Moving to London from an international location? Get prepared with the ultimate checklist for moving to London, including everything from visas to woolly jumpers!
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London is a very desirable city to live in.
Every year, more than 200,000 people migrate to the British capital from overseas. The growth is faster than any other area of the country, with people drawn by the jobs, the modern lifestyle and the city’s sheer notoriety. But for all it’s perks, London is a big and complex city with many different types of people living there. That’s why we’ve put together a helpful moving to London checklist to get you ready for your international relocation.
London is a great place to live in, with a wealth of things to see and do. It is also a very safe city. But that is unlikely to matter to you. If you are at the stage where you’re looking for a moving to London checklist, chances are you’ve already made the decision to join the millions of others in the capital of Great Britain, and you’re just after some insider tips for moving to London.
So, let’s not waste time.
The Best Moving to London Checklist
Ready to start checking off your pre-moving to-do list? Here is everything you need to have sorted before you move to London:
Cost of living
Before you move, the top item on your checklist for moving to London should be to perform a cost of living analysis to find out which areas you can afford. Prices vary widely across the British capital, even between streets. Do your research and you’ll be more than capable of living within your means. Forget this step and you may be in for a shock when first living in London!
In order to live in London and the UK, you’ll likely need a visa. Even those coming from EU nations should look into the process, simply to make sure they qualify post-Brexit. There are a variety of visas available, so spend some time looking at them to be sure you get the right one. If you are confused about visas, get help from visa specialists. Visas can take months to come through, so make sure this is the first tick on your list!
Britain is famously dreary, but it can be warm, too. With lows of sub-zero temperatures and highs of over 30’C, you’ll need to come prepared for every eventuality. Living in London doesn’t always see extreme weather in the same way that other parts of the country do, but you’ll still want to be prepared for rain, wind, heat, and the occasional snowfall.
What are your tax obligations going to be when you move? Ignorance is not an excuse, unfortunately, so get to know more about how you’ll be paying tax as an international citizen or a new citizen of the UK.
In order to pay for goods and services when living in London, you’ll need money. But cash will only get you so far. You’ll need to establish a British bank account before travel, so it is ready for you once you arrive. You may be able to use your international account, but it will incur additional fees.
The National Health Service is your first line of defence against injury or illness. But, although free for British citizens, you cannot just walk in and expect free treatment as a member of the international community. Work out your eligibility for NHS treatment and be sure you get appropriate coverage before your plane’s wheels touch the tarmac.
Most licenses are transferable, but it is a good idea to check with local authorities prior to your move if you plan on driving. Make sure you will be allowed to use your vehicle. If not, take the steps necessary to get a valid driving license. If you are driving in London make sure you save on potential charges by making sure your vehicle is compliant with the Ultra Low Emission Zone requirements.
In the UK, it is illegal to drive a car without insurance. You may also need to acquire other insurances too, especially property insurance if you are renting, or health insurance depending on your type of visa and NHS eligibility.
This may seem like an obvious item to put on a moving to London checklist, but you’ve got to have somewhere to live once you arrive in the British capital. Don’t board that plane until this box has a firm tick in it. Make sure you check the details of your lease and tenancy fees.
It doesn’t matter if you’re buying or renting; in most circumstances, you’ll need to arrange your own utility bills, including gas, water, electricity, internet and TV. Check out utility comparison websites and hunt for the best deals.
You need a mobile phone for just about everything these days, but bringing your own mobile from another country with an international network is going to incur massive fees. Buy a British phone or SIM card and get connected to a domestic network.
Wherever you move, things are going to be a bit different. The language may be different, the customs may be different, the laws may be different. The culture of London is unique and, as such, you should take the time to embrace it. Getting to know your new home prior to moving will help you reduce the chances of culture shock, as well as help you integrate socially with the people of London.
From Bank Holidays to festive breaks, there are numerous public holidays and celebrations in the UK you should be aware of.
How are you going to get around your new home in London? Cabs? The tube? Buses? Your own car? Be aware of your transport choices and learn how to use them prior to moving.
For example, for public transport, it is advisable you get an Oyster card before your move. If you are driving, be sure to learn about congestion charges. Taking cabs everywhere? Be sure to get your first paycheck in advance…
If you are a graduate moving overseas, you may only have a backpack and some dreams to bring with you. For those with more to bring, getting the help of an international moving company, like us here at Gerson Relocation, is essential. We can arrange everything from logistical planning to freight transport.
Moving all your possessions at once may not be an option, but leaving them behind or selling them may not be an option either. In these circumstances, storage is the answer. Arrange storage facilities now and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you won’t have to give up any of your favourite things when moving to London.
Pets are more than just an animal. They are family. Where you go, they go — and overseas is no exception. Moving a pet abroad can be tricky, but with the right support from an international moving service like Gerson Relocation, you’ll have them by your side in Britain in no time. London is quite welcoming of dogs, and many pubs have water bowls ready for canine guests. The British love their dogs, so your best friend will probably enjoy living in London as much as you will.
Be sure to secure your pet passport and get vaccines early so as to not face problems later on.