4 Essentials you need when moving to the UK

There are plenty of things to consider when you decide to move to the UK or even to other countries to start a new life.

The cost of moving overseas will largely depend on the number of family members moving with you, if you have children then you need to find schools for them to study abroad, are you self-employed or looking to live an expatriate life by getting a local job?

In fact, the largest part of moving will likely be the shipping of your household belongings and the relocation of your family but there are additional costs to consider as well and those include storage, insurance, and temporary accommodation upon arrival.

We have 4 essential items to consider when moving to the UK.

1) Moving your household goods

The cost of shipping your belongings is very much dependent on the volume you’re shipping, what you’re shipping, and how and from where you are shipping.

There are several factors to consider here.

For example, if you are moving to the UK as one of the many international students that study abroad, then a complete moving of all your belongings is unnecessary.

It is more important to have your student visa, a rental agreement, private medical insurance, and bank accounts prepared before your move.

If you are using public transport to head to your new place then it is also wise to pack as lightly as possible for your travels.

However, if you are looking at immigration to the united kingdom with your family then hiring a proper mover that specializes in international moves from your home country will be the better option for you.

They will also be able to advise on what to do along with the fees and costs for the move (whether it is by sea or air freight), new home arrangements and sometimes even obtaining the required documents for your move.

2) Understanding the cost to relocate your family

After obtaining the quotations for your move to the UK, there are so many other costs that you need to include in your budget as well.

The costs to consider are:
  • Plane fare for everyone moving to the UK
  • Pets (there are companies you can hire to handle the move for you and obtain proper documentation)
  • Money (there are rules and regulations to moving money to the UK from a bank account and there are tax systems already in place for this.)
  • Mobile phone coverage (Do you buy a Simcard or use international roaming on your phone?)
  • Health insurance for everyone moving to the UK
  • Travel insurance for your belongings
  • Transportation costs from the airport to your new home
  • Housing options (Do you rent an Airbnb first whilst you look for a new place or do you already have a place to stay on your arrival?)
  • Visas
  • Health checks or vaccinations

Understanding how visas work

Everyone that applies for a UK visa must pay a non-refundable, non-transferable application fee.

This application fee must be paid regardless of whether a visa is issued or not.

Tourist Visa for Singaporeans

Singaporean citizens can stay in the United Kingdom for up to six months on a tourist visa.

However, if you are seeking employment, you need to obtain a visa from the UK government prior to your relocation.

Your dependents will also require visas if they plan on staying in the UK for more than six months.

How to apply for a UK immigration visa?

Prior to moving to the UK, you need to compile all the necessary documentation before your visa application.

Some of the documents to compile include:

  • Passport with validity for the entirety of the visa for which you’re applying
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Academic records
  • Police check report from any country in which you have lived for 12 months or more in the last 10 years
  • Previous passports
  • Recent passport photographs
  • Tax returns for the last three years
  • Bank statements for the last six months
  • Medical examination reports
  • Insurance
  • Records of any trusts, credits, and investments
  • Current CV
  • A copy of your will
  • Evidence that you can support yourself during your stay
  • You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ( CEFR ) scale.
  • Professional qualifications, licenses, and memberships details

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

However, there may be required documents that vary depending on the visa category you are applying for.

You can seek legal advice or visit the UK government’s webpage for all the necessary information you need for your visa category.

Which UK Visa do you need from the British government?

There are so many types of visas available to apply for and here is a brief summary of the visas available:

1) Tier 1 Visas – Available for 5 years

These are visas for individuals looking to start a business in the UK, have the potential to make a significant investment, have a unique talent, or are recognised as a leader or emerging leader in their field.

There are five sub-categories:

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa

Tier 1 (General) visa

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

Tier 1 (Investor) visa.

2) Tier 2 Visas – available for the duration of employment

These visas are handed out to professionals from high-demand fields and if you leave your role or your employment is terminated, you’ll need to find an employer that will assume your visa sponsorship, apply for a different category of visa or leave the UK.

There are five sub-categories:

Tier 2 (General) visa

Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa

Tier 2 Priority Service.

3) Tier 5 Visas – available for 6 months to 2 years

These visas are granted to religious or charity workers, people working in creative fields, and athletes and are given out as part of fellowship programs or government exchanges.

There are six sub-categories:

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Charity Worker) visa

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and sporting) visa

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – International Agreement) visa

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Religious Worker) visa

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa.

4) UK Ancestry Visa – available for 5 years

You may be able to apply for a UK ancestry visa if you are:

  • A Commonwealth citizen
  • Applying from outside the UK
  • Able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
  • Able and planning to work in the UK
  • Meet the other eligibility requirements.

This short questionnaire is designed to help Singaporeans determine the visa category that best applies to their situation.

You can also check your immigration status here.

Apply for a National Insurance Number (NIN)

This number will give you access to free healthcare or health insurance in the UK.

If you have applied for the Biometric Residence Permits (BRP), the NIN number should be printed on the back of your BRP.

However, if the NIN is not printed on the back of your BRP, you will need to apply for one.

You can apply via the National Insurance Number application phone line, which is open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm:

Telephone: 0345 600 0643
Textphone: 0345 600 0644.

You may also need to attend an interview that requires you to bring documents that prove your identity, including:

Work visa
Birth or adoption certificate
Marriage or civil partnership certificate
Driver’s license.

For further information, visit the UK Government’s Guide to Applying for a National Insurance Number.

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