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MOVING TO THE UNITED KINGDOM GUIDE
Le Royaume-Uni / El Reino Unido / O Reino Unido / Das Vereinigte Königreich / Storbritannien
A Guide to Relocating to the United Kingdom
Want to move to London? Considering moving to England? Or thinking about an international removal to Scotland? Our guide for moving to the UK provides all the advice you’ll need for any international removal to the United Kingdom…
Everything you need to help you plan your international move to the United Kingdom.
Can I Move to the UK After Brexit?
You can still move to the UK after Brexit but after January 1 2021 there is now a points based system for EU nationals. You must now meet specific requirements to move to the UK after Brexit which include salary expectations and speaking the english language at level B1 or higher.
If you are planning on moving to the UK for work purposes then you can find more information on how to apply to live in the country through the government website here. People move to the UK for work from all over the world and there is no reason that you wouldn’t be granted entry if you meet all of the requirements. You can also find out more about moving to the UK after Brexit in our blog.
If you’re hoping to move to the UK from a non-EU country, you may be wondering if you need a visa to move to the UK. The answer is yes – if you are moving to the UK from outside of the UK, you will need to go through the visa process, though this will look different depending on your country of origin.
Moving Household Goods And Personal Effects To the United Kingdom
Please note. Many of these things will not apply to you if you are moving from another EU (European Union) State and/or you are a citizen of the EU (European Union) due to the free movement of goods throughout the EU.
Below is a list of the documents you will need when planning an international removal to the United Kingdom:
- Legible copy of Passport (Of the individual moving/importing the goods)
- Detailed moving inventory in English, dated and signed by the shipper
- Copy of Bill of Lading (BL) / Air Waybill (AWB) – We will take care of this if completing the entire international removal to the UK for you.
- As of 31st March 2017, all shipments arriving into the United Kingdom from outside of the European Union must complete their import application online at the following link: Application for Transfer of Residence
- We recommend emailing the application to NCH@HMRC.GSI.GOV.UK
We recommend providing these as soon as possible to reduce delays with your removal to the United Kingdom. Late receipt of documentation can lead to missed shipments, additional charges and penalties at British Customs. For your own protection, we will almost never ship your goods without the above in place.
Additional Removal Advice
- Documents must be received by agent prior to arrival of the shipment.
- The agent may charge fees for incomplete or delayed receipt of documentation.
- Personal belongings or private vehicle can be imported duty free as long as:
- moving your normal place of residence to the UK only
- have had a normal place of residence outside the EU for a continuous period of at least 12 months
- have possessed and used the belongings for at least 6 months outside the EU before they are imported
- did not get them under a duty/tax free scheme
- declare them
- the belongings will be kept and used for personal use
- do not sell, lend, hire out or otherwise dispose of them in the UK or anywhere else in the EU within 12 months of the date of importation, unless you notify us first and pay duty and VAT on disposal
We always recommend speaking directly to the relevant embassy for the most accurate and up to date moving advice:
Popular Destinations in the United Kingdom
Global Moving Services is vastly experienced in international removals to cities all over the globe. Their long history and detailed knowledge of different countries makes them the perfect choice for your move. Here are some of the most popular destinations we are asked to help with people who are moving to the United Kingdom:
London, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Belfast, Leicester, Coventry, Nottingham, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Brighton, Kingston upon Hill, Plymouth, Stoke, Swansea, Southampton, York, Oxford, Lancaster, Cambridge, Gloucester, Worcester, Chester, Bath. Get a quote to one of these places
Quality of Life in the UK
Making the choice to move to the UK is a big undertaking, and depending on where you’re moving from, can represent a big culture change. As such, it’s important to have a good understanding of what the quality of life is like in the UK.
The quality of life in the UK depends on several factors, and one of the biggest ones is location. The affordability of homes is typically better the further away you get from major cities, especially London. The affordability of other items, like food, fuel and everyday essential items also tends to decrease the further you get from London. But overall, even for those who choose to live in London, those who move to the UK find the quality of life to be excellent, with an overall balanced lifestyle and plenty of opportunities.
According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, Britains were the 17th happiest people in the world. With low unemployment and affordable housing (outside of London) at an average cost of £250,000, excellent schools, strong transport links domestically and internationally, it’s clear to see why most who live in the UK enjoy an exceptional quality of life.
Moving Your Money
If you’re moving to the United Kingdom, it’s very likely you’ll have to exchange a large amount of currency. Many people waste thousands doing this through their bank as they think there is no alternative; but we partner with Global Reach who specialise in doing just this. Global Reach will offer all Global Moving Services customers preferential rates when exchanging currency and guarantee to beat other rates you’re receiving. Ask one of our move managers about this, to find out more click here or give us a call: +44 121 392 1720.
We always advise taking out an insurance policy with us on every move. Although we like to think we’re the best in the industry, the odd accident can occasionally happen. For added peace of mind, make sure to speak to one of our move managers about this.
If you have already contracted us for your international removal to the United Kingdom, then you can download the insurance form and email the completed form back to your international relocation manager.
Moving Your Car Or Motorcycle
It’s not always the most practical decision to bring your vehicle with you when you move to the UK for a number of reasons. The main reason, however, is that most countries don’t drive on the left hand side like the UK, meaning the vehicles will be the wrong way round. However, if you must bring your car with you when you move to the UK, it can be done.
Below is a list of the documents you will need when planning to move your vehicle to the United Kingdom:
- Form C104A
- Copy of registration documents proving ownership
- OBL / AWB
- Insurance policy documentation (copies from country of origin proving use)
- Declaration Form C384 (if less than 6 months old)
Additional Import Advice
- Duty-free entry is permitted if the vehicle will not be sold or otherwise disposed of for 1 year after the date of importation
Relocating Your Pets to United Kingdom
It is possible to move to the UK and bring your pet with you, provided you are able to meet all the requirements. These documents will be required when planning to relocate your pet to the United Kingdom
- Vaccination Record
- Form C5
- Import License
- Veterinary Health Certificate
Additional Import Advice
- Animals must comply with the Pets Travel Scheme (PETS).
- Pets must be licensed by the Animal Health department.
- Pets are quarantined upon entry into the country.
- Animals must be fitted with a microchip (Scotland).
- Dogs must receive a tapeworm treatment within 105 days of arrival (Scotland).
- Pets that do not qualify to enter Scotland / United Kingdom under the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals are required to obtain an Import License prior to import. Pets will be detained at the owner’s expense at an approved quarantine facility until compliant. Call agent to verify that a facility is available in the country.
- Certain requirements must be met regarding the vaccination against rabies for specific countries. Contact the destination agent for additional information.
Restricted & Dutiable/Taxable Items
Think very carefully before moving these items to the United Kingdom. Items on this list will be taxed and/or require specific permission to import. In all cases they must be declared prior to you relocating to the United Kingdom:
- Firearms, explosives and ammunition
- Imitation firearms
- Offensive weapons
- Live animals
- Endangered animals or plants and products thereof (required a valid CITES Permit)
- Fur skins and articles made from fur skin
- Radio transmitters
- Rough diamonds
- Animal food products
- Fruit, vegetable, and plant products
- Cigarettes (200), cigarillos (100), cigars (50), tobacco (250g)
- Spirits / liqueurs (more than 22% – 1 liter)
- Fortified wine or alcohol less than 22% (2 liters), still wine (4 liters), beer (16 L)
Do not move any of these items with you when you move to the United Kingdom:
- Illicit drugs
- Offensive weapons
- Curved swords with a blade over 50cm
- Self-defense sprays
- Stun guns
- Counterfeit, pirated and patent-infringing goods
- Meat and milk products
- Knives with concealed blades
- Indecent and obscene material / pornographic material
The following additional items are prohibited in GMS Baggage/Courier Consignments:
- Aerosols (all kinds, Hairspray, Deodorant etc)
- Aftershaves / Perfumes / Fragrances
- Alcoholic Drinks or Bottles
- Ammunition of any kind
- Animals of any kind (Dead or Alive)
- Any items containing Petrol (Liquid, Gas or Fumes)
- Biological Samples
- Car Batteries
- Cash & Cards (Credit / Debit)
- Cheques (Bank)
- Christmas Crackers
- Counterfeit Currency
- Dangerous Goods
- Driving Licence
- Drugs (Including Prescription)
- Excrement / Filth
- Fire Extinguishers
- Fish (Dead or Live)
- Foodstuffs (all kinds)
- Hazardous Goods
- Human Remains (including ashes)
- Infectious Substances
- Laptop Computers, Mobile/Smart Phones or Tablets
- Lottery Tickets
- Nail Varnish / Nail Varnish Remover
- Perishable Goods (All)
- Plants / Seeds etc
- Printer Toner
- Seatbelt Tensioners and Steering Wheels
- Weapons (all kinds, including replicas)
Disclaimer: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This information is provided as a guide only. While Global Moving Services has exercised reasonable care in publishing this information, Global Moving Services makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.