Are you considering a change of scene? For a lot of people, that might mean searching for a new job or planning a holiday. But what if you’ve chosen to take the plunge and move permanently overseas from the UK? It’s certainly a huge decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Government data reveals that for the year ending March 2020, more than 400,000 emigrated from these shores to set up elsewhere.
There could be any number of reasons for this – the cost of living or the chance to reunite with family members, for example. For many, the draw of a warmer climate is enough to make up their minds. But whatever your motivations, it’s not as simple as just packing up and heading to the airport. Here, we look at some of the things you need to consider.
Do you need a visa?
The answer to this may depend on where you’re moving to. The UK government website breaks down each country alphabetically, providing advice and guidance on what you need to do in your specific situation. However, since the UK’s exit from the European Union, it is likely that you will have to apply for a visa if you wish to take up permanent residence in any of the EU nations.
Who do you need to tell?
There is all manner of authorities and offices you need to inform when you choose to emigrate. For example, if you have an outstanding student loan then you’ll need to get in touch with the Student Loans Company to work out what happens next. The same goes for the International Pension Centre, as it’s important for you to understand how your decision impacts your rights to claim your pension.
You should also tell your local council and provide them with a forwarding address, while the HMRC will need to know so that your tax codes are up to date and accurate. Your UK citizenship will not change, which should mean that you can still vote in any UK elections.
What else do you need to organise?
Assuming that you’ve already found somewhere to live, you’ll need to think about opening a bank account in your new country of residence. And you can use international shipping services to ensure any clothes or possessions are safely transported.
You should also look into what documentation you might need to provide in order to buy a car – should one be needed. It may be that you’re emigrating to a busy capital city or a sleepy seaside village, where everything is within a 10-minute walk. In which case, that’s one less thing for you to worry about!