Birmingham has an excellent public transport system, with regular bus services throughout the city and the city is at hub of the national rail network, with services to cities throughout mainland Britain.
When driving in the UK, a seatbelt must be worn at all times, and operating a mobile phone while driving is illegal.
Members of the EU and those from Commonwealth countries are eligible to drive in the UK for up to twelve months, assuming that they hold an up-to-date license. This includes those from; Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
An overseas license can then be exchanged any time within five years for a GB (Great Britain) version.
Birmingham has five universities, and in terms of the local schooling system, there are both private and state education services available for children in the city. Most expatriates choose to enrol their children in private or independent schools (called ‘public schools’ in the UK) this is because state schools are solely based on ‘catchment areas’.
The school year begins in September and ends in July, typical school days run Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm. Children typically travel to school by car with their parents or take the bus.
Crown can arrange an appointment with a Specialist Education consultant who can provide an in-depth explanation of local education systems, the curricula available and arranging interviews, as well as assist with enrolment requirements. Please contact us for information and rates.
Birmingham, like the wider UK, has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The National Healthcare System (NHS) is the main public healthcare system.
Eligibility for NHS services is dependent on resident status in the UK. Expatriates registering for NHS treatments need photo identification and proof of address.
If you are paying tax or National Insurance in the UK, then you will need to apply for a National Insurance Number – this is something that will allow assistance with NHS services.
Excellent public healthcare is available all throughout Birmingham, however some expatriates may choose to take out private healthcare, and this is available through companies such as BUPA or PPP.
If the insurance company you were with in New Zealand is a member of the International Federation of Health Funds, you may be able to transfer your policy to the UK without penalty - at a similar level of cover. Check with your insurance provider for details.
When choosing where to live in Birmingham, the deciding factor for expats is normally how close you need to be to your place of employment and school. The cost of accommodation and commuting to work are also significant considerations.
Rather than purchasing a home, most expatriates choose to rent, at least at first. This is because house prices in Birmingham, and the rest of the UK, are more expensive compared to their equivalents in New Zealand.
Looking for a home in Birmingham can quite often be a daunting task, Crown Birmingham provides accommodation information for rental or purchase properties and can also arrange for temporary accommodation.
Birmingham’s diverse, multi-cultural population means that you are bound to meet people from all different walks of life.
Expatriates most commonly assimilate in to the community through pursuing sports and hobbies they are interested in. There are a number of established expatriate communities that new migrants can join.
A renowned pub/night-life culture provides opportunities to meet new people, and establish friendships with people in the area. Social media and activities such as volunteer work, sports teams, and foreign language classes are all great ways to get to know like-minded people in your area.
Crown Relocations has 50 years of experience moving individuals and families to Birmingham and the UK, contact us today for more information about our services.
To arrange a quotation call our office Free on 0508 227 696, get an online Ballpark estimate, complete our Home Visit Request, get a Full Quote or Email us now