Tips for Moving to the United Kingdom
- Educate yourself about the housing and rental market in the UK prior to your departure. Rental and housing prices vary greatly depending on where in the UK you wish to reside. Housing costs are without a doubt the highest in central London, as is common in other major cities. If you hope to purchase a home, as little as 5 percent down is acceptable to lenders, who will mortgage the remaining 95 percent. Many expat blogs recommend renting first to get a feel for an area prior to purchasing a property. Websites such as Rightmove.co.uk or Propertyfinder.co.uk are great for reviewing property listings for both rental and owning.
- Understand the requirements for bringing pets into the country prior to making any travel arrangements. The UK's Pet Passport Scheme Service allows dogs and cats from specific countries to enter the country without a quarantine period. Dogs must be microchipped, have a current rabies vaccination, as well as meet several other requirements that are further investigated with a blood sample from the pet. Details about quarantine regulations are available via the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website (see Resources).
- Estimate just how far your money will stretch when you move to the UK. Assuming you will be employed when you get there, you will want to know how much money you'll have left after taxes to spend on living expenses. Unfortunately, the issue of taxation can be very complicated, particularly if you are a citizen of another country. Generally speaking, income tax is collected by the Inland Revenue, the UK's version of the IRS, at a rate of anywhere from 10 to 40 percent, depending on your income. It is possible to avoid being taxed on income from both the UK and your home country, but it is recommended you consult a tax consultant to help you with this process. The government's revenue and customs website, listed in the resource section below, can help provide you with some clarity around the issue.