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How to Move to the UK: A Comprehensive Guide


    Moving to another country is a significant life decision, and if you’ve set your sights on the United Kingdom, it’s essential to have all the right information.

    From visa applications to moving your belongings, the process can be quite complex. This guide will help you understand how to move to the UK, outlining the steps you need to take for a successful relocation.


    1. Finding Employment in the UK

    The first step to moving to the UK is securing employment. Your job offer will be instrumental in applying for a work visa, especially if you’re interested in a sponsorship-based visa. So, you must find an employer willing to sponsor your visa application.

    2. Choosing the Right UK Visa

    Your visa type will depend on your employment, skills, and your overall reason for moving to the UK. Here are a few common types of visas:

    • Innovator or Start-up Visa: For those who want to set up or run a business in the UK.
    • Skilled Worker Visa: For individuals who have been offered a skilled job in the UK.
    • International Sportsperson Visa: For internationally recognized sportspeople and coaches.

    Remember, it’s crucial to ensure the visa type you apply for offers a route to permanent residence if that’s your goal.

    3. Applying for a UK Visa

    Once you’ve identified the correct visa type, prepare your documents, and submit your visa application. Usually, visa applications are made at your local representative’s office, and the processing times can range from weeks to months, depending on the type of visa.

    4. Moving to the UK

    Upon visa approval, you’ll receive an email or letter detailing the next steps. Your passport will bear a sticker, called a ‘vignette,’ indicating your visa type and validity. After arriving in the UK, collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) for identification and proof of your right to live and work in the UK.

    5. Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

    After five years living in the UK with your work visa, you can apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This status allows you to live in the UK without any restrictions.

    Cost of Moving to the UK

    Consider the following costs when planning your move:

    • Visa application fee: Up to £1,400.
    • Healthcare surcharge: £624 per year.
    • Flight ticket: The cost varies based on your current location.

    Moving to the UK Without a Job

    There are alternative visas available for those who do not have a job offer but have familial connections or significant wealth, or exceptional talents.

    Joining Family Members in the UK

    Family visas are available for those wishing to join family members residing in the UK, with different visa types available for spouses, parents, children, and dependents requiring long-term care.

    Moving to the UK From the EEA/EU

    Due to Brexit, EEA/EU nationals must now also apply for a points-based immigration visa for stays longer than six months.

    Things to Arrange Before You Move

    Before you move, arrange your housing, open a bank account, and prepare to apply for your National Insurance Number. These steps will help ensure a smoother transition to your new life in the UK.


    By following this guide, you can navigate the process of moving to the UK with greater confidence. Remember, proper planning and preparation are key to a successful relocation. Good luck with your move!