- Visas and right to work. If your employer is sponsoring your move they will usually arrange your visa and work permit. The best place to seek advice in the first instance is your nearest British embassy consulate services. Please also check the requirements for your spouse and children which may be different if your partner is a different nationality. The following UK government website offers information at https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas but do employ the services of a reputable work permit and visa company preferably with offices in your home country as well as in the UK.
- References. It is a good idea to collate references from your bank confirming how long you have held an account with them and that you have kept it in credit. Teacher references are incredibly important when applying for International or American schools as they do not interview unlike the British schools. When you apply to rent a property in the UK the estate agent is obliged to run a credit reference check on you and your spouse. Unfortunately, if you have no prior UK address you will have zero credit rating. It is therefore important to have a reference from your sponsoring company confirming your employment and salary and if possible from a landlord in your home country confirming you are a good tenant.
- Your relocation package. This is important! What might seem an excellent salary in your home country may not go far in the UK, most of all in London. Before you accept your terms of relocation, research the costs of living here, in particular your rental costs. You should not be expected to have a worse standard of living just for the privilege of living and working in the UK.
- Costs of Living. Research all UK living costs including accommodation, petrol, public transport, food, energy, private healthcare, school fees, flights home and your tax position. There is a good overview at https://www.expatica.com/uk/about/cost-of-living-in-the-uk_1167475.html
- Shipping and what to bring. The biggest decision is whether to bring your household furniture. Many expats rent out their own homes when moving to the UK in which case you will leave your furniture behind. Be aware that most homes are rented unfurnished in the UK. Although furnished or part-furnished properties are available, these are rare and furnishings may not be to your taste. Furniture rental is possible but can be expensive and some expats opt to purchase new in the UK and sell before departure. See our Transport tips (link to Transport page) for further information on what to bring!
- Medication. In spite of common misconceptions, the UK National Health Service (NHS) works incredibly well for routine illness. Delays tend to occur when waiting for non-emergency operations. However, it will take time to register with a local Doctor so do bring plenty of essential medication to last the first month or so after you move. If your company provides private health insurance, check what it covers.
- Banking. It is incredibly useful to have a UK bank account already set up when you arrive, but this Is hard to achieve before you live here and can take some time once you arrive. It can make life easier if you already have a bank account with a global bank which also has branches in the UK. Although most retail goods can be purchased with credit cards, you won’t be able to take out mobile phone contracts or Sky TV contracts without a UK bank account.
- Make a Relocation calendar using our R.E.L.O.C.A.T.E in 8 check list of what needs to happen when, so that you’re not caught out by last-minute delays.
If all the above sounds overwhelming and you simply don’t have time to organise your relocation to the UK, please call Dovetail now on +44 (0) 1243 790044 or Contact Us for help!