Tips and links to make your UK move easy.
To help tick off all the essential items involved in moving to the UK, we’ve compiled two checklists with things to consider before and after you go. If you have something to add, drop us a message and we will be in touch.
Spend some time converting your CV into UK format and be comfortable with discussing it.
Update your online profiles – LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc – to support both your CV and professional profile.
Watch what you post on social media as recruiters and employers may look at it as well.
Treat each interview like it is your last chance, regardless of how or where your interview is taking place.
To start getting prepared for your UK interviews, read our interview advice
More than 80% of Aussies and Kiwis heading to London start their working lives in the contract market, the traditional stomping ground for Aussies and Kiwis on their Big OE.
If you don’t have a UK passport, you will need a UK work visa. It’s that simple.
The most common UK work visa for Aussies and Kiwis is the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) visa. If you have a grandparent born in the UK, you may qualify for the Ancestry visa.
Alternatively, if you don’t qualify for either of these visas, sponsorship by a UK employer is possible with the Skilled Worker visa.
Speak with friends and family already there as a starting point. If this is not an option, have a look at some popular flat hunting websites such as SpareRoom, Gumtree and Kiwis in London.
The Kiwis in London ‘Live Flats‘ link will give you an idea of the current going rates. Expect to pay a deposit and 4-6 weeks rent upfront when moving into a new flat.
West and South West London have long been popular with Aussies and Kiwis – Shepherds Bush, Acton, Hammersmith, Putney, Southfields, Wimbledon, Wandsworth and Clapham.
Wherever you decide to live, just make sure it is close to public transport – London Underground, buses or trains.
The cost of living really depends on where and how you like to live, what you see as necessities vs luxuries, etc. Generally speaking, the necessities (food, alcohol, clothing and travel) are relatively cheap compared to Australia & New Zealand. It is also relative to what you earn.
For a general comparison of the cost of living between London and cities in Australia and New Zealand, check out BudgetDirect.
Opening a bank account with a UK retail bank can be a frustrating and challenging affair.
As a result, we suggest opening an account with WISE (before you depart) if your UK banking requirements are simply to receive and make payments. It should be all you need when you get there and is easy to setup and use. WISE also have competitive international currency exchange rates, which can help if you plan to send money back home.
If you do still require normal banking facilities, consider using either Lloyds Bank or HSBC. With Lloyds Bank, you simply need to present your passport and BRP. That is to say, you no longer have to present proof of your UK address in the form of a bank statement and/or utility bill.
Alternatively, if you already have an HSBC Premier Account in Australia or New Zealand, you can use these details to open an account with HSBC in the UK.
Giffgaff is a good option for a prepaid SIM. They will forward a UK SIM Card to your home address before you leave.
Most phones are carrier unlocked, so you should be able to use your existing device.
As you pay an Immigration Healthcare Surcharge as part of your UK visa application, you will be entitled to use the National Health Service when you arrive.
To use the NHS, you need to find a local GP and register for the NHS at a local GP surgery.
If you do not already have an NHS number, it will be assigned to you during registration. You’ll get a registration letter in the post and your NHS number will be shown in the letter.
Another important reason for registering with a GP is to be eligible to get travel insurance while living in the UK.
To be eligible to apply for travel insurance in the UK, you must be registered with a GP and have been living in the UK for more than 6 months. It is therefore wise to take out travel insurance before moving to the UK.
After you have been in the UK for more than 6 months, Compare the Market and Money Supermarket are good websites for comparing the cover and cost of insurances offered by competing insurers.
The Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is a UK identity card that is used to confirm your identity, right to study, and right to use public services. You must collect your BRP from a nominated post office within 10 days of arriving in the UK.
A National Insurance number (NI) is required if you plan to work in the UK. It is your personal identification in the UK tax system.
You may receive an NI number when you get your BRP. If so, it will be printed on the back of your BRP. If you do not have an NI number, you must apply online AFTER you arrive in the UK.
The UK health system is known as the National Health Service (NHS). To register, find a local GP and register for the NHS at a local GP surgery.
If you do not already have an NHS number, you’ll be assigned one during registration. You’ll get a registration letter in the post and your NHS number will be shown in the letter.
If you intend to travel outside the UK to the EU, you should apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to access state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost should you require it.
Note: The GHIC does not replace travel insurance.
Aussies and Kiwis planning a 2023 Europe trip will have to register through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) before travelling to certain countries:
With the arrival of ETIAS expected in 2023, passport holders of 59 of the 62 countries that currently travel visa-free, will require an ETIAS waiver to travel to Europe for the purposes of tourism, business, or transit for a 90 days stay in any 180-day period.