Many Australians make the trek to London and decide to stay permanently. It is a big change to do so, although the fact that many others have made the journey before you should be somewhat comforting. It is, of course, important to talk about the move with people that you care about, but you also need to get advice from professionals about what is involved and what you need to know. The following tips will help you get started if you are interested in moving to London.
Have The Right Visa
There are a number of different visas that you can apply for if you are moving to London. Your application must go through UK Visas and Information, and it is best to contact them if you need more details before you fill out your application.
Australians may apply for one of the following visas. The first is the Skilled Worker Visa. This lets you stay in the UK and work there. However, you have to choose a job that is on the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List. The only way you can get a different position is if the employer has tried to fill a job with someone in the country and has not been able to do so. You can also get the Highly Skilled Worker Visa if you are in the UK with the Highly Skilled Migrant Program. You are eligible if you are a lawyer that works for yourself or if you are an artist, composer or writer as well.
The Ancestry Visa is another option. You are eligible if one of your grandparents was born in the UK and you are a Commonwealth Citizen. The Youth Mobility Scheme Visa is something to look into if you are between the ages of 18 and 30. You can stay in the UK and work there for as long as two years, but you must have saved at least £1,890 to be eligible to apply. In addition, there is a Student Visa if you want to move to the UK to further your education. You have to be at least 16 years old, you must be accepted to a program, and you must be proficient in English.
Finding A Place To Stay
The public transportation system in London makes it easy to get around. People from Australia tend to settle in certain areas, including Earl’s Court, Queens Park, Acton, Shepherds Bush and Willesden. If your heart is set on living in London, just keep in mind that it costs a lot of money to do so. You can live right out of town for much less.
If you are looking for housing, do some research on Right Move and Zoopla, both of which have a large database that you can search through. Gumtree is another option; you can search for accommodations based on area if you want. One reason to work directly with the owner is that you can save money on agent fees. If none of the above options work, take a look at EasyRoomMate as well. They offer a customer service line that is available at any time of the day or night.
Getting Your Finances In Order
You must set up a bank account, particularly if you plan to work in the United Kingdom. That is where your salary will be deposited. There are several banks in the UK that have a link to Australia, including Barclays and HSBC. Working with one of them might make the transition more seamless. If you go this route, you might even be able to get your bank account all figured out before you head to the UK.
Of course, before you do so, you must have a UK address and be able to show that you will be living there. That isn’t always easy, because you might arrive in the UK and bounce around a bit before you get a permanent place to stay. If you are in a hostel, the owner may be willing to let you use the address; just talk to them to see. In order to show proof that you live somewhere, you have to have a bill with your name and the address on it. So, if you are at a hostel, simply update the address on your home bank account and print off an Internet banking statement. You should be good to go.
Obtain A National Insurance Number
In the UK, the equivalent of the Tax File Number is a National Insurance number. You can get one by getting in touch with Jobcenter Plus. They are open during the week, from 8 in the morning until 6 at night. You simply have to show them that you are in the UK legally. You also have to show them your proof of address and your passport.
Look for a Job
If you’re in the UK to work you’re going to need to find a job. The best case scenario is to have something locked down before you get there. This means starting your job search and in turn this requires you to have a resume. Before creating your resume, make sure to check out these resume tips for job seekers.
Find A Doctor
You will likely need medical care at some point while you are in the UK. You cannot do so unless you register with a surgery. The process is not all that different from the one in Australia; your medical care is paid for by the National Insurance. Just look for a doctor near where you are and let them know your information. The registration process should be fairly easy.
If you have a medical question at night or on the weekend, simply dial 111. The service is available at any time of the day or night. If you require immediate medical assistance, dial 999. An ambulance will be dispatched to your location to assist you with your needs.
It isn’t a great idea to use your Australian sim card in another country. Instead, buy a UK sim card once you arrive. You can choose from different service providers and figure out a plan that works for you. Check out The Carphone Warehouse; you can easily compare plans that way. In addition, there are a number of free Wi-Fi spots around London.
The UK has a lot of locations where you can access the Internet at no charge. For example, if you are at a restaurant, staying in a hotel, or drinking at a pub or cafe, chances are that there is Wi-Fi service. In addition, many London underground and overground stations have free Wi-Fi as well. If you do your research ahead of time, you will know where to go to get free Wi-Fi. As you start to explore the city, you’ll find that some of your favorite places to frequent have it as well, and you can go there where you need to get online.
It is not hard to navigate through London; all you need to do is take a bus or a train. If you opt for the train, also called The Tube, you can get around all of London. To do so at the best price, get an Oyster Card and add credit to it. When you get on or off at a station, you just touch your card to the yellow card reader.
There is also an option to go with a contactless payment card; it works much the same way as an Oyster card. You can use it with prepaid cards, debit cards, credit cards and more, but the form of payment must be contactless.
When you choose to use either a contactless card or an Oyster card, you will only pay a certain amount of money each time you use public transportation. The system figures out how to get you the most for your money and that is what you pay.