The number one thing you need to figure out is which visa is right for you if you go to the UK home office immigration website, there is a very nifty little calculator that will ask you if you questions about yourself where you are in life, about your passport your work history and it will tell you yes or no if you need a visa first of all and which visa you need to explore and apply for
That is definitely the first step. You don’t want to do all this work pull together all this paperwork and then realize you’re applying for the wrong visa. A big waste of time so definitely find out which visa it is that you should be going after and that can all be found on UK immigration website
Another thing is that when you find out which visa you want to apply for, you need to take a few things into consideration. For instance, will I be able to work on this visa? This is a huge huge question because there are some visas that you can acquire but you cannot work with them.
For example, if you apply for a fiance visa, if you’re in a relationship and you plan on getting married but you’re not married you can get a fiance visa. With this visa, you cannot work. A fiance visa grants you entry to the UK for a period of six months during which time you are required to marry your fiance in the UK. Once you are married you can apply for a spouse visa from within the UK. The spouse visa enables you to work in the UK and will initially be granted for a period of 30 months. So as you can see, it is important to make sure you look into all the fine print that goes along with the visa you re applying for and how limiting it is with your opportunities for employment, etc.
if you do have the funds hiring a solicitor to help you along the way is a good idea
I would just make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of time when you’re planning to move and acquiring your visa I wouldn’t lock in any flight plans or anything until you have that visa in your hand because otherwise, you’re going to find it very difficult once you get over here in their life and I go back home so I made sure I got my visa before I booked my flight and made any kind of moving plans
The transit system, in general, is reliable efficient and easy to navigate if you wait more than a couple of minutes for a tube or bus that’s unusual. If you’re 25 or under get a railcard, you get 1/3 off all rail fares across the UK this is really beneficial if you take trains a lot. Make sure you get your Oyster Card updated with your railcard info to save on London Overground trains layering. This is an art and something you will need to adjust to in the colder seasons. You will always want to carry a jacket even in the middle of summer. Weather here is fickle, it changes quickly and you don’t want to be waiting around for a bus and freezing your legs off.
Getting a bank count over here can be quite difficult if you don’t have a credit rating. You have to provide your rental contract, a utility bill or a council tax bill. It’s good to get bills generated ASAP to be able to get a bank account as quickly as possible. Both Barclays and Lloyds are adept at opening expat accounts. This is also true for mobile phone contracts, you may have trouble getting a sim only phone plan with international calls and if not having a credit rating is an issue, you can get around this by paying a deposit online.
Shopping is popular in the UK getting a week’s worth of groceries home without a car can be tricky and often the local Express version stores don’t have an extensive range of items. All the main players Tesco Waitrose Accardo M&S offer underlined delivery it’s so handy to have everything dropped off at your door on a schedule and saves you navigating crowded footpaths and the tube laden with grocery bags while trying to simultaneously fish out your Oyster Card
You can apply for a National Insurance number once you’ve arrived in the UK and then do so ASAP as its required here to monitor your tax and social security contributions it was just a matter of phoning up to make an appointment at the Jobcentre Plus which is the Medicare equivalent and to show your ID and evidence of your right to work in the UK you should receive your number in the mail shortly after.
British culture is quite different than American culture more different than I thought yes we speak the same language, for the most part, there are a few words that are quite different like boot and bonnet which a boot is the trunk of the car bonnet is the hood of the car or a lift we call elevator or the loo which we call the restroom or they just simply say toilet
I know I hear this time and time again the British are reserved what exactly does that mean so there’s a lot of thank you cheers pardon me excuse me I’m sorry when you bump into someone also one thing that I have noticed is that the British not only are they reserved in their behavior but they’re also reserved when it comes to relationships as well just something to be made aware of so you feel like you’re being left out or you know don’t take it personal basically is what I’m saying that’s not always the case but that has been my experience and that’s pretty much all I can speak from
one of the other things you have to get used to is taking public transportation now for me I like this one because you save a lot of money on maintenance gas insurance all those extra. People gripe about some trains being delayed and the grand scheme of things I think it’s useful and efficient so one thing I will tell you with too about the tube is when you get on five in the morning and it’s jam-packed is so quiet everyone either has their headphones in they’re reading a book or just gazing into space but it is so quiet no one talks to each other there’s no like friendly chitchat or hey good morning how are you none of that.
Another thing about the underground is that it travels all throughout London. I don’t know how many zones there are, but they’re quite a few zones maybe 8 or 9. Central London is in zone 1 and zone 2. Heathrow Airport is its own zone 6 so that just tells you how far away Heathrow Airport is from everyone so obviously the further out you travel the more expensive is going to get.
You also have overground trains that take you all throughout the UK and also throughout Europe so you can take a train to Amsterdam Belgium and also to parts of France as well.
Another thing about living in the UK is you get free healthcare not free really because you do pay for it through taxes, but when you’re working there is a sizeable chunk of your paycheck that goes towards health care. But the benefits are huge whenever you’re sick because you don’t have to worry about a copay, you don’t have to worry about paying for any type of surgeries. You can go you register with your GP and if you need any specific care they will refer you to a specialist and also write you a prescription so it is one of those things that when you are ill that’s the last thing you want to be worried about that could add even more stress in prolonging your illness so the fact that you don’t have to worry about that you in London
Food it’s not that bad and they have made great strides to bring a lot more tasteful variety I’m starting to see a lot more Sushi Japanese Mexican American style restaurants I think the variety just shows that yes, London it is truly an international city. Another thing about the food here is that it tends to be more healthy, to be cooked in a more healthy manner. People tend to look at food in a different way than they do in the US and for example, I have a lot of colleagues who will just bring produce and chop it up and eat it. It is not necessary for the, to really cook it, or mix in a lot of like cheese, water, or oils or all that kind of unhealthy stuff. So it’s good because some of that rubs off on you
One of my absolute favorite things about living in London is its proximity to the rest of Europe. You can go to Spain Italy France Germany for less than a hundred dollars for a round-trip flight.
I think the culture in the UK is more of a work-life balance because there are five or six weeks of holiday a year people have. Europe is so close that it makes it affordable and accessible which are two really important things if you love to travel. I’m an explorer by nature kind of like to be taken out of my comfort zone.
Also, London is pretty low in terms of vertical construction or development is not like New York City where you have skyscrapers and high-rises all over the place.
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