The United Kingdom is one of the most popular countries for Australians to move to. It’s culture, economy and environment are all largely familiar and inviting for any Australian expats – if you can excuse the fact that the UK’s weather is a fair bit colder and wetter. However, if you are an Australian looking to move overseas to the UK, then you need to make sure you have crossed all your T’s and dotted all your I’s before you get on the plane. As such, we have put together a useful checklist to tick off if you are planning to move to the UK from Australia.
Organising Your Visa
Applying for a visa in the UK can be a time-consuming process, but it should be the first step you aim to complete when planning your move. Once you have your visa, everything else can begin to fall into place, so the sooner you have successfully acquired one, the better.
However, it can be a bit tricky figuring out the right UK visa for you. The simplest way to know is to visit the UK Home Office’s website and use their “check if you need a visa” tool. But for now, here are some of the common visas that you may qualify for if you are moving from Australia to the UK:
- Skilled Worker Visa – allows you to live in the UK for up to five years if you are a skilled worker starting a job for an approved UK employer.
- Health and Care Worker Visa – a five-year visa for medical professionals who are will work with the NHS or NHS supplier.
- Star-up Visa – a two-year visa for anyone who wants to begin an innovative business within the UK that will benefit the country’s economy.
- Student Visa – for students over the age of 16 who plan to study in the UK.
- Family Visa – for spouses and children who wish to visit or stay with their family members in the UK.
Organise Your Finances
You will need to have your finances in order by the time you arrive in the UK so that you won’t have to worry about accessing any of your money for both the short and long term. While in theory, you could keep sourcing your money from your Australian bank account, there are numerous benefits to transferring your credit to a UK bank. Exchange rates vary depending on the company you choose to handle the transfer. Certain companies like Wise and Western Union will usually give you better rates than your bank, so make sure you do your research before making this decision.
Finding a Place to Live
You’ll want to know that there is a home waiting for you when you arrive in the UK, so it’s essential you arrange all of your living situations well in advance of moving day. Whether your dream is to live out of a townhouse in the middle of bustling London or a quaint cottage is some rural England village, you’ll want to have everything in order so you can acquire the keys to your new place as soon as possible.
You’ll also need to make the decision between buying or renting a property. Renting is the more affordable short-term option, especially with the rising house prices across the UK. However, buying a house or applying for a mortgage may be the wiser long-term option if you are planning on staying in the country for several years. Also, talk to an international moving company to get a quote on moving your things to the UK. Based on that you can decide whether it will be worth to move your things or buy new things there.
Organise Work and Schooling
Certain job qualifications in Australia may hold a greater or lesser significance in the UK. This means that you should carefully consider your work opportunities when looking for jobs overseas. Still, finding work is an important step to take when moving to the UK as the move will likely be costly, so having an income early on will help mitigate some of the expenses.
If you are relocating to the UK with children, then you will need to research into their schooling and education options. The UK education system is split up into a public and private sector – just like Australia – so you’ll need to look around your new area to see which schools are best for your children.
Hopefully this checklist will help you prepare for your move to the UK. While there is a lot to plan and consider for any international move, if you give yourself enough time to tick off every step, then your move to your new home should be relatively seamless and full of excitement.