Moving to London Checklist: 22 Things You Must Do (2023)

So you want to move to London: congratulations! Moving to London from the US was one of the best decisions of my life. But it didn’t come without its challenges. That’s why I’ve compiled a detailed moving to London checklist to help you navigate the process.

Moving to London Checklist: 22 Things You Must Do (1)

This in-depth moving to London guide will walk you through all the logistics, from the legal side of UK immigration to the day you receive your shiny new residence card. As post-Brexit policies continue to evolve, I’ll plan to keep updating this moving to London checklist as needed.

Although this guide on what to do when moving to London was designed for expats, it works for UK residents as well. Just skip the visa-related stuff, and be glad you don’t have to worry about those items!

Because I can’t address each country’s unique circumstances in a single checklist, I’ve included relevant links to the UK government website for more information.

RELATED: How to Move to the UK: Ultimate FAQ

Without further ado, here’s my London relocation checklist for expats.

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Moving to London Checklist: 6 Months Out

Moving to London Checklist: 22 Things You Must Do (2)

Make sure moving abroad is the right decision

Despite what you see on TV and films, moving abroad is not something to do on a whim. Before you set off on your quest to relocate to London, ask yourself these five questions to ensure it’s the right decision for you.

For example, do you have any friends or family living in London? And if not, will you be okay without a safety net of trusted acquaintances? Will this move help or hurt your career?

I’m sure some of these questions have crossed your mind. But before you proceed down this moving to London checklist, do yourself a favor and reflect on the pros and cons of living in the capital (and England as a whole).

Confirm your UK Visa requirements

Sorting out your visa should be the very first thing on your moving abroad checklist.

Depending on your citizenship, getting a UK visa could be anywhere from unnecessary to nearly impossible. And of course, ongoing Brexit negotiations means these rules are subject to change. Below is a quick summary of UK visa rules, though I highly recommend visiting’s handy visa requirements page for your specific country.

Important Note: All residential visa applications must be made from outside the UK. So don’t think you can “take a vacation” to London and apply for a visa from your hotel room.

EU Citizens: As of 2021, the UK is no longer a member of the European Union (EU). Freedom of movement with the EU ended with Brexit, and EU citizens who don’t have pre-settled or settled status in the UK must now apply for visas like other third country nationals.

Commonwealth Citizens (Australia, Canada, etc.): The easiestroute to a UK visa for Commonwealth citizens is via the Youth Mobility Scheme (formerly known as the Tier 5 Mobility Scheme). It allows citizens aged 18-30 to apply for the right to live and work in the UK for 2 years. If you want to stay in London for longer, you could use that time to find an employer who can sponsor you on a Skilled Worker visa (though you’ll need to return home to apply).

Another route is the UK ancestry visa. It requires that you prove one of your grandparents was born in the UK. You also have to be able to work to apply for this visa.

If none of the above applies to you, you’ll need to find a skilled job with an employer who can sponsor you under a Skilled Worker visa (formerly known as the Tier 2 general visa). Or, if your employer has an office in the UK, you could try for an Intra-Company Transfer visa.

American Citizens: Moving to England from America is rather difficult if you’re not eligible for an ancestry visa. You’ll likely need to find an employer who can sponsor you on a Skilled Worker visa. And there are salary requirements (around £26,000/year for most people) and other financial rules that must be met. Moving to London with no money isn’t an option.

If you’re lucky enough to work for an international company, you could also move on a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa.

Students: Moving to London with a student visa (Tier 4) seems like a great idea at first. But there’s an important catch that many people don’t realize: not all student visas allow you to work. Only students with full-time, degree-level coursework have the right to work in the UK. And universities often set limits on how many hours you’re allowed to work each week. So do your research before going down this route.

Other Visa Options: In addition to the UK visa options I listed above, there are a few lesser-used routes that might be open to you. There are several Tier 5 visas for temporary workers that last for 1-2 years. These visas are granted for workers in the creative, entertainment, religious, charity, and government fields.

There are also visas for certain careers on the “shortage list“. The list changes with the UK economy, but frequently includes engineers, nurses, and other highly specialized fields.

And of course, there are spousal visas that let you move to the UK if you’ve married a UK citizen.

Calculate your cost to move to London

From visa fees to plane tickets, there are plenty of expenses when it comes to moving abroad. The cost to move to London will vary greatly from person to person, but here are a few things to consider:

  • Visa fees (look these up on the website for your specific visa)
  • NHS healthcare surcharge (part of the visa application)
  • Legal fees if using an immigration lawyer
  • Shipping costs for your belongings (get a few quotes from reputable movers)
  • Pet relocation costs (this can be extremely expensive)
  • Plane tickets
  • Transport from the airport to your accommodation (assuming you have a lot of luggage)
  • Accommodation for flat hunting
  • Flat hunting and rental fees (usually first month’s rent, 4-6 weeks for security deposit, and estate agent fees)
  • Furnishings and household goods

Again, there’s no “magic number” I can give for the cost to move to London, because it depends on how much stuff you’re bringing, your monthly rent, etc. But I can say that it will be far more than you expect!

So do your research and come up with a ballpark estimate for your relocation. I found a spreadsheet to be extremely helpful when planning out my London relocation expenses.

(Video) Important Things to Do Before Moving to London from Abroad in 2021

Check out my post on our total cost to move to the UK for more details.

Moving to London Checklist: 3-5 Months Out

Moving to London Checklist: 22 Things You Must Do (3)

Submit visa paperwork (if applicable)

Most UK visas require a hefty amount of paperwork, as well as an in-person appointment. You’re also required to send in your original passport with the final application, so be sure to factor that into your travel plans.

Getting your visa approved is the most essential thing on this moving to London checklist, so read up on the processing timeline, including how far in advance you can submit paperwork.

Make arrangements for your pets’ travel (if applicable)

Under the PETS Scheme, it’s become a lot easier to import animals into the UK. The mandatory quarantine period for dogs is gone! Instead, pets can undergo a series of vaccinations (and blood tests, depending on your country of origin) and legal paperwork to move with you to London.

Because the UK is a rabies-free country, the regulations are very strict, down to the color of ink required on each form. Be sure to work with a knowledgeable vet and pet importer, as a single paperwork mistake can lead to refused entry.

This is why we chose to work with a pet relocation company to move our dog to London. They handled everything from reviewing the vet’s documentation to booking cargo space. It was expensive, around $5,000 for the full service including door-to-door transportation. However, it was money well spent.

I also wrote an entire guide on how to find pet friendly apartments in London, as well as renting in London with a dog. You can find more information on dog import requirements near the end of the post.

Downsize your belongings

In case you haven’t realized yet, moving to London is expensive! We requested quotes from a few international moving companies, and were completely floored by the cost. And that wasn’t even for any furniture, just a few plastic storage bins worth of stuff, and a couple other items.

We quickly realized it would be much cheaper and easier to move to London with only checked luggage. I wrote an entire post on downsizing before moving abroad, as well as an ultimate guide to selling everything and moving, where I share my tips for the process.

In the end, we only spent about $400 on excess baggage fees, and we made over $3,000 in the process. Plus, I was still able to keep pricey essentials like my vacuum cleaner and some cookware instead of paying to ship or replace them.

If you only take one piece of moving to London advice from this post, make it this.

Find a job (assuming you didn’t need one to obtain a visa)

You probably took care of this step if you’re moving to London from Australia or another visa-requiring country. But if not, now is the time to do it.

Even if you’re from the EU, no landlord is going to let you a flat without a job. You may have the right to live in the UK, but in London’s competitive lettings market, your jobless tenancy application will fall to the bottom of the pile.

Fortunately, London’s economy is strong, and there’s plenty of opportunity for workers in all fields. I suggest starting your search on Indeedand LinkedIn.

If you’re part of a large alumni network, look into what resources they have available. Many universities have online job boards and LinkedIn networking groups for alumni.

Signing up with a recruiting firm is also a good idea, especially if you’re in a desirable field.

Determine your London cost of living budget

Once you figure out your salary, it’s time to do some budgeting. The cost of living in London is notoriously high, though you might lose some expenses by moving to the city.

For example, you probably won’t need or want a car, and your public transit costs will likely be much less than a car payment, insurance, and fuel. However, you’ll likely pay more for rent and dining out than you did back home.

Check out my comprehensive guide on monthly expenses in London! It covers everything from average utility bills to transportation to personal care.

Coming up with a reasonable budget for housing expenses can be challenging for expats. Money Saving Expert’s salary calculator was a helpful starting point, but the best thing to do is ask HR/payroll to send you a pay stub estimate. Having an accurate budget is essential for deciding what neighborhoods to target, and figuring out how much space you can afford.

In the UK, renters also have to pay council tax, which is like property tax. How much you pay depends on your borough and property value. KFH has a useful council tax tool that will show you neighborhood tax bands. Fortunately, students don’t have to pay council tax, and single occupants get a 25% discount.

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Moving to London Checklist: 2 Months Out

Moving to London Checklist: 22 Things You Must Do (6)

Scout out neighborhoods

Now it’s time for the fun part! If at all possible, I highly recommend scouting out London neighborhoods in person. There’s only so much you can learn from Google Maps street view and internet searches.

If that’s not possible, leverage the internet! I read everything from Movebubble’s London area guides to Reddit forums about crime rates and neighborhood restaurants when I was choosing a London neighborhood.

I’ve also written an entire guide on finding flats in London as an expat, where you’ll find pro tips on choosing the best London neighborhood.

Another option is to hire a London relocation agent. This is especially helpful if you need to conduct your flat search from overseas, or if you have additional challenges like moving with pets or school-aged children.

(Video) Things you must do before moving to London - UCL student perspective (University College London)

Finally, I recommend doing some sightseeing while you’re looking at places to live. You’ll get a better feel for the city and how long it takes to travel by public transit. My 4 day London itinerary will guide you around the city’s highlights and hidden gems.

Secure a flat or long-term rental

People are generally split on the decision to secure a flat before moving or start with a long-term rental. Personally, we had a large dog and a bunch of luggage, so having to effectively move twice was not ideal.

However, it would be far less stressful to start off in a short-term apartment like a VRBOor extended-stay hotel for a few weeks. That way, you’ll have longer to find the perfect flat, instead of having to rush into something. Luckily we love our flat, but it could have turned out very differently given our very short search window.

Please check out my in-depth guide on successfully renting in London with a dog if you’re bringing pets.

How to Pay Your Rental Deposit Without a UK Bank Account

One unexpected challenge we had when moving to London was paying the deposit on our flat. The estate agent only took UK debit cards or international wire transfers, and our banks needed a week and a $50 fee to make that happen.

Luckily, we found an easy and cheap solution: sign up for a Wise account!

Within 24 hours, we were able to pay the deposit in GBP using our US credit card. Today, we still use Wise (formerly TransferWise) to send money from our UK bank account to our US accounts.

And because I wanted access to a UK bank account right away, I opened a Wise Multi Currency Account. It lets me send and receive money in over different 40 currencies, and even comes with a multi-currency debit card! You can start paying for things in pounds before you even arrive in the UK.

File your Transfer of Residency form

One critical element of this moving to London checklist is the Transfer of Residency (ToR) form. Essentially, the ToR provides import tax relief for people who are moving to the UK. Without a ToR form, you’ll have to pay tax on anything shipped to the UK, including pets.

It takes a few weeks to have your ToR form approved by HMRC, so it’s best to apply for relief as soon as possible. The form is submitted online. As part of the application, you’ll need to compile a loosely itemized list of everything you’re shipping, including an estimated value.

“Loosely” here means its okay to group like things together as one item, such as “kitchenware” or “men’s clothing”. Fortunately, there’s no need to itemize your sock drawer by size and color.

Moving to London Checklist: 1 Month Out

Moving to London Checklist: 22 Things You Must Do (7)

Finalize any remaining paperwork

With the big move date close at hand, it’s time to wrap up any remaining paperwork for the relocation. For example, you might need to send your landlord a copy of your approved visa and sign the official tenancy documents.

If you’re traveling with a dog, you’ll need to mail your finalized vet paperwork to your importer.

And if you’re shipping belongings, you’ll need to share your Transfer of Residency declaration number and paperwork with your moving company.

Pack up your belongings for transport

Packing for London was a big undertaking, and I’m glad I started well in advance. If it feels overwhelming, just start by packing one box or bag a day. Begin with the non-essentials, like photos and other things you won’t need leading up to the move.

Use my moving abroad packing checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything!

The week before we moved out of our house, we had packed up basically everything. We used disposable plates and silverware, and only kept that weeks’ worth of clothing in the closet. It made moving day so much easier.

Moving to London packing checklist

If you’re looking for a useful starting point, here are some things to include in your moving to London packing checklist:

  • Visa and entry documents
  • Cash (£100 should be plenty to get you from the airport to your place if you’re having credit card troubles)
  • Birth certificates, marriage licenses, tax returns, and other important documents (keep them in a small lockbox inside your carry-on)
  • Travel adapters
  • Personal electronics + charging cables
  • Clothes + accessories
  • Winter jacket + outerwear
  • Rain jacket (much better than trying to walk around crowded London streets with an umbrella)
  • Waterproof or water-resistant shoes (Chelsea boots are popular for a reason!)
  • Keepsakes
  • Pet food + care
  • Medication
  • Toiletries
  • Misc. items you decided to keep (we brought video game consoles, my fancy chef’s knife, and books among other things)

Pack a “first day” bag of essentials

One of the best moving to London tips I can share is to pack a “first day home” bag. After the stress of an international move coupled with jet lag, you won’t want to wade through a bunch of suitcases to find your cozy pajamas.

Put together a small backpack or tote bag with a day’s worth of clothes, toiletries, and any other essentials. And bring this bag with you on the plane!

Set up utilities (if applicable)

If you opted to lease a flat right away, you’ll need to contact the various utility companies to switch everything to your name. Some landlords will take care of this for you, so be sure to clarify that before you start making phone calls.

In London, there are tons of options for utility providers and payment schedules. There’s even a handy website called uSwitch that lets you compare prices and services for your address.

For electric and gas, you can choose from dozens of providers that let you pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. Depending on how your house/flat is set up, you may need to submit a gas and electric meter reading every couple of months. Some places have been fitted with Smart Readers, which means you’ll be billed by exact usage.

(Video) FLO - Fly Girl ft. Missy Elliott

For water, you’ll likely be served by Thames Water. If your place has a water meter, you’ll be billed twice a year. Flats/houses without water meters are billed annually. However, you can choose to pay in instalments, as frequently as once a week.

Most importantly, contact your desired internet provider as soon as possible. It can take WEEKS to get your modem and service turned on, even if your place is already wired. We had to hotspot off of our phones for the first two weeks of living in London.

Secure your valuables in a carry on bag

The last pre-departure item on this moving to London checklist is critical. Do not put any valuables, keepsakes, or vital paperwork in your checked luggage!

Set aside space in your carry-on bag for wedding mementos, jewelry, video game consoles, and other expensive or irreplaceable items.

And regarding paperwork: if you applied for a visa, remember to bring your official “leave to enter” letter with you on the plane! You need to show this letter, along with your passport’s UK visa stamp, to the immigration officers upon entering the UK.

What to do After Moving to London: Your First Week

Moving to London Checklist: 22 Things You Must Do (8)

Buy an Oyster Card (if you don’t have a contactless card)

You’ll be doing a lot of traveling around London for appointments and shopping when you first arrive. And in order to use the TfL (Transport for London) public transit system, you’ll probably need an Oyster card if you’ve moved from overseas.

Every London airport, train station, and most tube stations have an Oyster machine where you can buy a card. Look for the machines with signs that say Oyster Top-Up or Tickets (with a picture of a blue Oyster card next to the word).

New cards require a £5 deposit, and you can load up money as needed on the card.

To use your Oyster card, simply tap your card to the round yellow pad at the gate or the front of the bus. When you tap out at train and tube stations, the fare is calculated by how many zones you traveled (you don’t tap out on buses).

That being said, it’s far simpler to use a contactless card or Apple/Google Pay to pay your fare. This way, you don’t need to worry about running out of money on your card.

However, not all foreign contactless cards will work on TfL. And the card you have tied to your Apple/Google wallet may not be accepted in the UK. So you may need to use an Oyster card until you get a UK bank account.

Buy a UK SIM card or phone

Congratulations, you’ve finally made it to London! Once you’ve arrived at your accommodation, you’ll probably want to get set up with phone service.

If your phone isn’t region-locked, getting UK cell and data service is easy and extremely affordable. Just walk into your nearest O2 or EE shop and buy a prepaid SIM card.

You can choose the monthly amount of talk, text, and data you’d like and pop the card into your phone. Each month, you can either manually top up your balance online or by phone, or set up recurring payments.

Right now, I pay £10/month for something like 500 minutes, 1000 texts, and 5GB of data with O2. And my plan lets me use my data in most of the EU without any additional charges. It’s a refreshing change from the expensive contracts in the US!

RELATED: 14 Foolproof Tips to Save Money Living in London

Apply for a National Insurance Number

Another thing you should do ASAP is apply for a National Insurance number (NINo). Your employer needs this in order to process your payroll. Getting your number is simple, but depending on where you live, appointments might be booked out for weeks.

And without a NINo, you’ll have to pay a “penalty tax” on your paycheck.

Unfortunately, you can’t make your NINo appointment without a UK address. A temporary address, like a hotel or VRBO/Airbnb, is fine, but you can’t use a business address. Thus, it’s best to call for your appointment as soon as you have an address where that they can mail your appointment confirmation letter.

After you’ve had your NINo appointment, it takes about 3 weeks for them to mail you your number.

Note that starting in 2018, some people will have their NINo printed on their Biometric Residence Permit. This program hasn’t fully rolled out yet, so there’s no way to know if you’ll get your NINo this way until you pick up your permit (see below).

Pick up your Biometric Residence Permit

This moving to London checklist ends with an essential step. Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is an ID card. It proves you have the right to be in the UK, and outlines what you are and are not eligible for as a resident (ex. public funds, right to work, etc.).

Failing to pick up your BRP can jeopardize your right to live and work in the UK, so pay close attention!

On your leave to enter letter that came back with your approved visa, there will be a section about picking up your Biometric Residence Permit. It will give the address of the post office that has it, along with the window of time you have to get it (usually 10 days).

Under no circumstances should you delay in picking up your BRP! These post offices can have unusual hours for when they process BRP pickups. So even if the building is open from 9am-5pm, they may only do BRPs from 12-2pm. Thus, you should go on the very first day your BRP is available.

Get a UK bank account

Once you have a valid proof of UK address, you can open up a bank account. If you found a place to live prior to moving, you may even have a letter from one of your utility companies waiting for you at your new residence.

(Video) packing for london | how i pack for study abroad: essentials, tips

If you’re living with a partner, it helps to have one of the utilities in their name so that they will get a proof of address. Thames Water allows you to have a secondary account holder, and that person’s name will appear on every bill.

You’ll also need a document to prove your identity. Passports, UK driving licenses, and BRPs are widely accepted by British banks.

Register with a GP

In the UK, your GP (General Practicioner) is the gateway to medical treatment. Even if you decide to get private insurance, you’ll likely still need a referral from your GP to see a specialist.

Finding a GP is pretty straightforward. You can use this website to find GP surgeries in your area. From there, it’s best to read some reviews online before choosing a practice.

How to Find the Best International Health Insurance for You

Even in countries with universal health care, buying an international health insurance plan makes sense for a lot of expats (especially Americans).

But between deductible rules and coverage areas, it’s hard to know which plan is right for you.

Luckily, the brokers at International Citizens Insurance can help you find the right plan for your specific situation. They will do the research, compare plans, and review options with you. A good broker will save you so much time, and best of all, there is no cost to you!

With International Citizens Insurance, you’ll have your pick of plans from the best international health insurance companies (Cigna, GeoBlue, Aetna, etc.). A dedicated agent will answer all of your questions, walk you through the terms and coverage, and make adjustments so that you end up with a plan and premium that works for you.

Request a free international insurance quote today!

Get to know your neighborhood and the city

After months of planning a move to London, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labors! Spend some time each day exploring your neighborhood’s streets and amenities. Pop into a few cafes, check out the grocery stores, and wander the local parks.

The first few weeks feel a bit like vacation, so use that “new experience” energy to your advantage. Once you start work or school and settle into a routine, it will be harder to go beyond your comfort zone.

Travel into the city center to eat, shop, visit museums, enjoy a show… It’s time to celebrate the end of your London relocation and the beginning of your new life!

I hope this moving to London checklist makes your move to the Big Smoke a smooth one!

Moving to London Checklist: 22 Things You Must Do (9)

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What I need to do before moving to London? ›

8 Important Things to Know Before Moving to London
  • You Will Likely Need a Long-Stay Visa to Live in the UK. ...
  • Don't Panic! ...
  • Don't Make This Critical Mistake When Job Hunting. ...
  • Check the Labor Shortage List for Jobs. ...
  • To access UK Healthcare, You'll Need a National Insurance Number.
May 17, 2023

What I wish I knew before moving to London? ›

8 things you should know before moving to London

How to move to London step by step? ›

To move to the UK, you can apply for a long-term work visa by following these steps:
  1. Find employment.
  2. Find the correct visa type.
  3. Apply for the visa.
  4. Move to the UK.
  5. Get an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

What does a US citizen need to move to London? ›

Get a UK Visa and Residence Permit

Contrary to popular belief, you need a visa to move to the UK if you are an American citizen. The only exception to this is that if you are visiting with no long-term plans, you can stay in the UK without a visa for six months – but you cannot work during your visa-free stay.

How much money do I need to move to London alone? ›

In 2023, for a single person, the average cost of living in London now clocks in at over £3,200 per month. This is around £1,000 more to find per month than the UK average. This means that the annual average cost of living in London for a single person is over £38,000.

What salary do you need to move to London? ›

Workers now say they need a salary of £49,300 to live comfortably. For those in London, a £65,000 wage is needed to combat the rising cost of living, a survey by recruitment firm Reed found.

Can an American work in UK? ›

If you are a US national and would like to work in the UK, you will need to secure a work visa before you travel here. In most cases, to secure a UK work permit, you will need a suitable job offer from a UK employer with a sponsor licence granted by the UK Home Office.

Can an American get a job in London? ›

To live and work in the United Kingdom, U.S. citizens must obtain a work visa from the British government. If you're wondering how to get a work visa in the UK, you'll be happy to know that the process is relatively simple.

How easy is it for an American to move to Europe? ›

Can US citizens move to Europe? Yes, US citizens can move to Europe, but how easy it would be depends on which European country you want to live in. Every country has its own immigration rules. You'll need either a work permit (for a job in your target country), or another kind of residence visa.

How long can I live in London as an American? ›

Figuring Out the Visa Requirements

As an American citizen, moving from the US to the UK to travel, study, and live is permitted for up to six months at a time. However, you cannot work during this period. If you want to hold down a job, you'll have to have a suitable visa.

How long can I stay in London as a US citizen? ›

You can visit the UK as a Standard Visitor for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months) and other permitted activities. You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You might be able to apply to stay for longer in certain circumstances, for example to get medical treatment.

Where do Americans live in London? ›

North London is a popular area to live in the capital as it can be more affordable and quieter than other areas. North London tends to have a more liberal, laidback feel to it and there are many attractions here, including Camden Market, Regent's Canal and Hampstead Heath along with some of the best green spaces.

What age do most people move to London? ›

In 2020, London saw large net inflows of those aged between 20 and 24 (24,043 people) and a small inflow for those aged between 25 and 29 (2,376 people). In contrast, net migration was negative for those aged below 19 and above 29.

What time of year is best to move to London? ›

Summer is the best time of year to move house in the UK, with August being the most popular month.

What's the point of living in London? ›

Once you look past the constant hustle and bustle (and sometimes delayed transport), there is so much opportunity and culture around. And with beautiful landmarks, plenty of parks, friendly folk, great jobs, and really really delicious food, it's easy to see why it's our favourite city.

Can I live on $1500 a month in London? ›

General living expenses

It's thought that a single person living in London will need around £1,500 per month to cover their living expenses and just over £1,200 in Manchester. However, with the pandemic pushing inflation to a 10-year high, the cost of general living expenses is rising sharply.

How much is rent in London in US dollars? ›

Rent: The average rent that you will pay in UK varies depending on where you live and the type of accommodation you have. A one-bedroom flat averages at £758 (~$1000 USD) per month if you're in the city; £614 (~$810 USD) if you're outside of the city. It may be more if your energy costs are included in the rent.

Can I live off $1000 a month in London? ›

Believe it or not, it is possible to live on £1,000 each month. However that comes with big caveats – it is likely possible only if you're a single person. If you have a family with children or dependents, the unfortunate news is that it will be near impossible to do so.

Which area in London is best to live? ›

10 best places to live in London
  1. Borough of Bromley. Bromley is our top-rated London location, with an average score of 4.62 out of 5 among reviewers in the borough. ...
  2. Borough of Kingston upon Thames. ...
  3. Borough of Richmond upon Thames. ...
  4. Borough of Sutton. ...
  5. Borough of Islington. ...
  6. Borough of Hackney. ...
  7. Harrow. ...
  8. Croydon.
Jan 11, 2023

Can you survive on 25k in London? ›

25k a year would see you as working class in all areas of the UK, and it is an above-average wage that allows you to live comfortably. No official amount makes you into a class, but with £25,000 being slightly below average, this would make you a lower-middle or working-class individual.

Can you live in London on 50k? ›

However, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average salary in the UK is £33,000 per year. So with a salary of 50K, you can afford a comfortable lifestyle in most parts of the UK.

How many Americans live in London? ›

News services
Distribution of people born in the USA
Whole of Britain143,590155,030
East Midlands5,4975,555
East of England38,69830,924
12 more rows

How long does it take to get a UK work visa for a US citizen? ›

You can apply for a visa up to three months before you intend to work in the UK. Applications are processed through the British Embassy or High Commission closest to you. Processing time is about three weeks, though it can take longer for certain nationalities.

How many Americans live in the UK? ›

There were approximately 166 thousand American nationals residing in the United Kingdom in 2021, an increase from the 131 thousand American nationals residing in the United Kingdom in 2008.

Can I move to England from USA without a job? ›

Yes, you can move to the UK without a job if you have enough money to support yourself and if you are born to British parents or qualify for one of the following visa's: Tier 5 Youth Mobility (this is country and age-restricted) UK Ancestry.

How hard is it to get a job in London? ›

Competition for jobs in London is high with hundreds of applicants often applying for a single position so it's important to make sure you're using all the resources you have at your disposal. Employer conventions can seem rigid, requiring specific formats for CVs, covering letters and applications.

Which jobs are in demand in UK for foreigners? ›

Topics Covered:
  • Programmers and Software Developers.
  • Cyber Security Specialists.
  • Health Services and Residential Care.
  • Architects.
  • Graphic Designers.
  • Physical Scientists.
  • Sales Assistant.
  • Operations Manager.

Is it cheaper to live in Europe than the US? ›

Overall, Europe has a lower cost of living due to lower healthcare expenses, a weakening euro currency, and low inflation. Europeans, however, tend to pay more of their income to taxes, and average wages tend to be lower than in America.

Where is the best place for an American to move to Europe? ›

If you can handle the cold, Germany and the Netherlands are two of the most popular countries for expats, both offering international communities and unique residency options. Switzerland: Although many European countries offer a better quality of life than the U.S., Switzerland takes the cake.

What is the easiest country to move to in Europe from USA? ›

The easiest country for obtaining a residence permit in Europe is Portugal. There are options like a D7 visa for financially independent persons, a StartUp visa, a visa for retired persons, and the Golden Visa for investors.

Can a US citizen rent in London? ›

Now the answer is fairly straightforward: you cannot occupy a rental property in London (or the UK) unless you have the right to reside in the UK – that means a valid visa if your nationality does not give you the right to reside in the UK.

Can a US citizen live permanently in England? ›

Make the UK your Permanent Home: Indefinite Leave to Remain for US Citizens. If you are a US citizen living in the United Kindgom you could be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. To be eligible, you will need to have been living in the UK legally for a specified amount of time under a relevant visa ...

Is London a good place to live as an American? ›

If you're looking for a big city with plenty of opportunities and a diverse population, London is definitely worth considering. Just be prepared for some culture shock in the beginning and make sure you have a solid support system in place.

What do Americans need to enter UK? ›

You must have a valid passport to enter the UK. It should be valid for the whole of your stay. You may also need a visa, depending on which country you're from.

Can an American retire to London? ›

The U.K. recently closed its retirement visa program, meaning retirees don't have a straightforward way to get into the country. Fortunately, the U.K.'s other visa avenues are still open. So, retired couples can apply for work, ancestry or family visas. These visas have varying costs and requirements.

Can I live in London permanently? ›

Who is eligible for permanent resident status in the UK? Permanent residence is usually given to persons living in the UK with a valid visa for at least 5 years and interested in continuing their stay for longer, often for an indefinite period of time.

Which US city is most like London? ›

Instead of London: Boston, MA

While Boston fought hard to separate itself from British rule in the 18th century, the city undeniably reflects the charm and culture of London.

What city in America is most like England? ›

Geographically, the similarities are significant. New York State's land area is approximately 47,000 square miles. England's is 50,000. New York City and London have 8.8 million and 8.9 million inhabitants respectively.

What is the most American city in the UK? ›

Cambridge is one of the most American cities in Britain with 2,284 people living in the city born in the United States, according to the last Census in 2011.

What to prepare before moving to the UK? ›

Moving to the UK: the ultimate checklist
  • Do your research. Brexit and what it means for you.
  • Arrange your visa.
  • Transport your belongings.
  • Manage your finances.
  • Move your vehicle.
  • Take care of your pet.
  • Sort out your health insurance.
  • Find a place to live.

What to do before moving from US to UK? ›

21 Things to Know Before Moving to the UK
  1. Has the pandemic got you craving a change of scenery? ...
  2. The jokes might go over your head. ...
  3. Expect all four seasons in one day. ...
  4. Public healthcare is mostly free. ...
  5. The public holidays are different. ...
  6. The work-life balance is great. ...
  7. Not everyone speaks like the Queen.
Oct 24, 2022

What is required to live in London? ›

You can't move to London from the US without a visa

But in case you didn't know: a US citizen cannot live in the UK without a visa. Any American moving to London will need to obtain a visa–usually from within the US–which can take weeks to months depending on the circumstances.

Can I move to London without a job? ›

Yes, you can move to the UK without a job if you have enough money to support yourself and if you are born to British parents or qualify for one of the following visa's: Tier 5 Youth Mobility (this is country and age-restricted) UK Ancestry. Right to Abode.

Is it hard for an American to move to the UK? ›

The most common type of visas are the UK work visa and family visas. If neither applies in your case, unfortunately moving to UK from US can be difficult. But there's no need to worry! There are a few different work visas depending on the situation, and you can also apply for different kind of visas.

Is moving to UK a good idea in 2023? ›

There are many developmental possibilities for growth and career enhancements within the country. Employment in the country has seen steady growth, providing better lifestyle prospects. This factor and many others add to the demand for the country, making it an ideal place to migrate from India to the UK in 2023.

How much money should I save to move to the UK? ›

So all in all, before you move to the UK you're going to need potentially $3,000 to $4,000 for the cost of your visa and health care. Once you're there you might want to have $2000 available to cover rent, bills and bond.

What is the cheapest way to move from USA to UK? ›

Ocean freight is the most economical route. However, if you need a speedy delivery, you may want to consider air freight on the higher side of cost. Moving from the US to England is the most common route to the UK. The major ports include Felixstowe, London, Liverpool, and Southampton.

How long can Americans stay in UK? ›

You can visit the UK as a Standard Visitor for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months) and other permitted activities. You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You might be able to apply to stay for longer in certain circumstances, for example to get medical treatment.

How long can a US citizen work in the UK without a visa? ›

Senior or Specialist Worker – allows a US national to come to the UK to work in an eligible job at their US employer's UK branch for up to 5 years.

Can a US citizen rent an apartment in UK? ›

Now the answer is fairly straightforward: you cannot occupy a rental property in London (or the UK) unless you have the right to reside in the UK – that means a valid visa if your nationality does not give you the right to reside in the UK.

Is it better to live in New York or London? ›

Almost half the amount of people live per square mile in London than in New York, as London has a population density of 15,328 per square mile. This makes London a more comfortable place to live, despite housing being perhaps quite minimal.


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