals.

If you are more of the type to take things into your own hands, you might be 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. You will be pleased to know that the UK has solid government-backed schemes for financial advice and also to obtain funding.

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Are you interested to know the pros and cons of living in the UK? Is  public transportation in the UK reliable throughout the country?  What about social etiquette? Are you aware of the cultural norms in both social and business environments? Our guide  covers everything you need to know about  living in the UK; from practicalities, such as emergency numbers, public holidays, and embassies’ contact information, to all the necessary details about driving in the UK. Should you decide to get your own car, what do you need to know? To get you started, you have to be prepared to drive on the left side of the road. Read this section for information on all these aspects of UK life and more.

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Updated on: May 11, 2020
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