One of the long-term effects of Brexit will inevitably be a tougher regime for EU citizens attempting to live and work in the UK. And the 96% drop in EU nurse applications to Britain’s NHS in the year following the 2016 vote indicates that many Europeans are pre-empting predicted difficulties by staying away.
The flipside of this regrettable scenario might represent an opportunity for those from outside the EU who still want to settle in the UK once the political dust settles and immigration rules are relaxed when more skills shortages bite.
So if you’re harbouring a desire to make a break from Australia to the UK, a move in the next couple of years could prove timely.
Some prior planning’s required for a smooth transition — here are three steps towards moving to the UK from Australia.
A sensible first step is checking your visa eligibility — your Aussie passport enables a six-month visa-free stay in Britain, but if you want to stay longer, you’ll have to apply from home before setting off.
If you intend to work in the UK, the UK Government immigration website has a Tier Two shortage occupation list that’s regularly updated — if you’re already qualified for one of these roles and can secure a British job offer from an employer sponsor permitted to issue a certificate of sponsorship, it’s a fairly positive sign.
But the UK immigration system is an administrative maze — your safest bet is to talk to a qualified immigration consultant about which category it’s best to apply under.
If you’re lucky, you may qualify for citizenship through UK ancestry – it’s not uncommon for some Australians to be eligible for this route.
And once your visa has been issued, study its terms and conditions carefully — if they’re breached, you may have to return to Oz earlier than expected.
If you don’t have the qualifications for a Tier Two visa, or are entering under another category but still need to earn cash in the UK, studying for a qualification online with a UK university could be an excellent component of your prep.
Taking a remote degree with online learning experts Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning can boost your CV with an accredited qualification in anything from digital marketing to football coaching or business studies.
Once you graduate, you’ll have a relevant UK qualification that’s recognisable to employers and demonstrates your commitment to a new career.
When you want to hit the career path at a canter once you’re in Britain, a distance learning degree can give you a head start.
And the career advisers at your uni can probably provide information and advice on the viability of your long-term migration plans.
There are plenty of Australians who’ve made their lives in all corners of the UK — there’s every chance you’ll bump into compatriots randomly in large towns or cities.
And a quick search online reveals many digital networking sites that’ll help you grab great tips.
But if you’re a bit of a business mogul, entrepreneurial networking site Aussie.EU plugs you into a pre-existing network of potential customers, clients and collaborators.
And entering the UK for the purposes of launching a substantial business opens up another immigration route — the Tier One investor visa.
You’ll need funds of £2 million to stay for three years and four months, with the possibility to extend for a further two years.
But if you invest £10 million you can apply to stay permanently after two years, and you can apply to stay after three years when investing £5 million. Other eligibility criteria apply for this route — but if you’ve got the wherewithal, you’re much more than halfway there.
So there are three steps towards moving to the UK from Australia — get started today and you’ll soon be swapping shrimps on the barbie for roast beef and Yorkshire puddings.
Have you moved from Australia to the UK? Share your thoughts in the comments section.