If you’ve decided to pack your bags and move to another country from the UK, you’ve come to the right place! This article is going to tell you everything you need to know to ensure nothing goes wrong along the way.
Moving abroad isn’t a quick and easy decision but there are many reasons why you might have decided that it’s the best thing for you. Maybe you want new career opportunities, a new culture, or a peaceful retirement.
Whatever the reason for your move, there are some key factors that you need to consider as a UK expat. Omitting just one of these factors can delay your move, so it’s important not to miss anything!
Here is everything you need to know as a UK expat.
You’ll Need Health Insurance
If you plan on working in your new country, you will be paying taxes and you’ll probably be able to access the healthcare facilities there. But this isn’t guaranteed.
It’s best to organise UK health insurance for foreigners so that you can obtain medical coverage. For many countries, having health insurance is mandatory if you want to use any of the healthcare services.
You never know when you might fall ill or get injured in an accident. Without active health insurance, you may not be able to access medical treatment and even if you do, you’ll be paying out of pocket for this treatment.
But if you have insurance, your provider will cover some of the costs, so you won’t be left with extortionate medical bills.
Note that certain forms of treatment are available to non-native people in some countries. In this case, you may need to travel back to the UK or the nearest country that offers these services to get treated.
You’ll Need to Think About Employment
Most people moving out of the UK will need to consider getting work in their new country. Depending on your current job, you may find this relatively easy.
Generally, it’s best practice to secure a job before you move. This way, you won’t need to drain your savings and worry about trying to find work.
A lot of countries require you to be in employment to apply for an extended visa or to renew your visa the next year. Even if it’s not the same job you had in the UK, as long as you have a steady stream of income that covers the bills, you’ll be good to go.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll still need to apply for a working visa and you’ll probably need to provide more detailed proof of income documentation. Most countries will need to see your tax returns as proof of your income.
Once you’ve moved and settled and you resume work in your new country, you will need to register yourself as self-employed with the government to start paying taxes.
Know Your Tax Requirements
When you’re a UK expat, it’s important that you learn about the taxing system in your new country. Depending on the area of the country, there may be differences in the local tax laws.
For those of you who choose dual citizenship, you may still need to pay tax to HMRC in the UK. This is especially the case if you continue to work in the UK for part of the year or the company that you’re working for is based in the UK.
There are some countries that are in a double taxation agreement with the UK. This basically protects you from paying taxes in both countries each year. So, you’ll only need to pay taxes in one country.
The rules for double taxation exemptions vary based on where you’re moving to and the conditions of your employment. It is also based on how much of the year you spend in each country.
You’ll Need the Right Visa
Different countries have unique requirements for their visas. Before you move, you’ll need to apply for the right visa to legally live and work in the country. In many countries, your visa also gives you access to their healthcare services.
Depending on the reason for your move, you will need to apply for either a work, study, or retirement visa.
In most places, you may eligible to apply for citizenship after 5-10 years of living there. You may be able to apply for dual citizenship so you can keep your status as a British citizen too.
To get a working visa, you’ll need proof of employment and proof of personal funds. You may need additional documentation but this varies depending on the specific country you’re moving to.
Some countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Canada, use a points system for incoming expats.
You will need to fill out an immigration application that includes details about your employment, education, and personal savings. Your application may be accepted or declined based on one or more of these factors.