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A Complete Guide on How to Move to Singapore from the UK: The Ultimate Resource for a Smooth Transit

how to move to Singapore from the UK

What if you were interested in how to move to Singapore from the UK? Singapore has become an increasingly popular destination for expats from the UK.

Thanks to a thriving economy, excellent healthcare system, high-quality education, and diverse cultural experiences, there are so many reasons to move to Singapore.

However, moving to a new country can be an overwhelming process. As one of the best international removals from the UK to Singapore, we've compiled this guide. This robust guide provides all the information about moving to Singapore from the UK.

Research and planning

Before you embark on your journey to Singapore, you must research and plan. This research goes beyond the step-by-step process of how to move abroad. It helps you understand all the costs involved in relocating abroad to Singapore. It also lets you determine the shipping cost from the UK to Singapore. Let's talk about the full range of expenditures you must consider when moving from the UK to Singapore.

How much does it cost to move from the UK to Singapore?

Cost of living in Singapore

First, you must compare the cost of living in Singapore to that of the UK. Singapore is known for being one of the world's most expensive cities. According to Numbeo, consumer prices in the UK are 26.2% lower than in Singapore. Rent in the UK is also 42.3% lower than in Singapore. Groceries are also 32.1% lower in the UK than in Singapore. Furthermore, it would help if you found out the housing, public transportation, and food costs of the specific city you intend to move to from the UK. Beyond that, if you have kids, you must also factor in the price of enrolling them in a new school in Singapore.

Visa and immigration costs

One of the first things you must inquire about is obtaining the correct visa and documentation. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to apply for a work visa or employment pass to live and work overseas in Singapore. These visas come with associated costs, including application fees and processing fees. Familiarize yourself with the various types of tickets available and the expenses involved to budget accordingly.

Insurance costs

You'll need moving, travel, and healthcare insurance, among others. Consider what kind of health insurance you can get in Singapore. Research insurance providers, compare policies, and factor that cost into your moving budget.

Shipping costs

One of the notable costs you must consider is shipping your household items. The cost of shipping depends on many factors, such as the distance from your specific city in the UK to the city you intend to move to in Singapore. It also depends on the volume of your belongings. Consider decluttering before the move to reduce the volume and lower costs. Also, obtain quotes from multiple shipping companies and compare prices and services to get the best deal.

Removal company costs

An international moving company assists with your move to simplify the process. But naturally, it comes at a cost. The cost of hiring a removal company depends on factors such as the distance between the two countries, the volume and weight of belongings, and any additional services required. Even so, your removal company will often have a shipping company attached to their benefit. So, you only have to obtain quotes from your removal company to consider their reliability, price, and reputation.

Additional costs

You may need storage for your belongings before or after the move. That's additional storage fees to account for. If you are relocating with pets, there are associated costs for their transportation, vaccinations, and other paperwork.

Budgeting: How to move to Singapore from the UK

Now that you've seen all the costs involved, the next is to plan and budget effectively. Your budget will detail your plan to move to Singapore from the UK. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Research and estimate costs as accurately as possible

  • Create a detailed moving budget, including all anticipated expenses

  • Set aside a contingency fund for unexpected costs

  • Evaluate your finances and consider potential sources of funding

  • Keep track of your expenses during the move to stay within your budget

Determine your planning time frame.

A general rule of thumb is to be ready to move within two to three months or risk losing out on job opportunities. So, you must plan accordingly to transition and get a job in the shortest time possible. Plan according to that time frame and settle all logistical arrangements, including shipment of your belongings and your children's education, before you move.

Scout for job opportunities

Ideally, you can get a job before you move to Singapore. You can use job platforms like LinkedIn and eFinancialCareers to find one. Also, industry reports such as Robert Walters's salary survey are great resources to help you determine your standing. Be ready to join relevant Facebook groups like SingaporeConnect (based in the Bay area), Singaporeans in the UK, and Singapore Global Network's regional representatives to connect with industry and community contacts.

Secure your employment pass

Once you have completed your research and planning, it's time to navigate the legal procedures required for moving to Singapore. Begin by applying for a work visa or employment pass, necessary for individuals intending to work in Singapore. Familiarize yourself with the application process and the supporting documents required. Typically, there are three types of work passes in Singapore:

  • Short-Term Employment Pass (STEP) enables you to work for up to six months

  • Long-Term Employment Pass (LTE) allows you to work for up to 12 months

  • And Temporary Employment Pass (TEP) that lasts up to 18 months

To get a work pass, you'll need sufficient funds and a letter of invitation from your prospective employer.

Additionally, you must register with the relevant government authorities, such as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), within a specified period upon arrival. Opening a bank account and obtaining the necessary permits are also essential steps.

Plan for shipping your belongings from UK to Singapore

Moving your belongings from the UK to Singapore requires careful planning and organization. Begin by finding a reliable international moving company experienced in handling overseas relocations. Obtain multiple quotes and compare services to select the best option. Pay attention to packaging guidelines and any restrictions on certain items when preparing your belongings for shipment. It is also advisable to arrange temporary accommodation in Singapore until you find a permanent place.

Generally, you won't be allowed to ship the following items into Singapore, either on yourself or in your belongings:

  • Chewing gum

  • Gun-shaped cigarette lighters

  • Fireworks of any time

  • Chewing tobacco, imitation tobacco products

  • Engaged species of wildlife and associated by-products

  • Controlled drugs.

Open a bank account.

Opening a bank account is one of the most critical aspects of how to move to Singapore from the UK. You can open one directly at the bank's branches or by applying online. Some banks may require proof of income or employment and any work pass. Others accept self-employed applicants. You may also need to get the right debit cards to withdraw money from ATMs in Singapore. Most ATMs belong to the M1 network, which uses MasterCard International Inc.'s Maestro system. Most banks also issue "local bank cards" that usually work with ATMS within the same network. Hence, these cards are linked to a specific bank account and cannot be used elsewhere.

Settling in

Finding a place to live is crucial to settling into your new life in Singapore. Decide whether you want to rent or buy property. When deciding, consider factors such as location, proximity to amenities, and transportation options. Once you have secured accommodation, you must set up utilities, internet, and other essential services. Navigating the local culture and making new connections can facilitate a smoother transition. Engage in local activities and explore Singapore's vibrant communities to embrace your new surroundings.

Important considerations: how to move to Singapore from the UK

Addressing specific practical considerations is essential as you acclimate to life in Singapore. Understanding healthcare options and obtaining adequate insurance coverage should be a priority. Familiarize yourself with the local healthcare system and identify suitable providers or insurance plans. Additionally, be aware of tax obligations in both the UK and Singapore and seek professional advice for financial planning. Lastly, adjust to Singapore's climate, lifestyle, and local cuisine. Take advantage of the diverse culinary scene and immerse yourself in the city-state's vibrant cultural experiences.

Concluding thoughts

Now you know how to move to Singapore from the UK. Moving comes with various costs that should be considered during the planning stages. By understanding the cost of living, shipping expenses, visa and immigration fees, insurance costs, removal company fees, and any additional expenses that may arise, you can effectively budget for a smooth transition to your new life in Singapore.

For more information, a consultation or an international moving quote contact, ring 65 6534 7345, or visit

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