Home > Settling In > Moving Back to the UK After Living Abroad

Moving Back to the UK After Living Abroad

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 15 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Moving Back To The Uk After Living Abroad

Moving back to the UK after spending time living abroad can be a very difficult time for most people. There are a number of reasons why people decide to return 'home', most commonly home sickness, missing family members, work, or simply not settling are reasons to think about being back in the UK.

For many, the decision will take months to make, with continual doubts as to what the right thing to do is. Some people go back and forward for many years, often known as 'yoyo movers', only to eventually return to the UK to stay. If you're planning to move back to the UK for good, there are a number of important tasks you must carry out before returning and when you get there.

Medical Attention and Returning to the UK

Before you leave your current location abroad, you should let your doctor know that you will no longer need to be on the medical roll and are returning to the UK. If you have private medical insurance, you should let them know of your change of circumstances. Some may be able to simply transfer your policy to the UK, while others may require you to cancel your policy before leaving.

If possible, get your current GP, dentist and any other healthcare records sent to the UK before leaving. This will require you to register with a dentist and GP in the UK first. Many will let you do this over the phone, or online, but some will require you to attend in person. Speak to them on the phone first to see which is the best option for you.

Benefits, Entitlements and Other Government Agencies

When returning to the UK, there are a number of important legal steps you must take to ensure that you receive everything you're entitled to. Some of the most important revolve around benefits, pensions, national insurance and tax.

  • Contact the Department for Work and Pensions to find out whether you are able to transfer your pension back to a UK account. They can also help you find out whether you're entitled to any benefits.
  • Tie up any tax payments you may need to make in the country you're currently living in before leaving.
  • Speak to HM Revenue & Customs to let them know that you're coming back to live in the UK permanently. They can help you with any tax issues you may encounter on your return.
  • To obtain your National Insurance number and to find out about any NI Contributions, you should contact the HM Revenue & Customs National Insurance Contributions Office.

Selling Your Home and Buying a New Home

Before you leave to move back to the UK it is advisable to arrange someplace to stay, even if it's only temporary. Most people will stay with relatives where possible or some may book into a hotel for some time. This can be expensive however and it might be worth considering a temporary short term rental.

Check out online websites that deal specifically with short term rentals and see if they have anything to suit. If you're selling a home in the place you currently live, you should do this well in advance of your moving date. These things can take time and sorting out paperwork and payments are usually due to time constraints. Get your house on the market and know when you need to sell it by.

If you're buying in the UK, you can be brave and buy unseen, but generally it is best to wait until you're there so you can get a feel for the place. If you're even slightly unsure about how long you're staying, rent rather than buy. It can be more difficult and expensive if you buy and have to sell again within a short term period.

Moving Back to the UK with Children

Although children are relatively good at adapting to new circumstances, it can be an emotional time for them to up and leave friends and a school that they're settled in. Try to make the move back to the UK an exciting time for them and remind them that they can stay in touch via email with friends they're leaving behind. As well as the emotional support you'll need to provide them, there's also a number of legal issues to take care of.

  • Notify the local school and official school authorities that you are leaving the country and let them know your forwarding address
  • Contact the UK authority that deals with school admissions in the area you're moving to. Some areas have difficulties in placing children at specific schools, so arrange this in advance of the school term if possible
  • It is always advisable to start your child at the beginning of a school term where possible. This means they don't have to come in during a term where people are already settled into their new classrooms and new teachers

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Sue - Your Question:
My husband and I are moving back to UK after 15years in France. Will we have to wait till we have a permanent address before registering with a GP?

Our Response:
The link here , will help answer your question.
EmigrationExpert - 16-Jul-18 @ 10:38 AM
My husband and I are moving back to UK after 15years in France. Will we have to wait till we have a permanent address before registering with a GP?
Sue - 15-Jul-18 @ 2:02 PM
Big Al - Your Question:
Hi ,we are both pensioners living in Crete Greece for 15 years,renting property,however now because of health issues we need to move back to Uk,I’m 73 and my wife is 68,Can you tell me if or what help would be available to us,Many thanks

Our Response:
The link here will tell you all you need to know in answer to your question.
EmigrationExpert - 13-Jul-18 @ 12:53 PM
Smokey - Your Question:
Hi I have been living abroad in Australia and now Thailand for the last 16 years and want to return to the UK permanently. I have a Thai partner and we have been together for 7 years. Is it easy enough to get her a visa to come with me? I will be starting from scratch in the UK so willneed to find somewhere to live and get a job, is there any help for this? I have started applying for jobs but it is difficult to get a positive response when living abroad, are tere any specialist employment agencies that can help?

Our Response:
In order to apply for your partner to come to the UK to live and work, you would have to be living in the UK and apply for a visa. Please see link here. You could apply for a visitor visa for your wife and then she would have to return to her home country in order to apply to come to the UK under the requirements listed in the link. I can't advise regarding your job, as it is not easy to apply for a job from abroad (unless you have a specific and unique skill set).
EmigrationExpert - 13-Jul-18 @ 9:49 AM
Hi ,we are both pensioners living in Crete Greece for 15 years,renting property,however now because of health issues we need to move back to Uk, I’m 73 and my wife is 68, Can you tell me if or what help would be available to us, Many thanks
Big Al - 13-Jul-18 @ 4:26 AM
Hi I have been living abroad in Australia and now Thailand for the last 16 years and want to return to the UK permanently. I have a Thai partner and we have been together for 7 years. Is it easy enough to get her a visa to come with me? I will be starting from scratch in the UK so willneed to find somewhere to live and get a job, is there any help for this? I have started applying for jobs but it is difficult to get a positive response when living abroad, are tere any specialist employment agencies that can help?
Smokey - 12-Jul-18 @ 8:16 AM
Debbie - Your Question:
I was born in the US to a british mother american father. I moved to the UK with my mother when I was 5. I was never given legal British citizenship but went to school, worked, married and my children were all born in the UK. I moved to Canada in 1990 but now wish to move back to the UK. I had a national insurance number and a driver's licence number. I am entitled to a UK pension which I have had information from them about. How do I go about getting to live back in the UK?

Our Response:
Even though you may be under pension age, the Age UK link here explains more regarding what you need to know, especially with regards to being classed as 'ordinarily resident' and about your eligibility to claim means-tested benefits.
EmigrationExpert - 6-Jul-18 @ 2:36 PM
I was born in the US to a british mother american father.I moved to the UK with my mother when i was 5.I was never given legal British citizenship but went to school, worked, married and my children were all born in the UK.I moved to Canada in 1990 but now wish to move back to the UK.I had a national insurance number and a driver's licence number.I am entitled to a UK pension which I have had information from them about.How do i go about getting to live back in the UK?
Debbie - 4-Jul-18 @ 6:09 PM
Tuffy - Your Question:
I have lived & worked in Gran Canaria for the lasr 13 years. I want to move back to the UK & work. What di I have to di ti acieve this ???

Our Response:
If you are a UK citizen, you can move back to the UK freely. However, if you want to claim certain means-tested benefits, you may have to satisfy the conditions of a test, known as the habitual residence test, please see link here.
EmigrationExpert - 3-Jul-18 @ 10:05 AM
I have lived & worked in Gran Canaria for the lasr 13 years. I want to move back to the UK & work. What di I have to di ti acieve this ???
Tuffy - 2-Jul-18 @ 12:44 PM
Hello, after living in the US for almost 5 years we are hoping to move back to the UK. I am a British Citizen. My husband is American, our oldest son was born in England and our youngest in America, they both have UK and US passports. Do we all need too apply for visas or just my husband with him being the only one without a UK passport? Can you please point us in the right direction, Many thanks!
MarieP - 27-Jun-18 @ 7:55 PM
wat - Your Question:
Hi I have been living in newzealand for 10 years and want to return to the u.k I have a daughter who was born in nz I was born in nz but my parents are english I spent most of my life in the u.k could you help

Our Response:
If you have British citizenship and are returning to the UK, then the process is straightforward. The only issues you may have to deal with are if you wish to claim means-tested benefits, please see link here . Plus, NHS treatment, please see link here .
EmigrationExpert - 25-Jun-18 @ 9:29 AM
hi I have been living in newzealand for 10 years and want to return to the u.k i have a daughter who was born in nzI was born in nz but my parents are english i spent most of my life in the u.k could you help
wat - 24-Jun-18 @ 6:41 AM
My daughter has lived in malta for 7 years with her partner. He has now left her with 3 children and she wants to move back to the UK.Do you have any information. Thank you
Worried mother - 22-Jun-18 @ 6:44 PM
I want to back to uk after being here for 8 years nearly cant get full time work i am health care worker miss my home country my husband has a good job but he is canadian i am also now canadian citizen nowbut have my british passporthave family back home need to go back
susie 64 - 18-Jun-18 @ 3:45 PM
My husband holds a British passport. I have a South Africa passport. We have been married 40 yrs. We stayed and worked in the in the UK twice before for about 6 months each time. We returned to South Africa 6 yrs ago. We want to return to the UK. My husband and I still intend to work. What do I need to return? Thank you
Joey - 6-May-18 @ 11:45 AM
Scottishlass- Your Question:
Left Scotland 1988 , got married to an American back home.We came to the states, lived here almost 30 years. I go home periodically, Scotland to see my family.Only worked in Scotland for about a year when I left high school.My question is: I’m now classed as disabled on Medicare now.If my husband and I go back to Scotland for good, can I claim my benefits either still from over in states, or am I able to claim once I get back home. I’m now 49 years old, can’t work due to my health issues , my husband would be retired by time going back to Scotland.Am I able to claim for my disibility benefits there and stay on my pain and phycological medications too. I understand I will need to show bring all medical records regarding my health issues. I still maintain my British passport, I’m a permanent resident of the USA.Thank you

Our Response:
If you're a UK or an Irish citizen coming to live in the UK from abroad you may want to claim certain means-tested benefits. Depending on how long you've been out of the country, you may have to satisfy the conditions of a test, known as the habitual residence test (HRT) before you're allowed to make a claim, please see link here .
EmigrationExpert - 20-Apr-18 @ 12:25 PM
I was born in Scotland 1961, worked there from 1981 to 1986.Then moved to Australia.Married an Aussie in Scotland in 1992.I have an Australian passport and have never renewed my UK one.My husband’s great grandparents emigrated to Australia in the early 1900’s.What would the situation be if we decided to return and live in Scotland?
Scotia - 15-Apr-18 @ 6:09 AM
Born in the uk after 1983, Left for the first ten years of my life Returned at the age of 13.( I was on my mother's passport) One unsettled parent, still to this day 2018 Went to school from there on in college and Uni I have a degree , two children under the age of Ten. Have always worked and paid my taxes. How do I start in gaining citizenship / British passport.
RH - 13-Apr-18 @ 3:05 AM
Left Scotland 1988 , got married to an American back home. We came to the states, lived here almost 30 years. I go home periodically, Scotland to see my family. Only worked in Scotland for about a year when I left high school. My question is: I’m now classed as disabled on Medicare now. If my husband and I go back to Scotland for good, can I claim my benefits either still from over in states, or am I able to claim once I get back home. I’m now 49 years old, can’t work due to my health issues , my husband would be retired by time going back to Scotland. Am I able to claim for my disibility benefits there and stay on my pain and phycological medications too. I understand I will need to show bring all medical records regarding my health issues. I still maintain my British passport, I’m a permanent resident of the USA. Thank you
Scottishlass - 10-Apr-18 @ 4:47 PM
I have been living in India for the past 14 Years and now wish to return back to uk. I am educationist by profession, and would like assistance in getting employment . I am a uk citizen. I moved to India with my husband and have been divorced for the last 8 Years ... life is getting very hard here and I need to return back with my daughter who is 15 years old. Im 42 years old
Soniya - 10-Apr-18 @ 1:36 PM
I was born and lived in the UK until I was 42, then married to an American for 25 yrs. I am now Divorced. I am a citizen of the USA but have a duel Uk and USA passport. And I receive a small UK pension which goes into my UK Bank Account. I wish to sell my house In the USA and move back to UK, but I don't know if the USA will allow me to transfer the money from the sale of my house to the UK without taxing me on it, I have lived in this house for almost 24yrs. I visit my family in UK every year for 5 weeks, I am 72 yrs old and would feel much better living close to my family. Could you tell me if I would have any problems with repatriation to UK.
Annabee - 30-Mar-18 @ 9:43 PM
Blondie - Your Question:
I moved to zambia in 1964 with my parents at that time I was 5 yrs old. My parents then settled in australia in 1973 from Zambia at that time I was 14 years old and have remained livng in Australia. Have considered moving back to the Uk to live. I still hold my british passport but have australian permanent residency. Am I entitled to any british pensions or payments of any sort.

Our Response:
You would not be entitled to any payments or British pensions if you have never resided in the UK and/or paid UK-based National Insurance.
EmigrationExpert - 20-Mar-18 @ 11:00 AM
I moved to zambia in 1964 with my parents at that time I was 5 yrs old. My parents then settled in australia in 1973 from Zambia at that time I was 14 years old and have remained livng in Australia. Have considered moving back to the Uk to live. I still hold my british passport but have australian permanent residency. Am I entitled to any british pensions or payments of any sort.
Blondie - 19-Mar-18 @ 1:13 PM
@sarahrcraig - you won't have any repercussions in the UK as it's your country of birth.
Anon - 19-Mar-18 @ 12:33 PM
Im a UK citizen who has been living in the US without a visa for 20 years, I know if I come back to the UK I will be barred from the US for 10 years but is there any repercussions from being out of my own country for so long?
sarahrcraig - 17-Mar-18 @ 12:57 PM
Bill - Your Question:
I am an 80 year old widow living in Canada (now a Canadian Citizen) Left Scotland in 1959 (22 years old - worked for 7 years) My husband worked for 12 years and also served in the RAF. He is now deceased and never collected an |Old Age |Pension from the UK. Was he eligible for an old age pension? He is now deceased - Am I entitled to a |UK Widows pension? Lots of questions - but I am now interested in moving back to the \UK. Would I be eligible to collect any type of pension? Your reply would be appreciated - thank you. WS

Our Response:
The Pension Advisory Service may be able to help answer your questions in full, please see link here.
EmigrationExpert - 13-Mar-18 @ 12:29 PM
I wish to return to the UK after living in Greece for 16 years. I have a 10 year old daughter and I will not have any financial support. Who can I contact for advice?
SKIPPY - 13-Mar-18 @ 7:48 AM
Mikey - Your Question:
I am stuck in the us I have no money no friends or family that can help I don't know where to go the embassy basically told me to bad so sad I don't have a passport either they did say they could issue an ETD but I would need a ticket first I have no bank or building society what can I do I'm homeless too

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. However, you would not be able to get help from the UK to relocate back to the UK as there is no official provision for this sort of help.
EmigrationExpert - 12-Mar-18 @ 12:55 PM
I am an 80 year old widow living in Canada (now a Canadian Citizen) Left Scotland in 1959 (22 years old - worked for 7 years) My husband worked for 12 years and also served in the RAF.He is now deceased and never collected an |Old Age |Pension from the UK.Was he eligible for an old age pension?He is now deceased - Am I entitled to a |UK Widows pension? Lots of questions - but I am now interested in moving back to the \UK. Would I be eligible to collect any type of pension? Your reply would be appreciated - thank you.WS
Bill - 12-Mar-18 @ 11:23 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the EmigrationExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.