If you’re planning on moving to the UK, whether it’s for an extended holiday, as a student, or permanently to work, there is lot to consider. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the excitement and miss vital stages out. We’ve put together a few of the less exciting but most important steps to help you on your way.
The first and probably most obvious document that you will need to move countries is a passport. If you already have one, be sure to check the expiration date and that it covers you for your whole of your trip – the last thing you want is to be stranded in a foreign country. If you don’t already have a passport, it’s a good idea to start preparing for this at least 2 months in advance. This will give you plenty of (stress free) time for it to be sorted and allows for any delays, meaning you won’t have to pay an extra fee to get it expedited last minute. You will need to have your passport photo taken, and if it’s your first ever passport you may be required to show additional ID and apply in person.
Once you have your passport, this serves as a tourist UK visa which will allow you to live in Britain for 6 months. If you’re going to Britain as a University student, it is likely that the University will deal with your paperwork for you but you need to make sure that they do rather than presume. Similarly, if your company in the U.S is moving the U.K, they will need to process your business’ paperwork too. You will more importantly need to enter the country on the correct visa, so it is essential that you double check you have the correct tier 1 visa in place before you move. This way you can be sure things are secured beforehand, rather than finding out it hasn’t been sorted on the day you’re supposed to travel, meaning you could be potentially turned away.
Travel insurance is essential as it can cover you in a range of circumstances, such as if your trip is called off or interrupted, accidental death, medical care, dental care, and loss of luggage to name a few. At the start it is important to have a backup plan for health care, rather than relying on the U. K’s NHS. This is because as a visitor you may not be eligible for the free public healthcare, although once you’re settled and know you are eligible you can always cut back.
To prevent your credit cards or bank accounts being deactivated because your bank suspects fraudulent activity is going on, it is a good idea to let them know that you will be visiting a different country beforehand. In addition, you could also print off a copy of a recent bank statement to bring with you. This is in case U.K customs require you to provide proof that you’re capable of financially sustaining your stay (only if you don’t have a work visa). It is likely that you won’t need to provide this information, however it’s better to be safe than sorry.