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Citizenship guide
Imperial experience

How to move to United Kingdom hassle-free

PUBLISHED: 23 November 2019

We all live in a different world now, where moving to another country is no longer feared and compared to 2 fires and one funeral. However, it is still a big event and must be prepared for and planned properly.

In order not to miss and forget anything while moving to the UK, we suggest you ask yourself a couple of control questions. Our experts have come up with the most relevant legal and financial question and answers to them that have been helping our clients in their relocation to United Kingdom.

Why am I moving to UK?

There won’t be just one answer to this question. Main reasons of the big move might be excellent education opportunities for your children, economic and political stability, and many more.

Businessmen and women often choose Great Britain to invest and start their own business. And more so because the economic situation facilitates this; for many years the United Kingdom has been in the top ten most economically stable investment destinations, growing strongly year on year. Another contributing factor is special taxation regime for foreigners that helps to optimise tax burden.

Moreover, most long-term visas give a chance to apply for permanent residence in the UK after several years and eventually get a British passport. This would expand both business and personal opportunities.

What would my status be in England?

In other words, which visa to UK should I apply for? Tier 1 Investor visa used to be one of the most attractive but at the same time most expensive visas to the UK. Much has changed recently, and Home Office have strengthened their requirements to investor visa applicants, but this visa is still a go-to solution for wealthy migrants. Key benefits of Tier 1 Investor visa:

  • Guaranteed return of investments with interest on top of that;
  • Fast track to UK permanent residence and British passport.

Changes to Investor visa

Main changes are the following: you must show a source of investment funds or prove that they have been held in your bank account for at least 2 years. Then it’s all about where you can invest now. Previously, to get a Tier 1 Investor visa, you could spend £2,000,000 buying UK government bonds. Now you can only invest in UK registered companies.

Irrespective of the changes, investor visa is still appealing because of minimum requirements to the applicant. Besides, based on what money you can spare for a couple of years, you will be able to settle in the UK in 2 to 5 years and in the end get British citizenship.

Investor visa is far from being the only long-term visa to UK; there are other work, study and residence visas. Your situation would dictate what type of visa you can apply for, innovator visa, start-up visa or representative of an overseas business visa.

How will I survive financially?

It’s not an idle question because on the one hand British tax laws are very strict to UK residents. Everyone pays all kinds of taxes – if you fail, you and/or your business are in big trouble.

On the other hand, all income earned by a foreigner before they become tax residents in Great Britain is their clean capital that can be brought to the country tax-free without declaring it. However, it only applies to your cash assets, that’s why we advise that you should sell your tangible assets prior to moving to the United Kingdom.

UK tax resident

Keep in mind that tax status and immigration status in UK are two related but at the same time different things. Tax period here runs from 6 April till 5 April the following year. When you arrive in the country, you are considered tax resident from 6 April that year, unless an exception applies. For example, your tax period can start from the date when you found a place to stay. The most important thing to remember is that no matter when you become tax resident, when you do, you must report all your income and pay taxes on it.

Clean capital

If you have not converted all your assets into clean capital before moving to United Kingdom and you still have sources of income abroad, you must make sure everything is structured correctly in order to minimise losses. And here, more than anywhere else, you will need professional advice from people with the knowledge of UK tax laws. If your clean capital is not in the UK bank accounts, separate it from new income – open another accounts for it.

Where am I going to live?

If you have money, the best thing of course is to buy property in the UK. You can either live there yourself, which most of us would do, or rent it out in order to get income and then resell it.

Buying property in United Kingdom

No matter why you are purchasing a house or a flat, it is important to remember that this kind of deal is not just paying stamp duty to the British treasury. There might be some tax liabilities that you would not imagine before moving here. For example, if you decide to sell your house and its price has grown since when you bought it, you will be subject to Capital Gains Tax. Besides, your heirs, excluding your spouse, will have to pay 40% UK inheritance tax on your estate after you die.

Moreover, be aware that all real estate deals in Great Britain must by law involve lawyers. It is not cheap, but it means you can rest assured it will be done properly and according to the laws. It will give you peace of mind knowing that competent specialists will thoroughly check and double check all the terms and conditions of the deal, settle disputes and take care of all the required paperwork.

Renting property in UK

If you are young, want to travel and do not want to commit yourself to one place, you can always rent a flat or a house. It will involve signing a long-let tenancy agreement where it is advisable to get professional help too.

To minimise your costs in any purchase or rent deal, plan everything well in advance and weigh all pros and cons. Not sure you can manage it all by yourself? Get expert support.

Where will my children study?

The United Kingdom is one of the world leaders in primary, secondary and higher education. You will not be stuck for choice of high-quality education providers for any requirements and budget. However, it will take time to get your child into a school. That’s why advance planning is a key thing here.

First advice would be to identify a couple of options that would suit your child. Then it is always better to pay a personal visit to each one of them; this will normally help you shortlist places where to apply to. Next thing for your son or daughter would be to sit tests or exams and go for an interview. Provided you pass tests in a few schools, you can make a final choice.

Please bear in mind that if the education for your kids is the main reason of moving to United Kingdom, then many things will depend on it, which visa to apply for, when to plan the move and where to buy or rent a property.

How to move things to UK?

If you intend to bring some valuables with you to Great Britain such as antiques, collectables, cars or jewellery, you might be required to prepare some paperwork for some of them. A car is the most obvious thing. The UK laws say that if you own a car for over a year after bringing it to United Kingdom, you don’t have to pay tax. But without knowing this you might end up wasting money. There are many other things you must take care of when relocating to the UK.

How to move to UK without problems

We have given you a few pieces of advice and information to help you relocate to the UK permanently. Each step must be looked at and solved individually but with others in mind. Complex relocation advice and support are required here and that’s what our team excels at. Immigration and relocation experts from Imperial & Legal will make your move to the UK as smooth as possible because they know how to solve any arising issues, from a visa to tax optimisation and property search.

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