Living and working in the United Kingdom is still an incredibly popular option for those from overseas – but it can also be an expensive one. In this article, we’re looking at some of the financial considerations for moving your family to the UK.
In 2023, more and more people are applying for a UK spouse visa in order to move their families to the UK. While the United Kingdom can offer a number of great opportunities for those from overseas, there are also a lot of costs involved.
In this article, we’re going to be sharing some of the financial considerations to take into account when moving your family to the UK.
Making the Move
When relocating your family to Great Britain, this will usually involve not only transporting your family, but also numerous belongings including, in some cases, furniture and equipment. Whether you are moving these items by air or sea, these costs can be considerable, and so it’s important to do your research and to shop around for the best deal.
Family and Spouse Visas
In order to bring your spouse/children to the UK to live with you, you will need to apply for a Family Visa for each person. This will cost £1,048 per person, including children, and can take between two weeks and several months, depending on your circumstances.
If your circumstances are unusual or particularly complicated, you may require the services of an immigration solicitor. These services are generally charged by the hour and can soon mount up to significant costs.
Taxes and Customs
Not only will you need to pay to transport your belongings to the UK but, in some instances, you may also need to pay tax and customs duty on those items. Before starting to pack everything but the kitchen sink, it’s a really good idea to find out which items are subject to these fees in order to keep costs down as much as possible.
When moving your family to the UK you will want to make sure that you are able to secure accommodation large enough for your needs. Depending on whereabouts in the UK you are settling, accommodation can be extremely expensive. This is particularly the case in major cities such as London and Manchester.
Because of this, you may want to consider, if possible, relocating to a more affordable part of the UK, such as the Midlands or the north west. As well as high costs for mortgage or rent in the UK, you will be required to pay monthly bills for electricity, gas, water, and council tax.
Often when living in Great Britain, both parents need to work in order to make ends meet. When young children are involved, this may mean that you will need to factor in childcare costs when making the move. On average, childcare in the UK costs around £7,000 per year per child – a not insignificant amount which may take a sizeable chunk out of your budget.
For those moving to the UK from overseas, the cost of living can often come as a bit of a shock, particularly when living in major cities and in the south east of England. For a family of four, the average grocery spend per week is around £107, and this can increase significantly if you don’t have access to a major supermarket. You will also want to think about the cost of other items such as clothing, mobile phone tariffs and leisure, including children’s clubs.
Getting from A to B
Once your family is living in the UK, you’ll need to think about the cost of getting the adults to work and the children to school, as well as other journeys such as shopping and socialising. For those working in Central London, a monthly travelcard can cost up to £367.20 per month when using London Underground.
However, in other parts of the country which rely on local bus services, transport will be somewhat cheaper. The average cost of running a car in Great Britain is around £3,000 per year – although this will be slightly more in central London due to the Congestion Charge.
A New Start for Your Family
While this may seem a little doom and gloom (and there’s no doubt that the UK can be an expensive place to live), it’s not all bad news. Medical care in the United Kingdom is provided by the NHS (National Health Service) which means that, although you will need to pay for prescription medications, essential health services are available to all, free of charge.
Additionally, work is readily available in most parts of the United Kingdom, as long as you can show evidence that you have the right to work here.
Before committing to a move to the UK, it’s vital that you do your research in order to figure out how much you will be earning and how much your outgoings are likely to be. It’s also a good idea to think carefully about where in the UK you are going to be living with your family, as this can make a considerable difference to your monthly outgoings – and also your earnings.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a legal professional if you’re seeking advice about moving to the UK. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.