How to move a family of 5 (plus 2 pets) to the UK on LOTR in 3 months ⦁ 2大3細+2隻寵物=3個月內由香港用LOTR移居到英國
“The BNO visa is our escape route,” so Thomas brought his three kids, his wife, a dog and a rabbit to the UK in October. Thomas began his research seriously in August and came for one week to do viewings after details of the BNO Visa emerged. To arrange such a big move, Thomas had to be methodical and organised.
August 2020 ⦁ 八月
At the start of my research, I have a list of English cities I think we would want to live in based on recommendations from my British friends, as well as the schools in the area. ⦁ 「未嚟英國探路之前，我根據英國嘅朋友同埋學校嘅選擇揀咗幾個我覺得屋企人會想住嘅城市。」
In terms of researching and finding school, we used locrating.com.
Once I booked the flights for my research trip, I arranged more than 10 viewings with estate agents across the UK – London, Reading, Milton Keynes, and Manchester. ⦁ 「Book好咗探路旅程嘅機票之後，我馬上安排唔同嘅日子去睇樓。我哋打算租樓嘅地方係London,，Reading,，Milton Keynes 同埋 Manchester。」
Since we have pets, we decided to rent at the start and our options were limited.
I came to visit because I did not want nasty surprises for my family when they arrive. It was the right thing to do, even though the pandemic and the quarantine period was a real hassle. ⦁ 「因為我哋一家五口，仲有兩隻寵物，總唔能夠摸住石頭過河。所以我決定先嚟英國做research。雖然有疫情之下飛嚟飛去係有啲麻煩，但係而家回想返，絕對係一個啱嘅決定。」
During that week in the UK I drove up and down the country to study these areas, while my wife was in Hong Kong looking after our new born and the two kids.
At the end of the trip, I picked an area in London that is known to be multicultural for my family. I signed the tenancy agreement before I flew back to Hong Kong. ⦁ 「喺英國嘅最後幾日，我已經決定咗會喺倫敦一個以多元文化出名嘅城市居住。我臨飛返香港之前，馬上簽好租約。」
I should add that when I arrived for this visit, I had a brief chat with the immigration officer at the border about LOTR (leave outside the rules). This helped ease my mind a little, because not too many people arrived on LOTR back then and information was limited.
Back in Hong Kong, my wife and I sat our family down for a chat about immigrating to the UK. To the kids, we told them we would be exploring a new city and they were fine with that. With our parents, they understood our decision completely. ⦁ 「返到香港之後，我同太太就同一家人坐低傾準備移民呢件事。同小朋友，我哋大致係話我哋將會探索一個新嘅地方。我哋嘅父母好明白我哋嘅決定，知道大家都仲可以FaceTime。」
September 2020 ⦁ 九月
We started seriously looking up schools for my two elder kids now that we have an address. With our council, we could only apply for schools once we landed in the UK, so there was not much that we could do from Hong Kong. ⦁ 「有咗地址之後，我哋馬上幫小朋友搵學校。我哋嘅council只容許我哋喺落咗地之後先至可以申請學校，所以喺香港除咗做research，冇咩可以做到。」
I began settling my personal matters such as resigning from my job and dealing with my assets.
We picked the day for the big move and booked our flights.
We started looking for a relocation company and packed up everything we have in Hong Kong. ⦁ 「傢俬物品方面，我哋有搵移民搬運公司幫手。」
We also worked with a pet relocation agency on the move of our 11-year-old dog and rabbit. Pet relocation companies cannot take everything off our hands but they were useful while we were busy finalising everything else. ⦁ 「至於11歲隻狗同埋兔仔，我哋就搵咗寵物移民公司幫忙。呢啲公司當然唔能夠乜都幫我哋做晒，但係因為我哋要搞咁多嘢，寵物移民公司的確係有用嘅。」
October 2020 ⦁ 十月
The five of us, along with the dog and the rabbit, landed the UK on the same day. We applied for LOTR at the border. ⦁「兩大三細，加隻狗同兔仔，全部都係同一日抵達英國。我哋係申請 LOTR 入境。」
I was fully aware of the risks by reading a lot of about successful and failed cases. Of course I was nervous when we were at the border, but we did the best we could to prepare for it and had all the documents needed.
We didn’t have much furniture when we landed as ours were on their way. Nevertheless, we went to get a car which was essential for a big family like ours. ⦁ 「雖然我哋到咗之後，傢俬都仲未嚟到，但係我哋都馬上買咗架車，方便一家人出入。」
We activated the school applications straight away for our children with the council. This council promised to find them a school within one month. I am happy to say my two children were already attending school in November and enjoying it. ⦁ 「我哋都馬上幫小朋友申報學校。Council 應承咗一個月之內會幫小朋友搵到學校。兩個細路11月已經好開心咁返緊學啦。」
I will think about job hunting after my family has fully settled in.
Every step of our preparation was difficult, I would be lying to say it was straight forward. From entering the UK, talking to family members who are staying behind, to finding schools… there was nothing easy about it. ⦁ 「移民嘅每一步都唔容易。由同屋企人解釋，到入境，到搵學校，每一步都有佢嘅難處。話易就呃你嘅。」