How to Live and Work in England


Living and working abroad can initially seem daunting, but with a few simple steps, several of which can be done before moving, your transition into the new country will be easy and exciting. From a different style of life to historic sites, England is one of Europe's most fascinating countries; with a wide array of cultures, landscapes and food, you will quickly adapt to England.

Things You'll Need

  • Money
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Rental/ hostel/ hotel
  • Cellular phone
  • Work permit

How to Live in England

  • Obtain all of the necessary permits to live in England, which typically include a passport, visa and licence. Citizens outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and European Union (EU) require a visa and work permit, which can be found at any respective consulate.

  • Prepare financially for your trip before your arrival. You will need to bring enough money for two months of rent, food, entertainment and necessities not packed in your suitcase.

  • Find a location for your residence; be prepared to spend at least $1,000 a month and double a month's rent upon first arrival. Organize your accommodation beforehand, but if this is not possible, set aside enough money for a hostel or hotel for a few nights.

  • Purchase a SIM card for your original cell phone; contact your cell phone provider who will unlock your phone (an action that enables a United States cellular to be used in a new country) for a small purchase fee. This technology will be helpful in searching for jobs, keeping in contact with friends and family back home, and contacting renters. Bring a cell phone with Internet capabilities; otherwise, Internet cafes are around $2 an hour.

  • Enroll with the National Health Service, a national health care service provided to all residents and tourists with valid visas. Any health care provider in England will provide candidates interested in obtaining health benefits with information and a specific code. Additionally, enlist in a European Health Insurance Card prior to arrival.

  • Open a local bank account to pay all bills. Prove your identity with your passport, visa, rental agreement or pay slip as well as home country references. A bank account is essential if you plan on doing any business locally, renting or leasing a flat, or getting paid from your job.

  • Decide how you will travel while living in England. Renting a car is easy, but a driver's licence is required. Citizens not of the EU or EEA can exchange their original driver's licence for a British one, allowing drivers to drive for up to 12 months.

How to Work in England

  • Decide which field you will be working in. Obtain a work permit if your field requires it. New business owners, religious ministers, teachers and language assistants, those in post-graduate training, writers/ artists or those employed with broadcasting agencies from their permanent residence do not require a work visa. Set aside enough money to purchase a work permit if your company will not compensate you.

  • Obtain a work visa before moving to the United Kingdom. Register at a Worker Registration Scheme, where individuals from particular countries fill out EEA1 forms and fees. Particular jobs require specific visa permits. Get hired locally to prevent your need for an expatriate benefit package.

  • Adapt to your new country; this should happen within six months.

Tips & Warnings

  • Temporary workers need a different type of visa and a valid offering to obtain a sponsorship to the United Kingdom.
  • Typically most cell phone providers suggest unlocking the phone when moving to a new country; unlocking your phone will enable you to use the same cellular and number while abroad.
  • Work permits have a time limit; if you haven't entered the country within six months of obtaining your visa, the permit will be invalid.
  • If you are obtaining a driver's licence, remember that the English drive on the left side of the road.

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