Clan – How to relocate with family and pets

  1. Pets. Start this process early as delays can be traumatic for both the pet and the family. There is a very strict process for bringing pets to the UK and it takes several months to complete. You will need to microchip, vaccinate against Rabies, be cleared with a blood test, get tapeworm treatment and apply for a pet passport (EU) or other travel document. You will need to work with an approved vet and pet transportation company. Find out more at .
  2. Visas and work permits. Make sure that everyone who is moving has the correct visa and permission to live or work in the UK. British landlords are required to show proof that you have the right to rent. With Britain’s departure from the EU (Brexit) imminent, requirements for EU nationals will be changing. See our Organise section for further details.
  3. Orientation visit. If you or your family are worried (and hopefully excited!) about any aspect of your move to the UK, arrange an orientation visit as early on as possible, where you have time to visit different areas, see a few housing options and visit schools if moving with children. If you only have a few days, planning appointments in advance is key so that you make the most of your UK visit.
  4. Keep everyone up to speed. Have open discussions about your move to the UK and give everyone a chance to express their concerns. Then seek help and information on anything which is a particular worry. Treat the whole move as a family adventure. It will be amazing but there might be a few bumps along the way!
  5. Leaving relatives and friends behind. People who are going to miss you may unwittingly pass on negative feelings about your move. Reassure people close to you such as parents and grandparents that they are included in your plans and you hope they will visit. However, do not allow any visitors in the first 3 months at least, preferably 6 months as this can be disruptive and delay the settling-in process. Limit the number of guests too; they will all want to visit in summer and be entertained. You can quickly feel like a tour guide!
  6. Treasures and keepsakes. Make lists of personal items which you would like to bring to the UK which will help to make you feel at home. Photos, ornaments, special toys and even your own pillow can be comforting in the early days of arriving.
  7. Staying connected. Set up a family Facebook page or Instagram account where you can post updates on your move and keep everyone back home up to date. It will be fun for you to document your time in the UK and will keep everyone back home up to date.
  8. New Friends. We know after years of relocating expats to the UK that the key to happiness is making connections in the early days after you move. It takes a big effort to go to every coffee morning, host a dinner party or invite your kids’ new school friends over for a playdate but it will be worth it! Expat clubs exist all over London and the UK and are an excellent way to make friends and seek advice on the British idiosyncrasies!

Culture shock is real, and everyone experiences it in different ways and at different times. At Dovetail we want everyone to be happy when you arrive and for as long as you are in the UK. For advice on your move and how to ease the stress, please call Dovetail now on +44 (0) 1243 790044 or Contact Us for help!