Country Guides March 29, 2023

Relocating Across the Pond: Tips and Tricks for Moving to England

Milly Andrews

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

Relocating to a new country can come with its share of challenges, from navigating cultural differences to shipping all of your belongings overseas. However, with the right preparation and mindset, moving to England can be an adventure of a lifetime. Whether you’re relocating alone or with a family, this guide will help you prepare for a smooth transition and a successful start to your new life in the UK.

Apply for Necessary Visas and Permits When Moving Abroad

For those of you planning on moving overseas to England, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. One of them is obtaining all the documents needed to travel abroad in order to stay in the country, such as visas and permits.

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Research Visa Requirements

When you’re moving to the UK as an American, you need to research what type of visa or permit is required for your specific situation. The United Kingdom has different visa categories depending on whether you’re relocating for a job, study, or travel, so it’s important to make sure you have the right one for your needs. You can start by visiting the UK’s official government website to see if you are eligible for a visa and what type of documents are needed to apply.

Apply for a Visa or Permit

Once you have determined which type of visa or permit is best suited for your needs, you will need to apply through an official source. The mentioned website will also provide you with information on how to submit an application, as well as processing times and fees associated with each type of visa or permit application.

Ensure All Necessary Documentation Is in Order

Finally, once your application has been submitted and approved, all necessary documentation must be in order before moving abroad. This includes making sure that any paperwork related to visas or permits has been filled out correctly and that any payment receipts have been kept safe just in case there are any queries during immigration procedures at airports upon arrival.

an accordion organizer
The UK's visa application process can be complex, but it's a necessary precondition for your relocation

When Moving to England From the US, Find a Place to Live Before the Relocation

Finding a city to live in the United Kingdom before the relocation can be a challenging task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. However, taking the time to research and explore different cities can help you to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle and needs. This country has a variety of cities to choose from, each with its own unique charm and character.

Research Cities Before the Move

Before you start researching cities, think about what is important to you. Answer the questions such as:

  • Do you want to live in a bustling city or a quiet town?
  • Do you need to be close to work or school?
  • Are there certain amenities or activities that you enjoy?

The internet is a valuable resource for researching cities. Websites such as VisitBritain can provide information on different cities, including attractions, activities, and local culture. However, before you decide on a specific city, take the cost of living and your preferable lifestyle into consideration.

For starters, take a look at our top choices for England’s most amazing cities to live in:


As the capital city of the United Kingdom, London is known for its cultural diversity, world-class museums, and historic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. It also offers a vibrant nightlife and a variety of job opportunities and is constantly ranked as one of the best cities to live in Europe.


Located in the north of England, Manchester is a bustling city with a thriving music and arts scene. It is also home to several universities and offers a variety of job opportunities in industries such as finance, media, and healthcare.


A city in the southwest of England, Bristol is known for its creative culture, historic landmarks, and scenic harborside. It is also a hub for technology and startups, making it a great choice for entrepreneurs.


A charming town in the southwest of England, Bath is known for its Roman baths, Georgian architecture, and picturesque countryside. It offers a peaceful and idyllic lifestyle, making it a great choice to live abroad for individuals and families who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Start Preparing On Time

As you can assume, applying for a visa or immigration can be a lengthy and complex process. Starting early can give you enough time to research the requirements, gather the necessary documents, and submit the application on time. On the other hand, starting with your relocation day preparations early can give you enough time to research different neighborhoods and properties.

You’ll also need enough time to research and compare different shipping options, pack all of your belongings, and ensure that everything is in order before the relocation. Remember that you’ll also have to learn more about the local culture, customs, and traditions and prepare yourself for the transition.

Sort and Organize Your Belongings

When the time for packing your belongings comes, start by going through all of your items and deciding what you want to keep with you and what needs to be donated or thrown away. This will make packing and relocation much easier (not to mention more affordable) as you will only have the items that are important to you on hand.

Once everything is sorted, pack room by room and group similar items together into boxes or bags that can easily be labeled and identified upon arrival at your new home – or simply opt for getting professional packing services and have no fear that all of your belongings will be transported across the pond damage-free.

packing fragile items
Do everything you can to ensure your belongings arrive at your new destination intact

Hire International Movers to Help You With the Process of Moving to England

Relocating to another country can be a daunting task, often involving complex planning, logistics, and research – which is why many future expats opt for getting international moving services from a reliable relocation company, such as Schmidt International Relocations. The best companies are committed to industry standards and proven practices to ensure that your belongings are treated with care and respect.

One of the biggest challenges with international moves is navigating the variety of rules and regulations. However, international movers have extensive experience dealing with customs requirements, ensuring that you don’t overlook any critical details during your relocation. Moreover, although hiring an international moving company might seem like an additional expense, their experience and contacts can save you money in the long run. With their help, you’ll not only be able to move safely, but you’ll also avoid costly surprises encountered during a DIY move, such as unexpected fees, taxes, or damaged belongings.

Use More Than One International Moving Service

When moving internationally, note that international movers have a range of comprehensive services available to cater to your specific needs. From packing assistance and storage services to arranging transportation and insurance for your belongings, make sure you choose a company that can offer a wide range of services and, therefore, helps you relocate efficiently and stress-free.

Consider Shipping a Car to the UK

Another important factor to consider when using international movers is whether or not you plan on shipping a car overseas along with your belongings. If so, then it’s best to research different companies and their policies regarding car shipping beforehand – or simply find a company that can offer overseas vehicle shipping along with other relocation services. However, as an American moving to England, be aware that driving in the UK is significantly different from the US, so be sure to read up on all the rules and regulations before committing to shipping your car.

Look For A Job Before the Relocation

It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you are ready for this transition – this includes getting a job before the move. It is not always easy to find a new job in the United Kingdom from another country, so researching potential employers and available opportunities before you arrive is essential – especially if you plan on traveling with a work visa. Think about what type of position you are looking for, as well as any qualifications or skills that could make you stand out during the hiring process.

To help you start with the process, here is a list of the biggest employers in England and the UK as a whole:

Company Work positions
The NHS Nursing, Medical, and Allied Health Professionals, Administrative and Support Staff
Tesco Retail and Supply Chain Workers, Store Managers
Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking professionals, Technology Specialists, Investment bankers
Amazon Warehouse Operatives, Engineers, Drivers
Unilever Sales Executives, Research Scientists

Network and Find the Best Opportunities

Consider attending virtual networking events, researching job boards online, and even talking with friends or family who may have connections in your new destination. Remember to explore job boards and recruitment sites such as Monster, JobBasket, Reed, and so on. These sites can be helpful in getting an understanding of the types of roles available and potential salaries.

Take time to attend virtual events and career fairs that are specifically tailored to expats or international candidates. This will help you get an idea of the job market and also make some useful connections. In the end, utilize social media channels like LinkedIn, which can be great tools for networking.

A girl looking for a job online before moving abroad
Thanks to today's technology, you'll be able to research or even find a job before you even relocate

When Moving From America to England, Prepare for the Culture Shock

Every relocation to a new country implies meeting a culture that is, more or less, different from what you’re familiar with. That is why, if you’re planning to relocate to England, it’s important to prepare for the culture shock you may experience. Here are some examples of cultural differences you need to be aware of if you’re moving to the UK from the USA:

  • Language – while both countries speak English, there are differences in vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation,
  • Driving – in the United Kingdom, people drive on the left side of the road, and the driver’s seat is on the right-hand side of the car,
  • Food and drink – the cuisine is different from that in the US, with traditional dishes like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie. In addition, tea is a popular beverage, and it’s typically served with milk,
  • Politics – the United Kingdom has a parliamentary system of government, with a prime minister and a monarch as the head of state,
  • Currency – the currency in England is the British Pound (£, GBP), which is also known as the Pound Sterling,
  • Social norms – in the UK, people may be more reserved and polite in public.

Contact Expat Groups and Make New Friends

One of the best ways to ease the transition is to connect with expat communities – they can provide a wealth of information and resources about life in England and the United Kingdom. To find expat groups, you can start by searching online forums, social media groups, and websites dedicated to expats.

Research shows that in 2021, there were roughly 166,000 American expats living in the United Kingdom

Remember – making new friends abroad can help you feel more at home and provide a support system during your transition. If you need more advice about how to make friends in a brand-new city, take some advice from the video below:

YouTube video

Embrace Everything England Has to Offer, and the Move Will Be Worth the Trouble

Moving to another country can be a big undertaking, but with the right attitude, it can also be an incredible adventure. By embracing everything this place has to offer, such as rich history, diverse culture, and a variety of opportunities, your relocation will be worth the trouble. Therefore, contact us as soon as possible, and let our movers make the start of your new life in one of the best places to live abroad as stress-free as possible.


What Type of Visa Do I Need to Move to the UK?

You will need to apply for a visa that corresponds to your situation. There are several types of visas available, such as a work visa, a student visa, a family visa, or a skilled worker visa, among others. Each visa type has different requirements and eligibility criteria – to determine which visa is right for you, you should consult the UK government’s official website or seek advice from a qualified immigration lawyer.

How Do I Find a Place to Live in England?

Finding a place to live in England can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Some popular options for finding accommodation include using online property portals, working with a letting agent, or searching for advertisements in local newspapers. It’s important to consider your budget, location, and your preferences when choosing a place to live.

What Is the Cost of Living in England?

The cost of living in England varies depending on the region and your lifestyle. Generally, larger cities like London have a higher cost of living than smaller towns or rural areas. According to Numbeo, the average rent in the county’s capital is between $1,750 and $4,600, depending on the size and location you choose. Accommodation costs, transportation, and food expenses can be significant, and it’s important to factor in these costs when planning your relocation – especially if you’re relocating on a low budget.

Can I Work in the UK as a Foreigner?

Yes, it is possible to work in the United Kingdom as a foreigner, but you will need to have the appropriate visa and work permit.

What Healthcare Options Are Available to Me as an Expat in England?

If you are relocating to England permanently and want to become a legal resident, you will be eligible to use the National Health Service (NHS) for healthcare. If you are a temporary visitor, you may be required to have health insurance. The NHS provides free healthcare for most medical treatments, but you may need to pay for some services, such as dental care or prescriptions.

How Do I Ship My Belongings to England?

Shipping your belongings to England can be done through a variety of overseas shipping companies. You should research different options and compare costs and delivery times before you choose a relocation company.

What Documents Do I Need to Bring With Me When Moving to England?

You will need to bring important documents such as your passport, visa, work permit, and any relevant legal and medical records. You may also need to bring proof of your finances, such as bank statements or pay stubs, to demonstrate that you can support yourself while living in the country.

How Do I Set up a Bank Account in the UK?

You will need to provide proof of your identity, such as your passport or national ID card. You may also need to provide proof of your address, such as a utility bill or rental agreement. Once you have these documents, you can visit a bank branch or apply online to open an account.

What Should I Expect When Adapting to British Culture and Lifestyle?

British culture is generally reserved, and it’s important to respect their customs and traditions. When adapting to British culture and lifestyle, you can expect politeness, a dry sense of humor, unpredictable weather, and a love for tea and sports.

What Are the Best Ways to Meet New People and Make Friends in the UK?

If you wish to meet new people and make friends in a new city, you can join clubs or groups that align with your interests, attend social events and gatherings, take classes or courses, volunteer, and use social media and dating apps.

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