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The United Kingdom

Moving to the UK

The United Kingdom maintains its position as a global superpower. Constantly ranking as one of most influential economic and geopolitical countries in the world, the United Kingdom provides a wealth of opportunities for those seeking residency.

Whatever your reasons, moving to the UK can be an exciting experience. This nation is full of history and culture, with incredible attractions, gorgeous landscapes and stunning cities. Dig-deeper to find out some common ways non-UK citizens can immigrate to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, so you know what steps to take next.

Reasons to Move to the UK

Choosing to move to the UK is a big decision, but there are many reasons to immigrate to this part of the world.

  • New job opportunities. Maybe you’ve landed your dream job or the industry you’re going into has the best opportunities in the UK. Making the decision to move for your professional career may seem daunting, but individuals often relocate for work.
  • Family or friends. Do you have family or friends living in the UK? Families often make the choice to move closer to those who they have significant relationships with. This can be a rewarding experience for kids especially.
  • Personal experience. Maybe you’re single or married and simply want to travel or experience life in another country for a period of time. The UK is a great place to live if you want to experience new cultures — it’s a great central hub for exploring Europe and other neighboring countries.

Many will argue that the UK is home to the greatest city in the world — London. London is rich with history, from Shakespeare and the royal family to Baker Street, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square. This bustling city is packed full of culture, foods, museums and attractions, and is often listed as the best city across the globe.

Of course, London isn’t the only city worth visiting or moving to in the UK. Other top cities include:

  • Edinburgh: Capital city of Scotland, which is home to many festivals and architectural sites.
  • Oxford: Home to the prestigious Oxford University and well-known for its local bookshops, pubs and museums.
  • Glasgow: This Scottish city has a largely Victorian style that’s rumored to look like New York City did in the 19th century.
  • Cambridge: A historic college city where you’ll find Cambridge University, along with charming coffee shops, cocktail bars and restaurants.
  • Manchester: Former industrial city home to a large selection of museums, sports stadiums and art galleries.
  • Liverpool: This gritty city is a long-time favorite of poet Allen Ginsberg with football, independent shops and restaurants, and a unique music scene.

Other top spots worth exploring in the UK include Bath, Brighton, Cardiff, Belfast and Lisburn.

Where to Live in the UK

Whether you’re partial to the fast-paced life of cities or like a more slowed down, rural lifestyle, the UK can accommodate. While the UK is well-known for its famous cities and college towns, there are plenty of rural areas worth exploring and relocating to.

In fact, with more UK residents leaving cities in recent times,, more occupancies are becoming available in top cities. Towns are also blossoming as they become more popular destinations for families and individuals looking for different lifestyles.

If you already speak English, you will feel right at home in England since the primary language in the UK is English. Keep in mind that UK English differs from American English, so there are likely words, phrases, pronunciations and slang to adjust to. Welsh is also popularly spoken in Wales.

Transportation may also be a major factor when deciding where to live. If you opt to move to a city, understanding how public transportation works will be helpful. This includes bus and train schedules, the Underground, trams and more.

Process of Immigrating to the UK

If you decide you’re ready to move to the UK, it’s important to understand the immigration process. There are many legal requirements and visa guidelines that will need to be followed to complete your relocation to this nation. This has become a little more complicated in a post-Brexit world, but if you follow the visa process, you should have no issues.

UK Visas

There are many different UK visas available. If you’re moving from a non-EU country, you’ll need to apply for a UK visa. The most common way for a non-resident to obtain UK residency is through a work visa.

You can obtain a UK work permit and employment visa if you’re relocating to the UK because of work. Even if you’re moving to be closer to family or for other reasons, finding a job in the UK, a remote position, or showing you’ll remain self-employed will be helpful to obtain a work permit. Obtaining this work permit and employment visa can take between two to three months.

Securing a traditional job in the UK is the fastest way to navigate through the work visa process. If you have a nontraditional job, this process can take more time and may involve more paperwork.

Depending on the type of work you do, there are different types of work visas available, all with different lengths and requirements (work and business visas). A few include skilled worker visas, health and care worker visas, intra-company visas and innovator visas.

Once the work permit has been issued, you are usually granted entry clearance within one to two weeks, depending on the country you are emigrating from.

U.K. Visa Costs and Fees

Visa costs can vary depending on the type of visa you’re applying for and the home country you are emigrating from. Typical costs average £348 per person, although the total costs for application fees and processing can be much higher.

Make Your Move to the United Kingdom

Regardless of geopolitics, the United Kingdom will continue to influence Europe and her global counterparts. Moving to the United Kingdom certainly has its benefits, and if one is fortunate enough to call England home, it carries some weight.

Dig-deeper into relevant topics about moving to the United Kingdom, browse qualified Advisors and licensed solicitors, and request consultations to get tailored answers for your relocation needs.

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