Reliable Moving to England

Everything You Need to Know About Moving to England From the US

Posted Country Guides / June 27, 2013
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

There are many reasons why people all over the world are drawn to this part of the UK. Whether you are considering moving to England from the USA because of great job opportunities, excellent education, or impressive cultural heritage, you will not make a mistake. However, you must learn a thing or two about living in England as an expat before fully completing this step. To make things easier for you we’ve gathered all the necessary information – all you have to do is go through them.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is one of the leading countries worldwide regarding politics, economy, and culture – and England is the center of it. England’s the biggest of four UK countries, concerning population and size of the land. Its significance is so vast that many people often mistake it for the whole state of the UK. Here is all you should learn before getting international moving services and relocating to one of the best places to live aboard.

Things to Know Before Moving From America to England – The Basics

You are probably wondering about living expenses in England, the healthcare and educational system, top cities, and the like. However, before diving into more complex topics, ensure you memorize all the fundamental facts, such as:

  • The official language is English (not having to learn to language abroad is a significant advantage, but it doesn’t mean you’ll escape culture shock);
  • The capital city is London;
  • Old Blighty is a nickname often referring to England,
  • UK has Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax system – instead of filing income tax returns each year, tax is automatically deducted from your salary;
  • It has a constitutional monarchy for the government system (as the whole UK), with Queen Elizabeth II as a ruling monarch and Boris Jonson for a prime minister;
  • The official currency is the pound sterling (1 USD equals 0.74 pounds);
  • If you are getting overseas vehicle shipping, know the driving side is left and that the drivers usually sit on the right side of the vehicle (yes, it will take some time to adjust to a new country);
  • Englishmen are passionate sports fans, especially about soccer;
  • The rumors are true – English people do drink tea excessively. However, don’t underestimate their pub culture;
  • Englishmen are more polite than Americans, but also more reserved;
  • Public transportation is well-developed and reasonably affordable in large cities; in smaller ones, not so much;
  • It is not always rainy – the amount of rain per year depends on the region you choose as the new home (hint: North East area has fewer rainy days).
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If You’re Ready to Package Your Things and Go, Learn How Much Money Do You Need to Move To The UK

This question is the basic one for many people wanting to move. Shipping overseas and protecting your stuff isn’t cheap since it’s almost impossible without the help of an international moving company. If you wish to move efficiently and need some additional services, like packing services or, for example, storage services, you’ll have to save up even more.

There are other expenses, too, such as costs concerning travel, visa applications, and healthcare, which can be from $3000 to $4000. You should also save up the money that will cover the cost of the first month living abroad (which differs from the location). It can seem a bit too much, especially if you wish to move on a low budget. Therefore, saving up and finding some tips for balancing your finances abroad must be on your relocation abroad checklist.

How to Get a Visa When Moving to England From the US (and Is It Even Required)?

When you want to live in another country, you’ll have to obtain several different traveling documents, and a visa is the most important one. As one of the most popular destinations for expats worldwide, the UK has a well-developed visa system with plenty of different types and sub-types.

For US citizens, this document is not required if they are relocating to the UK for six months or less. So, suppose the purpose of your trip is visiting a friend or family member, undergoing medical treatment, or a short academic course. In that case, you can visit the Kingdom without obtaining this document.

However, obtaining this document is necessary if your reasons to move imply a more extended stay. Here are the most common types:

  • Work visas – they vary depending on the duration of your stay and type of employment. You’ll also need a work permit, which the new employer must file on your behalf. They are valid for up to four years. After that, a person can apply for permanent residency.
  • Family visas – if you plan to move in with a partner or a family member for a period longer than six months, this is the type you should apply for. It is also the one needed if you want to move overseas with a person that holds a work permit.
  • Student visas – those who wish to continue education in some UK learning establishments should look for requirements for this type.

Can you just move to England? The answer is no, not without all the necessary paperwork. Remember that you should apply at least six months before the planned move. Many subtypes make applying for a visa a little more complicated. If you are unsure about the application process and requirements, go to the UK’s official website or contact the embassy. Simultaneously, get informed if there are some restrictions when traveling abroad during coronavirus.

Getting a Permanent Residency after Moving to England

How do I permanently move to the UK? First, you must spend a certain amount of time in the country before getting permanent residency, aka Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Needed time will depend on the visa type you possess. For example, those on family visas can get a permanent residency after only one year, while those who have come as employees have to live in the UK for at least five.

If you wish to get British citizenship, you’ll be able to do so after five years of staying in the US (three years if you’re married to a British citizen). However, you must have an ILR for at least 12 months. Completed Life in the UK test, excellent English knowledge, proof of good character, bank statements are also some of the citizenship requirements.

England’s Top Cities (and the Cost of Living in Them)

Do you already know which part of England you are relocating to? Have you already done your research, or should you yet decide which city suits you? Besides London, there are plenty of interesting cities with many opportunities for expats.

Here are our top picks of some of England’s greatest places:

  • Birmingham – located in the heart of England, it is the second-largest city in the UK. It’s an excellent place for an American moving to England, with many expat communities calling this place their home. A city with a growing economy, it is considered quite affordable, with average rent for a one-bedroom apartment of around £760 ($1030)
  • Manchester – those who wish to explore life to the fullest often opt for Manchester as the most vibrant of all English cities. Amazing nightlife and dining scene combined with plenty of employment opportunities make this city an ideal home for young professionals. The prices, however, are slightly higher than in Birmingham. Still, the average rent of £875 (around $1190) is still a small price for everything this city has to offer.
  • Leeds – Located in the north of England, it is considered a shopping hub of a country. However, it’s an excellent palace for nature lovers, as well. Yorkshire county is famous for its glorious countryside and landscapes, and relocation abroad to Leeds will allow you to be close to it and explore whenever you get the chance. As for renting expenses, they are similar to those in Birmingham.
  • Oxford and Cambridge – homes for the most prestigious universities globally, they are main destinations for international students. However, beautiful landscapes both in and out of the cities and great job opportunities make these student cities also good for raising families. Rents, however, tend to be a little higher – around £1070($1450) in Oxford and £1140 ($1545) in Cambridge.
  • London – of course, the list cannot be completed without England’s capital and one of the best cities to live in Europe. London can be a perfect place for anyone, with a rich history, beautiful green areas, an excellent job market, and an endless number of various amenities, clubs, pubs, bars, and restaurants. However, that incredibleness doesn’t come cheap. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center amounts to £1740 ($2360).

Remember that there are some other expenses you must cover monthly or annually, like council tax, utilities, television license, and public transportation. The costs will vary depending on the part of ENG you’ve chosen.

Experience the Best From Unique British Culture Every Step of the Way

Living in England means witnessing an outstanding culture and rich history at almost every corner. English people have made significant accomplishments in the fields of literature, poetry, arts, philosophy, democracy, mathematics, architecture, science, music, and many more.

No matter which place you choose as a future home, you won’t ever stumble on a shortage of things to do and places to see. Prepared to be amazed by:

  • Stonehenge – one of the most famous and oldest landmarks in the whole UK (and the world), but one whose purpose remains a mystery until today.
  • Hadrian’s Wall – military defense built by Romans in 122AD.
  • The Eden Project – tropical garden located in Cornwall. It holds the largest rainforest in captivity, amazing outdoor exhibits, fantastic art, an educational center, and much more.
  • British museum – free entry will allow you to see more than 8 million artifacts from all around the world. No other museum holds that much of global human history as this one. Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and many more can also be visited free of charge.
  • Soho – if trendy restaurants and bars, exclusive hotels, quirky shops, and unmatchable nightlife scene are your cup of tea (pun intended), you’ll love this capital’s neighborhood.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon – if you are a literature enthusiast, you’ll be thrilled to be near Shakespeare’s hometown. Imagine having the possibility to visit Shakespeare’s home whenever you please!
  • Glastonbury Festival – if performing arts are your thing, then you’ll thrive at this five-day-long festival in Pilton, Somerset. Contemporary music, dance, theater arts, and even cabaret and circus are all part of this amazing event.

This list can go on indefinitely. Countless activities, landmarks, galleries, and museums await you to discover them – make sure to start right after the move.

Old Blighty Has the Largest Economy in the UK, so Finding a Job Shouldn’t Be Hard

England offers plenty of job opportunities for expats, especially those who are looking for employment in shortage occupations. Those in the field of healthcare, architecture, IT, entertainment, and arts should have no problem finding a suitable job.

If you are one of those people who want to move for work, remember that your job hunting must be done before the relocation – work permits are sponsored by a UK company. But can you move to England without a job? It is possible to start your own business here, but check to see if you possess all the Innovation and Start-up visa requirements. That is if you don’t plan on staying with a family member.

If you’re interested to find out the average salaries for jobs in demand, take a look at the table below:

No data
Job position Average annual salary (in USD)
Teacher 31,500-121,700
Accountant 80,000
Nurse 30,000 (with bonuses up to 44,000)
Software Engineer 49,000-100,000
Architect 35,000-45,000
Marketing Manager 45,000-50,000
Product Manager 71,000
Web Developer 25,000-80,000
UX Designer 80,000-113,000

Free Healthcare System is an Added Benefit of Relocating to ENG

The National Health System (NHS) is available for both UK citizens and expats, meaning that they will be provided with cost-free primary healthcare. However, you must become a resident in order to get secondary healthcare. Even though this system is considered one of the finest globally, it still has some flaws, reflected in fewer options to choose from and long waiting lists. That is why many expats decide to combine the NHS with private healthcare when starting a new life in ENG.

Education Is Also Free of Charge in State Schools

Although England is famous for prime, world-class universities, like Oxford and Cambridge, this part of the UK also excels when it comes to lower types of education. State schools, which are obliged to follow the national curriculum, offer quality education equal to that provided by costly independent schools.

However, the phrase public school has another meaning in British English. In England, expensive and prestigious boarding secondary schools are also called public. So there is no misunderstanding, it is always better to use the term state school.

If you wish to find out how their school system works in detail, check the following video:

When You Decide It Is Time to Leave, You’ll Need the Help of a Trustworthy and Reliable Overseas Moving Company

Every relocation is a demanding and challenging process, but it’s especially true when it comes to moving overseas. So you don’t get a headache from all the logistics that have to be figured out, let professionals take care of every aspect of your international move. Don’t risk having second thoughts about relocation just because of the relocation stress. A smooth and successful move is guaranteed with a high-quality relocation company – even if you are moving internationally to one of the best countries to live in.

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