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Thinking of relocating to the UK? Three things worth knowing early

25 October 2021

3 minute read

The gradual easing of travel restrictions is welcome news for anyone considering relocating abroad. Despite its ongoing pandemic struggles, the UK retains its status as one of the most desirable countries in which to live and work.

For a long time, visitors have been attracted by the relative political stability, ease of doing business, legal system transparency, as well as world-class health and education services. 

While the motivation for moving might be clear, the reality of doing so can quickly become stressful. Here are three areas which we think merit early attention if you want as smooth a relocation as possible.

1: Timing (tax and immigration)

Common consensus is that it’s worthwhile reviewing your immigration options early and comprehensively. The Investor VISA is a popular option for High Net Worth (HNW) and Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals looking to relocate, while some people will also be able to leverage eligibility rights.

When it comes to taxation, it’s not just the UK’s tax regime that needs to be taken into account – leaving your current jurisdiction will invariably have its own tax implications.

Broadly speaking, proactive tax planning is better than costly, reactive strategies. Given that the 6 April is beginning of the new tax year in the UK, it’s therefore a key reference point for obtaining and implementing tax advice. The value of ensuring that you have the right structures in place before the tax year in which you become UK resident, should not be underestimated.

Please note: Barclays International Bank does not advise on either tax or immigration. Professional advice be sought before any decisions are made.

2: Property

There are lots of things worth asking yourself when it comes to a property search. Do you want the energy of city life, or the peace of the countryside? Is airport proximity important for your work, and do you want to be near friends and family?

If you’re looking to buy rather than rent, having the flexibility to move quickly whenever you find the right property, will be beneficial in today’s fast-moving and competitive market. Realistically, this means working with your tax advisors early to establish how to fund a deposit, as well as the tax efficiency of a mortgage, and how that mortgage will be serviced once you move to the UK.

3: Schools

The idea of moving your kids and re-settling them into new schools, can trigger a wide range of emotions. The good news is that the UK has one of the best education systems in the world, and a sought-after private school network.  

For those people with big travel commitments, a boarding school might appeal thanks to the continuity of your child’s term-time care. Alternatively, you might prefer a ‘day school’. Whatever your preferences, most fee-paying schools will require an entrance assessment to be taken, so it’s important to get an early sense of the specific requirements of any school you like. 

Final thoughts

The process of relocating your work and family abroad, is undeniably complex. However, there is always help at hand, especially if you engage the right type of support as early as possible.

The UK remains one of the best places to live in the world, and any short-term logistical pain involved in moving, will hopefully be worth it in the longer term. 

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