If you’re a Canadian moving to London, you’re about to embark on a big adventure. Talking of size: you’re also about to swap the second largest country on the planet for the quaint confines of the UK – Canada is 41 times bigger than England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined. If that doesn’t make the mind boggle, consider this: Great Bear Lake – the largest lake entirely in Canada – is over 10,400 km2 bigger than Wales.
What the UK lacks in size, it makes up for in history, culture and a truly world-class city: London. Here in the capital, you’ll replace prairies with Royal Parks, the peaks of the Rockies with The City skyline, and gigantic freshwater lakes with the River Thames. But before you can have all this and much more on your doorstep, there’s a long list of things to organise.
Don’t panic! Our moving to London from Canada checklist will help you successfully navigate your big move.
Apply for a work permit
Whether you’re moving to London from Toronto or from a rural backwater, 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 the other side of the Atlantic, depending on your circumstances:
- Skilled worker [LINK: https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-general]
- Role in your overseas employer’s UK branch [LINK: https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-intracompany-transfer-worker-visa]
- High-value workers:
- an investor [LINK: https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-investor]
- an entrepreneur [LINK: https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-entrepreneur]
- a graduate entrepreneur [LINK: https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-graduate-entrepreneur-visa]
- a leader in arts or sciences [LINK: https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-exceptional-talent]
Choosing the right neighbourhood for you
Scouring a map of London to make sense of the 32 boroughs and the haphazard cluster of neighbourhoods within – each with its own unique rhythm and identity – will probably leave you scratching your head.
There’s something for everyone amongst this series of interconnected, but independent, areas of London – the problem is finding the right one for you. Overcome this common conundrum by answering the following questions:
- What’s your budget?
- If you have kids, what type of school do you want them to attend?
- How far do you want to travel for work?
- How far do you want to be from the centre of town?
- What amenities do you want on your doorstep?
- What are your interests?
Home sweet home
Once you’ve decided what corner of this diverse city you want to live in, you’ll need to find the right home for you there. Having got your head around the different types of property on offer in the London housing market – from a Georgian townhouse terrace to a narrowboat – take the time to understand the following factors:
- Your budget – calculate a realistic property budget – including the deposit – before beginning your search.
- Deposit protection – landlords are 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 – request a comprehensive inventory of household contents when you move in, which describes the condition of everything listed.
- Tenancy Agreement – this is a legally binding contract between you and your landlord.
Choose an international removal company
If you thought Canada was big, try the Atlantic Ocean for size. Both you and your possessions will have to cross the world’s second-largest body of water to make your dream of living in London a reality. So, take the stress out of your move by researching an international removal company you can trust:
- Investigate their accreditations.
- Request and compare quotes.
- Check they have insurance.
- Read reviews and testimonials.
Get help from the experts
Simply London’s comprehensive and affordable relocation service covers everything on our checklist and more – including the all-important school search 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.