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A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to the UK

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  • Jan-Peter van Tijk

    I wish I'd found InterNations sooner: It would have made my first few month as an expat in London much less overwhelming.

Wondering how to successfully move the UK? Even though the country offers a lot of opportunities, there are numerous factors you should consider if you want to start a new life there. The UK is expensive, but London is particularly pricey. To give you an idea, in Greater London the monthly average rent is around 1,700 GBP (2,200 USD), much higher than the national average of around GBP 1,000 (USD 1,300 USD).

So, what do you need to move to the UK? Due to Brexit’s ongoing transition period and all the complexities that this political climate entails, you should understand from the start 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 developments, you are likely full of questions and in need of assistance.

Here, you will be able to explore in detail all the things you need to know when moving to the UK. Will buying a house give you automatic citizenship? How much do you have to put down to get an investor’s visa? Find the answers here.

You will also 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.  Thinking of enrolling your kids in an international school? Be aware that the average cost for tuition is around 20,000 GBP (23,500 USD) a year. If you are wondering why moving to the UK could be the right option for you, and you need more information on schooling and every essential aspect of your move abroad, our guide will help you clarify your doubts and get your plans in motion.

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All You Need to Know about Relocating Your Household Goods and Pets

The process of moving to the UK might become overwhelming, even if you are a seasoned expat. But this is to be expected. During your relocation process, you will have questions about moving, shipping, and storing your household goods. These will be the first of many obstacles you will have to tackle. Since the UK is an island, its rules and regulations are stricter than in other countries, which adds complexity to the logistics of your move.

There are several points to consider before deciding on international moving options. Bear in mind is that rules are different depending on where your point of departure. If you are relocating from an EU country, you do not usually pay tax or custom duty on goods. Whereas if you are relocating from a non-EU country, you may be able to claim relief on tax and duty, but there are certain conditions.

What about your cat and your dog? Is moving to the UK with your pets difficult? What vaccinations are required? Know that it’s mandatory to get your pet microchipped before or at the same time as getting their rabies vaccine. You should not microchip your pet after the vaccine, as it will not fulfil the requirements. Find all the detailed steps on how to relocate with your pets in this section.

Read our complete guide on relocating to the UK

The Guide to Visa Types and Work Permit Requirements

One of the main pain points of a 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. 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 1,220 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.

Read our complete guide on visas & work permits in the UK

Everything You Need to Know about Finding a New Home

To get good accommodation in the UK, you will need to be quick on your feet, because good places go fast. You will have to know exactly what you are looking for and what steps to follow.

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

You will also have to be clear about your budget. If your aim is to live in the capital, you will have to stretch your wallet to fit London prices. To give you an idea, the average rent in Greater London nearly doubles the national average. 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.

Thinking about investing in property? If so, 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 is 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 estate. Also, be aware that due to the post-Brexit transition period, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the housing market.

Read our complete guide on housing in the UK

Health Insurance and the Healthcare System of the UK Explained

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 a minimum. However, be aware that the wait lists for specialists or for non-emergency surgery can be long. Should you decide to get private medical insurance, you will have faster access to specialists, better facilities, and reduced wait times.

Read our complete guide on insurance & healthcare in the UK

A Comprehensive Guide about Opening a Bank Account and Managing Your Taxes

A critical aspect of your new life in the UK will be understanding the local tax system and swiftly opening a local bank account that serves your needs. Expats have financial commitments in both their home country and destination. This means that it is essential to grasp the new tax systems, have the ability to easily move money between countries, and be clear on how to administer finances in different currencies.

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. You will find all this information and more in our Comprehensive Guide about Opening a Bank Account and Managing Your Taxes.

Read our complete guide on banking & taxes in the UK

Connect with like-minded expatriates

Discover our welcoming community of expats! You’ll find many ways to network, socialize, and make new friends. Attend online and in-person events that bring global minds together.

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We are delighted to invite you for our May event at The Blue Piano with a great selection of food and drinks. The venue is located in Edgbaston, near Birmingham city centre. Housed in a beautiful Edwa
May 31, 2024, 8:00 PM
359 attendees
We are glad to invite you all to our next community gathering at Luna Lounge, an elegant and vibrant venue right off Oxford Street. Join us for meeting new and acquainted like-minded people, enjoyin

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