Every year, more than 248,000 people move to the United Kingdom from all over the world. Are you considering picking up and moving over the UK?
Whether you're moving for work or for fun, migrating to the UK isn't exactly a simple process. Moving anywhere is stressful, but moving to a new country really ups the ante.
You can eliminate a lot of the stress associated with moving to the UK, though, by making sure you're prepared and thoroughly understand the moving process.
If you've been wondering how to move to the UK and want to make your transition as easy as possible, read on for some helpful tips.
Things to Know Before You Go
Before you start thinking about purchasing a new home in the UK, it's important to know exactly what you can expect when you live there. Here are some key facts every potential expat ought to know before you decide to make the UK their new home:
- The UK and Great Britain are not the same — Great Britain is comprised of England, Scotland, and Wales; the UK is comprised of these places and Northern Ireland.
- You'll need to adjust to different accents and new lingo — UK English is very different from American, Australian, or Canadian English
- Folks in the UK are very polite — you might need to brush up on your manners if you want to fit in
- It may be harder to move once Brexit is fully in effect (assuming that day ever actually comes)
- The value of the pound is likely to fluctuate over the next few years
- Business between the UK and other countries might be more challenging in the future
- You'll need to find out early if you're eligible for a visa
Keep in mind, too, that your pets will need a passport if you're planning on traveling with them. Talk to your vet about the specific requirements to ensure your pet is safe to travel.
How to Move to the UK
Okay, now that we've gone over the basics, let's get into the actual moving process. Listed below is everything you need to know about moving to the UK:
Learn the Legal Requirements
First things first, you need to understand the steps you need to take to legally move to the UK. They differ from country to country.
If you're moving from Australia, you can apply for a “right to above” visa that allows you to live in the UK and work there without immigration restrictions.
You can also apply for an ancestry visa. To qualify for this visa, you'll need to apply three months before you plan to move and prove that one of your grandparents was from the UK. You'll also need to provide proof of income and show that you intend to work while you're in the UK.
American citizens can apply for several different types of visas when moving to the UK. Work visas and family visas are the most common options. It can be tricky for Americans to move to the UK, so it's important to start pursuing your visa as early as possible.
Consider the Cost of Living
Before you pick up and move the UK, you need to make sure you can afford to live there comfortably.
Do some research into the cost of things like a one-bedroom apartment, a liter of gas, and common grocery items, then consider whether your current salary will allow you to purchase those items.
If you're hoping to find a job when you get to the UK, figure out how much you'll need to earn hourly or annually.
Figure Out Your Finances
It's not enough just to know that you can afford to live in the UK. You also need to know that you can access your money easily when you get there. This means you'll need to transfer your money to a UK bank.
You'll also need to exchange the money you have in your home bank account into UK currency. This is a pretty easy process, but you definitely should address it early on. That way, you'll be able to buy whatever you need as soon as you arrive.
Figure Out Your Work Situation
If you're not transferring to the UK for work and don't already have a job lined up, you'll need to know how to secure a job once you arrive.
Generally speaking, the process of finding a job in the UK is the same for finding a job in the U.S.
Many people make use of online job boards like Indeed or Monster. These sites can be highly effective, especially for skilled workers.
Think About Buying a Home
You'll also need to think about where you're going to live and how you're going to buy a home when you get to the UK.
There are lots of online real estate sites that make it easy for you to shop for homes in the UK that fit your budget and personal preferences.
You may want to get in touch with an estate agent before your move, too, and let them know what you're looking for in a home. Your estate agent can also help you handle the financial aspects of buying a home in the UK, too.
According to Conveyancing Supermarket, it's a good idea to have any home you're considering buying inspected prior to moving in. This will help you ensure that the home is in good condition. You might also be able to use any issues that are present with the home as bargaining chips to get a lower price.
Save Money on Your Move
Now that you know how to move to the UK, are you ready to start packing?
Do you want to save as much money as you can on your move? Of course, you do!
Luckily, there are tons of helpful articles on our site that will help you do just that.
Start by checking out this article for some useful tips that everyone ought to remember when they're moving out of your home. These tips will help you make sure all your bases are covered and your family can easily transition to your new location.