Moving across states is one thing; crossing the Atlantic to set up shop in the iconic city of London is another ball game! Whether you’re lured by the historic charm, the pulsating arts scene, or a new job opportunity, moving from the US to London is both exhilarating and challenging. At Schumacher Cargo, we’ve been moving people overseas for over 40 years.
Here’s our 10-step guide on “How to Move to London from the US” and make it a smooth transition.
1. Understand Why London?
First and foremost, be clear about why you’re making the move. Is it for work? Study? Or the undeniable allure of the city? Knowing your ‘why’ can guide your preparations and decisions. It is a big move, so you want to be sure you are clear on your decision to move to London. You want to save your time and money.
2. Visa and Immigration
Moving to London is more complex than buying a plane ticket. The UK has specific visa requirements based on your purpose:
- Work: Usually, you’d need a job offer from a UK employer who has extended the offer.
- Study: Securing a spot at a UK university or educational institution is the first step.
- Family: If you have family in the UK, you might qualify for a family visa.
- Investors, business, and special talent visas are also available for those who meet the criteria.
Do thorough research or consult an immigration lawyer to understand what’s best for your situation.
3. Finding a Place to Live in London
London is vast, with each borough offering a unique living experience. Research different neighborhoods to find one that aligns with your lifestyle and budget. Websites like Rightmove and Zoopla can give you an idea of the property market.
4. Managing Your Finances for Your Move
London is expensive, and you’ll need to budget wisely. Before moving:
- Open a UK bank account. Some banks allow international applications.
- Get an idea of the conversion rate and how your savings and earnings will translate in pounds (£).
- Consider hiring an international tax consultant to understand how double taxation works and how you can minimize your tax burden.
The UK offers free healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS). Once you’re a resident, register with a local GP (General Practitioner) to access these services.
6. Moving Your Belongings to London
Contact Schumacher Cargo at 800-599-0190 and speak to a London moving specialist, or you can get a moving quote through our online form. Decide whether you’ll ship or store most of your belongings in the US. Remember, UK homes might be smaller than you’re used to, so decluttering can be an excellent place to start when shipping your belongings to London.
7. Culture and Social Integration
Yes, both the US and the UK speak English. Still, you’ll quickly discover that British English sometimes feels like a different language! Immerse yourself:
- Watch British TV shows.
- Join local clubs or groups based on your hobbies.
- Attend community events to meet locals and fellow expats.
8. Work and School Transitions
If you’re moving for work, your employer will guide your transition. For students, universities typically offer orientation programs. For those seeking jobs, networking is crucial. LinkedIn and local job agencies can be excellent resources.
9. Embrace the London Lifestyle
London is brimming with history, culture, and diversity. Embrace the lifestyle:
10. Stay Connected
Being away from home can be challenging. Schedule regular calls with loved ones back in the US. Consider using apps like Skype, Zoom, or WhatsApp to stay connected.
Moving from the US to London is undoubtedly a significant transition. Still, it can be an adventure of a lifetime with the proper steps. As you embark on this new journey, remember to enjoy the process, be patient with yourself, and savor every moment of your London story.