Around 400,000 Australians live in Britain – the majority of which call London home. These intrepid antipodeans have embarked on a well-trodden path that former prime minister John Howard – who spent two years in London himself – described as a rite of passage every Aussie should undertake. More recently, Hollywood A-lister – and proud Queenslander – Margot Robbie was living in a house share with six pals in Clapham – a magnet for fun-loving Aussies.
Whether you’re moving from Sydney to London, or relocating from Melbourne to London, before you can swap barbeques on the beach for roast dinners in the local, you’ll have a long list of things to arrange. Our moving to London from Australia checklist will help you plot your path to a successful life in the UK capital.
1. Apply for a work permit
Whether you’re planning to pull pints in a pub or crunch numbers in the city, as an Aussie moving to London, you’ll need to obtain the legal right to live and work in the UK. Here’s how you can apply for a UK visa from down under:
- Find out what type of visa you need https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
- Apply for the relevant visa online https://www.gov.uk/apply-to-come-to-the-uk
2. Choose a neighbourhood that ticks all your boxes
If you’re an Australian moving to London, you’d be forgiven for switching to autopilot once you land at Heathrow and heading straight for west/southwest London to find somewhere to live: Earl’s Court, Fulham, Putney, Southfields, Wimbledon, Wandsworth and all the Clapham’s have traditionally been a home from home for Australians in London – without quite as much sun of course.
Whatever you’re budget, circumstances, interests and requirements, there’s somewhere for everyone in this diverse city. If you think you’re more Clapton than Clapham, for example, you might choose to explore the edgy east of town, where you’ll also find areas like Shoreditch, Hackney and Dalston.
3. Find a home
Once you’ve decided where in London you want to live, it’s time to put a roof over your head. To successfully navigate the London rental market, you must understand the following factors:
- Your budget – London isn’t a cheap place to live, so maximise your disposable income by calculating a realistic budget – including the deposit – before beginning your property search.
- Deposit protection – if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy,your landlord is required by law to put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection).
- Inventory of household contents – avoid any nasty financial surprises when the time eventually comes to move out, by requesting a comprehensive inventory of household contents when you move in – this should describe the condition of everything listed.
- Tenancy Agreement (also referred to in Australia as a Residential Tenancy Agreement, Short Assured Tenancy, or Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement) – this is a contract – either fixed-term or periodic – between you and a landlord, which lets you live in a property provided you pay rent and follow the rules; it also sets out the legal terms and conditions of your tenancy.
4. Choose an international removal company
Moving just 15 miles up the road is stressful enough, so imagine moving over 15,000 miles from Australia to London. Ease the strain of relocating to the other side of the world by selecting a reputable international removal company. Follow these steps to find a safe pair of hands (and a few boxes!):
- Investigate their accreditations.
- Request and compare quotes.
- Check they have insurance.
- Read reviews and testimonials.
5. Get help from the experts (optional)
Moving to London from Australia can be just as daunting as it is exciting. That’s why Simply London’s comprehensive relocation service covers everything on your checklist and more – including the all-important school search if you have children, and settling-in processes.
Note – This article does not constitute legal or immigration advice and you should always consult a qualified professional before undertaking any applications. The information in this article is based solely on our understanding as at the date of the article. Government legislation can change at any time.