How to Prepare to Move to the UK
By Lenna Ntala
If you're preparing to move to the UK, this helpful article offers a timeline for preparing for your move.
Congratulations on deciding to make the big move! Moving to a new country is an exciting experience; however, sometimes, it can be overwhelming. If you want to avoid unpleasant surprises, follow the advice in this countdown list. It will help you stay on top of things while organising your move to the UK. Start counting!
As Early as Possible - Preparing to Move to the UK
- Find an excuse to move to England! Get a job in the UK, apply for a course in an English university or just come for fun or to improve your English!
- Get your documents together. Visit the UK Border Agency website and apply for a visa (the type of visa will depend on the reason for your visit). If your country belongs to the European Union, you only need a passport or a National Identity Card. Make sure they will not expire while you are on your way here!
- Improve your english. Take a course if necessary. The better your english is, the more serious people will take you here. Your chances of getting a job are much better and you will make friends easier. If your native language is english, you are already ahead of the game. You may want to familiarise yourself with the various british accents (watching movies is a great idea) and the local slang, though!
- The earlier your book a flight the better. Consider whether you prefer a direct flight (more comfortable but usually more expensive). You may want to book with British Airways, they fly to and from most countries. Or, you may find some good deals in Lastminute, Opodo and similar websites. It is a great idea to look at every possible option; you could save quite a bit of money.
2 months to go - Preparing to Move to the UK
- Start looking for accommodation. Decide whether you want to share a flat or rent your own, depending on your budget. Contact relevant agencies or private landlords and agree on a place to live. After this, you will have to send a deposit in order to secure the place. Alternatively, book some temporary, cheap accommodation, such as a hostel, and look for a place to live when you come to the UK. Finding a place usually takes only a few days.
- Open a bank account. You may want to open a bank account before you come to the UK; this will reduce stress levels significantly. If there is an HSBC bank in your country, or any other bank that has branches in the UK, opening a bank account with them is easy and you will be able to use the same account, card etc when you are in the UK. You may be able to do that through a travel agency, too. If, however, you decide to open a bank account after you arrive here, this is also fine. Opening an account in a bank in the UK is much easier than it used to be, especially if you have already found a job and accommodation. It's a good idea to bring some proof that you have sufficient funds and good credit history from your current bank, though.
- Sort your taxes out in your current country of residence. You may need to let them know you are moving.
1 month to go - Preparing to Move to the UK
- Check if you need any vaccinations and make appointments for them. Don't worry about registering with a doctor yet. You can do that after you arrive in England. Using the National Health System is free for everyone and registering is very straightforward!
- If you want to bring lots of stuff with you, contact a few international moving companies and ask for quotes.
- Book travel insurance.
1 week to go - Preparing to Move to the UK
- Start packing your luggage.
- Make sure you get all the documents you need with you.
- Throw a goodbye party.
10 Tips for Living in the United Kingdom
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5 Tips for Living in St Albans, England
Expats living in St Albans live in a suburb with a very easy commute to London. Almost all of the areas within St Albans are desirable. In addition to a lot of options for enjoying the great outdoors, there's plenty of shopping, dining, and pubs.
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About the Author
This article was originally published in Move to England. Move to England is your complete guide to immigrating to England and the UK. It contains top tips about getting a visa, studying, finding a job and accommodation and living in the UK.
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First Published: Oct 16, 2011