If you’re thinking of moving to the United Kingdom, there are a few things you should know about before you head over there. We’ve put together a checklist.

Preparing For Your Relocation

If you’re moving to the U.K. there is a new online pre-request system (Transfer of Residence TOR) now available from HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). Once you have completed the online form you should print and scan the document and email to nch.tor@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk, along with additional copies of requested documents. Once the National Clearance Hub receives the documents and grant transfer of residence, duty, and tax relief, they will issue a clearance reference number to you for Customs to clear the shipment when it arrives.

The process of moving to another country can sometimes be nerve-racking. Once you decide on how much volume you are planning on taking and how much assistance you need packing it, you can begin searching for a good shipping company to service you. Alpha Marine Inc offers many convenient shipping and moving services, including Door to Door, Door to Port, Port to Port, and Port to Door.

For a quick guide on containers and how much room you’ll need:

  • a 20ft container is typically enough to ship a two-bedroom house full of belongings.
  • if you’re planning on shipping more than two-bedroom, you might need to consider a 40ft container.


Alpha Marine Inc. offers full and partial packing services for our clients needs! We’ll take care of your dishes, books, clothing, furniture, etc. Need art work sculptures and other goods to be handled with care? We can build custom-made wooden crates to protect your special items.

Self-packing sounds great, but hiring a company that can handle your packing needs will ensure it is properly shipped to the U.K. and arrive in the best condition. Hiring a company gives you more time to focus on other moving tasks and the insurance can assist with the coverage.

Major Destinations

We make relocation easy for our clients moving to some of the major cities listed below as well as suburbs and rural areas:

  • Aberdeen
  • Belfast
  • Dover
  • Edinburgh
  • London
  • Glasgow
  • Cardiff
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester

Immigration and Registration Once You Arrive

It’s important to check on the British Government website first whether you need to acquire a UK visa or a permit. Since the U.K. is still a EU member state, all EU nationals can enter the UK without a visa and can work and live in the UK if they are employed, self employed or registered as a job seeker. But, other nationals, like United States nationals, can enter and reside in the U.K. for up to 6 months before they will need a visa.

American citizens looking to move to the UK have a bit more of a structured process and will need to obtain a visa. The most common type of visas are work and family visas. If neither one applies in your case, it will be very difficult to move to the UK. The UK government has a quick test you can do to see if you need a visa, and what type of visa you might need.

For instance, when you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK, you can apply for a “Tier 2” visa. Your employer does need to be a licensed sponsor, though and they need to provide you with a valid certificate of sponsorship documents. The other requirements for this visa, are:

  • You must show that you are getting paid an appropriate salary
  • Prove you can speak English
  • You have to prove that you have funds to support yourself upon arrival in the UK with a bank, or building society, statement
  • You have to show a valid passport, and show your travel history of the last 5 years
  • From certain countries you need to also provide TB test results from an approved clinic

Healthcare in the U.K.

In the United Kingdom you must register with a GP or general practitioner. You can choose any one as long as they are accepting new patients and you live within their boundary area. If you plan to move to the UK permanently you get free GP treatment but may include fees for things like prescription medicine.