Before You Arrive

If you are relocating internationally, the following section provides some useful tips and advice to make your move to the UK less stressful.



  • Make sure that you and all family members you are travelling with have valid passports that are in date for the full duration of the visa you are applying for,
  • Make sure that all travelling have the required visa,
  • Book your plane tickets,
  • Book travel insurance,
  • Check what documentation you need for exporting possessions from your home,
  • Make several copies of important documentation.



  • Tell your bank you are moving overseas,
  • Check how money can best be transferred to the UK,
  • Opening a UK bank account can be difficult and time-consuming especially if you are not familiar with the UK banking system.  It is a good idea to open an international account before you move as it will ensure that you always have access to your finances.



  • If you own a property decide if you plan to rent it out or sell it.  If you presently rent remember to hand your notice in good time,
  • Consider your living arrangements.  Once you are in the UK will you want to stay in temporary accommodation or move straight into a rental property?  Do you intend to purchase a property?  All these questions are important to consider before you move,
  • Research the rental or purchase price of housing in the area you plan to move to.  If you can, arrange a visit to the area you intend to live.  If visiting is not an option then research the area online,
  • Arrange some form of accommodation before you arrive in the UK,
  • Decide whether to store, sell or take your processions with you.  Check which goods you can bring into the UK through customs control,
  • The electricity supply in the UK is 240 volts.  Check to see if your electrical goods can work at this voltage.  You will need to buy a transformer if not.  You may also need to buy an adaptor plug in the UK,
  • Get quotes from removal companies and book well in advance of the moving date,
  • Cancel any utilities and subscriptions in your present country,
  • Redirect your mail,
  • Make sure that all the things you will need for the first few days in a new country will be travelling on the plane with you.



  • Depending on what country you are relocating from you may need to get vaccinations before you arrive.  Some vaccinations need to be given weeks in advance.  Make sure to keep an international vaccination booklet,
  • Take out international health insurance for you and your family,
  • If you are a national from the European Economic Area or Switzerland bring a European Health Insurance Card to access free or reduced cost health treatment in the UK.



  • Consider improving yours and your family members English with a course in your home country.  Having a good level of English will help when meeting people and will help your family find work or integrate better into school,
  • Inform your children’s school that they are leaving.  Ask for transfer forms if required and request copies of school reports, exam certificates and examples of their work,
  • Begin searching for their new school.  Note that this can be a difficult process for families relocating to the UK,
  • If you plan on relocating any pets research the rules and quarantine requirements.



  • Hand in your notice for your current job,
  • Inform the tax authorities of your move.  You may need to file a tax return form,
  • If your family are looking for work, make sure they bring their CV’s, copies of qualifications and references.