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Moving to UK

In the UK, there's something for everyone

Moving to the UK can be daunting but offers expats a life in a historical and cultural country. The United Kingdom is comprised of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, yet despite its small size, it is extremely influential in world trade, politics, and economics.

The UK boasts a fascinating history, beautiful architecture, and is famous for literature, music, films, and football. Traditional English pubs and popular dishes like fish and chips and sausage and mash are replicated worldwide.

UK as an expat destination

The UK is well-known for its excellent standard of living and multiculturalism. With diverse communities including Asians, Eastern Europeans, Americans, Australians, and South Africans, the country attracts student doctors and entrepreneurs from many developing countries.

Education in the UK is top-notch, with even state schools being well-regarded. The country is also home to prestigious private schools and world-class universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. International schools across the UK cater not only to expat children but also to short-term language students.

London is a highly successful and popular city, boasting the largest financial center in the world, the London Stock Exchange, and Lloyd’s of London. The city offers countless entertainment options and a wealth of housing choices (although expensive). It is also rich in history, with a historic financial district and numerous family-friendly attractions. Other popular expatriate cities include Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff.

Cost of living in the United Kingdom

The cost of living in big cities of the UK is high, with expensive day-to-day items and real estate. Wages usually reflect this.

London’s property market is particularly expensive, with many people preferring the suburbs due to high prices.


The language in the UK is mainly English. Welsh is spoken in some areas of Wales and a very small number or people speak the Scottish form of Gaelic. Accents and dialects vary considerably across areas of England and it can be a challenge for some expats to understand some of the forms of English that are in use.


Temperatures range between 6 degrees in the winter and 32 degrees in the summer. Rain is common and occurs throughout the year.

Expat Job and Career Opportunities

The UK’s diverse economy and vibrant job market make it a top destination for skilled professionals. Most expat managerial jobs are located in the South-East, with excellent English speaking skills required for almost all positions.

Key Facts Every Expat Must Know:

Driving License: Vehicles in the UK drive on the left. If you have a foreign driving license, you can drive in the UK temporarily. However, if you become a UK resident, you may need a UK license. Check driving rules for foreign licenses in the UK.

National Health Service (NHS): The UK has a publicly funded healthcare system called the NHS, offering free healthcare services to UK residents including doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, and emergency care. Expats may need to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application to access NHS services.

Register with Local Authorities: Register with local police (if required) and obtain a National Insurance Number (NIN) if staying in the UK for over six months. NIN is essential for work, taxes, benefits, and services.

Set Up Utilities and Services: Arrange for essential utilities such as gas, electricity, water, and internet services for your accommodation. Contact utility providers to set up accounts and arrange for billing.

Explore Transportation Options: Familiarize yourself with local transport options, such as buses, trains, trams, and the London Underground. Get a travel or Oyster card for easy access to public transport.

Enrolling Children in School: Research local schools and enroll school-aged children. Contact schools for visits, complete enrollment forms, and provide necessary documentation.

Open a UK Bank Account: Visit a local bank branch to open a UK bank account. Bring your passport, proof of address (e.g., rental agreement), and proof of income (if applicable) to complete the account opening process.

Connect with Support Networks: Join local expat communities, support networks and online forums to access resources, advice, and social connections. This helps you adjust to life in the UK and build a strong support system.

Some of the useful websites are:

UK government on Immigration and Visas: www.gov.uk
VisitBritain: www.visitbritain.com/gb/en
UK Visas and Immigration: www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration
Find a Job: www.gov.uk/jobsearch
Indeed UK (Job search): www.indeed.co.uk
Monster UK (Job search): www.monster.co.uk
Citizens Advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
The National Archives: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Guide to International Students: www.ukcisa.org.uk