Moving to Phuket from the UK: In today’s guide, we will be exploring how to move from the UK to Phuket. As someone who has experienced this journey several times throughout my life, I’m confident that today’s information will address every significant area of moving to Phuket.
However, if you are looking For more information, feel free to take a look at the pros and cons of Phuket, which dives into more detail about living/retiring in Phuket.
Moving To Phuket Checklist
When leaving the UK to Phuket, the journey has several stages, many of which begin months before the initial flight. Previously we have released an official checklist for moving to Thailand. This includes some handy tips and tricks and essential products you may wish to purchase before flying.
Nonetheless, not all products need to be purchased beforehand. For example, you may wish to purchase 100 face masks back in the UK, but In Phuket, face masks sell for pennies; thus, it is often wise to save your income on specific items and instead purchase them locally at a more affordable rate.
If you are planning to move to Phuket permanently from the UK, there are many things to do beforehand, and here are a few examples;
- Become Familiar With Overseas Taxation (If Applicable)
- Cancel Old Subscriptions And Contracts
- Copies Of Important Documents
- Covid-19 Requirements
- Emergency Funds
- Inform The Bank You Are Moving
- Insurance And Health Coverage
- Medical Prescriptions
- Move Pension Overseas (If Applicable)
- Moving Your Property To Thailand
- Order Emergency Bank Card
- Selling Unwanted Items
- Sign Up To Wise (Borderless Bank Account)
In addition to these tasks, you may need to let certain authorities know that you plan to move aboard. Who you need to inform will depend on your current situation.
HM Revenue & Customs
If you are working for a British company while living in Phuket or you currently have a business, you must inform HM Revenue and Customs that you plan to live abroad. In addition, other circumstances such as renting out your home will require you to notify HMRC of your situation. Finally, personal tax may come into play when moving to Thailand; thus, it is often recommended to contact HMRC directly.
Local council office
In addition to HMRC, you will also need to tell your local council if you plan to move to Phuket from the UK. They will often ask for a forwarding address to send any final tax bills that remain unpaid.
On some occasions, you may still be able to claim benefits if you move to Thailand. This is often done by contacting the local council, but depending on the region in the United Kingdom you live in, you may need to speak to the benefits department directly.
On some occasions, you will be able to transfer your pension abroad, depending on your circumstances. moving to a different country can affect many elements of a retirement plan; therefore, it’s recommended to speak to your pension company directly and the relevant pension department
If you have a student loan that remains, you will need to contact your student loan provider to ensure that you pay the right amount.
If you move from the UK to Phuket, it’s still possible to vote in elections and referendums. However, to vote from Thailand, you will either need to vote via postal or proxy vote.
Housing contract/ mortgage provider
Naturally, if you have a housing contract, this will come to an end, but informing the landlord is still necessary. In addition, some mortgage providers have terms and conditions about a customer’s location, and thus, moving abroad may break these T&C’s. Therefore, it’s often best to look through any paperwork and contact the mortgage provider directly.
To ensure that paperwork is delivered to the correct address, you may wish to update royal mail with a forwarding address. Unfortunately, overseas addresses can be slightly expensive and are paid every 12 months.
How much do I need to live in Phuket?
And individuals total living expenses plus luxuries differ from person to person, but as an estimate, you can live comfortably in Phuket for around £850 – £1300 Per month. This total is based on a single adult renting a one-bedroom condominium.
Many factors affect the total living cost for Phuket; therefore, it is possible to live on the island for much less. However, if you have a personal budget of over £2000, there will not be many things you can not afford. If you are looking to live much cheaper, it’s recommended to take a look at cities in the north, such as Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai.
Is Moving To Phuket A Good Idea?
Moving to Phuket from the UK is one of the best decisions for many foreigners worldwide. Phuket is a beautiful island and has a mixture of cultures. However, there are many pros and cons to living in Phuket, one of which is the level of spoken English on the island. Nonetheless, many Thai schools are located on the island if you wish to learn the Thai language.
Whether moving to Phuket is a good idea or not will depend on what kind of lifestyle you are ultimately looking for. Are you looking to work online and enjoy the tropical beaches and the golden white sands? Are you looking to reinvent yourself and help the local community?
I ask such questions because deciding if moving to Phuket is a good idea or not ultimately depends on these answers. One of the great things about living in Phuket is that it has a lifestyle for everybody. Nonetheless, there are always some travelers who prefer to live elsewhere outside of Phuket.
From speaking to the expat community and my personal experience, I can say that moving to Phuket as a foreigner in most situations is an excellent idea. The island has a host of different living experiences. Tropical island life and the friendly Thai locals only add to the beauty of Phuket.
What You Need To Know About Phuket
The current pandemic is one of the most significant areas to discuss when looking at leaving the UK to Phuket. However, as this is a broader concern, I have addressed this entirely in the section at the end.
Aside from this topic, there are a few things to know about Phuket. One consideration is the cost. The difference in price between the UK and Phuket is clear, but as someone who has lived in Thailand for many years, I (similar to many expats) see Phuket as a slightly expensive island to live on. This is one of the drawbacks if you are looking to save money while living in Thailand.
Religion is also another interesting topic. Statistically, in Phuket, the majority of the population identifies themselves as Buddhist, but there is also a significant number of Muslims which stands around 20% of the population. This looks to increase to 25% within the next five years. You will find many halal restaurants stretched across the island.
If you’re in the right place at the right time, you may spot a whale or 2 or even a small group of dolphins. During the start of the lockdown across Thailand in 2020, residents of the island started noticing life returning to the nearby beaches.
The weather all year round is fantastic. In addition, analysis from the Thai Meteorological Department states that over the last 20 years, rainfall is at its highest during May to October. The hottest time of the year tends to be in the first few months of the year. During January until April is usually the time heat records are made.
What Is Life In Phuket Like For Foreigners
When moving to Phuket from the UK, you will discover that life in Phuket is very different depending on whether you are on holiday or a permanent resident. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your viewpoint), some locals may see you as a traveler. This is because Phuket is known as a popular short-time destination.
In other words, it’s common to be approached by somebody selling sunglasses on the beach only for them to try to sell you the same sunglasses the next day and the next.
Despite this, it is a great destination, and you will discover more advantages of living in Phuket the longer you live on the island. Of course, the island itself has a unique characteristic, but some of the most beautiful charms of the island are found off the radar.
One challenge I faced more than any of them is the challenge to save cash. Of course, there are many things to do on the island, including hiking or taking a walk along the beach, both of which are entirely free. However, many exciting and thrilling adventures can lead you to go slightly over your budget.
Phuket And Covid
Phuket Provincial Order No. 5267/2564. At the time of writing, Phuket remains open under the sandbox project. However, travelers must ensure that they have the relevant injections before entering Thailand. New travelers will also be required to undergo a weekly Covid-19 test. There are also several checkpoints and screening areas around the island.
Today the Department of Health announced that domestic travel within Thailand to Phuket would become available shortly. So even though moving to Phuket from the UK has been complicated in recent times, the process looks promising as we look into the near future.
I’ve added additional references and resources in the section below for the most up-to-date information regarding Covid and moving to Phuket from the UK.
How To Start Moving To Phuket?
Moving to Phuket can be challenging as there are many free-moving components to consider. Therefore, it’s recommended to build the basic plan at the start, including the goal of moving to Phuket and the time frame.
When you build your plan, it’s also recommended to create a strategy including some additional tactics. In other words, break everything down and start to build a process. In addition, moving to Phuket from the UK is often best accomplished through small daily tasks.
Once you have made your plan, you must inform the relevant authorities and cancel any memberships/subscriptions.
There may also be several additional services that will help you with your new life in Phuket. For example, Wise is one of the cheapest ways to send money abroad. If you are renting, you will need to convert GBP into TBH for the deposit, and by using wise, you can save a lot of cash. In addition, they also offer a borderless bank account allowing you to say goodbye to heavy bank fees.
The final stage is when you start to take action. There will be significant actions throughout your process, so this is not one considerable action but many more minor actions. For example, storing your items away in a warehouse is an action, booking your flight to Phuket is an action, etc.
To summarise, to start moving to Phuket, it’s best to build a plan including a personalized checklist and your departure date. Then, begin to create your strategy and make progress daily. Through these small actions, you will find that you have completed 99% of the tasks you need to do after a short period. You are now ready to move to Phuket from the UK.
Move To Phuket: Extra Resources & References
- Ministry of foreign affairs – https://thaievisa.go.th
- Department of disease control – https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/index_more.php
- Moving Aborad (UK Gov Guide) – https://www.gov.uk/moving-or-retiring-abroad
- Help & Services – https://www.gov.uk/world/thailand
- British Embassy in Thailand – https://www.thaiembassy.com/uk-visa/british-embassy-thailand
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