Moving to the UK From Germany

Relocating from Germany to the UK

If you are considering moving from Germany to the UK, you are in great company. It is estimated that there are around 135,000 German nationals living in the UK with approximately 15,000 living in Scotland. In this guide, we will explain everything that you need to know about moving to the UK from Germany: the legal requirements, the cost of living here, the steps you will need to take to move to the UK, and the benefits of relocating from Germany to the UK.

Moving from Germany to the UK after Brexit

Since Brexit, as a German citizen who wishes to live in the UK, you will need to apply for a UK immigration visa. The type of visa that you will need to apply for depends on why you are coming to the UK. For example, if you are coming to the UK to work, you will need a work visa, and if you are coming to study, you will need a student visa, etc. Alternatively, if you have close family members living in the UK, you may be able to apply for a family visa.

What are the legal requirements for German citizens moving to the UK?

Each immigration visa has its own legal requirements. The main visa routes and requirements for German nationals moving to the UK from Germany after Brexit are as follows.

Moving to the UK from Germany benefits

German citizens have many benefits from moving to the UK. The culture here is not too dissimilar from that in the UK, making the transition relatively easy and straightforward. German people are drawn to the UK for its politeness, humour (especially Monty Python), beautiful villages, stunning landscapes and countryside, culture, history, pubs, and, of course, fish and chips and cups of tea. But more than this, the UK offers a fantastic lifestyle, excellent job opportunities, and arguably the best educational opportunities in the world.

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Germany

Each immigration visa has its own legal requirements. The main visa routes and requirements for German nationals moving to the UK from Germany after Brexit are as follows.

Emigrating from Germany to the UK to Work

  • Skilled Worker visa – this visa is extremely popular and suitable for German citizens who wish to work in the UK in an eligible skilled occupation. Applicants must have a job offer from an approved sponsoring employer and meet the minimum salary requirements. Skilled Worker visa holders can stay for up to 5 years and then either extend their visa or apply for permanent residence (PR), also referred to as Indefinite Leave to Remain, allowing them to remain permanently.

Emigrating from Germany to the UK to Study

  • Student visa – German citizens who wish to study at a British school, college or university can apply for a student visa. Those who complete a degree or higher level qualification in the UK can then apply for a graduate visa, which will allow them to stay for 2 years to find work here.

Emigrating from Germany to the UK as an Entrepreneur

  • Innovator founder visa – this is an excellent option for German entrepreneurs who would like to establish a new, unique, and innovative business in the UK. Holders of this type of visa can apply to settle permanently once their visa expires.

There are many other visa options available in the UK. To better understand the visas available and which will better suit your needs, we would always recommend speaking to an immigration Solicitor in the UK.

Cost to immigrate to the UK from Germany

Before you make the final decision to emigrate to the UK from Germany, it is important to work out the cost of doing so. You will need to factor in the cost of removals, transport, storage, rent deposit, car purchase, etc. Factor in the cost of your UK visa (and those of your family members) and the healthcare surcharge, which will give you access to the National Health Service (NHS) if you need medical care during your time here.

How to set up your finances in the UK?

It is extremely easy to set up your finances in the UK. We recommend opening a UK bank account when you arrive in the UK because you will need to have a permanent address here and be able to prove your identity. You will also need to apply for a national insurance number once you are in the UK before you start your new job. Your employer will register you for ‘pay as you earn’ (PAYE) tax, meaning that they will automatically deduct any income tax you owe from your salary and pay this directly to HM Revenue & Customs (the government department responsible for collecting taxes in the UK) on your behalf. This makes calculating and paying tax in the UK extremely straightforward.

Get in touch with our immigration experts for help with your move to the UK from Germany

What is the cost of living in the UK?

The cost of living in the UK is roughly on a par with Germany, however, once rent is factored in, German citizens living here can expect to pay around 10% more overall. This is because the cost of rent itself is roughly a quarter higher in the UK compared to Germany. The cost of eating out is also more expensive in the UK, being around 18% more than in Germany. This is slightly offset by the fact that food and grocery prices are about 8% lower in the UK.

Moving to the UK from Germany - Checklist

Here is a checklist of items to consider before making the decision to emigrate from Germany to the UK:

  • Speak to an immigration Solicitor in the UK to help you better understand the immigration routes available to you and which is best for you and your family
  • Carry out your own research on the cost of living and lifestyle in the UK
  • Prepare a budget comparing your likely salary/income to your expected cost of living in the UK
  • Research where you would like to live in the UK – make sure that your preferred area is commutable to work
  • Speak to local schools in the UK if you have children who will be joining you, i.e. whether they have spaces, etc.
  • If you plan to work in the UK, secure a job with an approved UK employer before you apply for a Skilled Worker visa
  • Consider what you will do with your home and possessions in Germany – will you sell or rent out your home? And will you put your possessions in storage, bring them with you or sell them before you leave?

What is a Self-Sponsored Route?

Self-Sponsorship offers a way for German citizens to reside in the UK without the need to gain sponsored employment and apply for a work visa. Using this route, German citizens can set up their own company without the need for a UK sponsor. The self-sponsorship route provides a direct immigration pathway to permanent settlement in the UK and, eventually, citizenship.

Emigrating to the UK as a non-German national

If you are currently resident in Germany but are not a German national, you will most likely still need to apply for a visa to live, work, or study in the UK. The immigration route you choose will depend on the reason why you are coming to the UK and your country of nationality. If you are unsure of the best immigration route for you and your family, we recommend speaking to an immigration Solicitor in the UK before you proceed.

Joining UK Family Members as a Non-German National

If you have a partner or spouse or a parent or child who is a UK citizen or settled in the UK, you may be eligible for a UK family visa. The exact requirements that you will need to meet vary with each visa type. For example, you can apply for a spouse visa if you are married to a British citizen, a person who has settled here, a citizen of the EU/EEA who started living in the UK before 1st January 2021, or a person with refugee status in the UK. Again, it is advisable to speak to an immigration Solicitor if you are unsure if you are eligible for a UK family visa.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

Moving From Germany to the UK

Reach out to our immigration advisors to handle your relocation process from beginning to end.

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Moving From Germany to the UK

Reach out to our immigration advisors to handle your relocation process from beginning to end.

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