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Preparing for your move to the UK

  • April 06, 2018

Preparing for your move to the UK – things to consider

Congratulations! You have received a job offer, a start date has been confirmed and your UK Tier 2 Visa has been accepted. So, it is time to start preparing for your move. In this blog article we focus on aiding you in getting organised for your move, this includes finding accommodation, schools, booking flights and ensuring you haven’t missed out on those all-important details.

  1. Finding a place to stay in the UK

As an IMG coming to the UK, we recommend that when you move to the UK you should stay in hospital accommodation for the first couple of weeks until you find your feet in your new area. This can be organised prior to flying over to the UK, and then once you are here you can begin the house hunt.

The most readily available housing in the UK is found in the private sector. This is where housing can be bought, leased or rented. Private sector housing can be obtained through an estate agent in the area you are going to live. UK local authorities have a duty to ensure that housing advice is available free of charge to everyone within their jurisdiction and some authorities also offer details of accredited private landlords.

Should I rent from a landlord or a letting agent?

The option to rent from either a landlord or a letting agent will depend on your needs and budget. Each option has advantages and disadvantages.

Renting directly from a landlord:

  1. You may pay fewer upfront costs – as you won’t have to pay any agency fees
  2. The landlord may request fewer references
  3. The landlord may not insist on a credit check

Renting from a letting agent:

  1. Large property market to choose from
  2. The agent will have detailed knowledge of what area to live in
  3. The agent organises repairs on your behalf

Searching for a property

The fastest way to find a property is on property search websites. This way you can be location specific, note how many bedrooms, your budget and any other additional requirements.

Top tips when searching for a property:

  1. Do not pay any money without seeing the property first
  2. Do not rent a property directly from an existing tenant this is called ‘subletting’ and is illegal if the landlord has not agreed to it
  3. If possible, when viewing a property take someone with you when visiting a property. This is safer and they can offer you a second opinion

Popular UK property sites are Rightmove, Zoopla, and Spare Room. Please note that to rent with a letting agent you will have to undergo several checks. If you do not have a UK guarantor or you cannot prove your earnings you may be asked to pay up to six-months rent upfront.

If you would prefer to buy a property over renting because you plan on staying in the UK long-term, home ownership is very popular in the UK, with around 64% of the population owning their homes. The most common way to buy a property in the UK is to take out a mortgage. To do so you will need a solicitor to process the paperwork. The fees you will be expected to pay when buying a house are legal fees, stamp duty, and land registry costs.

Questions to ask your landlord or letting agent
-How much rent do I have to pay and how should it be paid?
-Does my rent include any bills?
-How long can I rent the property for?
-Do I need to make any payments prior to moving in?
-How will my deposit be protected?

The above questions will help you rent safely and affordably. In addition, you should ask whether there are any rules to living in the property, such as smoking or keeping a pet.

  1. Finding schools for your children

By UK law, all children who reside in the UK are obliged to receive a suitable full-time education between the age of 5-16. As a parent, you will be legally responsible for ensuring this happens. Your child can be registered at a school or you can make other arrangements to give them a suitable full-time education. Once your child is registered at a school it will be completely free for them to attend, however, you will be legally responsible for making sure they regularly attend and if there are unauthorised absences you will be subject to a penalty notice.

How do I apply to register my child at a UK school?

The application process differs depending on whether you are applying for a primary or secondary school place.

Primary School (Ages 5-11)

Secondary School (Ages 11-16)

If you would like your child to attend a private school they have their own admissions procedures, therefore, you should directly apply.

  1. Making travel arrangements

When booking your flight to the UK be cautious of what date your CoS says you can arrive in the UK and make sure you book on or after this date.

To book your flights to the UK you can use a travel agent or an online flight operator. Finding flights online are typically cheaper because certain websites allow you to alter times, dates and airlines to find the cheapest flight. Useful flight comparison sites include Sky Scanner, Go Compare, and Momondo.

You will also need to make travel arrangements for when you arrive in the UK. The most popular airports that Doctor’s fly into are London Gatwick, London Heathrow, and Manchester. Therefore, depending on your arrival airport will deter how you will get to your accommodation in the UK. Popular ways are hiring a taxi or taking a train. When you are at this stage please contact us as we are happy to arrange travel for you.

  1. Checklist before travelling

Check Visa and Passports - When you arrive at a UK airport you will be expected to provide a valid Visa and passport – therefore, before you leave check that your passport is valid (your family’s too) you have your Visa, and make sure you have collated other important documentation. This includes your driver’s license, flight tickets, UK currency, insurance documents, and your bank statements. We advise you to have these documents electronically accessible for your ease.

Vaccinations – Ensure to have all your travel vaccinations prior to arriving in the UK.

Mobile Phone – Verify with your mobile phone service provider to see if your phone can be unlocked to another network, as you will need to get a UK SIM card when you arrive.

References – Organise all your references prior to leaving for the UK, this includes employment and accommodation. If you rented prior to coming to the UK, having a character reference will increase your chances of finding a happy place to live.

Organising your finances – Opening a UK bank account can be time-consuming and difficult if you are not familiar with the UK banking system. We, therefore, advise you to open an international account before you move as it will allow you to have access to your finances. Furthermore, the Tier 2 UK Visa requires you to have a minimum amount of money (£945) in your bank account so it is a good idea to keep a hard copy of a recent bank statement if the Home Office requests proof of balance at the airport.

Change address and cancel memberships - You should notify your bank, insurance providers, post office, creditors and any other organisation that you receive correspondence from – of your new address in the UK. Remember to cancel any memberships and subscriptions that will not be needed after you move to the UK.

Plan your packing - The size and weight restrictions on hand luggage and suitcase differ between airlines, despite attempts to standardise cabin bag requirements by the International Air Transportation (IATA). Therefore, it is important to check these weight restrictions so you can plan your packing without going over the limit and charged extra.

Carry Cash - It would be useful to exchange a couple of hundred British Pounds to have when you land in the UK, unexpected expenses can occur at any time and it is important to have the correct currency. Please note that when entering the UK from a non-EU country, you must make a declaration to customs if you exceed your allowances which include £10,000 (or equivalent) in cash, up to 1 litre of spirits, 200 cigarettes and a maximum of £390 worth of perfume and souvenirs.

If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to [email protected] – and one of our Specialist Advisors will be happy to help you.


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