It’s official – after about half a year of planning/waiting/organising/sulking/stressing we finally relocated from CZ to UK! From Pardubice to Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, to be more precise. Here’s a bit of a summary of all the problems we had to solve and what the situation is like right now.
- Visa. That was THE main obstacle and it delayed the whole relocation by about 4 months. We thought that our situation was pretty straight forward (British husband and kids, official job contract, meeting all financial and legal requirements), so we decided to apply without using help of a lawyer. Big mistake. I was refused a visa for not providing enough financial evidence. It still took 2 months to get that refusal, wasting a lot of precious time. We contacted a lawyer and made an application the way he advised. Result? I had a visa in a month. Conclusion: will never deal with immigration matters on our own again!
- Shipment. This was the easiest part of our relocation. The distance was so short that we had all our things driven by a van in a matter of 5 days. A real treat in comparison to a two months wait we had when we moved from Germany to China.
- Pets. Sadly we had to find new homes for our pets, as I was not prepared to pay 500USD to ship a hamster and a snail to UK. Good thing was that we found really good homes for them, so I don’t think they noticed that different humans were there to feed them :)
- Education. This was a big one. I was worried enough for my 6 year old to start studying in a foreign language, but being a semester late for her first year at school was making me go nuts! She started school after the Christmas holidays and by now she’s already feeling more confident when we take her there in the mornings. Fingers crossed, she’ll catch up soon.
- Social life. While I still haven’t made any friends in Leamington, we still have college friends living in London, which is just an hour and a half away by car or train. What can I say, in comparison to CZ my UK social life is amazing! Already had friends coming over for a visit and went to see them in London (got some photos and stories to blog about later ;). Having no language barrier helps A LOT! :)
All in all, our relocation would have gone really well, if it wasn’t for an unexpected visa problems. Spending four months apart with my husband, living alone with the kids in CZ – that was a very tough period. Very happy that it’s over and we can settle down in our new UK home :)