How to move to the UK

We all know that moving to another country is a challenge, whether it is the first time for you or when you are moving there by yourself. The main reason is that you confront with another culture and you have to adapt to the new society, you might face cultural shock, or be in the situation of battling with bureaucracy and adapting and integrating in the new society.

The first time is always difficult. It was the same for me when I first left to study to another country, but after a time, I got used to it. At first it was difficult to get accustomed to being without my friends or family, but soon after, I got new friends and there was no week that passed without talking to my family. The cultural shock was also a problem, but just for the first days, after that, whenever I had the time, I’d go out sightseeing or just walking around.

Here are some of the tips and trick to move to another country easier.



How to move to the UK

  1. Moving to the UK
  2. A place to live in the UK
  3. Taxes in the UK
  4. Holiday rights in the United Kingdom
  5. Statutory sick pay in the UK
  6. How to open a bank account in the UK
  7. Citizens Advice
  8. Nightlife and Places to visit

1.    Moving to the UK

Before moving to another country, there are a few things you have to take care of, even if your departure date is in a year or a few weeks, like buying the plane tickets at the best price, gathering some information about the country and the life there, information about the weather, living expenses, the necessary documents and so on.

The recruiters from Reachjobs will help you with the required documents and also with finding accommodation. What you need to make sure is that before buying your plane ticket you have:

  • Confirmed and passed the final interview with the employer
  • You have the job position confirmed
  • You have prepared and doublechecked all the required documents
  • You have the green light from the Reachjobs recruiter


If you have any situations you are not feeling secure in, the recruiter in charge of your application will help you with any questions.

Further on, I will present you exactly what you need to know when you move to the UK.

2.      A place to live in the UK

Most employers offer accommodation that is either deducted from your salary or paid by the end of the month. Other employers offer accommodation for a short period of time, until you find one for yourself.

  • If the accommodation is not provided by the employer

Before being sure that you are going to live in the UK look for a place to rent. The rental prices may vary from city to city, location in the city and level of comfort. The best and cheaper way to live is to split the rent with other friends or co-workers. You can talk to the recruiter in charge of your application to help you find you dorm-mates or accommodation.

  • If you are going to the UK on a short notice

If you are going to the UK for a job interview and are going to stay for just a few days, I suggest you Airbnb, a website for cheap rental prices offered by the locals or hostels and motels.

3.      Taxes in the UK

If you are new to the United Kingdom, one of the things you will face on a daily basis and need to know is the system of taxation.

The Taxation year in the United Kingdom runs from the 6th of April of the current year to the 5th of April of next calendar year (Ex.: The taxation year for 2016 begins at 6th of April of 2016 and ends on 5th of April of 2017). The amount of the Income Tax depends on:

  • how much of your income is above your Personal Allowance
  • how much of your income falls within each tax band

For more information regarding the Income Tax you have to pay visit the Government’s page.

To be able to pay your taxes in the United Kingdom you will need a NINo or National Insurance Number.

As a non-UK citizen, you will be taxed only for the income and benefits earned in the United Kingdom. To calculate the tax you owe, you can find on the internet different tax calculators that will help you find out exactly how much you have to pay.

Aside from the taxes, which start from 20% of your income, depending in which band your income falls, you will also have to pay the National Insurance contributions. The National Insurance contributions to qualify for certain benefits including the State Pension. Here is a list of all benefits you receive if you pay the NIC.

You pay National Insurance if you’re 16 or over and either:

  • an employee earning above £157 a week
  • self-employed and making a profit of £6,025 or more a year

If you earn between £113 and £157 a week, your contributions are treated as having been paid to protect your National Insurance record.

Each person has his own NIN where are recorded his taxes and National Insurance contributions. You can find your NIN:

  • on your payslip
  • on your P60
  • on letters about your tax, pension or benefits
  • in the NI section of your personal tax account

4.      Holiday rights in the United Kingdom

The working hours and the annual leave days are usually stipulated in the contract. They also depend on the type of employment. For a full time, job with 40 hours of work per week, you will receive 28 days of annual paid leave.

Bank or public holidays do not have to be given as paid leave. It all depends on the employer and domain of work.

5.      Statutory sick pay in the UK

Like everywhere in the EU, you are entitled to statutory sick pay or SSP. The value of SSP is £89.35 per week and it is paid for up to 28 weeks.

You can ask for the SSP after at least 4 days while you’ve been sick, unless you’ve been paid SSP within the last 8 weeks and are eligible for it again.

Tax and National Insurance will be deducted, like with your salary.

For more information regarding your bank holidays and SSP rights please refer to your contract, as every employer has small differences from the information provided here.

6.      How to open a bank account in the UK

In order to have a NIN (National Insurance Number – see Taxes in the UK), as well as to receive your salary, you will need a bank account.

To be able to open a bank account you will need a stable or permanent address and your passport. You will also need a proof of address which can be your tenancy agreement or a utility bill.

When making a bank account make sure that you will ask for a free one with a standard debit card.

Before opening a bank, account make sure to check the offer from different banks so that you will find the best offer for you. Another important thing to have is to choose your bank having in mind it’s location or the location of the ATM’s. You want to have your bank close to your home or near your workplace.

If you wish to apply for a credit card I suggest you do so if you are sure you can pay. You also have to check the best offers on the market so that when you borrow, the interest is not to high and the instalments either.  Before asking for a credit card make sure to read all the terms and conditions of the banks. If you get in the situation of not being able to pay, even after you’ve sold your property, find help on the official page of the government.

7.      Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice is a web portal that focuses on providing advice and help for any problem you encounter while living in the United Kingdom.

They offer help regarding situations at work, budgeting, housing, legal systems & discrimination.

On the Benefits page you will be able to see all the wrights and benefits you are entitled to, like tax and benefits calculator, visas.

8.      Nightlife and Places to visit

On this part I will give you just some hints on the nightlife and the most interesting things to do in the UK and I will treat every location in a more detailed way in other articles.

The United Kingdom is known for its reach culture that will enchant people of all ages and interests.

Here I would write about the main areas from the UK where Reachjobs has job offers, more detailed information will appear in further articles. I will talk about East Sussex, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, London, Hampshire, and Kent.

East Sussex, where Reachjobs offers jobs in Care Home Centres, Kindergartens and Veterinary Practices, is best known for the Sea Life Centre, where you can enjoy the wonders of the sea life while you walk through the underwater tunnel or while you ride the glass bottomed boat.

On a sunny day the best way to enjoy your holiday, is to go to the beach or try your luck at Dolphin Derby Fair.

If your dream as a child was to find dinosaurs, you can go Fossil Hunting accompanied by the fossil hunter Roy Shepherd for only £ 12. Here you will travel 100 million years back in time and find life forms from back then.

Compared to East Sussex which offers experiences closer to nature, Bedfordshire’s tourism offers more of a historic environment like castles (Bedfords Castle, De Grey Mausoleum, Someries Castle), museum, historic houses (Woburn Abbey). Close to nature and free or cheap places to spend your free time are the parks. After a long day at work, be it that you are a chef or work in a care home, a walk in the park is the best medicine for fatigue. The best-known park is Greensand Ridge. A 40-mile walk that takes you through Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire.

Buckinghamshire is the best destination for beer lovers. Among the cheapest things to do here, aside from a walk in the parks, is the visit to the oldest independent brewery. It is located on an old farm in the Chiltern. They are known for making beer using the brewery techniques.

Aside from the jobs in hospitality, healthcare and veterinary that Hertfordshire has to offer, you can also find a lot of places to spend your free time at low cost. St. Albans Cathedral is one of those places. One of the first Roman settlements, you can find here, aside from amazing historic sightseeing, all kinds of events like the Christmas Carols sang on the hour, every hour from 11 am until 4 pm, starting 16th of December, or the New Year Orchestra.

For those interested in art and culture, you can visit the Henry Moore Foundation. Here you can enjoy his artworks and other publications art related. For the nights, you can enjoy the Hertford Theatre, and let go of and forget all the worries of the day.

If you work in Hampshire, you can relive the life of sailors, pirates and historic events by visiting St. Barbe Museum.  Another thing to do, aside from enjoying the local food, is to cycle around town, visit the homes of Charles Dickens or Rudyard Kipling, or the historic Dockyard, where you will find the most famous ships like Henry the VIII’s Mary Rose, Lord Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory or queen Victoria’s battleship HMS Warrior.

Be it that you are a chef, waiter, fitness instructor or nursery teacher working in Kent, you will have the opportunity to enjoy both the nature and the artistic nature of the Dungeness. For the history lovers, you will find a lot of cathedrals and museums that wait to be discovered by you. There is also the Biddenden Vineyards, where you will walk through the wine-making territory of Kent. For free exhibitions you can visit the Turner Contemporary, or just enjoy a walk in the park or by the coastline.

For somebody living in the United Kingdom, visiting London is one of the things to do. Aside from the all known and main attractions like the Buckingham Palace, the London Bridge and the Big Ben, London offers a lot of free or cheap entertainment like the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, or walk on the steps of the infamous murderer of the XVIII’s century, Jack the Ripper.

You can enjoy local fruits by visiting the Parkside Farm or discover London’s industrial heritage by visiting The Brunel Museum.

Moving to another country sure is difficult, but I hope that after reading this article, you will find it a bit more reassuring, especially since the Reachjobs recruiters always do their best in providing any information necessary to moving to another country.

If you want to know more about the other locations we have jobs in, please feel free to visit our website or send us an email


  7. Tax calculator