Moving to the UK? Smashing! Many are called, but few are chosen, as the good book says. Still, this is no time to lay down on your laurels. It’s not just cricket, Wimbledon and afternoon tea in Albion. There are certain things you absolutely must do when immigrating to the UK.
First, of course, is to realize just how fortunate you are, and to familiarize yourself with all of the opportunities the United Kingdom has to offer – and which will best serve your dream of making a new life there.
The United Kingdom is one of the top destinations for people seeking a better life in a free, prosperous, multicultural country and for good reason. The United Kingdom is suffused with history like nowhere else in the English-speaking world. This is, after all, where it all began – the point zero for the culture and language which dominates our planet. Every outing is a chance to experience this history as you pass iconic homes, estates, churches and castles.
But the UK is about more than what happened centuries ago. It’s about what is happening right here and right now. The cultural scene is sizzling hot, with the best music, pubs, and sports teams in the world. Not to mention the museums – English history and art aside, the legacy of the British Empire is astounding.
There are also more prosaic concerns – the British healthcare system provides comprehensive coverage to all legal residents. The National Health Service pioneered free healthcare, a feat unequaled by many other countries in the two generations which followed. It may be free, but it’s not shoddy – Britain leads in health care quality and research, and many procedures and medicines are adopted in the UK years before they complete the gauntlet of FDA approval.
Free medical coverage is not the only thing the UK pioneered – higher education, is also a concept that pretty much originated in the British Isles, and British universities are still kings of the roost – in student life as much as in educational and research achievements. If you are after the best academic experience in the world than you could do much worse than setting your sights on Cambridge and Oxford.
Unlike other destinations, where you might find yourself in a social bubble made of English speaking expats, simply since you aren’t fluent in the native language, anyone who speaks some variant of the Queen’s English will manage well enough in old blighty – and will also enjoy the experience of bumping into a new accent every day.
However, though fully 14% of the UK’s population was born overseas, it is not clear sailing onto the shores of the white Isle. You need to Arrange your visa and that means jumping through the sometimes labyrinthine hoops of British immigration’s point based system. This is where doing your research comes in – you need to carefully investigate which of the academic, work, business and personal reasons you might have to immigrate to the United Kingdom will best improve your chances of getting your visa approved – and how they should best be presented to the authorities.
Fortunately, GVS UK can do the heavy lifting for you – feed us the raw information and we will advise you on the best immigration track to pursue and accompany you through the visa application process- and beyond!
Even after you and your family’s application is approved, you still have your work cut out for you – below, GVS UK presents the top seven things you should do before you board that plane:
- Health insurance
The British health care system is the envy of the world, with the National Health Service (NHS) providing free medical care at point of service for all UK residents. However, fully plugging into the system is not as simple as walking into the nearest clinic. Indeed, quite a few expats prefer to take out a private health insurance, either to cover treatments and drugs not fully covered by the NHS, ensure a quicker service than that provided by the NHS or to ensure they are covered until their status with the NHS is fully confirmed.
GVS UK can help you understand the pros and cons of private and public health care in the UK, taking into account the specific medical and immigration status of you and your dependents. Wherever you are on the visa application process, contact our representative today to learn more- health first!
- Job hunting
Depending on your visa application track, securing a employment ahead of time may be a precondition of visa approval. However, quite a few applicants end up moving to the UK on the promise of securing employment, and then end up job-hunting on the spot, face-to-face, with the clock ticking before they must leave the country if they fail to secure employment. For others, academic or other visa tracks enable immigration and residence in the UK possible even without securing employment – but many such immigrants still want to secure employment consistent with their visa conditions, for financial, personal, or professional reasons, or else to line up the next stage of their UK residence. The good news is that the economy of the United Kingdom is booming, unemployment is low at only 4.3%, and employers are avid for new workers. However, opportunity is not equally distributed across the country or different economic fields, and the opportunity which may be perfectly suited to your financial needs or personal preferences may not be the one optimal for your present and future visa application prospects. Contact a GVS UK representative today to learn more, and start planning out your career and employment options in the UK
- Secure a flat
Many people automatically tend to think of London when they think about renting a flat in the UK. It is only natural, given how London is an economic, academic and cultural hub not only for the country but for the entire world. And there is quite a bit of variety in this historic city, with various neighborhoods offering different pros and cons in terms of living expense, rent, services, culture, and landmarks – all, of course, tied to the employment and other concerns of you and your dependents. Still, London’s public transit system is so incredible, that you can afford to live farther away from your place of employment than you might consider in other cities – provided, of course, that you understand the intricacies of the system, and how it translates into actual transport time from one place to another. GVS UK’s representatives can help you decipher the multilayered parameters needed to select the neighborhood that is right for you and help you locate and secure the best possible price for a flat in London, the beating heart of the UK.
But the UK is more than one city, no matter how grand. For those prepared to broaden their horizons and look farther afield, the United kingdom offers a marvelously varied landscape, human and natural to choose from. From the wild Scottish Highlands to Cornwall’s deep bays, you can be sure to find something to speak to your heart. For some, after all, the appeal of living in the United Kingdom is precisely proximity to the much storied English countryside. And rent and cost of living is of course much cheaper outside the “City”.
- School and childcare
If you are a parent you know this already. Nothing, but absolutely nothing, will have more of an effect on your new life than the school your children go to. The best way to give your children a head start in life is by researching your educational options before the move, and making sure they have a good chance of being accepted at the best institutions. The good news is that the UK has a very good public education system, and even more options are available for those with the wherewithal to go private.
The trick, of course is in matching the educational options to your own employment options, residential concerns and so forth. It really is a multilayered maze which requires an expert guide to reach the optimal goal with minimal fuss. Contact a GVS UK representative to be this guide – and truly give your children the best possible future!
- Manage finances
To support yourself and your family (and avoid being thrown out on your ear by immigration) it is imperative that you get your finances in order before the move. Trust us, you will have plenty of other concerns once you land and get settled, so it is best to plan ahead and do as much as possible before you board the flight.
Fortunately, GVS UK can help you choose and open an account in the banking option best suited for you, insure your belongings, and help you calculate the impact of your immigration on your investments, pensions and taxes. Contact us today to learn more!