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International Moving - The United Kingdom
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Sofia
Sep 21, 2022·0 min read
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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

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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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Andrea Phillips
I have used the hardworking gentlemen of Hercules Moving twice now for work related moving circumstances. Very professional and quickly executed moves. They are my go to movers from now on.
I was very satisfied with Hercules Moving Company. They made it easy and stress free for us. They 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 they 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. This wasn't an easy job and 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!
Private Customer
Hercules is by far the most efficient, customer friendly and experienced Edmonton movers I have dealt with. They took such good care of furniture and personal belongings and made a stressful move seem effortless. I would not hesitate to use them again. For a five star, hassle free service, with great care and attention, I would recommend Hercules.
This company to put it simply was AMAZING! The initial call to Hercules went extremely well from that moment I knew this was the company I would use. Walter who made the booking was efficient and quick in meeting all my needs. The day of the move the team worked very well wrapping all of my furniture securely preventing any damage. The workers and entire staff were friendly very fast and clearly enjoy there job. I will definitely recommend Hercules moving company to all my friends and family for there moving needs. Special thank you to Vidas and his team of workers! Great job guys!
Very professional movers. They did a fantastic job helping us move into our home. Thank you very much for the terrific customer service. Highly recommend and will use them again.
Matt Singer
I used Hercules Moving to move a piano from my basement to a purchaser. They were very professional, packaged the piano carefully, put down mats on flooring and removed it very efficiently. I'd recommend these guys for any moving needs for sure!!
The crew was extremely professional and organized. they kept us up to date about the arrival time and they took such great care of the piano while transporting. We are very satisfied with the work!
Chose because of availability and prices which were lower than other quotes received. These piano movers Vancouver arrived on time and were quick, friendly and handled the piano with care. Would definitely recommend.
I am a small business owner and when there is a problem to carry heavy items and move large stuff, I think Hercules! Owners have outstanding organizational skills and manage time and resources very well. I am sharing this wonderful experience as a matter of gratitude and respect.Thank you!
Hercules moved my piano from an old bungalow to the second floor of my place. At the old house, there was tricky stairs and front yard fence to navigate. At the new place, there was a tall set of stairs which they had to move this heavy piano up. It definitely looked exhausting, but they did a great job and I'm very happy with their service.
The Hercules moving team provided solid service. The quote process was timely and seamless, which was appreciated. On the day of the move, the team showed up on time and did a great job. They were professional but approachable too.
The guys over at Hercules Moving Company came highly recommended and they did not disappoint!Their meticulous attention to detail in wrapping every piece of furniture did not come at the cost of time, they were still highly efficient and very hard working. Managment were very friendly and made the whole moving experience stress free.The next time I move I will definitely be choosing Hercules Moving Company and so should you!!
Private User
These Burlington movers did a great job moving my wife and I out of our downtown condo. Took care of everything they moved, and did things quickly and efficiently. The quote itself was reasonable and compared well to others. Will use them again for future moves.
Michaelnth
Absolutely professional, details such as lift it up and not just tip it over. Well packing, cover floor during the placing, clean and tidy.
All four movers were excellent, courteous and very professional. They took good care of our furniture, Piano and other things during the move. we were very pleased and will always use them & recommend them for any moving projects.
It was great to work with Hercules moving company. They arrived on time, had a team of very competent and friendly guys who treated our possessions with respect, including our grand piano. They were quick in disassembling and wrapping our furniture and seemed to have a lot of experience. They worked hard and kept us within the budget. I highly recommend them to everyone.
My heavy piano was transported within a few hours, taking into account the time for descending it from the second floor and lifting it to the fifth floor using the freight elevator. The price at first seemed to be a bit high, but after calling other piano moving companies in Ottawa, I’ve realized that it was no more expensive than others, even a bit cheaper.
Joanne Peddle
The team at Hercules are amazing! I used them to move my 4 bedroom home and everything went very well. These guys are incredible, they never stopped and where so careful with everything. Thanks so much for making my move fantastic!!!!
The team at Hercules was fantastic. They treated my furniture with such respect. Thank you for all your hard work and endless hours! Highly recommendable!
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.
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