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Expat Living: A Complete Guide on Moving to England 

Expat Living: A Complete Guide on Moving to England

Living and working abroad, especially in the UK, is a dream come true for most people. If the time has come, here’s what to know about moving to England.

Have you always dreamed of living abroad? Has the United Kingdom piqued your interest as of late? If so, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t make your dream a reality. 

Plenty of expats are living in the UK, and you could easily be the next. Looking for information on how to make it happen? 

Read on! This is the complete guide on moving to England. 

Everything Involved in Moving to England

Obviously, when you uproot your life and move to a new country, there are a number of different things to worry about. However, the most important of these things are as follows. 

Gaining Legal Residency in the UK 

The most important thing to do when moving to the UK is to gain legal residence in the country. You can’t just fly over with a passport and stay for the next decade. Passport stays for Americans max out at 6 months. 

Instead, you’ll have to obtain a visa. If you’re a student, you will be able to obtain a student visa. If you’re not a student, either a work or family visa will be needed. 

To obtain a work visa, you will need to prove impending employment in the UK. You must also prove that you make an adequate salary and that you have a clean travel history. 

To obtain a family visa, you must have family living in the country. You can get more information on UK visa requirements by visiting this link.

Finding a Place to Live 

After you’ve gained legal residency in the UK, you must find a place to live. While you certainly have the option to buy real estate, we advise renting first. 

There are a few different places to find open rentals in the UK. Two of the most popular websites include Zoopla and Rightmove. Newspapers will also list open rentals on occasion.

One of the challenges of renting as an expat in the UK is putting up collateral. If you are unable to prove your income, you will need to either find a UK-based guarantor or rent from a private renter who doesn’t necessitate such collateral. 

Moving Your Belongings 

You’ve secured legal residency. You’ve found your house or apartment. Now, it’s time to move all of your belongings. 

Note, regardless of how you do this, it’s going to be expensive. However, you have a few different options at your disposal. 

One option is to have your belongings air freighted. While air freighting your belongings into the country is efficient, it’s also extremely expensive. 

Another option is to pack your belongings into a shipping container and have it brought over to the UK on a boat. This is much more affordable than air freight but is also much less efficient. 

One last option is to utilize the services of a relocation company. These companies streamline the process for you, making it as simple as possible. Note, however, that their services can be expensive. 

Depending on the country from where you’re shipping your items, you may also have to pay customs fees. 

Opening a Bank Account

You can’t live in England without a little money. Therefore, you’re going to have to open a bank account in the country. 

Generally, all you’ll need to open a bank account in the UK is proof of your address. If you have this proof before you move in, you can open your bank account prior to your move. If you don’t, you’ll have to wait until you’re in the country. 

If you don’t want to open a standard bank account, you could consider opening an international bank account instead. International accounts can be opened from anywhere in the world. Note, however, that such accounts generally require you to meet a variety of conditions, and also typically require you to pay fees. 

Buying an Automobile 

Depending on where you’re living in the UK, you may or may not need an automobile. For instance, if you’re living in London, you can probably get by without one. On the other hand, if you’re living in a rural area, an automobile is a near necessity. 

If you opt to use an automobile, you have two options: 1. You can ship your existing automobile into the country, or 2. You can buy one once you’ve arrived. 

Coming from Japan? Looking to import your existing vehicle? Then click here for more information! 

Understanding Healthcare 

As you might know, the UK provides tax-funded healthcare to all of its residents. This includes both natives of the UK and foreign residents. This tax-funded system is known as the National Health Service and it covers the majority of medical expenses apart from dentistry. 

If you’re not a citizen of England, you can’t utilize the NHS. Instead, you will need to either take out private health insurance (if you’re not from an EU country) or make use of your European Health Insurance Card (if you are from an EU country). 

Handling Taxes 

Taxes in the UK are similar to taxes in the United States. You are required to pay income tax, property tax, and sales tax (VAT tax). 

When it comes to paying income tax, your employer will be responsible for withholding your share. This is done through a program known as PAYE or Pay as You Earn.  

If you make income outside of an employer, you will be responsible for submitting your taxes yourself. This is done with an annual form known as a self-assessment form. 

Full-time residents of the country are taxed on all of their worldwide income. Those who are working in the country for less than 183 days are only required to pay taxes on the work which they performed in the country. 

Looking for More Travel Info?

Moving to England is a big decision, but it could also end up being a life-changing one. Many expats have found a home in the UK that they could never quite find in their home countries. 

Looking for more info on travel and living abroad? If so, you’re in the right place. iStoryTime has all types of travel-related articles for you to peruse. 

Browse our travel-related articles now! 

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