Leaving the UK to live abroad – how you can move abroad from the UK during COVID-19 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here.
The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
There are about 200 countries in the world, each of them offering its unique advantages that can make anyone to move there. Especially during the pandemic, many people think of moving from their crowded cities to a more tranquil and calm places to live. As the work is mostly remote, nothing can be an obstacle.
2021 could be the year you take the big step and leave your home country and move to a better place and overcome this situation. Moving abroad is a big decision that means both change and reward at the same time.
To help you somehow with that decision, we’ve put together a checklist on how to move abroad from the UK as an expat after COVID-19, based on the experience of many foreigners around the world.
So the question is: can you move abroad during the COVID pandemic? Moving abroad during COVID-19 requires careful scrutiny. Not only must you consider which countries are accepting new citizens, but you must also consider factors such as health care, a country’s response to COVID-19, culture, and more.
If you are planning to relocate as an expat, pay special attention to the countries that have coped better with the pandemic. So a few countries coped the best, and those are Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, and others.
How COVID-19 affected the UK?
The economic downturn caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions has been concentrated among certain types of businesses.
Overall, the UK economy, measured by gross domestic product (GDP), contracted a record 19.8% in the second quarter (April to June) of 2020 after the first lockdown began on 23 March. By September 2020, GDP was still down 8.2% compared to February.
Areas such as hospitality, including pubs, restaurants, and hotels, had almost no production in April and May, but industries such as information and communications, where staff could work mostly from home, compared to February there have been no major changes.
Consumer-focused services have rebounded somewhat since then, but they remain significantly lower than in February. At this stage, it is difficult to separate the temporary production losses caused by the coronavirus-related restrictions from the longer-term behavioral changes that could affect industries for years to come.
But what can be the main reason UK residents may need to leave their country? The pandemic affected almost all people in this world, and during that time a part of them understood that their life goals have changed in terms of both finances and quality of life. But many people have taken their steps towards that. They are planning to not follow the situation, and are considering moving abroad, especially young professionals and families with children and teenagers.
Several factors influence the desire to experience life in another country. People are increasingly realizing the importance of fulfilling their dreams, as well as the desire to avoid the monotony of isolation. Moreover, the COVID-19 deleted a whole year from our lives, so people cannot just sit and wait for a better life, they are making plans. And to realize that plans, it will be no difference for them the location.
In addition to the financial benefits, moving abroad can open your eyes to different lifestyles and satisfy the wanderlust that has been growing in you since the beginning of your isolation.
Moving overseas from the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic became an actual thing nowadays.
But before you move abroad, you need to consider the changes caused by the pandemic. Due to air travel restrictions and quarantine regulations, it may be more difficult to visit your country or ask relatives to visit you if they need it.
You will also have to think about getting the COVID vaccine – are you better off getting both doses in your country of residence or when you move? You will need to make a decision and study the COVID tests that you need to take before flying.
Nevertheless, a lot of expats are already ready for a remote job with the right technology, which will make it easy to always connect to friends and family through 2020’s famous Zoom call and through networking sites.
The number of remote jobs has increased since the start of the pandemic, and many industries are still hiring professionals from around the world, according to LinkedIn. See the Complete Guide to the Best International Jobs here. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the workplace forever, so understanding what “comes next” is a top concern for both employers and job seekers as the global labor market begins to recover.
Leaving your home country will be enough stressful, and in the first phase, you may live the worst times. The lives of expats will not always be the same, depending on the reasons which made them move abroad, where they chose to live, and whether they are moving alone or with their families. The pandemic has created additional problems for many emigrants due to the severity of quarantine in European countries and the growth of xenophobia in some countries.
Civil unrest and political uncertainty are also affecting countries from the United States, where COVID-19 security is also a concern, to Hong Kong. In addition, there are concerns about ostracism in COVID-protected societies such as South Korea and Taiwan.
However, many of the current problems will disappear and there are tens of thousands of expats who would not consider returning home, as they enjoy, among other things, the climate and quality of life in their host countries. According to the expats’ experiences, many of them were happy with their country of residence during the pandemic. As always, the valuable answers to your questions you can find due to your research before moving abroad and talk to other expats.
Anyways, below you can find a quick guide on how to move from the UK to your preferred country in times of pandemic.
First of all check if it is safe to move
The safety of you and your family is a top priority, so your first step is to make sure the destination you choose can reduce the spread of COVID-19 to manageable levels.
Check the government’s list of countries that “no longer pose an unacceptably high risk to Brits traveling abroad” to make sure your new home is on the list.
Then, look at the data for the country you are moving to and find out what the experts and local and national authorities are advising.
At the moment, there will always be some kind of danger associated with the move. The question is whether the hazard level is low enough to make you feel comfortable taking the risk.
For example, the United States is one of the most popular countries for British expats, but it has been hit hard by the pandemic. He failed to bring the virus under control, which is why the UK government did not recommend traveling there under any circumstances other than important. Naturally, you should follow this advice.
Next step is making sure your move is legal
Governments around the world are constantly changing their restrictions on people from other countries as they are forced to adapt to new developments in the spread of COVID-19.
Several countries that have dealt with the virus relatively well, including Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand, currently do not admit UK citizens.
Whether you’ve checked this before or not, it’s best to double-check as governments often change these rules without prior notice.
The last thing you want is to be turned away at the border and have to fly thousands of miles back to a place where there is no more home.
Strictly adhere to the government directives
It would also be a shame if you were denied entry because you did not have a negative COVID-19 test or medical certificate with you.
Please read and adhere to the official rules of travel through the border authorities.
Once inside, you’ll want to enjoy your new country as much as possible, so don’t spoil your thrilling move with fines or social stigma for displaying hygiene measures.
For example, in Taiwan, you can be forced to pay up to 1 million Taiwanese dollars (£ 26,300) for violating quarantine rules – and people did just that.
You will want to get comfortable and make new acquaintances as quickly as possible, which may not be possible if everyone considers you an irresponsible fool who will not wear a mask.
And of course, it will help you avoid getting infected and spreading the deadly virus.
Get your insurance early
The indication that we live in unpredictable times is now becoming a cliché, but it really is. The only sensible answer is to beware of the most common disasters.
You have no control over sudden transmission spikes that can affect everything from your travel and your ability to enter a new country to your health, but you can rest assured that in the worst-case scenario, you won’t be financially destroyed.
Make it a priority to get travel insurance, health insurance, relocation insurance, and, if applicable, renter’s insurance.
Start creating a personalized plan with a free quote to protect your most important assets – you and your family.
Stay connected with people making your new life a reality
Likewise, maintain constant contact with everyone who allows you to smoothly transition into a new existence as a happy expatriate.
This includes the companies that move you and your property, as well as your new boss (assuming this applies to you) and housing.
Even if the disaster does not happen, circumstances can suddenly change, forcing you to react quickly and change your plans.
You may need to work remotely for the first few weeks or months, maybe your airline is about to go broke, or maybe the area where you were planning to rent an apartment is suddenly blocked.
It is impossible to predict what will happen, but if you are vigilant, you will be able to keep abreast of the latest developments and react accordingly.
Don’t leave the UK if you’re sick
It seems obvious, but if you have been showing symptoms of COVID-19 in the past seven days, you should get tested and postpone your move.
If you do try to continue your journey, your airline may be denied boarding, and even if you do get on board, you may be denied entry on the other side.
If any of these events occur, the chances are high that you will not be able to convince your insurance company to compensate you for the lost money.
It will also be awkward, nervous, and unnecessarily dangerous. Everyone you meet on your trip will have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, all because of you. It’s not worth it.
Best countries to move to work and live in 2021
As there are many people interested in moving to another country, below we will show you a list of the most suitable countries that expats choose.
In this Central American paradise, you will find a community that cares for its people, an affordable cost of living, including medical care, a wide variety of properties, natural beauty, and friendly locals. One of the things you often hear from expats is that Costa Ricans are super welcoming people and that makes them feel like in home.
Unfortunately, as in most other places, the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to Costa Rica’s economy and put a strain on the health care system – even so, it is a winner for everyone who wants to live abroad. The country remains a good long-term place to live as it is already moving towards post-COVID times.
With a dozen climatic zones and hundreds of microclimates, Costa Rica has a place for everyone. Many enjoy the temperate climate in the capital city of San Jose and the surrounding Central Valley, while others gravitate towards the beaches of Guanacaste or the jungle of the south and the Caribbean.
About the cost of living, a single person can live comfortably for about $ 1,615 a month, while a couple can live on about $ 2,000 a month, including renting a two-bedroom air-conditioned home, as well as food, entertainment, transportation, and healthcare.
Mexico is so large, there are different climates, landscapes, and lifestyles to choose from, from big cities to villages and quaint beach towns. The best conditions are present in this country such as the good temperate climate in the Colonial Highlands, the dry heat of Los Cabos, or the perfect southern California climate in northern Baja.
Then there are the Pueblo Magikos (or Magic Cities), small towns that are celebrated because they represent the architecture and customs of traditional Mexico.
You can live in Mexico for a fraction of what you would spend at home. The cost of living, of course, depends on your lifestyle, but on average a single person can spend as little as $ 1,700 a month and live “a life of fun without any limits,” says Holland.
The couple could live on less than $ 2,000 a month. This is possible thanks to inexpensive real estate, such as rental and purchase, affordable food in the markets, cafes and restaurants, cheap transportation prices, inexpensive medical care, free and affordable entertainment, and more.
For a city full of old-world charm, head to Lisbon or head north to visit Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto. Alentejo is the largest and most rural region of the country with fields of wildflowers, historic monuments, and enough small population. The other perfect place to consider in Portugal is the Algarve, best known for its Atlantic beaches, fishing villages, and hot summers. English is widely spoken in Portugal.
Although it depends on many factors, you can live on about a third less than America. This starts at around $ 2100 per person, while a couple can live comfortably but not luxuriously, starting at $ 2,700 a month. If you are planning to live in Lisbon, consider about $ 3,000 for the cost of living.
To rent a fully furnished three-bedroom home an hour north of Lisbon, will cost you only $ 400 a month. A two-bedroom condominium in a gated community with a pool will cost you $ 1,030 a month.
Many expats are settling in Quito, which is full of many shops, luxurious bars and restaurants tucked away in historic buildings or the modern Andean city of Cuenca. Larger expat communities will include the beach town of Salinas, the calm village of Cotacachi, and Vilcabamba, known for their laid-back cafes.
A single person can live in Ecuador for between $ 1210 and $ 1525 per month, depending on location and lifestyle. A couple can live here for between $ 1,650 and $ 1,825 a month. Affordable Rentals: A two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium in downtown Cuenca will cost $ 500 a month.
Or you can buy a Pacific Coast beach house or apartment with stunning Andes views for less than $ 150,000. Food is also cheap: it is difficult to transport more than $ 15 worth of fruits and vegetables. Household help is available for $ 20 a day, while services are available for just a few dollars. Plus, in most places, you can get by without a car by paying 30 cents or less for buses and $ 2 to $ 5 for a taxi ride.
Living in one of the major cities in France is more expensive, but the country is full of accessible regions. Popular destinations that combine attractive property offerings with a high standard of living include the maritime regions of Normandy and Brittany, the Dordogne with its romantic landscapes, and Occitania, which is formerly known as Languedoc.
Aix-en-Provence is another popular expat destination in southern France. In the east, Alsace and Lorraine enchant with their cozy villages and proximity to Germany. Some other charming neighborhoods include Bordeaux and Burgundy, the Loire Valley, and the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean.
Only one person can live comfortably for as little as $ 2000 a month – that’s $ 2500 for a couple, and some live on less than $ 2000. Big savings come from housing costs – in some areas, you can buy a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home for less than $ 150,000. Healthcare is also available: After living in France for three months, expats are eligible for universal insurance, which means you pay $ 9 to see a doctor.
To sum up
Nowadays, moving abroad is likely to be a much more stressful experience than usual. However, you can still move – and if you are ready, you can handle whatever you come across.
If you follow the advice that we have highlighted above, leaving the UK for your dream country process will be much easier and faster than if you plan everything on your own.
But at the moment, there is no one that can do something to completely eliminate the risk of the COVID-19 – and therefore, in the end, the decision whether to move or not is purely personal and only depend on your own goals and needs.
If you have a good remote job or a business somewhere, and you get your annual income, you may have no problems with moving to another country and start your new life there.