How EU citizens can ease the transition of moving to the UK

If you have a relocation from the EU to the UK coming up, taking the time to research your best options now will mean less stress, a smoother transition, and finding the best deals. Here are the main areas to focus on:


 Legalities


 Make sure your passport doesn’t have an expiry coming up soon and double check the UK position on residency and work permits for EU citizens.


With Brexit, the requirements may shift considerably. Check the application windows for residency permits or work visas as needed. Confirm that your employment will be valid in the UK – either as an internal transfer, independent contractor, or new hire.


Make copies of all legal documents and digitize paper documents so nothing gets lost in the move.


 


Finances


 


You will need to convert Euros to GBP, so confirm your bank requirements, double check what’s required for a UK-based account and decide on a currency conversion service ahead of time. It can be a challenge to get a UK account set up at first, since you need to verify residency, but you’ll also need cash on hand for daily expenses like rent until the process is complete.


And you’ll want to consider cash flow in the other direction too. If you sublet or rent your home in Spain, for instance, you might have payments or emergency costs to cover in Euros even though you’re earning in GBP.


Confirm that your EU-based bank account, UK-based bank account, and money transfer service are connected and get the best rates for money transfer to Spain from the UK by doing the research on services ahead of time.


 


Housing


 Depending on your location and needs, there are a few different housing options available to you. Renting your first flat as an EU citizen in the UK can be a challenge, especially since you may not have employment income or a bank account in GBP set up initially.


Consider a short-term holiday-style arrangement, or flat share with a roommate who can hold the lease. This is also an excellent way to become familiar with your new environment, build new community contacts, and put off the costs of moving your belongings for a bit.


 


Communication


 


Check your mobile plan for UK coverage before you leave. This is another one of those necessities that would be helpful to arrange in advance but it tends to rely on proof of residency.


Wireless signals are generally good in urban areas, but can be spotty in more rural locations, so you may need to arrange for travel coverage with your current plan until you can arrange a UK-based mobile plan.


 


Transportation


 


Download offline maps on your mobile devices to help you navigate new locations and map out any travel you will need to do well in advance. 


If you’re taking trains or other public transport, booking fares ahead of time offers savings in most instances and may be easier to arrange online if you won’t have ready cash on hand in GBP.


 


Moving to the UK is an exciting time. Make the most of it by researching legal requirements and making a plan for how you’ll get the best deal on currency transfers, ensure mobile coverage, find appropriate lodgings, and make your social connections.