Moving to a new country in search of work and better opportunities? Relocating can be both exciting and scary, but being prepared for what to expect is a good way to get yourself grounded somewhere new. Rewire’s relocation guides are meant to help you with the essential information you’ll need to get started in a new country.
The UK: Quick Facts for Migrants from India
- Population: 67 million
- Capital: London
- Main language: English
- Emergency phone number: 999 or 112
- Electricity: 230 volts, 50Hz
- Currency: Pound Sterling
- Pound to Indian Rupees: 1 GBP = ~100 INR
- Embassy: India House, Aldwych, London; https://www.hcilondon.gov.in/
Finding a Flat in the UK
Before you start searching for a flat in the UK, try and set a budget first. Our budgeting for migrants series can help you understand what goes into a budget and how to allocate a set budget for rent and other expenses. Once you know how much you’re able to spend, you can start looking around for prices and different cities or neighborhoods where you might want to relocate.
A good first step would be to network and ask other migrants in the UK in the area where you want to settle for tips or recommendations on where to rent. Otherwise, there are some common housing search websites in the UK that you can use to look for flats:
Always ensure you have the required documents to sign a lease. Before going to see a place, you might want to check with the landlord ahead of time what documentation they need, but you can expect they’ll ask for basic documents like your immigration status document, a passport, and an ID card.
Finding a Job in the UK
Your community of migrants and expats can also be helpful in pointing you in the right direction of how to search for work when you land in the UK. Alternatively, you can find jobs posted online that are suitable for migrants from India. Here are a few we recommend:
Public Transportation in the UK
Chances are you won’t have a car while you’re living in the UK, at least at the beginning, when you just relocated from India. Luckily, the public transportation system in the UK is vast and easy to use. There are a ton of options for public transit, like trains, buses, intercity coach buses, and the underground system.
To move from one city to another, a lot of people take the National Express or Megabus coaches or rely on the National Rail train service. The train is usually quicker but is often more expensive, so the public transit you’ll use most often depends on your budget. In the bigger cities like London, there’s a great underground system, which the locals call “The Tube.” It’s worth getting acquainted with this system, even if you’re not based in the city, since it’s the most convenient way to get around if you need to go for appointments, get to work, or run errands. Check out the Transport for London website to plan your trips and view underground maps.
Send Money to India from the UK
As a migrant, your relocation needs are slightly different compared to other expats since you need to manage your finances both at home and now abroad. Instead of going the traditional route and turning to a bank, many migrants opt for online services, like Rewire, to help them manage their finances in two places. Rewire offers an international money transfer service that allows you to send money home quickly and with low fees, as well as a free prepaid debit card, and a GBP payment account (IBAN). You can manage all these services and more from your phone at any time, making it a flexible option for migrants who are busy with work during traditional banking hours.
Making the move from India to the UK can be a lot to handle, but if you go into it with an open mind and try to do some research beforehand, you’ll find the transition a lot easier. Make sure to read up on tips from expats and other migrants before moving to a new country to help manage your expectations and so that you know what to expect when you land.