Moving to the UK
The essentials and things often not considered...
Moving to the UK is a tremendous opportunity for personal and professional growth whether it be for one year or the rest of your life.
Are you ready?
With so much to consider it is easy to forget an important thing or two.
This page is designed to keep you right on track no matter where you are in your journey.
Tip: Most people can't do everything all at once - it is a process, but getting one thing done can set you up for success.
Bookmark this page and focus on getting one thing done right now.
Come back later knowing you are right on track!
The physical process of moving to Britain can be a daunting even if its just a backpack full of stuff.
But in the case of moving a family, getting your things into a 20ft or 40ft shipping container may seem like Everest.
Having personally moved internationally five times - including Australia, Canada and the UK we would like to share a few things.
But there are three things you really need to consider first.
1. Get a Visa
2. Open a Bank Account
3. Get an NI Number
Without the appropriate visa (or EU passport) to enter the country and live and work.
Opening a UK bank account can be surprising frustrating but oh so important to get sorted out ASAP.
You can't work in the UK without it and nor would you want to any way when you get charged "emergency tax".
Get a Job
For most people finding a job is the most important and potentially most challenging part - thats why this website does well!
For professionals, it can be a huge advantage to get the ball rolling before you arrive - like registering with recruitment agencies and getting feedback on what opportunities exist and where. This saves time and sets you up for success.
For trades, skilled and unskilled employment actually being in the country and ready for work is the priority.
Choosing a Removal Company
Moving internationally can seem like a daunting task, but if you have the right moving company, it can be easier to move to the UK than around the corner.
The first consideration is what you want to move. If you have some furniture to bring typically you will need to employ the services of an international moving company.
On the other hand, if you have just personal effects that can be shipped in standard removalist boxes (often called tea chests)
For selected personal items only: There are specialist companies (many who are UK based companies originally) who collect and batch your boxes with other boxes to fill shipping containers.
This can be the most cost effective way to move your most treasured things while saving on moving costs and simply purchasing furniture at your destination.
For furniture and personal items: These days the best international removal companies begin by surveying the things you plan to bring.
An iPad and specialist software enables them to get a surprisingly accurate picture of exactly how much they can fit into a container (usually 20 or 40 foot long). A 20ft container will fit the contents of an appartment or small house.
Typically this survey is part of the quoting process, and so inviting two or three companies around is the best way to ensure you get a great result.
Things to look for/ask when the come around;
- Experience: The crew that packs your things is probably the most important part of the whole process. Experience and reputation are really the only indicators you have of how well things will go.
- How they pack: International removalists most commonly pack your things rather then you doing it yourself. This is not just a good way for them to make money, insurance and customs means that you packing it may not be a good idea for you to do anyway.
For example, glass table tops, antiques and fragile items often need to be packed in specially made containers.
A good company will actively tell you that they will need to make certain containers - this is a sure sign everything will be packed well.
- Who do they partner in the UK and do they unpack: Having a reputable company who unpacks your things (although not as important as the company who packs) in the UK makes life a lot easier.
- Who do they use?
- how much does it cost?
- what does it cover?
- what does a claim look like?
Before You Go
When You Get Here