Becoming an Expat Living in England after Brexit



Since January 1st, 2021, Brexit entered into force and the country’s immigration policy changed.

Now, any expat living in England or coming to the country will be treated equally. No matter if they are from an EU country or not.

Besides this, the new immigration system prioritizes the attraction of expatriates to the UK who can contribute significantly to the country’s economy.

 Let’s analyze how to become an expat in England in 2021.

How to Become an Expat in England in 2021

More Selective Immigration Conditions for the Expatriates in the UK

Before 2021, European citizens only needed an identity card to settle in England. But things have changed.

While it is still possible to stay in the country as a tourist for less than six months, a passport will become mandatory as of October 2021, and visas are now a must for any expat living in England.

To continue to live and work in the country after June 30, 2021, European nationals who were already living there in 2020 must apply for:

  • The “settled” status for those who have been living in the country for more than 5 years
  • “Pre-settled” status for those who have been in the country for less than 5 years before that date.

A new points-based immigration system applies to all those who wish to move to England in 2021.

The number of points required and the conditions of attribution vary according to the type of visa requested.

Expatriating to England: Types of Visas

Among the main types of visas that allow you to settle in England, there are:

Skilled Worker Visa

This visa requires certain conditions:

  • A promise of employment by an approved employer with a minimum wage
  • Mastery of the English language
  • A certain level of qualification.

Global Talent Visa

It is intended for expatriates in the UK with highly qualified profiles. Even without a promise of employment, in:

  • Research
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • New technologies.

Student Visa

To get a student visa is needed:

  • Fluency in English
  • A validated registration in a British educational institution
  • Financial means to pay for your education and daily expenses.

Expatriating to England with a Graduate Visa

The graduate visa will be valid from July 2021. It will allow students who have graduated from a British institution to stay and work for a maximum of two years after the end of their studies.

Family Visa

It allows you to join a spouse or a parent who is already an expat living in England.

 Other Visas

There are other specific visas for cases like:

  • Artists
  • Sportsmen and women
  • Start-ups creators
  • Etc.

Due to a shortage of positions, people recruited to work in the British public health system benefit from an accelerated procedure to settle in the United Kingdom.

The NHS Surcharge, another Obligation for the Expat Living in England

Expatriates in the UK Benefit from the NHS

In addition to the price of the visa, you must also pay a tax on the health system to be able to settle in the United Kingdom.

The amount of this tax varies according to the type of visa requested. If you are expatriating to England to work in the NHS (National Health System) you will be exempt.

Once the visa is obtained and the tax is paid, you will get health coverage from the NHS.

But not all expenses are covered, you still have to pay for:

  • Prescriptions
  • Dental care.

The recurrent weaknesses of the English public health sector push most expatriates to seek treatment in the private sector.

The care is then very expensive, and never covered by the NHS. This is why it is essential to take out private expatriate health insurance for the UK before moving.

Expatriate Health Insurance for the UK: Which One is Better?

Depending on your country, you might be covered by your national Social Security system.

This is particularly interesting for young people and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Because it’s usually inexpensive and doesn’t require you to fill any health questionnaire.

Another very common solution for expatriate health insurance for the UK is to subscribe to a “1st euro” contract.

This type of policy is very popular among the expats living in England because of its good value for money and its great flexibility.

To compare offers and make the right choice, the easiest solution is to use an online comparison tool. In any case, good health insurance will cover the expatriation in England as well as the trips to your home country, for:

  • Routine care
  • Hospitalization
  • Repatriation. 

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