I've come over as a visitor to the UK. I might be staying longer than planned and would love to ship my furniture over if possible because it will be cheaper than continuing to store it in the US. My passport is stamped for "leave to enter for six months."

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    @AzorAhai. I don't believe so. However, changing your plans significantly from what was said in a landing interview can cause serious problems on subsequent visits, due to the credibility problem.
    – origimbo
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 18:58
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    @AzorAhai Oh, I'm not saying that there'll be any problems with importing things, beyond the customs fees, but a "leave to enter for six months" stamp shouldn't be interpreted as the UK being happy for a visitor to suddenly change their plans from staying for one month to staying for 6. And that information does get tracked (mostly).
    – origimbo
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 19:08
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    because it will be cheaper than continuing to store it in the US. How on earth is this possible? Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 19:56
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    @phoog I still do not see how it could be cheaper because don't forget these items are going to be shipped both ways. Very interesting. Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 20:14
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    This seems a pretty silly approach. Why don't you ship your furniture to The desert in Nevada? storage space is nearly free there, they keep whole airplanes for 40$ a month.
    – Aganju
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 2:55

1 Answer 1


You can ship your furniture at any time, regardless of your immigration status.

However, you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on your furniture, depending on the nature and value of the items. Reliefs are available, but there will be some paperwork involved to claim them. You might also be required to provide some security against the import taxes for the duration of your stay. It'll be this process that ties your import to your visa status.

The government notice that details the rules can be found here, and the shipping company will be able to provide advice too.

Note, though, that if you stay significantly longer than you declare on landing it can cause problems. If you declare a visit of, say, a month, and you stay for six then on your next visit the immigration officer will want to know how you supported yourself. If you can't present a watertight explanation then the officer may conclude you were working illegally and deny you entry. Be careful.

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    The immigration officer can also conclude that the traveler had deployed deception at the previous landing interview, so someone in this situation, even with perfectly clear self-sufficient finances, should be prepared to document that plans changed after being admitted.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 19:56
  • Are you sure of this? Our experience in Israel was that furniture could not be brought in without a long-term visa. Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 19:58
  • @AndrewLazarus if that were the case, it would be very tricky for UK citizens to import anything, since unlike Israel, there's no UK mandated ID.
    – origimbo
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 22:13
  • @origimbo While there's no requirement to have ID, I'd be surprised if a shipping company would release cargo to someone who didn't have any. Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 22:16
  • @AndrewLazarus That's going to come down on whether you consider a credit card ID.
    – origimbo
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 22:18

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