Moving to UK

Moving to UK from Philippines: An Expat's Guide

Moving to the UK as an expat can be both an exciting and daunting prospect. There are several factors to consider when making the move, including obtaining the necessary visa, finding suitable accommodation, budgeting the cost of moving to the UK and understanding the local culture and customs.

To assist with the transition, our comprehensive guide for expats moving to the UK can be invaluable.
Our guide here provides information on navigating the UK's healthcare system, visa requirements and finding the right housing scheme. 

Additionally, we are offering practical advice on integrating into British society, such as understanding the public transportation system and familiarizing oneself with the British educational system. Overall, a well-researched and detailed guide can greatly facilitate your relocation to the UK from a reputable international moving company like Crown Relocations.   

Understanding the UK Visa Process

Navigating the UK visa application process can be a daunting task for many individuals looking to migrate or move to the country. From deciding on the type of visa to understanding the extensive documentation requirements, applicants often find themselves overwhelmed by the complexities of the process.  

Understanding the visa process when moving to the UK involves several key steps. Firstly, it is crucial to determine the legal requirements for immigration and select the appropriate visa type based on your purpose of relocation, whether for work, family, or study. 

Financial considerations play a significant role, requiring a clear understanding of the cost of living in the UK and meeting the financial requirements for immigration. 
uk visa application process

Types of Visas Available for Expats

There are several types of visas available for expats, including work visas, student visas, family visas, and more. The type of visa you need will depend on your circumstances and the reason for your move.
If you are planning to work in the UK, you may need to apply for a Skilled Worker visa, which allows you to do an eligible job with an approved UK employer. 
For those pursuing education in the UK, a Student visa is required. To be eligible, you must have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor, have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course, and be able to speak, read, write, and understand English. 

The application process for a Student visa usually takes about three weeks, and you can apply up to three months before your course starts. You’ll usually get a decision within 3 weeks after you submit your application. 
If you are joining a family member in the UK for more than six months, you will need a family visa. This can be for a spouse or partner, child, parent, or relative who will provide long-term care for you. 

The application process and eligibility criteria vary depending on your specific situation. 

How to Apply for a Visa

To apply for a visa, you will need to complete an online application and provide supporting documents, such as your passport, proof of funds, accommodation details, and a letter of sponsorship if applicable. You may also need to attend a biometric appointment.

Tips for Navigating the Visa Process

It's important to start the visa application process early and to ensure that you have all the necessary documents. You should also be prepared for the possibility of delays or additional requests for information.

Consider hiring an immigration lawyer or get in touch with our immigration service to help you navigate the process.

Understanding the Cost of Living in the UK for Expats

Moving to a new country can be an exhilarating yet challenging experience, especially when it comes to understanding and managing the cost of living. For expatriates considering the United Kingdom as their new home, having insights into the expenses can greatly aid in financial planning and adapting to a new lifestyle.

The cost of living in the UK varies depending on the location and lifestyle. According to upGrad Abroad, the average cost of living for a family of four in the UK, including rent, is between £4,000 and £4,500 per month. 

However, living expenses can be significantly higher in cities like London compared to other regions. For example, a single person can expect to spend around £756 per month on general living expenses in the UK, excluding rent. 

It's important to consider factors such as housing, transportation, food, and healthcare when budgeting for living in the UK.
UK living cost
UK housing cost

Housing cost

One of the primary expenses for expats in the UK is accommodation. Rental prices vary significantly based on location. London tends to have higher rents compared to other cities and regions across the UK. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in London can cost between £1,200 to £2,000 per month, while outside the city, prices might range from £600 to £1,200 depending on the area's desirability. 
UK utilities cost


Utility costs, including electricity, gas, water, and heating, typically amount to around £100 to £150 per month for a small apartment. However, these expenses can fluctuate based on usage and the season, with higher costs during colder months.
UK transportation


The UK offers an extensive public transportation network. In London, the Oyster card or contactless payment system is commonly used for buses, trains, and the underground (Tube). The monthly cost for public transport can range from £100 to £150, depending on the frequency of use and travel zones. Owning a car involves additional expenses, including insurance, road tax, fuel, and parking fees. 
Food and groceries

Food and Groceries

The cost of groceries varies based on individual preferences and dietary habits. On average, a single person might spend around £200 to £300 per month on groceries. Dining out can range from affordable options like fast food (£5-10 per meal) to upscale restaurants (£30-50+ per meal).
Miscellaneous Expenses

Miscellaneous Expenses

Additional expenses such as entertainment, clothing, internet, and mobile phone bills can vary widely based on personal choices and lifestyle. An estimate of £100 to £200 per month might cover these miscellaneous expenses for many individuals. 

Finding the Right Housing

As we mentioned earlier, accommodation will be one of the biggest expenses for expats who are relocating or moving to the UK. Finding suitable housing is a crucial part of the relocation process.

Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for housing in the UK:
In the UK, expats can choose from various types of housing options, including detached/semi-detached houses, maisonettes, apartments, bungalows, studio flats, or bedsits. The choice of accommodation will depend on factors like budget, preferences, travel commitments, and lifestyle.
Prices for accommodation in the UK vary significantly, with major cities like London being more expensive compared to smaller towns or villages. Generally, rent prices decrease as you move further north in England. It's essential to consider your budget and the cost of commuting, especially in Southern England where travel expenses can be high.
When searching for accommodation, expats can start their search online through housing portals, real estate agencies, local newspapers, and magazines. Real estate agencies can provide a wide range of options and assist in the rental or buying process, although fees can be high. It's crucial to understand rental laws, discuss fees with landlords early, and carefully review rental contracts to know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in the UK.
For expats who are unsure about where to settle initially, short-term renting websites like Airbnb and can be useful before committing to a longer-term rental. There are companies that offer relocation services and monthly rental accommodation tailored to the needs of expats, providing temporary furnished apartments and houses with flexible contracts and conditions 
how to look for a housing

How to Search for Housing

You can search for housing online through websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, or through a real estate agent. It's important to view properties in person before making a decision.

Tips for Securing the Right Accommodation

When securing accommodation, be prepared to provide references and a deposit. It's also important to read the tenancy agreement carefully and to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

The terms for securing accommodation in the UK can vary depending on various factors like the type of accommodation (renting a flat, student housing, etc.) and the landlord or agency you're dealing with. For renting a property, typically, landlords or letting agencies might require a security deposit (usually equivalent to a few weeks or a month's rent) in addition to the first month's rent upfront. 

This deposit acts as security against any damages to the property and is usually refundable at the end of the tenancy period, provided the property is in good condition.  

What are the best neighbourhoods for expats in the UK 

Moving to a new country can be both exciting and daunting, but finding the right neighbourhood can make all the difference. In the UK, there are several neighbourhoods known for their expat-friendly atmosphere, diverse culture, and convenient amenities. Let's explore the top neighbourhoods for expats to settle in the UK. 

Neighbourhood The Attractions
Dulwich, London A leafy South London neighbourhood with a mix of terrace homes, new-builds, and council estates, offering options in various price ranges. It provides a laid-back pace of life with boutiques, cafés, and delis, making it attractive for local families and young professionals.
Clapham, London Known for its vibrant bars and restaurants on Clapham High Street, as well as a more relaxed atmosphere in Clapham Old Town. The area features a mix of housing options like terrace homes, new-builds, and council estates. Nearby areas like Tooting and Balham offer slightly cheaper alternatives while still being easily accessible from central London.
Camden, London Situated just north of St Pancras International station, Camden is a lively neighbourhood with Camden Lock at its heart. It offers canalside bars, market stalls, artistic spaces, live music venues like Electric Ballroom and Roundhouse, and nearby parks like Primrose Hill with stunning city views. Accommodation in Camden ranges from apartments near Camden Town metro station to larger homes in exclusive areas like Primrose Hill.
North Greenwich, London The Greenwich Peninsula neighbourhood is rapidly developing with modern residential high-rises along the River Thames. It features a growing number of restaurants, cafés, world-class retail outlets, and popular riverside trails. Homes in North Greenwich are predominantly apartments, making it appealing for young professionals and couples.
Oxford A smaller city than London with excellent transport links to the capital. Home to the University of Oxford and known for its academic excellence, beautiful buildings, stunning scenery along the riverside, and vibrant music and comedy scenes. Oxford offers a relaxed pace of life compared to larger cities like London.

Understanding the UK Education System

For expats relocating to the UK, navigating the British education system can seem challenging. From terms like "Key Stage" to "GCSEs" and "A-levels," there are many unique aspects to the UK schooling system that may be unfamiliar to those from other countries. 

We will break down the key components of the UK education system, provide tips for enrolling your child in school, and offer guidance on how to support their academic journey in their new British environment. 

The UK education system is divided into primary, secondary, and tertiary education. Expats can enroll their children in school, but may need to provide proof of residency and pay school fees if attending a private school.

The UK offers a diverse range of educational opportunities for expats. Whether you are pursuing higher education or seeking schooling for your children, it's important to research the available options, including schools, colleges, and universities, and understand the admission requirements and potential costs.

We have compiled a quick table on some of the most reputable educational institutions in the UK based on the QS World Universities Ranking for your reference as well. 
top universities in UK
child education in uk

How to Prepare for Prep and Pre-Prep for Your Child

Preparing for your child's education journey is an important task that requires careful planning and consideration especially when you are moving to a new country.

If you are planning to move to the UK and have a child who is of pre-prep or prep school age, it's important to start preparing them for the transition early on. From understanding the UK education system to finding the right school for your child, there are several steps you can take to ensure a smooth adjustment. 

For prep and pre-prep, to enroll your children in school, you will need to contact the local council and provide proof of residency and your child's age. You can also research schools online and attend open days to find the right fit for your child.

Look into this comprehensive international school database that is available in Britain.

Navigating Healthcare Systems

Understanding the procedures and requirements for accessing healthcare services can be complex, especially if you are unfamiliar with the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

It is important to familiarize yourself with the registration process for GP services and understand the coverage options available for expats.

Overview of the UK Healthcare System

The UK has a publicly funded healthcare system called the National Health Service (NHS). Expats may be eligible to access free NHS services but will need to pay an immigration health surcharge payment.

You can get more updated and accurate information from here.

Here's how you can quickly familiarise yourself into the UK healthcare system

The first step is to find a General Practitioner (GP) and register with them, which can be done online, by phone, or in person. This registration allows access to non-emergency medical care and appointments for consultations.
Learn about the services provided by the National Health Service (NHS), including GP consultations, treatment at Accident and Emergency (A&E), maternity services, sexual health, and specialist consultations when referred by a GP.
Familiarise yourself with how to access urgent or emergency care through the NHS, either online, via phone (NHS 111), or by visiting an A&E department for immediate medical attention.
Expats from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland need to pay a mandatory health surcharge to access NHS services. Short-term visitors without this surcharge or medical insurance may be charged for treatment.
Consider private healthcare as an alternative to the NHS for quicker access to medical services and treatments. Private GPs offer same-day appointments and more control over healthcare decisions.
While the NHS provides comprehensive care free of charge, having private medical insurance can offer quicker access to treatments and specialists, especially for non-emergency situations where NHS waiting times can be long.

Taxes in UK for Foreigners

taxes for expats in UK
Taxes for expats in the UK are based on residency status and income sources. Residents in the UK are taxed on worldwide income, while non-residents are usually taxed only on UK-sourced income.
Determining residency status involves tests like the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) or the 'sufficient ties test.' The UK has a progressive income tax system with rates ranging from 0% to 45%. US citizens living in the UK must file US taxes regardless of where they live or work, as the US taxes based on citizenship. 

The US-UK Tax Treaty and Totalization Agreement aim to prevent double taxation and provide guidelines for social security tax payments. 

Expats can benefit from programs like the Streamlined Tax Amnesty to catch up on overdue US taxes. Seeking advice from tax professionals is recommended to navigate the complexities of expat taxes in the UK effectively 

Settling into Life in the UK

Adjusting to life in the UK can be challenging for expats. Here are some tips for settling in.

Tips for Adjusting to Life in the UK

Be patient with yourself and take things one step at a time. It's important to maintain a positive attitude and to seek help if you're feeling overwhelmed or homesick.

Get prepared for the Brit's weather. The weather in the UK is known for its unpredictability and can vary greatly from day to day. It's important to check the weather forecast regularly and be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions. 

Layering clothing and a waterproof jacket and shoes can help you stay dry during frequent rain showers.

Embracing the experience and maintaining a positive attitude can help you adjust to the unique climate of the UK 

Need More Tips?

Looking for more advice on what to do when you move to the UK? 

We asked our local UK little experts. 

And they are more than willing to share their own experience and secret tips.
uk lingo guide

Understanding UK Culture and Customs

Take the time to learn about UK culture and customs, such as social etiquette, public transportation, and the local cuisine. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident in your new surroundings.

Get a hand on our survival guide to British Slang.  


UK relocation can be a challenging but rewarding experience.

By understanding the visa process, finding the right housing, navigating healthcare and education systems, and settling into life in the UK, expats can make the most of their move and enjoy all that the country has to offer.

In conclusion, moving to the UK involves careful planning and consideration of various factors, including the one that we have discussed above. 

By understanding these key aspects, you can better prepare for their transition to the UK and make informed decisions to ensure a smooth and successful relocation. 

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