If you’re planning on moving to London as part of a relocation jobs program then your new employers will handle many of the details of your move. Many Americans moving are seconded by their American companies to work in the city for a few years. Most people will probably be working for American companies with offices in the UK. Being transferred is quite different to taking a job with an English company.
Relocation to London – Job Searching for Partners
It does not automatically follow that the partner of an American moving here is given the right to work. You can easily obtain a visa to stay in the country as an accompanying spouse, finding work however can be trickier. While it might sound fabulous to have time on your hands and a city like London to explore, one can only visit the London Eye so many times before you scream with boredom.
Living here is very different from visiting for a vacation. Partners of people who have been transferred often find it hard to be out of work, and even harder to find a job. Americans are restricted as to the kind of employment they are able to take when they are planning their relocation. An American citizen may only accept an offer of employment if they can secure a work permit. What this means for the layman is that an English company will have to satisfy the government that they could not fill the vacancy with a citizen of the UK or even the EU (that’s nearly ALL of Europe).
You may be able to take a job that requires American expertise that cannot be found in the UK. Law firms are the best example of this as well as the myriad of American financial institutions that operate in the city. Unless you can get a sponsor for your work permit, you will not be eligible to work.
It’s not all bad news though. Applying for a work permit should be done before you start your relocation process. You can also consult with recruitment agencies and recruitment websites before you arrive to get a good idea of employment opportunities after your relocation.