London is a vibrant and vastly multicultural city, one that a number of expats have made their home. This guide will help you if you’re considering moving to London, or just need some advice about what to do and expect. You’ll find tips on setting up home, getting work, travel and immersing yourself in the lifestyle.
Make sure everything is legal for working and living
The first stage is to make sure you have the right visas to make it legal for you to live in London. Working in the city also involves a number of other steps. Before you can start, you need to make sure you have the right visa documents filled out, unless you have a British or EU passport.
There are plenty of different criteria to fill in to gain a work permit, and if you match up in the desirable skills list, applying for your permit should be a smooth process. With your position in place, you’ll need to open a UK bank account to have your wages paid into, minus the standard UK taxes. After four years of working in the UK, you will be able to apply for permanent residency.
Setting up home
There are two things to consider here: where do you want to live and what can you afford? Figure out your finances first and then start researching the areas you can afford. Have a look around those areas to get a feel for each one before you decide exactly what the best fit is for you. Consider such things as local amenities, schools and transport links when you’re making your decision.
Getting around the city
Getting around London is much easier than you might think. There is a fantastic bus network, as well as the extensive London Underground. The tube system is simple to navigate once you know how, and every station has easy-to-follow maps to show you where to go and what lines to take. It’s best to get an Oyster card if you’re staying permanently as you’ll save money on London transport in the long run.
If you find it difficult to settle in and meet people in London, you could try out some meet-up groups, where you can socialise with people in your community. Alternatively you could take up a dance class or join a book club, where you´re likely to meet lots of people and also have a great time.
One of the things that will really help you settle in to London is getting a good grasp of the language. You can click here to find information about language courses in the capital. One good option is to check out English courses at West London College through ESL language travel organisations. Once you’re armed with all you need to know, you can get your head down and start learning!
Experiencing all that London has to offer
It’s not all about work, setting up home and navigating the infrastructure when you move to London. Once you’re settled, you’ll want to get out and see everything the city has to offer. This includes shopping in Oxford Street, seeing shows in Covent Garden and visiting world-famous sights such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.