Everything you need to know to move to the UK
For many different reasons in the past years, many many people from every European country took the decision to move to the UK to live and work there.
The United Kingdom gives you indeed the opportunity to improve English, which is nowadays considered to be the most internationally used language in the world, but for many of us also a chance to earn more money to put aside for a better future.
After Brexit the rules to enter the United Kingdom will change, so I thought to put together some information and indications to clarify some of the stages you need to follow to be legally allowed in the country in this new condition.
For any other information you may need, here is the relevant page on the Government official website.
If you were already living in the UK before 1st January 2021
Firstly, here are some dates you need to keep in mind:
- 31/12/2020 is the last day anybody from the EU will be allowed in the country without asking for a Visa
- 30/06/2021 is the last day for people already living in the UK to ask for the settled status (or pre-settled depending on your conditions)
Now let’s speak about the two kinds of status European Citizens can ask and obtain: it is really simple, if you stayed in the UK for at least 6 months out of every 12 months of the last 5 years you can obtain the settled status, which will allow you to live and work in the UK forever as long as you don’t live outside the country for longer than 5 years in a row.
On the other hand, if you lived here for a period that goes from 1 day (in the last 6 months) to 5 years you can still ask for the pre-settled status, that will give you the right to work, study and live in the UK as well as use the NHS, rent a house and claim the state pension.
Now, here is everything you need to have when sending the request for your settled or pre-settled status (thing that you can easily do from an android phone downloading the app EU Exit: ID Document Check):
- ID (passport or identity document)
- Photo (you will be allowed to take a selfie with the app itself)
- National Insurance Number (NiN) or other proof of your stay in the UK
- Mobile Number
- Email address
Something I would like to clarify are the ways to prove your stay in the UK. The easiest way is undoubtedly using the NiN but if you just came or didn’t apply for one yet there are other things you can use. For example if you just visited for a couple of days you can send over you airplane/bus/train tickets or a bank statement that shows you spent money in the country. If you rented a house you can show utility bills or council tax payments receipts. GP appointments or mobile phone bills registered here in England are also accepted.
With the pre-settled status you can stay in England for 5 years in a row or spend maximum 2 years abroad without losing your status, but always remember that to ask for the settled status you need to spend at least 6 months per year in the UK.
If you are thinking of moving to the UK after 1st January 2021
After Brexit the regulations regarding entering the UK will definitely be one of the major changes for foreign citizens that want to move to this country.
In fact, everyone will now need a visa to enter the UK and there are many types of them depending on your needs and qualifications, here I want to give you an overview of the visas available and their approximative price, but please bare in mind could be adjusted and still subject to change so please always check on the UK Government website.
First of all there is the standard Visitor Visa, which lasts maximum 6 months and allows you to visit the country WITHOUT studying or working, it costs around €100 and is valid for multiple entries in the country. If you visit the country often you can also go for a longer-term visa, the price varies depending on its length (2 years for €400, 5 for €700 or even 10 for €900).
But if you want to come to the United Kingdom to study or Work, you will need one of these:
From January 2021 only skilled workers with a sponsorship from a UK employer approved by the Home Office will be able to obtain a work visa and therefore be able to work in the UK.
To give you an idea of the expenses that this visa requires, here are the main things you will need to pay:
- The application itself can cost from €700 (lasts up to 3 years) to €1300 (for periods longer than 3 years)
- You will need to pay a healthcare surcharge of about €624 per year
- You will need to prove you have enough savings, usually around €1200, but the amount could be lower if your employer offers to help (in this case he will need to fill the “Sponsor certifies maintenance” section on the sponsorship form)
In case you only want to do a short work experience like seasonal worker or with a charity or take part in a training programme, you can check if you can apply for a Tier 5 visa, this will require a sponsor anyway and its maximum length will vary depending on the scheme you choose to apply for, but will cost much less (around €250).
In case you want to come to the UK to study and a university or college offered you a place, the visa will cost about €400 plus the healthcare surcharge.
One thing to keep in mind is that from January 2021 unfortunately EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England.
As I said things are still a bit confused and could be subject to changes so always check on the official government website and I will update this article as soon as any news is released.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any doubt or if you need help with your application, in the future I will also write a more detailed article about everything you need to do when you first get here to find a house, a job and get settled 🙂