Going to live permanently in a foreign country is known as immigration. Passenger lists document people who arrived or left the UK on ships.
'Immigrants and Aliens' by R. Kershaw and M. Pearsall is a book which gives a general introduction to immigration records. More information about immigration records can be found on the National Archives website.
UK incoming passenger lists 1878 to 1960 for ships arriving from foreign ports outside of Europe and the Mediterranean are available on Ancestry. There are separate lists for British (and commonwealth) passengers and alien passengers. These lists have been indexed by ship and by person.
The Moving Here website (archive copy) explores the stories of different migrant groups.
UK outbound passenger lists for 1890 to 1960 and passport applications 1851 to 1903 are available on findmypast.
How to access
We also hold information about immigrant communities.