How much money do I need to move to the UK?
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 April 2019.
For up-to-the-minute currency exchange information and a useful currency converter, please visit xe.com.
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 (approx $445AUD/$425CAD at the time of writing).
- There is also a cost of £300 per year (600 for two years) for the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (approx $1095AUD/$1040CAD at the time of writing). You pay this at the time of the application.
- You must have proof £1,890 in savings (approx $3445AUD/$3280CAD at the time of writing).
- You will need to pay £516 to apply (approx $940AUD/895CAD at the time of writing).
- There is also a cost of £400 per year you intend to stay for the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge. For example, it would be £2000 for the 5-year visa (Approx $3645 AUD/3475CAD at the time of writing) if you plan to stay for the whole five years of the visa. You pay this at the time of the application.
Tier 2- Sponsorship/Work Permit Visa
- How much you pay for a Tier 2 visa depends on your position and intended length of the visa. Roughly, it’s between £464 and £1220 pounds. However, we recommend you follow this link to work out exactly how much it might cost you https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-general/overview
- You will be required to pay £400 (approx $730AUD/695CAD at the time of writing) for the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge per year for each year you plan on staying, for example, £2,000 for a 5-year visa. You have to pay this at the time of the application.
- You must have proof of £945 (approx $1720 AUD/1640CAD at the time of writing) in savings.
- There is also a visa application fee you will have to pay for dependents (which again depends on your position and intended length of stay in the UK).
- Each dependent must have £630 (roughly $1100 AUD + CAD) available to them.
- Dependants who will be joining you will also need to pay the IHS in the exact same way.
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- £750 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.