Moving to Leeds
Are you moving to Leeds in the United Kingdom?
Let us help you plan your relocation and discover everything Leeds has to offer. Crown are an international relocations company, specialising in international removals, storage, overseas moving, movers insurance, relocation services and lots more. We will even relocate your vehicle and pets!
Leeds is home to nearly 800,000 people, making it the third-biggest city in the United Kingdom (UK), and is to be found in West Yorkshire, in northern England.
From a historical perspective, Leeds became a major wool production and trading centre in 17th and 18th centuries and at the time of the Industrial Revolution, the city developed into a major mill town, with engineering and iron foundries becoming prominent. It has evolved as the major hub of West Yorkshire, and the modern city buzzes with thriving markets, historical and family attractions, ballet, opera and frequent sporting events.
Leeds is known as one of England’s great cities, and is close to the picturesque Yorkshire Dales and there are many things to do and see, a good place to start is the official tourist website at www.visitleeds.co.uk.
The city lays claim to England’s most northerly commercial vineyard — Leventhorpe Vineyard in Woodlesford, and the city centre has some 3.5 million square feet of retail floor-space, five miles of shopping streets and one of the country’s largest pedestrianised shopping areas. The Leeds Carnival, which started in 1967, is the oldest Caribbean carnival in Europe, and the city is also the spiritual home of children’s entertainers Sooty and Sweep, as they were invented in Guiseley, not far from the city.
If you are a member of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), then you do not need a UK-specific work permit or visa. If you are not a member then you must apply for the relevant work permit or visa before you arrive in the UK — this can be done through your local UK embassy.
New Zealand passport holders may generally enter the UK for six months without a visa on a visa waiver if they are here for a holiday. However, they will still need to satisfy a Border Force officer (UK Customs) when they arrive that they meet the requirements of a visitor category, and aren’t in the UK for any other purpose.
While New Zealanders generally do not need a visa before entering the UK on holiday, there are circumstances when you may need to obtain one before you travel. To live, study and work in the UK you must obtain the necessary visa before you arrive in the country. These visas can only be applied for from your country of residence; this will likely be New Zealand for most New Zealanders. For details of visa and general immigration enquiries, visit the UK Home Office Visas and Immigration page.
The local currency of the UK is the Pound Sterling. Shops and service providers, as a rule, only take sterling. Coins come in denominations of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, £1 and £2 while notes come in £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100, although some of the larger shops will take Euros (the official currency of the European Union).
Many migrants have found it helpful to set up a UK bank account before arriving in the country. This makes it easy for converted money to be transferred straight in to your account, as well as minimising the need to carry cash while travelling. There are many banks in Leeds who offer an easy, online sign-up service.
The best way to convert large sums of money is through online transferral companies, who provide a much cheaper rate.
Crown has entered into a partnership with OFX to provide an easy, reliable and cost effective solution for clients who are moving their funds internationally. The deals offered by OFX are at super competitive exchange rates and in most cases there’s no fee. The cost structure is so good that the saving you make may even pay for the entire cost of your relocation. Visit the OFX website for more information.
Leeds has an excellent public transport system, with regular bus services throughout the city www.wymetro.com, 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.
Leeds has three 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 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. 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.
Leeds, 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 Glasgow, 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 Glasgow, 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 Glasgow, and the rest of the UK, are more expensive compared to their equivalents in New Zealand.
Looking for a home in Glasgow can quite often be a daunting task, Crown provides accommodation information for rental or purchase properties and can also arrange for temporary accommodation.
Leeds’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 Leads and throughout the UK, contact us today for more information about our services. Read our blog Expert Tips on Moving to the UK for move information.