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Old 09.02.2012, 17:56
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Re: Leaving Zurich to London - need some info

Dear R,

I am London born. Do you have to find your own accommodation or is your company going to assist you?

As you are a EU Citizen, you will not need a work permit, but at the border you will be required to show your EU Passport, as it is outside of Schengen.

What is important is where you live and work. As you will use public transport & need to know the good connections. It is not unusually to travel between 1 to 2hrs to get to work, so you will want to keep it 1hr or less. If you let me know either the postcode of your office or the area name, I will be happy to give you some tips on areas to live.

How old are your children – so I can talk about school/colleges? (basically the school year starts in September and finishes mid July)

Renting a home in London, June I think will be good time for you. We do not speak 4.5 rooms. We speak how many bedrooms & reception rooms. We do not have separate areas for laundry, you will need to have your own washing machine within your home. Whether your home includes garden you will have to check, whether it has car parking? Many people have to park on the roads.

No idea if you will be paid in Switzerland or UK. If you are paid in the UK you will need to get a National Insurance number, it is very straight forward, your work HR will no doubt tell you where to go.

Setting up a UK Bank Account should be fairly straight forward and no doubt your company will assist.

Once you have your home, suggest you and your family register almost immediately with a local National Health Doctor to your home. They will normally ask you to make an appointment with their nurse who will take your details. Once you are registered it is free to visit the Doctor, usually by appointment. Prescriptions usually have a set charge of around chf 10.00 per item, so if you were getting cough medicine & something else, then it would be CHF20 that you pay at the pharmacy.

On top of rent, you will pay Council Tax, a property has a set charge, I am guessing it will be between £1500 to £2500 per year, that you can pay over 10 months. Water would be around £3 to £400 per year. Some properties have gas, some don’t. Both gas and electric are more expensive than Switzerland. Annual TV Licence, that starts the month you buy it is around £160 a year. Phone line rental is similar to here, but internet is cheaper & you can get a package to include either cable TV or sky.

Shops – we have many in London & you can almost buy groceries 24/7. Sundays have shorter opening hours.

The Police in London do NOT usually carry guns

VAT is 20% in UK

London is multi-cultured & there are some areas that have different clusters of Nationalities or Religions

Most Public Museums are free to enter
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