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02-09-2019, 15:47   #1
cr-07
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Planning a move to London

Hi all,

I am planning a move to London in the near future (6 months - 1 year away). I am a graduate software engineer working in a reputable company in Ireland. This company has offices in London but they are not very central. I have been in the company for 3 months as of now. I will be moving with my partner who is non-EU who has a work permit to work in Ireland but not in England. We plan to marry within the next couple of months. She is a digital marketing executive with limited experience.

So my queries are as follows:

1. I have done some research that states I will be eligible to work in the UK (brexit or no deal brexit), but would my partner be able to gain a work permit on the basis of being married to an Irish citizen?

2. What is the best way to move all of our belongings to the UK? (Clothes, Furniture, etc..)

3. What are the best areas to live? We are looking at a 1-2 bedroom apartment costing around £1200 - £1500 a month. We were looking mainly in the Stratford area, open to suggestions.

4. Would it be relatively straight forward in finding work in our respective fields? And if so, what are the salary expectations within these fields.

5. Should I try and force a swap with my current company to one of the London offices, or should I find another company - relates to question 4, depending on how easy it is to find work.

I know there is a super thread for these queries but it seems as though it is dead and it has not had a post in while. Mods feel free to move my thread if need be.
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02-09-2019, 16:50   #2
BrokenArrows
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See my responses in BOLD.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cr-07 View Post
So my queries are as follows:

1. I have done some research that states I will be eligible to work in the UK (brexit or no deal brexit), but would my partner be able to gain a work permit on the basis of being married to an Irish citizen?
Under EU rules she could have applied for a Residence Card based on being your spouse/unmarried partner. Depending on what happens with Brexit this may or may not apply anymore. As far as im aware the alternative visas require her to be sponsored by an employer. There might be some family type permit, but i think you would need to have been already resident there before she applies.
Wait until Brexit plays out. If it is cancelled then the easiest option is for you to apply under the EU rules (I did this with my wife)


2. What is the best way to move all of our belongings to the UK? (Clothes, Furniture, etc..).
Rent a big van and drive or be willing to pay lots of €€€ for someone else to do it for you.

3. What are the best areas to live? We are looking at a 1-2 bedroom apartment costing around £1200 - £1500 a month. We were looking mainly in the Stratford area, open to suggestions.
For a 2 bedroom place you will be looking at £1500 as a minimum pretty much anywhere reasonably central. I classify Stratford as reasonably central.
But forget about where you are living until you know where you are working. Base your living location on the easiest/most affordable commute. The commute in London is horrible, keep it as short as possible.



4. Would it be relatively straight forward in finding work in our respective fields? And if so, what are the salary expectations within these fields.
Yes, Lots of jobs in software and marketing. At least there is now, who knows with Brexit.

5. Should I try and force a swap with my current company to one of the London offices, or should I find another company - relates to question 4, depending on how easy it is to find work.
Yes, that would be the easiest option. Then once you move and settle down you can start looking for something better if you want. NOTE: If you get transferred make sure you get a significant increase in salary too as its very expensive here.

I know there is a super thread for these queries but it seems as though it is dead and it has not had a post in while. Mods feel free to move my thread if need be.
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03-09-2019, 10:09   #3
cr-07
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Thanks for your response BrokenArrows, very helpful information. I forgot to mention the she also has a sister who is now a UK citizen, do you reckon this would aid in gaining a family type visa (or other such visa)? You also mentioned to wait and see how Brexit plays out, and if it is cancelled, apply under the EU rules. But what if Brexit goes ahead, should we try and fast track everything before that event happens?

I am currently on a salary of €36k. Would that be a healthy enough salary living in central London, or should I try for a significant increase? She is currently on €28k.
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03-09-2019, 14:34   #4
BrokenArrows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cr-07 View Post
Thanks for your response BrokenArrows, very helpful information. I forgot to mention the she also has a sister who is now a UK citizen, do you reckon this would aid in gaining a family type visa (or other such visa)? You also mentioned to wait and see how Brexit plays out, and if it is cancelled, apply under the EU rules. But what if Brexit goes ahead, should we try and fast track everything before that event happens?

I am currently on a salary of €36k. Would that be a healthy enough salary living in central London, or should I try for a significant increase? She is currently on €28k.
If you want to fast track anything then you would need to move there. You cant apply for an EU based family visa unless you already live there.

No, 36k and 28k are very low for surviving in London. Combined it is OKish but still not great. You should have no problem getting significantly more than that with any experience.

Use https://www.thesalarycalculator.co.uk/salary.php to determine your after tax Salary and workout a budget.
Workout your travel costs and other associated costs of working in London. Dont forgot to take into account Council Tax which is usually somewhere around 1.2k per year for a 2 bed apartment (It changes depending on the council).
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03-09-2019, 16:02   #5
BrokenArrows
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Just as an update to the cost of living and required salary. Below is based on my expenses in any given month.

Example expenses. Im not going to take into account that you are a couple, below is the assumption is that one person is paying expenses, which might be the case for a while if only one person initially has a job, and you should also plan for the worst should 1 person lose their job.

Expenses:
Rent: £1500.00
Transport: £194.00 (Assumed a Zone 1-4 Travel card)
Tv License: £12.00
Electricity&Gas: £60
Council Tax: £110.00
Water: £26.00
Tv/Internet: £50
Groceries (2 people): £500.00 (Obviously you can buy cheaper stuff, but im assuming you want to eat normally)

Current Total Expenses: £2452.00

So as you can see expenses are pretty high before you even decide to go to the pub for a pint, or out for a meal, movie, cinema, concert etc.

A £50k salary would leave you with £2,981 after taxes and mandatory pension which barely covers your living expenses so should one of you not have a job initially or lose your job you will have a hard time.

If you are living as a couple then you need to be able to support the other temporarily in the situation that they lose their job and you will personally want to be able to enjoy your time in London and not have to scrape by.

Id consider the minimum enjoyable salary to be 50k so you dont have to be constantly looking at your bank account and worrying about going for a pint after work.

People obviously live in London with significantly less income, but they tend to live in house shares or futher out of the city where accommodation is cheaper.

Should two of you find work for 40-50k then you will have a much easier time, but aim High with your salary requirements. There is plenty of money in the city, especially for software engineers and marketing. If you can, i would hold off until you both have at least 1 years solid experience in your chosen jobs. It will make life easier when finding work.

Last edited by BrokenArrows; 03-09-2019 at 16:07.
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19-09-2019, 12:10   #6
theteal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cr-07 View Post
Thanks for your response BrokenArrows, very helpful information. I forgot to mention the she also has a sister who is now a UK citizen, do you reckon this would aid in gaining a family type visa (or other such visa)? You also mentioned to wait and see how Brexit plays out, and if it is cancelled, apply under the EU rules. But what if Brexit goes ahead, should we try and fast track everything before that event happens?

I am currently on a salary of €36k. Would that be a healthy enough salary living in central London, or should I try for a significant increase? She is currently on €28k.
Central London would be tough on that kinda money unless ye were house sharing. I'd echo most of the point the BA has already stated but maybe paint a slightly less harsh picture. For the first couple of years we didn't earn £50k combined and we lived quite well BUT rather importantly, we've never lived in central London - heck it's even arguable that we lived in London at all. We were in Romford for 6-7ish years which is probably slightly further out than you'd like to be if you fancy a bit of nightlife but we're old so it suited us fine.

Stratford is not a bad location to live as a transport hub tbh. You can be in Liv St in minutes via train, then you've the Central, Jubilee and weird Overground tube type train so you'd be well covered for most of London. One thing I will point out, apart from all the newly developed side of Stratford (Olympic park etc), it can be a very rough area - although I know quite a few people who live there without issue.

BA has hit the nail on the head, Council Tax is a baxtard. Ours is just over £1800 but it's a 4 bed house. Also our mortgage is about half of his/her rent figure BUT my annual travel fare is about £4500pa (Essex to Mayfair, 60 mins door to door if you're wondering). I would say that BA's groceries figure is quite high, I'd say ours is half that per month for a family of 3 who cook everything from scratch, gotta love Aldi.

I thought dev guys got sacks of money, I assume with any experience you'd be grand.
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19-09-2019, 15:20   #7
rainbow kirby
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Depending on your experience and stack you should be able to get something solid in London, I wouldn't accept under 40k. I live in Manchester now after 5 years in London (have 9 years experience in software and am a Python/Linux type) and still have London recruiters contacting me all the time about jobs paying serious money.
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