The British islands have been attracting immigrants from all corners of the world for the last two centuries. In particular from Commonwealth countries. Today, moving to the United Kingdom is very different. In most cases, you’ll need a confirmed job offer, although special schemes may apply to people from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Monaco, Taiwan and Japan.
Many people move to the United Kingdom for work-related reasons. Being an English speaking country that has become largely accustomed to immigration, expats who are undaunted by the country’s wet climate will find it relatively easy to integrate into the country’s lifestyle. London in particular is often deemed as a very interesting place by people moving to the UK. The capital’s worldly atmosphere, abundance of entertainment and culture mix makes it one of the most attractive destinations on the planet. Many younger expatriates move to the UK for academic purposes, attracted by the many universities in the country that house great portions of international students and that have an excellent international reputation.
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Moving to the United Kingdom
Property in the UK is more costly compared to most countries. Perhaps that is because there are always people who want to relocate to the United Kingdom. The country is full of opportunities for wealthy foreigners who wish to invest their money in secure real estate. However, getting a mortgage in the UK as a foreigner may prove to be a challenge. Not many banks issue loans like this, and some require you to pay up to 40% in deposits. It may take several weeks before your application for a mortgage is approved. Also, when planning to buy a house in the UK, enough time should be accounted for the solicitors to go about their business. This process is mandatory for all housing transactions. Also, during the exchange of contracts both parties can still legally withdraw themselves from the deal. Sometimes, non-refundable deposits at the time of accepting the offer are used to discourage that.
The gap between property prices in London and the rest of the United Kingdom is very large. On the other hand, prices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are usually lower than average. By a rule of thumb, price are likely to decrease as you look further North. Also, in the United Kingdom, properties are typically classified as freehold or leasehold. In the latter case, an owner owns a property for a certain period (usually more than 100 years). In such case, the amount of years left on the leasehold may influence the property value.
Because of the relatively high property prices in most of England, many people relocating to the UK rent a house, flat or apartment. Most cities have a lot of shared accommodation, which can be a great way to meet other expats and to familiarize yourself with the way of life in the UK. The golden tip for renting accommodation in the UK would be to move quickly. It’s a sellers’ market and competition is usually fierce. Agents always say that ‘places like this never stay on the market for long’, but in the UK, this is actually true in most cases. Rental agreement are rarely shorter than 6 months or longer than one year. Sometimes though, a clause is integrated in the contract which gives both parties the right to cancel the contract within 1 or 2 months’ notice when the contract is halfway through.
Social housing (or Council housing) does exists in the UK, but it takes very long to get in.
Shipping Furniture to the United Kingdom
As usual, when shipping furniture to the UK you are expected to hire reliable international moving companies. Along with that, you are required to attach a complete and detailed packing list of the good. International moving companies can do the packing, loading and off-loading, if needed. Expats also have the possibility to box up themselves, however, it could sometimes mean risking the insurance international moving companies provide only if their packing services are used. It is therefore crucial to communicate your situation with the international moving companies. Also a customs form (C3 to be exact) must be completed. The form can be found online, but international moving companies do have them already. Excise taxes and custom duties are usually payable. For further information about what can and cannot be imported into the UK, you are advised to consult the so-called notices that are published by Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise, which are widely available online. Even if you do all the research about your international removal to the UK, it is still likely that you receive valuable information from the international moving companies contacted.
Moving to London
Considered the center of the civilized world for centuries, tens of thousands of people are moving to London every year. It’s the economical heart of the country and home to the corporate head office of countless multinational companies. A great part of the global business and financial services industry is located here, and many young talents in these sectors are moving to London to develop their careers. London’s public transport system is often praised for its extensive reach and cursed for its infamous rush hour crowds. Needless to say, the expat population in the city that’s doubtlessly the centre of gravity of the British Isles is enormous. The differences between the various neighbourhoods (or boroughs) in London is significant. Many see London not as having a single centre and growing outwards, but rather as an agglomeration of smaller towns and villages that all have a very distinct population, appearance and atmosphere.
Moving to Edinburgh
The Scottish capital is not only very popular among tourists, but also among expats moving to Edinburgh looking for excellent job prospects, high-quality child education and an abundance of leisure activities against the spectacular backdrop of the Scottish landscape. The city’s rich history as a Scottish capital is still very much visible in the many monumental castles, museums and galleries. In summer, the Edinburgh festival attracts an incredibly large and international crowd to the city year after year. Prices in Edinburgh are low when compared to London, but still most expats who move to Edinburgh will find accommodation in the hilltop city to be more expensive than in their home country. And although it’s not easy to get used to the wet Scottish climate, the warm and cosy pubs filled with friendly locals and international folks are definitely worth it.
Moving to Manchester
Manchester, is widely regarded as the first city in the world to industrialise. Now, the many textile factories have gradually made room for multinational companies that are involved with trades and profession of the tertiary sector. Most people moving to Manchester know of the city’s significance in music and football. But besides that this tolerant, pioneering city in the North of England is full of opportunity, innovation and entertainment. Home to many multinational companies, Manchester offers excellent job opportunities for foreign workers, while the cost of living is lower than in London. It’s not surprising that the city’s streetscape of historic monuments, interchanged with 20th century architecture has inspired so many artists, scientist and indie bands over the years.