Planning to Move to the UK? You’ll need to make a Transfer of Residence Application

When you're moving to the UK, your customs agent will require you to apply for a TOR number, this is done online, email or post. HMRC does not allow your agent to apply for the TOR number on your behalf, you have to apply for it yourself as this is your declaration and you are responsible and liable for its accuracy.

We recommend you apply for TOR before your goods are sent to the UK. You will need to pass this to us so that we can make the customs declaration and your shipment can be released to us. Any delays in obtaining this unique reference code may mean additional charges as your shipment will be held by customs until they receive it and they will charge you for the period of time they have to hold it.

In some cases, HMRC issues TOR number within 24 hours but we have also seen some cases where these can take up to 5 weeks so we advise applying as soon as possible.

Before you start, this is what you’ll need: An email address and phone number - this is important so HMRC can contact you with any questions. Please use an email that you check regularly in order to avoid delays.

  • Employer / Educational establishment details if either of these is the reason for your move to the UK. You'll need their name and address.
  • The address of your new home in the UK. Note: HMRC are aware that the address in the UK is not always known at this stage. If this is the case you may be able to use a temporary address or add a note to explain it is not yet known.
  • The address of your most recent home outside of the UK. You will need to provide a copy of the rental or purchase agreement for this property.
  • If you have previously lived in the UK or another EU country you'll need to provide dates and reason for leaving, including details of any employer or educational institution (name, address) and the address you lived at in the UK or EU prior to leaving.
  • If you are importing vehicles you will need the brand, model, year of manufacture, license/ID number, registration number, date and country of registration and the purchase date.
  • If you are importing pets or animals you will need details of their pet passport/ID.
  • Details of any other tax exemptions applied for elsewhere
  • Goods arrival date showing the dates your items arrived or are expected to arrive in the UK

Once the form is completed download a copy and either email ( or post to HMRC along with the enclosures below. NOTE: We strongly advise emailing this form as it provides you with confirmation of receipt and ensures HMRC have an email address that they can use for responding to you with any questions or approval. All emails should be under 10mb including attachments else it may be rejected by HMRC mail system.


  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of Visa (if applicable)
  • Proof of registration showing that you've taken up residence in the UK or other country of the EU and the date on which you did so. You may also send some other comparable document providing reasonable evidence for this purpose.
  • Two signed lists of the goods you wish to import - we believe this should be a descriptive inventory and not 'misc items' etc. and should be valued.
  • Invoices, proofs of guarantee etc for the goods you wish to import
  • Copies of any documents which show you're going to live in the UK for example your employment contract, an employers statement, a work permit or your tenancy/purchase agreement for the home you plan to live in.

Once you're ready you can Complete the ToR application form online.

You will know if your application is approved when you receive a response from HMRC with your unique reference number. You should send copies of your documents including the Unique Reference Number to your Move Manager. Once they have received these we can schedule your packing and loading dates (this may take up to 3 weeks to arrange). Many shipping companies are advising that they will not ship goods from the departure country until they receive your unique reference number from HMRC as this can increase the risk of additional charges if there are any issues with obtaining this in time for your shipments arrival. Please note if you ship your items without a unique reference this is at your own risk.

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