Considering New York City and London are two of the most popular cities on the planet it is no surprise that there is a constant flow of folks moving from one to the other. Moving to a new country is a pretty big deal, but whether you are moving from London to New York or moving from New York to London, there are things you need to know, and you should find this guide very helpful.
How to Move to New York from London
The great thing about relocating to New York is that you certainly won’t experience a significant culture clash. Despite being different countries the cities share the same fast-paced lifestyle and high-street brands, and both cities tend to revolve around finance and media. Another advantage is that while most people moving to New York are concerned about the increased cost of living it is cheaper than London, so even going grocery shopping and hailing cabs is less expensive.
- Open a Bank Account – Banks are readily available in New York and they all have their specific requirements for opening a new account. You will need two forms of identification. Some may also require your social security number or letter from your employer. If you haven’t found a permanent residence yet, you may need to do this before you apply for an account.
- Social Security Card – A social security card will eventually be needed. To do this you need to visit your nearest social security administration (SSA). You will need your visa and proof of identity.
- Visa – Speaking of proof of identity, you will need a visa, if you plan on working here. The visa lottery, more commonly known as the Diversity Visa Program, is the easiest method to do this. There are other options for immigrating though. It is always in your best interest to contact an immigration attorney, especially if you don’t have a sponsor.
- Hire the Right Movers – Moving between countries is hectic enough, but moving from one busy metropolis to another adds all sorts of challenges. There is no room for error. If you are moving from London to New York, you need a moving company that is familiar with the area, (lack of) parking, landlord requirements, etc. FlatRate Moving is the trusted name in the business for these complex transitions.
- Decide Where to Live – You can’t fully understand the diversity of this city until you are here. For this reason, most find it easiest to move into temporary housing, so they can take their time finding a place to live. The city is divided into five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Within each borough are a plethora of very unique neighborhoods. For example, the Lower East Side in Manhattan is considered hip and trendy while Little Neck in Queens is popular with families, as it has the city’s lowest crime rate, 20 elementary schools, and 5 middle schools. Folks who want to be part of an up-and-coming community will want to check out Greenpoint in Brooklyn.
- Education – Families often decide where to live in New York according to the school they want their children to attend. There is no shortage of schools here, and although some are exceptional there are also schools you probably want to avoid. InsideSchools is an independent website that can help. If you are looking to take adult classes, TimeOut is a helpful site for you.
- Employment – Don’t believe the rumors about it being impossible to find a job in New York. There are a ton of jobs, but there are also a ton of people looking, so take advantage of every opportunity you get. You will need a resume to apply for jobs. This is similar to the CV you are familiar with. Never include race, age, marital status, political preference, religious beliefs, or photos. There are anti-discriminative laws here that protect you against answering these questions or feeling obligated to provide such information.
- Getting Around – Public transportation in New York is complex and extensive. It can be very intimidating, but tackling it head-on is better than wasting a ton of money on cabs unnecessarily. Rapid transit runs 24 hours a day and is the largest system in the world. There are also buses, ferries, and trams, as well.
- Things to Do – There is zero chance you will run out of things to do here. You probably already have a list of things you want to do and see, but a few popular picks include Broadway theater productions, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are more than 500 art galleries, dozens of performance arts theaters, hundreds of cultural institutions, and professional baseball, hockey, football, and basketball teams.
How to Move to London from New York
Just like those looking for advice on how to move to New York from London, there are also plenty of folks looking to relocate to London. If you think New York City has a fabulous skyline wait until you can marvel at the enchanted display London has to offer. This global city is a major cultural capital, but this is something you are already used to. It is the leading investment destination in the world, and it is also one of the most natural major cities, as it has an abundance of green space and wildlife.
- Deciding Where to Live – London has 33 boroughs, with each one having its infrastructure and local government. You may want to stay in a hostel while you look for a place to live. Rightmove, Gumtree, RoomMateUK, and Zoopla can be helpful.
- Open Bank Account – If you want to have a bank account already lined up, consider a worldwide one, such as HSBC. Other popular banks in London include NatWest, Lloyds TSB, and Barclays. You can find a lot of helpful banking information and financial services on the This is Money website.
- Immigration and Visa – Moving from New York to London is simplified on the Home Office and UK Border Agency site. You can apply for immigration through this source, too. The type of visa you apply for will be dictated by your reason for moving here.
- Education – The educational system in the UK is exceptional with some of the most coveted schools located right in London. The Department for Education site can provide you with information on different schools and how they are performing.
- Taxes – Paying taxes is something you are quite familiar with. HM Revenue and Customs collect the money. One thing you may find odd is that the tax year runs from April 5th to April 4th. Having an accountant is recommended.
- Getting Around – If you drive a vehicle between 7 am and 8 pm Monday through Friday, you have to pay a congestion charge. Getting around in the city is easiest done via the underground train system. There are also 11 lines with 270 stations serviced by The Tube and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is another option, which links to the London Underground System. Red double-decker buses and taxis are available, too. You will want to purchase an Oyster card to pay for your transportation fees. Plus, Barclays Bicycles offer 8,000 bikes at 570 locations throughout the city. The first 30 minutes are free.
- Things to Do – There are more than 10,000 clubs to join on GetActive London. Whether you enjoy live theater, museums, historic sites, or natural spaces, you won’t run out of things to do with attractions like Westminster Abbey, Camden Lock Market, Greenwich, Sky Garden, Holland Park, West End Theatre District, and the Charles Dickens Museum.
No matter which way you make the move, planning and preparation are two of the biggest keys to a successful move across the pond. Check out our moving to London services page. Get organized, stay calm, and be happy moving! Get started with a no-obligation moving quote from FlatRate.