A relocation guide for doctors moving to the UK


Preparing to relocate to the UK

Once you’ve secured your ideal position in the UK, agreed your start date and have received your visa, you’ll be ready to begin planning your move to the UK. We’ve written a relocation guide for doctors to help you prepare for your move.

Before you arrive in the UK

Check the latest travel and quarantine details

Due the COVID-19 pandemic, travel and quarantine details are constantly changing. When you’re making your travel plans, we recommend checking the latest travel and quarantine updates in the UK so that you can plan accordingly.

You can find the latest government information about entering the UK here.

Arrange accommodation

You’ll need to arrange accommodation for once you arrive in the UK (and for your quarantine period).

The team at Doctors Relocate will help you find and book suitable accommodation however, we also suggest that you look into the following options:

  • Booking hospital accommodation
  • Staying in an Airbnb or another short term private let
  • Arranging a hotel 

We’ve written an article about finding and booking accommodation. You can find this by clicking here.

Transport your belongings

If you plan to bring any belongings from your home to the UK, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to transport them. You’ll also need to consider whether you’ll require storage in the UK for your belongings whilst you find suitable long term accommodation.

Check childcare and schooling options

If you’re relocating to the UK with your family, then you may need to look into the childcare and schooling options available in your area.

Free schooling in state schools is available to children living in the UK. You can begin your search for schools in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by clicking the relevant country below:

Read our guide to finding and applying for schools by clicking here.

Look into places of worship

You’ll be able to find the details of the places of worship near to where you’ll be living, online. The team at Doctors Relocate would also be happy to assist you in your search.

Arrange medical defence cover 

The GMC require all doctors in the UK to have adequate and appropriate insurance from the moment that they start practising.

We recommend that you look into medical defence cover prior to your arrival in the UK. Read our article, which covers:

  • What is Medical Defence and who should have it?
  • NHS medical Indemnity
  • Types of Medical Defence 
  • Medical Defence providers 

Once you’ve arrived in the UK

Collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP card)

Once you’ve got completed your quarantine period, you’ll need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit from the location that you selected during your visa application.

To read more about BRP cards, click here.

Find long term accommodation

Once you’re here in the UK, you can begin to search for long term accommodation that’s suitable for your needs. You can arrange property viewings with local estate agents (in person or virtually) and sign the required paperwork for a rental property agreement.

For more information about arranging long term accommodation in the UK, click here to read our blog.

Set up a UK bank account 

Once you’ve moved to the UK, you’ll need to set up a bank account.

To read more about the process of setting up a bank account, what to consider and which banks to use, then click here to read our blog.

Set up a mobile phone

Not all mobile phones from abroad are compatible with UK mobile phone service providers. So, if you need to set up a new mobile phone in the UK, we’d recommend reading our guide which covers:

  • Popular mobile phone companies in the UK
  • How to apply for a Mobile or SIM only contract
  • What to consider when choosing a phone network

Apply for a national insurance number

National Insurance number are unique to each individual. They are made up of 2 letters, 6 numbers & a final letter and are used by the UK government to:

  • track how much tax you have paid
  • check your tax allowances
  • find out how much state pension you may be owed

You may have an NI number automatically allocated on your biometric residence card however, if not, then you will need to apply for one. 

Read this blog for more information on:

  • What is National Insurance?
  • How do I apply for a National Insurance number?
  • What if I lose or forget my NI number?

Look into UK driving licenses

You can check whether you’re able drive in the UK using your non UK driving license by using this website and inputting your details.

For more information about UK driving licences and tests, including the below, then read our blog.

  • How long can I use my foreign licence for?
  • What is the process to get UK driving license?
  • How do I exchange my driving license from the EU?

Organise childcare

You may need to organise childcare once you’ve settled into your new environment. Take a look at this article for information on:

  • How to find childcare?
  • Checking Childcare providers
  • How much does childcare cost in the UK?
  • Are there any Government schemes to help me?

Register with your local police station

Registering with your local police station is quite an easy process, although it’s not essential for everybody to do; You can determine whether you need to register with a police station by checking whether you have a visa vignette (sticker) in your passport.

  • If you do have a visa vignette in your passport, then you are unlikely to need to register with a local police station 
  • If you do not have the visa vignette in your passport, there will be instruction for you to register with your local police station

If you’d like a copy of our relocation checklist, simply contact our team and we’ll send you one.

If you’re interested in working in the UK and want to discuss the available job opportunities, please contact our team today.