Moving Back to the UK

Living abroad (or better yet – retiring) is a dream for many UK citizens. However, there is a small minority of people that miss the lifestyle that the UK has on offer. Fortunately, we have created this free guide for moving back to the UK to help you on your way.

* Please note – these are strictly the personal views of the team here at Davis and Mac. Before making any commitments, please consult with your local government and the UK government for specialist details on moving back into the UK.

Have You Considered Moving Back to the UK?

We’ll level with you; living abroad isn’t always as great as its made out to be.

Unless you have a large family, close business ties or an insanely confident personality; living abroad can become quite lonely. For this reason alone, many Brits look at moving back to the UK after a period that usually lasts between 2-3 years.

Of course, living in a different country also has its benefits:

  • Cheaper housing
  • Greater quality of weather
  • Opportunity to learn a new language and experience different cultures
  • Grow personally and experience the world

The above point are just some of the most obvious that we can think of; I’m sure there are many more.

However, for most Brits, this isn’t always enough. If you intend on moving back to the UK, even if it is just temporary, you’re going to need to cover a few bases.

Such as:

  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Driving

Housing in the UK

Housing Arrangements

Arguably the most important aspect of your relocation to the UK – right?

The housing situation here in the UK can be quite a controversial subject. Of course the, demand for cheap housing is high – hence an extremely long waiting list.

However, there are typically two really common and most popular forms of housing here in the UK. They tend to be:

  • Private housing
  • Public sector housing

Private housing: Many people will assume that this mean private homeowners and landlords making living space and affordable housing available. That’s not the case.

Private housing is simply the most easily and readily available form of housing here in the UK. The best way to find private housing in the UK is through registered estate agents, leasing companies and rental agencies.

There are a number of websites that allow you to compare housing availability and prices without making an enquiry. Sites such as Right Move and Prime Location tend to offer a number of useful resources for homes in the UK and abroad.

Public housing: This is when the demand starts to kick in, as social housing is always needed and is simply offered to those that need it most. If you’re moving back to the UK, the chances of being accepted for public (social) housing are quite slim.

Of course, you’re more than welcome to register with housing associations in advance of your move, but be aware; properties in London and the South-East of the UK are in high demand and you could be waiting for a long time.

Consider signing up with housing associations using the following directory: NHF Directory.

Employment Opportunities

Don’t leave finding a job to the last minute; it’s not worth it.

Make sure that you apply for positions in advance of your move back to the UK. Even if you’re a British citizen, finding a position for when you’re back can be hard work. Many companies that specialise in manual labour work tend to have a lot of opportunities available. Removal companies in London may have vacancies or construction professionals could be looking for labourers to help out on site.

The best way to find these opportunities legally is to use the Job Centre Plus website or local office. Make an appointment to discuss your skillset and a local assistant will be able to match you to upcoming opportunities.

Preparing for Healthcare

One of the many reasons for people moving to the UK is the added benefit of free healthcare through the NHS.

Of course, this isn’t instantly available and a number of measures are needed to be taken before you can take advantage. If you’re a UK citizen and hold a UK passport then you’re entitled to free healthcare.

However, you may be required to pay for additional NHS charges such as prescriptions. If you meet the set requirements, you may even be able to get these charges paid for.

It’s worth noting that you cannot simply move back to the UK to abuse the NHS. If you’re intending on coming back to the UK for the sole purpose of medical treatment in a hospital, the centre is well within its rights to ask you for proof of permanent residence here in the UK.

Of course, if you’re living in the UK or visiting, you’re entitled to free emergency health care. This includes any treatment at an A&E (Accident and Emergency) centre and NHS walk-in centre. These centres are designed for those in need after obtaining an infectious disease, or injuries through violence or torture.

Find more information on the healthcare that is available to you when you’re moving back to the UK here.

Healthcare in the UK

Schooling and Education

If you’re moving back to the UK; then you’re going to have an rough understanding of how the education system works in the UK. However, if you have been out of the country for more than 3-years, its worth re-educating yourself with the system in case laws or procedures have changed.

As a UK resident (UK Passport Holder) state education is free for children and young adults aged between 5-18 years of age.

However, higher education courses run through Universities are privately funded and require payment or “tuition fees”.

Driving in the UK

To drive in the UK, you will need to hold a valid UK driving licence, valid car insurance and make monthly or annual tax payments for your vehicle.

To gain a valid driving licence, you will need to book driving lessons in the local town to which you intend on moving to using a recognised driving school and ADI (Approved Driving Instructor). These ADI’s go through specific training to ensure that the quality of drivers on the roads in the UK remain high – increasing driver safety.

Alternatively, if you’re a driving instructor in a different country and wish to teach here in the UK, you may need to complete a series of driving instructor training and join a driving school franchise.

These are often proved to be the best way to gain work quickly and gain new pupils.

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