So, you’ve decided to move across the pond. Now what? During this exciting time, you’ll want to take a moment to ensure you’ve got all your ducks in a row. Here are three things you should do before you arrive in the UK from the USA:
Make sure you are eligible to “settle in the UK”
Moving to the UK is a complex process, and the UK is quite restrictive in their immigration policy. Often, you need to have a living relative or partner who is a British Citizen or UK citizen to be eligible. But, if you are studying in the UK or have a job waiting for you, you may be eligible to immigrate too. Visit the official UK government website and take a short survey to find out if you are eligible to “apply for settlement”. The survey will let you know what path you should take to acquire the proper legal status for what the UK refers to as “indefinite leave to remain”. Click here to take the survey.
Learn about British currency
Imagine waiting in a long line for a purchase and when the time comes to pay, you have no idea what bills or coins to give the cashier. If you’re planning a move after the summer of 2019, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the British pound exclusively. If you’ll be moving to the UK sooner than that, you will need to learn about the Euro as well as the British pound. The reason? Brexit! By the summer of 2019, the UK is expected to have separated itself from the European Union. Which brings us to the next thing you should do…
Know your geography and where you can travel within the UK
The UK, which is short for United Kingdom, is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s important to note that Northern Ireland is part of the UK, but the Republic of Ireland is its own sovereign state. If you’re planning a trip to the Republic of Ireland, you may need different documentation. For example, you do not need your UK passport when traveling within the UK, but if you plan to travel outside the UK, you will need to bring your UK passport (provided you have fully immigrated and you have a UK passport – otherwise, you will need your US passport for all travel foreign and domestic within the UK).
Feeling a bit more prepared?
Good! Now you’ll need to decide what to bring with you for your new life in the UK. Keep in mind that life in the UK is much more condensed than the American lifestyle. Best of luck on your new adventure!.
David Milberg is a financial analyst in New York.