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September 21, 2022

All You Need to Know Before Moving to the UK

Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwlllllandysiliogogogoch. Wait, what? This seemingly randomly typed set of letters is none other than the second-longest city name in the world located in the United Kingdom. The land of castles, royal family, black cabs, Shakespear, fish & chips, rainy weather and the list goes on and on, and on…

Moving to the UK is a difficult path that will be accomplished only if you truly strive for it. For whatever reason you are moving to the United Kingdom, Hercules Moving Company will provide a moving guide with the most important details and facts to consider before the immigration process starts.

Icebreaker: The place where the time begins

The United Kingdom consists of 4 co-equal sovereign nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The main spoken language is English with about 40 different dialects around the county. The population of the United Kingdom is 67.22 million, about 87% are white Europeans, 6.8% are Asians (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, others), 3.4% are Black groups and 2.8% are other minority groups.

Almost 60% of the population identifies as Christians, the next largest religious group is Islam - 4.8 %. More than 25% of the population is irreligious.

The form of government is a parliamentary monarchy. The county is run by the Prime Minister and supported by the Cabinet of ministers. Pound sterling (£) is the official currency in the United Kingdom.

How to Immigrate to the UK

If you are planning to reside in the UK, you will need to apply for a visa. Only EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can cross the borders without one for a limited period of time. You can check if you need a visa on the official website GOV.UK

Before committing fully, it is advised to visit the UK for a short trip, to see if it is what you expected it to be. Life in the UK could be the complete opposite of what you are used to. If you have such an opportunity, investigate first.

Education
Employment
Family Reunion
Entrepreneurs
Investor

Education

To immigrate to the UK as a student, you must get an acceptance letter from the university. After that, you can start the process of the Tire 4 Study Visa application. You must prove you have enough sources to sponsor your tuition, accommodation and daily expenses.

You will be eligible to work 10h per week during the semester and full-time on holidays. Upon completing your program you will have 4-5 months to find employment to stay within the country.

Employment

Anyone coming to work as an employee must apply for one of the Work Visas. There are multiple visa types depending on the occupation like: Charity worker, Seasonal worker, Religious worker, Skilled worker, Youth Mobility Scheme visa, Graduate visa, etc. To be able to apply for a work visa, your employer must qualify for sponsorship.

Family Reunion

For foreigners who have decided to marry British citizens or permanent residents, there are 3 visa types: Family visa for husband/wife, partners who are not legally married, for the bride or groom. The English visa for wife/husband/partner gives the right to work and study in the UK without restrictions. The expiration date varies by visa type.

Entrepreneurs

If you are an entrepreneur, you can apply for 2 types of visas: Start-up and Innovator.

The Start-up visa is a chance for foreign businessmen to start and develop their businesses in England and beyond. It is given for 2 years and does not require any initial investments, but after 6-12 months you must get in contact with the organization that approved you to inform them of your business achievements.

To obtain the Innovator visa you must have at least £50,000 to invest in a new company, even if applying as a group. The funds can be from any source. You cannot start a business that is already on the market. You must offer a new product or service that is truly unique and designed for new or existing customers. The first visa is given for 3 years and could be extended.

Investor

To immigrate to the United Kingdom as an investor, you must invest a minimum of £2 million. The more you invest, the faster you can obtain PR or Citizenship. You also must prove that you have earned it legally, otherwise, this amount must stay in your bank account continuously for 2 years.

Visa type - Tier 1 Investor is given for 3 years and 4 months, and could be extended for another 2 years if you have not received the PR at this point. However, from 17th February 2022, this visa category has been closed.

First Steps upon arrival in the UK

  1. Register with the Authorities.

    If you are older than 16 and you are staying in the UK for longer than 6 months, you must register at the nearest police office within 7 days of your arrival. For a list of the nationalities that must register and other information visit GOV.UK.

  2. Open a Bank Account.

    The next step - opening a bank account. In recent years, the UK's banking system has become more foreign-friendly due to changes in regulations. You can open a bank account outside the United Kingdom, provided that bank in your country has relations with the one in the UK..

    To open a bank account you must have proof of identity and address registration. You could also apply for prior relocation without proof of address.

  3. Buy a Sim Card.

    Another no less important step - purchasing the UK sim card. You can buy a UK sim card anywhere: airports, convenience stores, malls or order it online( if you have an address to ship to). No documents or ID is required. There are different companies (O2, EE, Three, and Vodafone) and plans to choose from. All the plans are somewhat similar, despite your choice, you will end up spending a similar amount.

  4. National Insurance Number.

    This is your personal account number, a unique set of numbers and letters (QQ 12 34 56 A) that does not change. Anyone over 16 years old working and living in the UK must obtain the NI. The United Kingdom has a progressive tax system which includes NI contributions. Those who earn £149 - £797 per week contribute 12%, for income above £797, an additional 2% is paid.

  5. Driving License and Car Insurance

    To drive in the UK you must fulfill 3 requirements: over 17 years old, a valid driving license ( officially translated if not in English) and you must get car insurance (it is obligatory).

    If you are from Northern Ireland, you can use your license until it is expired. The citizens of EEA can use their license until reaching the age of 70, after that they can exchange it for a British driving license. Moving from “designated countries” to the UK, you can use your license for 12 months from the day you become a resident, after that, you have 5 years to exchange your license. Citizens of other countries can drive for 12 months from the day they become residents, after that, they must pass a British driving test.

Healthcare in the UK

Moving to Ausrtalia - Private Health Care
Public

Public healthcare in the UK is resident-based. Everyone in the UK is eligible for many NHS (National Health System) primary health services for free. For free secondary care, you must be a resident. Although health care is accessible in the UK, the waiting lists are long with fewer treatment alternatives.

As a non-resident living in the UK, in order to access non-urgent free hospital care, you need health care insurance. The only other cost would be prescriptions ( they have a firm cost of £9), dental care, eye care and wigs/fabric support.

Moving to the UK - Private Health Care
Private

Private health insurance in the UK option that some own due to 3 factors: provided by the employer, to avoid a waiting list and to gain control over the treatments. The cost of the insurance, as always, depends on many aspects: level of coverage, number of people covered, age, lifestyle, and medical history.

The average premium for private health insurance is £1,500 per year. Globally recognized insurance providers in Britain are Bupa, AXA, Allianz and Cigna.

Earning and Spending in the UK

Income in the UK
Taxation System
Cost of Living

Your salary in the UK will heavily depend on your age, experience and the field you are in. At the beginning of your career expect to be paid an average of £19,000 per year for a full-time position. People with no qualifications earn about £300 per week, with a degree - £700. The average salary in Britain in 2020 was £38,000 per year. Of course, those living in London can expect a higher salary range, due to higher living costs.

Anyone earning income in the UK must pay taxes. As we have mentioned earlier, the United Kingdom has a progressive tax system, where the more you earn the more you contribute. If you are working under the employer, your taxes will be automatically paid when receiving your wages through the PAYE system (Pay As You Earn). If you are self-employed, you must family taxes yourself.

In the UK, if you are earning £12,500 per year, you do not need to pay taxes on it. From £12,501 to £50,000 - 20%, £50,001 to £150,000 - 40% and any income above £150,000 - 45%. UK residents are obligated to pay any worldwide income and gains. Fortunately, the UK has a double taxation agreement with over 100 countries.

A family of 2 would need £2,500-£3,000 on average to live in the UK. Family of 4 - £4,000 and beyond. Like anywhere in the world, the cost of living will depend on the people in the household, which city and location you live in, your lifestyle and how well you handle the money. The main expenses after taxes would be the rent, utilities, groceries and transportation.

Renting vs. Housing in the UK

The most important part of relocation is having somewhere to go. Renting and housing in the UK can be somewhat difficult due to the market availability and prices.

Renting

Minimum rent in the UK can be anywhere from £250 - £800 (£1000 in London) from private renters. You can choose to rent directly from the landlord or a property agency. You might need to put in a refundable rent deposit of 5 weeks for rent that is less than £50,000 per year or 6 week deposit for rent beyond £50,000.

Prior to signing the contract, ensure that the person who rents you the place, does so legally. Whether he is the owner, leaseholder or freeholder, request corresponding documents. Ensure that it is stated in the contract whether the utilities are included or not.

Housing

If you are planning to stay in the UK permanently, you might want to purchase a property to live in. There are 2 main homeownership legal forms: freehold and leasehold. Freehold ownership indicates that you are the owner of the property and the land it stands on.

The leaseholder is the one who leases the property from the freeholder, it can be as long as ten to hundreds of years. House prices on average cost about £250,000 and £500,000 in London. There are no restrictions on purchasing a house in the UK as a non-resident. But you might face challenges with deposits and requirements if you live for less than 2 years in the UK.

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Kavaleo Bram
We had never used movers before and did a lot of research before deciding on Hercules Moving Company. The Calgary movers showed up early and were ready to go on time. They worked quickly and diligently and moved our entire house in 6 hours. I was very grateful for not having to do the heavy lifting ourselves and that everything was moved without damage and in good time. I would definitely use them again!
The Hercules moving team conducted themselves in a very professional manner. Upon their arrival they were quick to introduce themselves. My piano was carefully wrapped before moving it. Once at its destination the moving team decided on the best way to move my piano into its new home. They laid mats along their route to protect my flooring. They had to move some furniture out of their way. Throughout the entire process of moving the piano they were very careful with the piano and my home. They recommended putting some coasters (which they had on hand) under the wheels of the piano to protect my flooring before taking it off of their mats. After unwrapping and disposing of all of the wrap they made sure I was happy with the placement of the piano before considering their job complete. Even took the time to move back all of the items they moved out of their way, no matter how small. Overall I was very happy with my experience with Hercules Moving Company. I highly recommend them.
Hercules rescued my move when another Toronto movers cancelled on me days before the big day. They were professional and knew exactly how to protect all of my belongings during the move in terrible rain.
Really patient and dedicated guys! They treated all of our furniture and belongings with the utmost care while still being incredibly efficient. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone!
I was very satisfied with these Calgary movers. They made it easy and stress free for us. Movers arrived on time and packed and professionally covered our furniture to go into storage, since we are in between houses. I was amazed by how these Calgary movers were able to efficiently pack and store a 5 bedroom, 2 living room, office and a gym into a storage unit where they organized everything to fit perfectly. I was 100% satisfied with their service and would recommend them to anyone looking for good quality movers. Thanks Hercules Moving company for helping us move!
Foodmachinery
I had to move my entire food operation in a day. With Edmonton movers quoted me quickly and showed up on site 2 days later ready to move. I was worried about all my expensive and sensitive machinery but they pulled it off safely and without issue. Very reasonably priced and highly recommended. Great company.
This company has some of the best customer service I have ever experienced. From the moment I received my initial quote provided by Igor, the company ensured that my needs were fully accommodated. Having previously dealt with other moving companies in the past (I've had to move a few times due to the nature of my job), I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of care Hercules takes in handling my furniture. The movers were very friendly, professional, and did not waste any time (in my previous experience, movers would take their time, which resulted in a large bill for me). The moment the staff arrived at my door, they immediately began working. In summary, this is my go to mover in GTA from now on. I would highly recommend this company to anyone who is looking for a professional service, hassle free.
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