I have spent a bit of time gathering up information and everything I have learned about moving to the United Kingdom from New Zealand. If you are thinking about moving or you’re ready to take the next step I really hope this can help you out and get you motivated to start the process or hurry it up! What’s first on the agenda? Well, if you want to work in the United Kingdom you had better get a visa otherwise it’s illegal. The visa I applied for and can recommend was the youth mobility visa. You should also check if you qualify for a dual passport if you have a British or European background as many Kiwis do have a European heritage!
Requirements to apply:
- You are outside of the UK when you apply.
- You are a passport holder of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea or Taiwan.
- Between the ages of 18-30.
- Have the equivalent of £1890 in your bank account at the time of the application.
- Have no dependents under the age of 18.
- Have not been to the UK on the same scheme or as a working holiday maker.
If you accepted into the youth mobility scheme then your visa is valid for two years from the time you arrive in the United Kingdom.
Where to get one?
There are two options when you are applying for your visa. You can choose to go straight through the British High Commission or you can go through an agency. The British High Commission are quite tough so if you have one little mistake they will turn down your application and you won’t get a refund. If you go through an agency they help with the visa process and make sure your application is 100% full proof. They will also ensure that the visa application is completed in 3-4 weeks. Another advantage is that they book your biometric appointment for you so you don’t have to even worry about that. I went through an agency called Restless world, I would highly recommend. It is so worth paying the extra fee just to have peace of mind.
If you’re going straight through the British high commission the cost is : £225
If you’re going through Restless World the cost is: £225 (actual visa) + $249 NZD (payment for Restless World service)
As I was pushed for time, using Restless world really helped me to get my visa on time. It took out most of the stress for me as I had already booked the plane ticket!
My flight to the United Kingdom was quite expensive. It cost me $1800 NZD one way! It was the first time I had ever bought a plane ticket for myself so I picked the first one I could see, now I know better! Read my post on ‘How to get the cheapest flights’ where I teach you the tricks and tips for getting a cheap flight. Nowadays using my tips I have learnt I don’t pay more than $850 NZD for a one-way ticket to the UK.
Remember, most flights will only let you take 20-30 kg for luggage and 7 kg of hand luggage. Pack wisely. I only packed 15 kg so I had lots of room for extra things I picked up. I knew once I got there I would want to buy new clothes etc so I allowed for that. Also, I was booked onto two tours when I arrived in the UK and they have a strict weight limit on what you could take so I had to be careful.
Where can I get a job?
Depending on what you want to do, doing a live-in pub job or being an Au pair/nanny job are the most popular. There are loads of jobs websites. The number one I would suggest is Gumtree, it has a wide range of jobs. Posting your own advert saying you’re looking for a job then describing what skills you have is another way to get noticed and have people contact you through your ad. Ask the people you know, the best way to get a job is to know someone so email any people you know that live in the UK. Facebook groups are also a great way to get jobs too. In my post where I talk about my experience of being an au pair in England and I recommend certain groups that you should join. Through Restless World, you can also purchase a pack where they set u up with a job when you first arrive in the UK. This is quite pricey but might it be worth it if you have limited funds to go over with or are worried about getting a job in the first place. Check out the Kiwis in London Facebook page. The admin regularly posts available jobs on there all the time.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave it below, I will try my best to answer it or give you guidance where you can hopefully find the answer. I highly recommend using the UK Governments website to see all the information about this type of visa. Read my part two of this article where I talk about meeting people, travel insurance and getting a UK drivers license.
*I’m not a visa professional so I will not be held liable for your any problems with your visa application which is why I recommend Restless World! I am just telling you my advice based on my experience of living and working in the UK. Information was updated in May 2016