How much money do you need to move to the UK?

Highland Cow in Scotland UK

How much does it cost to move to the UK?

The amount of money to save when planning a move to the UK will vary from person to person, having your finances planned correctly is one of the most important aspects of moving to the UK. How much is a visa? Do I have to pay the NHS Surcharge upfront? How much rental deposit do I need to save for? Being in a secure financial position will make things a lot easier, but this article will discuss the minimum savings you will need depending on your visa and the main things to budget for.

How much is a Visa to the UK?

The cost of a visa will depend on the type and the duration you have requested.

As of November 2022 and as a single applicant:

Most Common Types

What about family and dependants?

Applicants can apply with their spouse/partner and dependent children for most of the popular visas. Although this will have to be on a separate application for each person, of which the fee is £247 for 3 years.

Do I have to pay for Healthcare?

For the most common visas the short answer is yes, except the Health and Care Worker Visa who are exempt. The healthcare surcharge is an upfront mandatory payment in order to access the National Health Service (NHS). This payment will ensure you are covered in case you become unwell or have an accident in the UK. If you are applying for a 2-year visa you will have to pay £624 each year, Therefore you will have to pay a total of £1248.

What else for the application stage?

During the application stage it is not just the visa fee and healthcare surcharge to budget for, but what else you need to pay for depends on your circumstances.

Below are are estimated costs as of November 2022:

  • English Language Test – £180
  • Tuberculosis Test – £30 – £100
  • Criminal Record Certificate – £20 – £100
  • Proof of Finances – £1,270

Before You Arrive

Now that your visa to the UK has been approved, it is time to start preparing for your arrival. You might decide that a suitcase is all you need and anything else can we bought in the UK, but if not, you will need to consider an international shipping company. The cost of shipping belongings will vary from a few hundred pounds for boxes, to thousands for a container, depending on weight and the distance. You will need to budget for your flight which you can get a rough idea by using Skyscanner. If you can, try and select flexible tickets that will allow you to change the date of your flight, just in case your job start date changes, or if an apartment you have agreed falls through. Another possible cost is for your pet, this includes transport and insurance. We have outlined this in more detail on our Pet section, this also includes getting your pet vaccinated and the right documents in place.


When you arrive in the UK, you will need to have already booked yourself some short-term accommodation, usually a hotel or an Airbnb apartment. We would recommend at least 2 weeks as this gives you enough time to decide where you want to live and organise any paperwork if required with a letting agent. It is possible to move into a room quicker, such as through SpareRoom.

So how much?

As you have now just read this can vary wildly depending on your circumstances. From the type of visa, length of stay, apartment or room, single applicant to bringing a pet or not. Overall for a single applicant who has a job already arranged, we recommend to save at least £5000 if you are intending to stay outside London, within London expect to save at least £7000 to have a decent start.

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