Moving is always an exciting time, regardless of why you are moving. Maybe you are retiring and looking for a change of pace, maybe you would like to be closer to family who live in the United Kingdom, or maybe you have been offered a new and exciting job.
Whatever your motivation, there are plenty of things you will need to consider before moving overseas, from legalities to responsibilities, to the ins and outs of your new home. Here are just a few things about good ol’ Blighty you should know before upping and buying a house in the country.
England, the United Kingdom, and Great Britain are not the same thing
One of the first things you will need to think about when moving to the UK, is where in the UK you will be living. Wales? Scotland? Northern Ireland? Britain? It’s all a bit confusing! So, in short, Great Britain is the name of the island where England, Wales and Scotland are all joined, and the United Kingdom includes Northern Ireland, which is over the Irish Sea. There are also the British Isles to think about, as well as whether you would rather live in the north, south, south-west or in the midlands. Each area of the UK has its own personality and features, as well as pros and cons, so it is worth doing your research!
Eligibility for visas
You will also need to know if you are able to get a visa. The longer you plan on staying, the more questions you will be asked, and it can be a long and tedious process. A tourist visa allows someone to live and travel in a country without working. However, you will probably have to prove that you have the money to support yourself while you are there. If you are planning on moving to the UK permanently, and are from Europe, you may be eligible for EEA permanent residence, which will free you from immigration restrictions. Make sure you enter the country with the correct visa, and that you understand what restrictions may apply to you with it.
They don’t joke about English weather for no good reason, and it is true that it does rain a lot in the UK. The further north you go, the darker and wetter it gets. Although it does rain plenty in England, it is not constant, and the summers can be long, glorious and spent in beer gardens and on the beach. During winter, however, there are only about five hours of sunlight per day, and frequently the sun itself is hidden behind clouds. Although this isn’t a life or death situation, many people can struggle with this little sunlight in winter! But most of all, it is best to be prepared for this change in climate from what you are used to.
If you will be moving with pets, it is important to know that upon arrival to the UK, they will be quarantined for six months before they are allowed to integrate again with people and other animals! You can read more information on this here.