So you’ve decided to move to the UK to live the Aussie and Kiwi dream, living in London is incredible and has numerous opportunities to travel to Europe and see the UK easily. However, before you get here there are a number of things to get in check prior to jumping on that plane.
This blog aims to address all things you need to tick off before you arrive. We’ve got the best tips straight from our very own Aussie and Kiwi who have encountered the big move to London themselves.
Check you are eligible for a Visa
Most of you will be applying for the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa if you:
- want to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years
- are aged 18 to 30
- have £1,890 in savings (approx. $4000)
Don’t let the savings bit freak you out, they only need proof of this briefly. I got mum to transfer me some money, I printed a bank statement then I sent the money back…unfortunately.
Here you can apply for the visa and read up one everything you need to know:
The entire process can take up to 3 months including your visa application and Biometric Appointment.
Once all legal requirements are done and you’re ready to move over you can now book your flight and the fun part begins! I strongly recommend not booking your flight until your visa has been confirmed.
If you are applying for a British Passport due to ancestry get ready to fill in a whole bunch of forms and make sure they are filled in correctly. Poor Alice had hers sent back for having her signature leave the tiny box, no joke!
On a side note depending on your type of work you may need a police check from your home country, make sure you do this before you move because it will take twice as long applying from within the UK.
Unsure of what to pack and what to leave behind?
Take a look at this for tips on essentials to pack.
Anything (other than food and specific brands) that you can get from home you can get here so remember not to freak out too much. Mum always told me to not take old things because they probably won’t last much longer anyway, mums know best!
You never realise how much you miss home snacks until can’t buy it anymore. Our treasured Tim Tams and Whittaker’s chocolate are a rarity to get a hold of here so remember to pack plenty of packaged snacks to combat those homesick feels. Once you get to the UK this is also a great way to make friends at any of the Kiwi or Aussie gatherings! These things can all of course be found here but you will be paying with your soul…or close to $5 for a can of L&P.
Apps to download and groups to join
- City Mapper – This app will be a life saver navigating through a new city. It shows you all the options to get from A to B, including the quickest and cheapest way.
- Meetup – This is a great app to meet people in any city you live in or visit. You can sign up to outdoor activities, clubs, dinners, sporting events, cooking lessons and much more. This is a great way to meet new people and start socialising in this huge city.
- Facebook pages – Another great way to meet people is to join Facebook groups with people who are in the exact same boat as you. Kiwis in London Facebook Page & Aussies in London Facebook Page. These pages post social events, travel tips, advertise flats for rent and most of all just good old Aussie and Kiwi humour! There is also Kiwis in London chat where people post the same questions a million times about where to find kiwi onion dip and what to do if your late collecting your BRP (tip – DON’T BE LATE).
You are now ready for your big move! Just don’t forget your passport and you will be fine, we have survived and so will you!
Blog written by Bec and Alice
Stay tuned for our next blog on how to survive your first month in London.