From New Zealand To London

A Guide For Kiwis Moving To London

Based on statistics, at least 1 million Kiwis are living overseas and over 40% of them are in London. Well, there must be something in the capital of England that is worth leaving New Zealand for.

If you want to follow suit, there are some things you need to know before moving to London.

Getting A Visa

There are different visas that New Zealanders can apply for to live, work or study in the UK. Depending on your circumstances, you could obtain a visa without a hitch.

  • UK Tier 5 Youth mobility scheme visa

Previously known as the Tier 5 Holidaymaker Visa until November 2008, this type of visa allows you to stay and work in the UK for a maximum of 24 months. But you must satisfy certain conditions to be eligible for it.

  • It must be your first time to use this type of visa, since you can only use it once.
  • You must not have children living with you, or who are financially dependent on you.
  • You must score a total of 50 points on three criteria:
    • 30 points for being a citizen of New Zealand
    • 10 points for satisfying the age requirement, which is between 18 and 31 years old
    • 10 points for having at least GBP 1600 of available funds at the time of your visa application.
  • Skilled Visa

Formerly known as the Work Permit Scheme, the Tier 2 Skilled Worker visa enables you to stay and work in the UK for a maximum of 3 years and a month, or depending on the time specified in your sponsorship certificate plus a month. To apply for this type of visa, you must have a total of 70 points based on the following:

  • 10 points for satisfying the English language proficiency requirement
  • 10 points for being able to prove that you have at least £800
    in your bank account for more than 3 months before your arrival in London
  • 50 points obtained from various attributes, such as 30 to 50 points for employment sponsorship

What is great about the Skilled Workers visa is that you can extend for another 2 years at the end of your first visa terms. Once your stay in the UK has reached 5 years, you now have the option to apply for a permanent stay.

Getting To London From New Zealand

While waiting for your visa to be approved, you can start planning your trip. Take into account the cost of your flight, its duration, and whether or not there are stopovers along the way. There are plenty of airlines that service the New Zealand and London route, most of which you can book online.

The real challenge, however, is surviving your arrival in London. Being in a fast-paced city, you need to be in and out of the airport like a local.

  • Obtain the complete address of where you’re staying in the UK, so you can fill out a landing card completely.
  • Get your passport ready. It should be valid for at least 6 months with at least two pages left blank.
  • Make sure your bank statements, travel plans and other supporting documents necessary for your events are on hand.

Accommodation Options

Finding accommodation in London is not that hard, but you can simplify your search. You can choose to doss or rent. The former is where you stay or sleep at a friend’s house, while the latter is where you rent bedsits, studios, flat shares and hostels.


Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

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