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How to Move to London Without a Job 

How to Move to London Without a Job 

Moving to a new city or country can be pretty scary on its own, but moving to a new city or country without a job can be even more daunting. Especially if you’re looking to move to somewhere with a high cost of living, like London, there can be a lot of things to think about and hoops to jump through. So, how can you move to London without a job? I’ve got you covered with this short guide!

Criteria for Moving to London Without a Job

First things first, you need to make sure that you hit the criteria necessary for getting a visa so that you can move to London without a job. There are a few ways that you can do this without needing a work sponsorship visa.

If you’re coming to London as a student, you may be eligible for a student visa. This allows you to live and study in the UK, as long as you have a valid university offer.

On this visa, you can work up to 20 hours a week to help support yourself during your studies, but you cannot go over that amount – the government does check!

Another way you can get a UK visa without a job is if you have a family connection through your grandparents and you’re from a commonwealth nation.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for US citizens, but if you’re Canadian, Australian, South African, or any other commonwealth nation, this is one of the easiest jobless visas to get.

If you’re 18-30 and either from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Monaco, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or the Republic of Korea, there’s a two-year visa called the Tier 5 Mobility Visa that might be perfect.

If you hit these criteria you can live and work in the UK for up to two years before you have to either leave, gain sponsorship or apply for another visa.

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In addition to your visa and moving fees, you need to have £1,890 in your bank account plus enough for the healthcare surcharge.

There are also a few other options including the Right to Abode, which is if you have a British parent, or a spousal visa, which is sort of like a green card deal.

If you meet the criteria for either of these, then you can move to London without a job.

If you’re a US citizen it can be difficult to move to London without a job or sponsorship. Unless you’re a student, have family connections, or have access to a commonwealth passport, you’re going to need to find a job that’ll sponsor you. 

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Do You Have Enough Money to Move to London Without a Job?

Honestly, London is expensive. There’s no getting around that. The most common way to live in London is to rent a room in a houseshare.

Even so, the average room rent is £768 per calendar month, so it’s not super affordable.

Another thing that you have to consider is the cost of your visa, any copies of documents you need to get, fees and surcharges, and insurance.

This varies based on the visa that you’re applying for and the amount you’ll need for airfare and luggage will depend on location and time of year. 

Separate from these expenses, you’re probably going to want to save around £5000 before you think about moving to London. 

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This should be enough to cover a couple of months’ rent or the bed rate at a hostel, and your living expenses like food, travel, bills, and more.

Once there you’ve got a decent buffer to find a job that you like, rather than just landing and accepting the first minimum wage position you find.  

How to Apply for Your Visa (If Required)

If you’re applying for a visa (rather than having the right to abode), you’re going to want to get started three to six months beforehand, as sometimes it can take a while for visas to get approved. 

You’re going to need to fill out an application form, pay for the visa and any healthcare surcharges, book an appointment at your local embassy or visa center, and have all your biometric information scanned in and approved.

On average, this takes three weeks, but it depends on the type of visa you’re applying for, what country you’re applying from and how busy that center happens to be at that point in time. It’s always best to give yourself more time when it comes to bureaucracy and red tape!

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How to Find a Job in London

Once you’re in London, there are tons of ways to find a job. Most of the postings are online nowadays so sign up for as many job boards as you can. The most popular ones are LinkedIn jobs, Indeed, and Monster.

Be aware that if you’re in a specific accredited field, you might need a local certification or conversion to practice in the UK. 

You can also go old school with your job search and walk around different areas of London with your resume. This is always a good tactic if you’re looking for an hourly rate or part-time role in retail, hospitality, or admin.

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Many shops, bars, cafes, etc. will have hiring posters in their windows, so be on the lookout for those, go in and shoot your shot!

Final Tips and Tricks for Moving to London With No Job:

Here are a final few tips and tricks for moving to London without a job.

1. Get Help from Your Friends

If you have friends living in the UK or even London itself, ask them beforehand to be on the lookout for accommodation and potential jobs so you don’t end up wasting money on staying in a hostel for months when you arrive.

Here’s a list of the best expat jobs to get you started.

2. Do Your Research

London is a big place with each neighborhood having its own distinct vibe and selling point. Find out where you’d ideally like to live and work out if you can afford it.

Read this post to learn more about the different neighborhoods in London.

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3. Budget for transport

By and large, London is not a walkable place. You’re going to be pretty much living on public transport, specifically the Tube network.

This isn’t something that you can really bypass unless you’re planning to cycle everywhere. Make sure you budget for this in your living expenses so that you’re not left short.

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