Many people dream of moving to London for the improved quality of life, security and free education. The nation’s health and educational systems are first-rate, and its cities are safe to reside in and have good pay. But making that ambition a reality requires a lot of preparation. The primary ways to reside lawfully in the country, the cost of living, and how to work in London are all covered in this post. Enjoy!

How to live legally in London?

Living in London is undoubtedly an enriching experience because it provides a high standard of living, with prestigious hospitals, colleges, and work prospects. However, you must be a legitimate resident of the country in order to take use of these privileges. Find out what the primary methods are below:

  • Have an European Citizenship: Citizens of the European Union are allowed to reside in England and other British Isles. However, following Brexit, it will be necessary to submit an application to the British government for a resident visa. It enables residents to live in the nation and enjoy all of their legal rights, including access to the English health and educational systems.

  • Have a Job: Living in London while working is an additional option, even if it’s a little more difficult. International people have a variety of employment options, from entry-level jobs to those with the highest salaries. Additionally, the government issues a variety of visas for temporary and permanent, voluntary and specialised employment. You can live and work in the nation for a set amount of time with the visa, which can be extended. Some of them even permit you to bring your family to live with you in England.

  • Study: Overseas students can also live and study in England. Opportunities are numerous and vary from graduate degrees at prominent colleges to English courses. All you want is a British study visa tailored to your objectives to do so. Most visas enable the foreign visitor to lawfully work as well as study in the nation. They do have a set period, though, and it may or may not be renewed.

  • Invest in England: With a Tier 1 visa, foreign investors can reside in England. However, in order to purchase a property or start a business in the UK, an investment of £2 million or more is required. As a result, you can enter the nation with this visa for three years and four months, with the option to stay for an additional two years.

How to get a visa to live in London?

To reside in London, you require a visa. The sole exemption is if you have citizenship in Europe or the United Kingdom. The government issues licenses for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Work Visa: There’re three distinct categories of work visas. Because it includes multiple long-term occupations, Tier 2 is the most popular. Previously known as Tier 5 and 3, these visas are for temporary employment, while Tier 1 visas are for investment;
  • Study Visa: For students who want to enroll in long-term courses, Tier 4 is appropriate. The Short Term Visa is an option for short-term programs lasting up to six months. Being enrolled in an English teaching institution is the primary criteria for obtaining the visa;
  • Marriage Visa: Anyone can apply for a particular visa if they want to live in England after marrying a British national there.

For more information regarding Visa’s, click here.

How much does it cost to live in London?

The cost of living in London is high, but depending on your lifestyle, you may be able to cover the costs comfortably thanks to high earnings. Another benefit is that the country’s health and educational systems are free, which significantly lowers the budget.

You should be aware that living expenses in London vary depending on the neighbourhood in which you reside. Living in London requires a larger budget because real estate is valued highly and rentals are quite costly, making it undoubtedly the most expensive location in the nation. To give you an idea of the cost of living in the country, keep reading a table of the average prices paid in London. For additional information on taxes, benefits, and other topics, visit the government website.

London cost of living estimate table (Author’s Own)

I highly recommend this website for apartment search: Right Move UK.

How is the weather like in London?

Winter lasts from December to mid-March, spring from March to June, summer from June to September, and autumn from mid-September to December. However, I must warn you that the weather in London is incredibly unpredictable if you want to stay there. In other words, it’s possible to experience an extremely chilly day in the middle of summer followed by an unexpectedly warm day the next.

Of course, each region has unique traits of its own. However, the summer months often have fewer temperature changes, ranging from 16° C to 21° C. Temperatures in the winter can range from -5 to 10 degrees Celsius.

How does the health care system function (NHS)?

The National Health System (NHS) is a very organised and effective system. It is free for legal residents, including citizens of European cities/overseas and their dependents. You must register at the location specified by your address while carrying a passport and proof of address.

After completing a basic form, you will shortly receive a card with your registration number and the name of your family doctor, sometimes known as a GP (General Practitioner). If you do not fall into one of these categories, you will need to pay a fee in order to access the health care system, however the prices are typically reasonable.

In straightforward situations, the System of Health will be the first point of contact in the event of medical necessity and will be able to provide you with a prescription for extremely affordable medications, frequently even free of charge. You must call at the beginning of the week to schedule the appointment. In contrast, in more serious situations, the GP will perform a preliminary assessment and will notify the hospital and the relevant specialty.

  • Even with public service, do I need to have private insurance? No. The difference to the public system is that in the private health plan you have the possibility to choose your doctor, but of course you pay for it.
  • What about medicines? The majority of medications are free and supplied to the patient immediately. In some instances, you can pick it up at the drugstore for free or a very small fee. Pills for birth control are free. Also exempt from payment are retirees and minors under the age of 18.

In this link, you can find a Hospital near you 🙂

Where to live in London?

The city is divided into nine zones (some sources say six). The farther an area is from the center, the more expensive public transport will be, but the cheaper the rent. When deciding where to live in London, it is advisable to find a medium-term neighbourhood. In doubt where to live in London, see some examples of very good places to live:

  • Stratford;
  • Wembley Park;
  • Leytonstone;
  • Greenwich;
  • Finsbury Park.

Finally, here are some quick tips for everyday life in the city:

  • English hand: In your first week in London, crossing the street will surely be one of the strangest scenarios you encounter. This is so that automobiles can go on the English hand, which is the polar opposite of the European circulation direction known as the French hand. This indicates that when crossing two-way streets, you should first look to your right and then to your left.

  • Affordable Lunch: Another tip for controlling your budget during your first days in London is to bet on so-called meal bargains offered by large retailers like Boots, Mark & Spencer, and supermarkets like Tesco and Asda. They are full meals that include a main dish, usually a salad or a sandwich, a beverage, and a side dish. These deals cost between £2 and £3 and are excellent for people who don’t want to spend excessive amounts on food.

  • Public Transport: London’s underground system is regarded as one of the best in the world and is, in fact, the best choice for traveling throughout the city. But don’t make the costly mistake of buying exclusive tickets for only one trip. Utilize the Oyster Card, a reloadable card that you may use on all modes of transportation, to save money. Another tip is to download the Citymapper APP, for you to be able to safely navigate the city.

  • Experience Free Experiences: Despite having a reputation for having a high cost of living, London has a number of free attractions. See some of the most significant pieces of art in person for free at the National Gallery and British Museum. For those who enjoy science and natural history, there are also the Science Museum and National History Museum.

  • Pack Only the Essentials: Bring what you know you will need for the first week from home when you arrive in London to save money. The plug adaptor is essential because any device bought in Brazil, the United States, or even the rest of Europe will not work with the standard used in England. Take any prescription drugs you regularly use in addition to the adaptor. If they are prescribed medicines, it is ideal to ascertain whether they’re legal in England so that they won’t be subject to confiscation.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for your attention! hope my tips help you 🙂