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Thinking of immigrating to the UK? Here’s a beginner’s guide if you are considering permanent residency

By LLM Reporters  |  May 13, 2021
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Your reasons for wanting to move to the UK on a permanent basis may very well vary to the next person’s. From an exciting new job to early retirement to moving for a different way of life for your family, the UK offers plenty of advantages for those looking to start over. With a coastline set to amaze and national parks galore set alongside cosmopolitan cities that boast a highly impressive selection of artworks and artefacts in some of the world’s most notable art galleries and museums, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what the UK provides its residents and visitors. 

Depending on which area you choose to reside in, you will find that, despite its relatively small area, the inhabitants, terrains, food, and accents vary wildly from one place to the next. Historical sights, an enviable healthcare system, excellent education, job opportunities, good rates of pay, great restaurants, bars and nightlife, sports, and so much more are up for grabs, but then you probably already knew all of that. So, if your mind is already made up and you’re looking for some practical answers about a permanent move to the UK, then read on for the answers to some commonly asked questions.        

Where to live?

Happy family with children moving with boxes in a new apartment house
The UK is a popular destination to live in, thanks to is diverse and welcoming nature

As of 2019, there were around 9.5 million people who were born abroad living in the UK – that’s 14 per cent of the UK’s population – with 35% living in London alone. In addition to England’s capital, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds are some of the biggest urban areas in the UK, with London being the most populous at over 10 million, and all providing a diverse and welcoming space. If you’re planning a move to one of the more diverse cities in the UK, then arm yourself with a certified immigration solicitor in Liverpool to assist with any requirements you may need. 

Outside of the most populous areas, there are seaside villages, thriving towns, and remote areas in which to reside – where you choose largely depends on the job you have or wish to do, the budget you have available for property, and the type of lifestyle you wish to lead, but the opportunities are plentiful. 

How about healthcare?

Doctor and patient
Ensure that you are set up with the NHS

The National Health Service, created in 1948, is envied by many countries throughout the world and also attracts a great number of overseas workers, too. When it comes to accessing healthcare, for many it is free at the point of use, and for others, there will be charges for certain services. There are many varying factors at play, and more information can be found on the NHS website.

Do immigrants get state pension?

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You won’t get the state pension until you reach the required age.

Providing you have made enough National Insurance contributions throughout your time in the UK, through work and voluntary contributions, if required, you should be entitled to a state pension. This can also be in addition to a private retirement fund, and you won’t get the state pension until you reach the required age. 

Jobs/education opportunities

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The UK has some of the best universities in the world, inclduing Oxford and Cambridge

The universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Imperial College London and UCL (University College London) not only made it to the top of the best universities in the UK rankings but also sit in the top 10 of the QS World University Rankings 2021. With institutions such as this to aim for, it is easy to see why families would move to the UK in search of a better education for their children. 

In addition to this, job numbers are pretty stable – according to the ONS, there is currently an estimated 75.1% employment rate in the UK, with an average salary of £38,600 for a full-time job, though rates obviously vary with each job position. Find out if you are eligible to work in the UK here.

How to achieve British citizenship

British embassy officer giving passport to immigrant
You may need to complete the Life in the UK test for a chance to be accepted

Applying for citizenship depends on a variety of matters, such as if you have permanent residence status if you have a British parent if you’re a commonwealth citizen if you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR), and more. You may need to complete the Life in the UK test and you will be assured to learn that there is a fairly low refusal rate of 5.5%, which means you have a pretty good chance of being accepted. Check how you can become a British citizen here.