Once you have finished your study and earned your qualification, chances are that your student visa will expire. Which means you should start getting ready to return to your home country. This process can be rather stressful, however with a little planning and pre-emptiveness, everything should run smoothly. However there are a few things to take into consideration, if you forget to do them before leaving this could create some problems should you want to return to the UK in future.
Here are a few tips on how to prepare:
- Try to consider the hidden costs of graduation. Make sure you take into account the costs of hiring a graduation gown, the ticket prices of post-graduation celebration events and purchasing official photos! These are lifetime mementos and would make wonderful gifts for your parents and family.
- Purchase your return flight tickets ahead of time. Tickets get more expensive the closer you get to your desired departure date. Buying them early helps reduce the cost.
- Cancel any direct debits or automated payment plans before you leave. They might be difficult to cancel after you have left and if gone unnoticed can cause a big financial hit.
- Inform all the official bodies of your impending departure. These will include any healthcare providers such as doctor’s clinics and dentists as well as other establishments such as the bank.
- If you had to register with the police when you entered the country, you will also need to inform them of your impending departure and return your original registration certificate.
- Remember to give your landlord enough notice of your departure. This will give them time to assess the premises for any damage and return your security deposit accordingly.
- Notify the local city council of your departure. However this is unnecessary if you do not pay council tax.
- Unless these are managed by the landlord and not directly by you, you should inform all the utility suppliers for the electric, water and gas about a month in advance before you leave. This will give them time to run the final bill calculations so you can pay anything outstanding before you leave.
- Check your refund entitlements on things like your prepaid travel cards, car tax if you are driving, and your council tax. All these expenses are prepaid and most have a refund procedure for anything that you will not be using.
- More often than not, you will end up accumulating a lot of possessions during your stay in the UK. These could end up exceeding you return luggage allowance. Should this happen, it might be cheaper to use a moving company rather than paying the excess charges at the airport. There are plenty of moving companies available to choose from, just make sure to get as many quotations as you can so you can get the best price.
- Make sure that you leave a forwarding address with your landlord in case anything else arrives for you in the post after you have left. Alternatively you can redirect your mail through the Royal Mail however this is a paid for service.