Moving to the UK: The Ultimate Checklist

Work together

Before I tell you what we did and how we saved time and money when we moved from Australia to Scotland - let me share a memory with you.

I was sitting at my desk in our home office, looking at my list of a 100 or so things we had to do before leaving Australia. Scott comes in, looks at the list and asks, "Is that what we have to do when we get to the UK?”

"No. That's what we have to do before we leave. The list of what we have to do after we arrive is even longer."

"Holy shit Batman! Where do we start?"

Take responsibility

Fast forward more than two years later, and I can still remember how nervous and excited I felt. While I was happy to take the lead, researching and planning our move to a place we'd never visited, on the other side of the world - I was also stressed out to the max.

I was ultimately responsible for turning our life upside down and inside out if I didn’t do it properly. I hoped that my lists and planning included everything important. And that selling the possessions we had worked so hard to accumulate wouldn't be a big mistake.

I wanted the boys and Scott to enjoy the move while I secretly obsessed about the details. I had a grand plan and a few contingency plans up my sleeve. All I wanted was for our family to arrive in the UK positive and confident about the next six years. Our goal was to achieve permanent residency by 2021 and UK citizenship by 2022.

Have a clear vision

My vision was to be living like a local in 8 weeks or less. And we nailed it, in under 6 weeks!


“Think-Do-Have” Yourself Overseas

The main things that helped us achieve our goals in record time:

THINK: Research and reflection

  • Online blogs and official websites.

  • Speaking to other people who had considered the move or who had lived in the UK or elsewhere.

  • Our previous experiences.

  • Our memories, dreams and desires.

DO: Planning

  • Lists of what to do (including who, when and how).

  • Back-up plans - if things didn't go to plan.

  • Businesses and people to assist us with moving our belongings, migration advice, etc.

HAVE: Faith

  • In the Universe and in ourselves. That we would be in the right place at the right time with what we needed to have a great life.

  • Courage and resilience

  • To dare ourselves to achieve our dreams.

  • To roll with the punches and inevitable set-backs.

  • To enjoy our successes in whatever form they came.


How to move overseas and establish a new life in the UK

When you decide to move overseas (especially if it’s your first time), you start to think about what you need to do to make it happen.

You start to dream about your new life in a new country and then suddenly you’re pulled into this emotional whirlpool of scattered thoughts and questions.

Am I making the right decision?

How much will it cost?

Where do I start?


Bookmark this post. It is updated regularly with links to articles dedicated to each topic.

If you have a question that isn’t answered, simply leave your question in the comments or send us an email (link to contact us).

I found it easier to make two lists: what has to be done BEFORE YOU LEAVE and what has to be done AFTER YOU ARRIVE:

Fly across the world.png


Including the 24 hours before you arrive in the UK

Attitude and mindset - visas - passport - travel - flights - insurance - medical benefits - saving - costs - budget - personal possessions - baggage - shipping - accommodation - location - moving overseas - employment - family and friends - final countdown

CHECKLIST >> Before you leave



Including the first 24 hours in the UK

UK Customs - travel and transit - temporary accommodation - rental properties - jet-lag - UK mobile phone - weather - culture shock - electricity and gas - internet, telephone and TV - council tax - income tax - bank account - foreign exchange - shopping - schooling - UK job market - keep connected - local community - live like a local

CHECKLIST >> After you arrive