There will be many of you reading this who might happily contact your travel agent to arrange a holiday to London in the United Kingdom, but how many of you would similarly contact your local removalists to put a permanent move to London? Given that London’s current population is over 9.5 million, more than Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide combined, you certainly would not be short of others who also call the UK’s capital city home.
Whilst arranging a holiday to London does take some effort, it does not come close to agreeing to move there permanently and make it your home. It will undoubtedly be more manageable if you employ professional removalists who specialise in helping Australians move overseas. However, there is much more to consider for such a bold step.
Many of those considerations will be understanding what living in London means. You need to be aware of local laws, customs, health system, financial system, housing, employment opportunities, and so much more, including immigration requirements for the UK. To help you, here is a short guide to moving permanently to London.
Immigration Requirements: Visas that might be available to Australians include:
- Skilled Worker: For professional administrative or managerial roles
- Intra-Company: For those working for muti-nationals with a London-based division
- Health/Care Worker: For those working within the health profession
- Global Talent: For those with talents and skills in emerging industries such as digital technology
- Innovator: For entrepreneurs with new businesses or innovative business ideas
- Family Visas: Required for family, including spouses and children
The National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare across a vast range of specialities, and in most cases, treatment is free at the point of care. This includes ambulances, GPs, and hospital care, including emergency care. Private health care is also available in London for those who wish to pay and use it. London has a total of 309 hospitals and clinics, as well as 1,500 GP practices.
To open a UK bank account, you must have a UK address. However, there is no shortage of banks available to choose from. As for the tax system, if you are employed, then the UK’s Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system means that everything is calculated for you and deducted at the source. In the UK, you also pay National Insurance which contributes towards health care, social security, and pensions.
In London, the primary school term starts late August or early September and ends in mid-July, with holidays at Christmas and Easter. Once at the age of 5 years, children attend primary school, secondary school at 11 years, and school leaving age is 16. Further education is widespread, with numerous colleges and universities available in London and the rest of the UK, including Oxford and Cambridge.
Homes In London
You might wish to sit down for this as the prices of homes in London will likely bowl you over. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, with even the smallest bedsits starting at no less than £150,000. Average house prices are closer to £550,000, and, as you might expect, rental prices follow a similar pattern, with the lowest rents for an apartment no less than £1,000 per month.
Despite its vast size, getting around London is relatively easy thanks to a comprehensive system of buses, trains, and the world-famous London Underground, The Tube, plus London taxis are plentiful. Note congestion is a problem on the roads, so car use is discouraged through various charges for those with cars.
Yes, London gets more than its fair share of rain annually. However, it does not get extremes of cold or heat, although, in the summer, it does tend to top the temperature charts compared to other UK cities.