Guide for Australians Moving to England
Whether it be employment or a working holiday, many Australians have been making the
international move to England. While the idea of living in a new country is exciting, there are many
things to consider and processes to go through before you set up in your new home.
This can include anything from applying for the correct visa to budgeting, moving, and job hunting. To make the transition easier, here is the ultimate guide for the 3 important stages of making the move to England.
The first step to take when preparing to move to England is understanding what visa you will need to acquire before entering the country. As part of the Commonwealth, Australians can legally live in England for up to half a year, but anything over will require a working visa. For Australians, the most common kinds of visa you can apply for include:
- Tier 2 visa for high-demand fields to be held for a maximum of 5 years
- Tier 1 visa for entrepreneurs to be held for a maximum of 5 years
- Youth Mobility Scheme visa to be held for a maximum of 2 years
- Tier 5 temporary work visa to be held for a maximum of 2 years
Australians with dual citizenship will not have to apply for a visa, but if you do not have this then a visa is mandatory to enter England. Applying will require a valid Australian passport for identification purposes. If you are travelling with others, each individual will need to apply for their own visa.
You can apply to obtain your visa online, with application processes starting approximately about three months before the commencement of your employment or travel period. To apply, gather all the documentation you may need at the ready including official offers of employment, and any evidence of finances or sponsorship. Then, head to the UK government site, find the correct visa for your circumstances, pay the application fee, enter all details, provide supporting documentation, and submit your application. Only when it is approved should you start making serious preparations for your prolonged stay overseas.
On top of applying for your visa, there are several other formal processes that you have to follow in order to complete your move. This includes notifying your bank of your plans to move, ensuring you have access to your account, and changing any cards so they will be accepted overseas. In addition, it is important to research your new position and whether it will require certain permits or alternate qualifications that may be different from those in Australia. Finally, if you are planning on staying over 12 months you will need to officially update any necessary documentation including license with your new address.
Tax, Customs, and Costs
There are many other logistics involved in moving to another country. First and foremost, you need to ensure you have ample financial savings to fund the first part of your stay in England before commencing work. Costs can include anything from housing, transport, costs associated with moving, customs, vehicle importation, and taxes. You will need to set aside some of your budgets and determine whether you will have to pay Goods and Services Taxes, as well as Foreign Residence Taxes.
Another additional cost to consider is the fees for visas themselves, which can vary considerably depending on the type of visa you are applying for. As with any overseas move, England will have its own set of custom regulations, so you will need to research what you can and cannot bring into the country and declare each item accordingly.
Before moving overseas, you may also want to book an appointment with your local GP to get your medical records up to date and ensure you have had all vaccinations required to enter the country, which is particularly relevant during the current pandemic. The final technicality to consider is how you will vote. If you plan on returning to Australia within a 6-year period, you will still be obligated to vote while away. It is important that you go over details such as how you plan to vote while you are away before you move.
If you are planning on living in England for over a year, chances are you will want to bring the majority of your belongings with you. Things such as vehicles, furniture, and fragile goods require attention to care, and that is why it is so important to place your trust in a reliable overseas packing company to take some of the stress away from the moving process.
Some of the ways to tell if you have chosen a reputable overseas shipping service is by checking whether they are internationally accredited, and how much experience they have. Hiring an international moving company will ensure all your items are imported correctly, clearing customs without any holdups, and meeting all the necessary requirements to join you at your new address overseas.
Though there are more opportunities for employment in England, if you have applied to move to the country under a working visa, it is best to get a head start on the job hunt. One of the best things you can do while still in Australia is keeping an eye out on job bulletins and Facebook groups for any roles applicable to your skills. Our recommendations are using Indeed or Reed when looking, ensuring to widen your search in and around the city you are considering moving to. Take this preparation time to touch up your current CV so that it is up to date before heading to your new home in England.