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How much money do I need to move to the UK?

The hardest part about relocating to another city or another country is usually finding a job, but with Teach in,  your teaching job will be arranged before you arrive in the UK, so some of the financial stress is taken care of. We also cover the cost of your flight over to the UK f you secure a role with us.

Here we take a look at some of the more significant costs involved when moving to England.

Please note that the below costs were valid as of January 2021.

For up-to-the-minute currency exchange information and a useful currency converter, please visit xe.com.

Visa Costs

When considering your move to the UK one of the bigger costs can be your visa, whether that be a Youth Mobility, Ancestry or Sponsorship visa. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a British or EU Passport, you will need to budget for the processing fees, Immigration Health Care Surcharge (explained here) and required savings.

Tier 5- Youth Mobility Visa
  • The application will cost £244 to process
  • There is also a cost of £940 for the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge. You pay this at the time of the application. It gives you full access to the UK National Health Service while on your visa.
  • You must have proof £2,530 in savings in your account for a month before you apply for the visa.
Ancestry visa
  • You will need to pay £516 to apply
  • There is also a cost of £3,120You pay this at the time of the application. It gives you 5 years of access to the UK’s National Health Service.
Tier 2- Sponsorship/Work Permit Visa has been replaced by the Skilled Worker Visa as of January 2021.
  • Read more here. Details below are from the link on the UK Gov site.
  • To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must:
    • work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
    • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
    • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations ( teaching is included)
    • be paid a minimum salary – how much depends on the type of work you do

    The specific eligibility depends on your job.

    You must have a confirmed job offer before you apply for your visa. Your visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it. You’ll need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer.

    When you apply for a Skilled Worker visa, you’ll need to have enough money to:

  • pay the application fee – the standard fee ranges from £610 to £1,408 depending on your circumstances
  • pay the healthcare surcharge – this is usually £624 per year
  • support yourself when you arrive in the UK – you’ll usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless you’re exempt)

You’ll pay a lower application fee if your job is on the shortage occupation list.

Initial Travel Costs

There are numerous costs associated with moving across the world!

  • Flights: If you’ve secured a UK teaching placement through Teach In, chances are you’ve also taken advantage of our free flight offer. If not, you’ll need to factor in this significant cost when planning your budget
  • Travel Insurance: The saying goes, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. We wholeheartedly agree. There are a range of relatives inexpensive travel insurance products on offer these days, and if you’ve ever had the miserable (and costly) experience of getting ill or injured overseas, having your stuff stolen, or an emergency happening back home that you need to fly home immediately for, you’ll know it’s not worth risky travelling without insurance.
  • Costs of getting to/from airport: and spending money for while you are in transit. Depending on the route you take to England, these costs can really add up. Just make sure you plan for it, so arriving in a new country is a pleasant adventure not an exhausting challenge.
  • Luggage: Perhaps you need new backpack to facilitate a summer of European adventures? Or maybe you just want to take a lot of things over to England with you? Beware of trying to to take too much on your flight as excess baggage costs can be eye-watering – it’s usually to send a package of, say, winter clothes from home than to replace them all in the UK, or to bring them over on the flight with you when you first set off.

How much money will I need when I get to the UK?

Next you need to think about how much money you want for cost of living once you’re there.

If you have already lined up a job with Teach In before you leave, then you’ll need enough to cover your expenses until you start working. If you are heading over with no job to go to, it makes sense to budget a little extra, in case it takes you longer than anticipated to find work.

  • You’ll need some spending money for any travel you do prior to commencing work. If you fancy a quick weekend in Paris to celebrate your arrival, you could get a return Eurostar ticket to Paris, Bruges, Brussels or Lille for under £100,  and under £100 for a double room in a budget hotel once you’re there (or much, much less for a dorm bed in a youth hostel).
  • Your first month’s rent (anywhere between £350- £800 depending on where and how you choose to live)
  • Some money for bond (usually approximately whole month’s rent)

All other costs are really up to you depending on how you want to spend your time in the UK. With Europe right on your doorstep you may want to take some extra cash for travel. Or if you’re really in the arts set aside some money for all of London’s theatres with their musicals, plays and concerts. Or you may want to catch a game of football (yes, we’re talking about soccer).

In terms of everyday costs of living, how much you spend on things like groceries, wine, clothes and entertainment really depends on you.

You can compare how much you would spend on groceries in the UK v at home, by doing a mock shop of your usual items at Asda, Tesco or one of the many other UK supermarket chains, to give you an idea of how much you should set aside for these costs in your first few weeks before your pay starts rolling in.

So all in all, before you move to the UK you’re going to need potentially $3,000 to $4,000 for the cost of your visa and health care. Once you’re there you might want to have $2000 available to cover rent, bills and bond. Finally, you’ll want spending money and at the end of the day that amount is totally your prerogative!

What about tipping?

Tipping is not compulsory in the UK, but it is increasingly becoming part of the culture.

In restaurants, the usual amount to tip is around 10% for anywhere with table service, including pubs and bars (no tip is expected if you order and pay and the bar). 15% for smarter restaurants.

In taxis, the usual amount to tip is 10%, or rounded up to the nearest pound.