Moving to London from Australia – The Complete Guide

If you are moving to London from Australia, you are not alone. Thousands of people from Australia move to London each year for various reasons that include permanent employment, exchange programs, change of climate and environment among many other reasons. In this way, there is a great community of Aussies already living in London having relocated to the UK for various reasons. When moving to London from Australia, you can, therefore, get information about life in the city from friends and relatives already living there. But just in case, you can read on to discover some great information about moving to London from Australia.

Where to Live

There is nothing as exciting as living in London among people that come from the same country or area of origin as you. If you are looking for a place to live in London among other Aussies, there are great places and neighborhoods for you to head to. You can remember that Earl’s Court, also popularly known as Kangaroo Valley, is where most people from Australia settled first upon their arrival in the city. However, as the housing prices went up, most Aussies moved to Fulham, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush. When looking for the best place to stay in London among fellow Australians today, you should head straight to Clapham in the South of the city. Other options include Tooting, Balham, and Streatham.

You need not wait till you have moved to the city before looking for accommodation or people to share with. This, you can start doing online before you relocate to London. Some of the best considerations that you should take when looking for somewhere to live are the costs of the house, commuter distance, and of course your personal preferences.

Employment in London

Depending on the reasons that made you relocate to London, you may or may not need to look for a job. However, there are thousands if not millions of job opportunities in London. Moving to London from Australia requires proper planning and may be costly. You, therefore, need to work in order to live a comfortable life in the city. You should bear in mind that London is the costliest city in the UK. However, with its decent job opportunities, Australians have found out that living in this city is easy and affordable.

Working in London requires that you obtain a National Insurance Number. While waiting for this to be processed, you should be getting your CV well optimized for jobs in London. You can get access to quite a number of online job searching resources, recruitment portals and job posts. In addition to this, you can visit recruitment agencies for a chance to get your dream job in London.

Getting to London from Australia

Once you have finished with all the necessary preparations and it is now time to say goodbye to the Kangaroos, you can get to London through many different routes. Your decision of the route to take should be guided by the cost of the journey, the number of stopovers and the time it will take to reach the city.

If you happen to be considering moving to London from Australia then there are a number of items specific to Aussies who are moving abroad.  Certainly, you are going to be among a number of Australian Expats who have called London home for long enough to take over certain London living areas.  So not to worry that you will be too homesick; you will find that London is a very welcoming place for those moving to London from Australia. By the way, we have tons of tips for you guys on our Facebook page!

If you don’t already have family or friends to get advice from here in The Capital than you should hold tight to this entry and keep in mind that your London Relocation agent is here to help you not only find a London apartment.  We are also here to help you find areas that will be comfortable for you as an ex-pat living in London. So here are some items we’ve selected to get your thinking cap buzzing as you prepare for your arrival on the London scene.

Important Things To Know When Moving From Australia

A National Insurance Number:

If you are moving to London from Australia for work then it’s likely that your employer will have this sorted out for you. However, if you are the significant other moving to London from Australia then you will need to take care of this item on your own if you plan on working in London.  This identification number from the UK is often referred to as your “NI” number and it’s essential you have one if you are moving to London and plan to work.

So to get such an identification number you will need to visit the website of the UK government.  Start here on Https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number.  The contact phone number is 0345 600 0643, or you can text 0345 600 0644, anytime during regular working hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm.  The only way you won’t need to follow this step is if you have a biometric residence permit, called a BRP, if you do you likely have the NI number already issued on the pack of the card.  Keep in mind that you can only apply for a NI once you arrive in London, and you must have the correct visas to study or work in the UK in order to receive a NI number.

The only way around the NI number if you are fortunate enough to find a job before your NI interview then you have to have proof of a working visa.  Your employer will likely be alright with your documentation to let you begin working so long as you have an interview scheduled.  The appointment is to verify your identity it’s called an Evidence of Identity Interview at your local Job Center Plus.  If you get an appointment to bring official proof of identity, passport or birth certificate and license, and an account of all your past work and travel records for the past few years.

You will still need to file an Australian tax return.

First of all, you will need to determine whether you’ll remain an Australian resident for tax purposes (this doesn’t include any taxes from sources of income in Australia. You’ll need to pay for those to the Australian government o matter what.)? That being said, if you are employed by a British company then you will be paying a British tax. It’s based on the PAYE model or, in simpler words, your tax is automatically deducted from your earnings.

Unfortunately, unless you don’t work at all you will still need to file an Australian return on any income earned even when earned out of the country, which also includes exempt income. While that doesn’t seem to make too much sense it is the law so there’s literally no getting around filing an Australian return come tax time.  You must declare that income even if the tax was deducted in the and by the country where the income was earned.  Luckily, the one advantage is that the Australian government makes it easy and you can file online, we know, not much of a consolation is it?  The only way you won’t be obligated to file an Australian return is if you don’t earn any income

The visa

So depending on the reasons behind your moving to London from Australia you may already know just what sort of visa will apply in your situation.  Just in case you’re not sure or if you have a significant other who will be coming with you here is a brief list of the types available.  If you have a Sponsored Work Visa, it gives you the right to a residence. Your right of residence gives your kids the opportunity to attend a state school if you are interested in it. This point isn’t particularly relevant to every Australian moving to London but I have decided to include it anyway. As for when the health care is concerned,

There are a number of types of visas and here’s a brief rundown.

  • Skilled worker visa: Or called a Tier 2 General Visa, which is the one that will allow you to live and work in the UK, which can either be specified as a Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List visa, or it can be sponsored by an employer who has been unable to fill their position with someone already settled in the UK. These are requirements the employer worries about, not you.
  • Highly skilled worker visa: This type is for people who already are in the UK under the Highly skilled migrant Programme. This covers independent lawyers, writers, composers, or artists. If you didn’t apply before 06, April of last year than this option no longer is available to you
    .
  • Ancestry visa: If your grandparent was born a UK citizen and you are a Commonwealth Citizen then this is the correct visa for you. Youth mobility scheme visa: Or a tier 5 visa and is just for those between the ages of 18 and 30. It entitles you to live and work in the UK for up to two full years.  It does have a monetary requirement that you have saved a verifiable £1,890 in order to make an application.
  • Student visa: This is called a tier 4 visa General visa and is for those students wishing to study and visit and live in the UK. The minimum age is 16 years old and you have to have been offered a place on a course in England, have a good working knowledge of the English language and enough funds to support yourself and pay for the approved course you have a spot in.

Where to live

This is again something that can be determined at least partly by your reason for moving to London from Australia.  If you are working someplace you know of for sure you will want to reside in that zone for public transport if you can afford to in order to save money on your daily commute.  But if you are looking to settle around other Aussies than there are a few places they seem to populate more than others.    Some of the biggest Aussie settlements are in Acton, Queens Park, Earl’s Court, Sheppard Bush, and Willesden.  That’s not to say these are the only spots in The City and surrounding areas to find an Australian neighborhood, but these are certainly some of the bigger areas.  Since you will have the aid of your London Relocation agent who can help you find a place you can both afford and feel comfortable with you needn’t worry about this item as much as some of the others on this top ten list.  If you care to see prices in some of these neighborhoods now check out these pages; Acton Apartments,  Rentals in Queens Park, and Earl’s Court rentals, or just go to our find a flat now search page.

Cell phones and internet

It’s going to be way too costly to try and use and retain your Australian sim card from the UK, so you will want to purchase a UK sim card when you arrive in London.   Like Australia, there is no shortage of mobile phone providers in the UK to select from.  Some of the biggest are Vodafone, 02, Virgin, and EE. Most all have pay-as-you-go, SIM only, or monthly contract offers.  Instead of trying to recommend any, in particular, it’s best to seek out the consumer comparison sites. Getting a Wifi signal in London is pretty much a given everywhere that is public, like cafes, restaurants, hotels, and pubs.  Even most of the underground and overground stations have wifi these days, and you will get to those if you plan on moving around town anyplace.

Getting a bank account.

Bank accounts in the UK are very secure. You can store your money here without fear. This, however, is achieved through a lot of work that includes tons of paperwork and background checks on anything and anyone. In simpler words, opening a bank account in London is an extremely time-consuming activity. It’ll also require additional paperwork like proof of residence. Your rent or bills should do the trick.

You will certainly need to take care of this first thing when you are moving to London from Australia.  This is something that your London Relocation agent can help with, but we also have a pretty complete explanatory post on how to open a bank account and what documents you will need to do it here on our blog.  One thing that is different aside from opening a bank account is getting money here from Australia.  If you go to the institutional banks to transfer money you are certainly going to pay top dollar to do it in fees and bank charges, but you will also likely take a beating in the exchange rate the bank gives you. The alternative we suggest is to use a transfer service, its far less expensive and the exchange rates are generally more competitive.  There are a number of services like Transferwise.com and 1st Contact Forex which is an international money transfer company.  They run promotions that even make your first transfer free so check around for the lowest cost, but these are two to get you started.

Bank accounts in the UK are very secure. You can store your money here without fear. This, however, is achieved through a lot of work that includes tons of paperwork and background checks on anything and anyone. In simpler words, opening a bank account in London is an extremely time-consuming activity. It’ll also require additional paperwork like proof of residence. Your rent or bills should do the trick.

However, we do not want to minimize the importance of setting up your bank account in a UK bank. If you already have an account in Australia with Barclay’s bank or HSBC then you are in luck as both operate in the UK, so if you don’t have one yet you may want to consider doing this while you’re still in Australia.  Either way, if you plan to work in London most employers direct deposit your pay directly to your bank account.  Also, some landlords will want to see that you’ve established an account in the UK.

Get familiar with public transport and The Tube.

By far, moving to London from Australia, a big difference will be getting around town.  Invest in some really good walking shoes because as you will see you have to walk to the transport stations everyplace in London.  Though there are so many underground and overground Tube Stations and rail stations that you will likely feel pretty overwhelmed.  Not to worry, we’ve got a number of posts here on the London Relocation blog about getting familiar with London’s intricate transport systems and alternatives, as well as how to pay for such transport. But mentally divorce yourself from having a car and driving in London, even if you could afford to bring your vehicle over, there is an astronomical fee for parking and it’s just too cost-prohibitive.

What Australians Will Need To Get Used To Moving To  London

From the picture many of us get via pop culture, jokes and groundless stereotypes, one might say that Australia and the UK are polar opposites. One is an entitled, self-indulgent aristocrat who values tradition over common sense and the other is, well, a party dude like the famous Michelangelo (the ninja turtle, not the artist). How do I know that this misconception is true? You knew which one is which without me naming the country. Fortunately, this point of view is false. Both the UK and Australia have much more in common that one may have ever considered.

For once, both are English-speaking countries. Both are advanced industrial economies that spawn the level of life that is practically on the same level. Both have raised citizens that are individualistic by nature. Even culture is similar because there is no lingual barrier between people. What I mean is that we watch the same TV shows, enjoy the same sports and cheer for the same things in 9 cases out of 10. That noted the differences are still present. You can’t get away from the fact that people change based on where they live. More on the matter – you must be aware of them when considering relocating to London.

Weather

Ok, everyone sees the elephant in the room. Let’s start with him then, shall we? Yes, the weather is opposite to one another. Australians enjoy the warmth of the red giant (perhaps even too much of it) on a daily basis, while the British consider every sunny day a reason for celebration.

This fact is the reason for a major difference in the mindset is the need for activity. We here, in London, enjoy our cozy flats and some of us only go outside when it’s absolutely necessary. Australians, on the other hand, prefer an active lifestyle filled with exploration. Australians don’t watch as much TV as we do for the same reason. Yes, there are people in this world who are willing to consciously miss X Factor. Can you imagine that?

Food

This, my fellow Londoners, is where we dominate. Australia has but two chains of really big supermarkets and a smaller array of local businesses. The menus in cafes and restaurants are pretty much the same with minor exceptions. Yes, their food is jaw-dropping, but it is nowhere near the levels of diversity offered in Soho alone.

That noted, our cup of diversity stands on a shelf of thin ice. We often lack the quality of food in many places and our prices are sky-high compared to the average check-in an Australia establishment.

The difference in other types of consumer goods like shopping is pretty much on par here and there. There are as many shops, luxury boutiques and branded stores in London as there are in Melbourne or Sydney.

The Personality

The United Kingdom is a pretty big player right now but let’s face it – we are not even close to the level of impact the Empire once had over the world. And, even though we choose not to admit it, this fact hurts a lot deep down inside the heart of every British person. This is why we care about the elections in the US or whatever else the Russians are doing now much more than we do about the stuff that happens in our own country.

We unconsciously wish to rule the world with an iron fist. The Australians are nothing like that. They have a nice country with a growing economy that grows its weight on the international arena slowly, but steadily. And yet they don’t seem to care. At all. Talking about politics with an Australian is like talking about politics with a wall that has a few jokes up its sleeve. If it doesn’t work – try talking sports and you will surely find common ground.

Everyday Little Things

The devil is always in the details of which there are plenty when it comes to comparing Australia and the UK. Jaywalking is a real crime in Australia. Yes, you can’t cross the road wherever you please as long as you believe it is safe there. Safety first, someone might say and they would be right, but what happened to level crossings then? You will have to walk over tracks to get to the point of your destination in Australia. Why? Because apparently, a train isn’t as much of a threat as a Mini Cooper.

Newspapers are delivered ‘the American way’ here meaning there are actual kids on bikes who do that every morning. Those little rascals must have scared away all the cats by the way. Because how else can you explain the total absence of feline life in Australia? It’s definitely the kids… or the spiders? I’m not too sure about that but I often feel like that whatever has created THAT web can pretty much devour me in one sitting every time I visit Sydney.

Australians have mailboxes instead of tiny holes in their front door but they lack in the street light department. More of our roads in the UK are sided with pavement and Australians just have their lawn to walk on. This list can go on and on without stopping but I feel that it gets the message across – yes, there are plenty of differences both in culture and in the lifestyle but, at the end of the day, they all fade away in the shade of insane similarities. Because who really cares about a mailbox nowadays, but the ability to talk and to think on the same level is where actual gold is hidden.

We are London Relocation, where people find their home guaranteed. We’re an all-inclusive service that’s helped 100% of our clients find their perfect property sign a lease and move in within their desired time frame.

You might be wondering what’s so difficult about the London property market that you can just do this on your own. Well, agents in London only hold private stock in their area they don’t share with other agencies through a multiple listing system. This means you can’t just go to one agency and see all the available options. That’s why you need London relocation. We will be your Multiple Listing system and exhaust the market. We guarantee you will find your flat through us.

We start by conducting a needs assessment so that we know what type of property you’re looking for when you’re looking to move into it and what area will best suit your lifestyle and your community. Our team will handhold you through this process to offer you personalized attention and to educate you on the local market so that there are no surprises.

On that viewing day, your personal agent will show you 18 to 25 properties. When a certain property has captured your hearts we will help you negotiate the rent and lease terms on your behalf. Customer service is our top priority.

So remember we work with the Leddy’s agents and landlords but we work exclusively for you. Our team of London ex-pats has been there, we understand the unknowns you’re facing and we can translate the difference. We want you to settle into your new life fast and seamlessly.

So just kick back let us do the work for you. You can take my word for it or have a look at our client testimonials I think you’ll like what you hear so give us a call or fill out a web form and start your move today

Call London Relocation today to get started at 800-903-1658 from the United States or from the UK +44 20 7993 0422. Our service is 100% guaranteed to find your ideal flat in one day!

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