The 2012 Expatriate's Guide to Living in the UK
A product of Supporting International HR Professionals Worldwide
CONTENTS Page 3
English as a Foreign Language
Publisher: Helen Elliott Telephone: 020 8661 0186 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Director: Damian Porter Telephone: 01737 551506 Email: email@example.com PO Box 921, Sutton, SM1 2WB Original cover designed by Chris Duggan
A product of Supporting International HR Professionals Worldwide
BANKING IN THE UK Additionally, so-called packaged bank accounts charge customers a monthly fee, typically from around £10 for some extra benefits. These products vary from bank to bank but benefits often include cut-priced buildings and contents insurance, identity theft insurance, mobile phone insurance and travel insurance. We live in the internet age and many people today think nothing of logging onto their computer to carry out their day-to-day functions. Email and mobile phones are symptomatic of the way we live today in a fast-paced world that barely seems to pause for breath. Customers value the ‘anytime, anywhere’ control that it gives them over banking. While many people still choose to bank in branch, online banking offers customers the chance to manage your money from the comfort of your home, work, or even on the move via a smartphone. Customers can set up, change and cancel payments, whether individual or regular, shift money between their accounts, and in some cases analyse their spending. There have been numerous tales of internet banking fraud but British banks have embraced state of the art technology to reduce the risk of online fraud – and it is working. Losses through card fraud fell by 17% between 2009 and 2010 according to the latest figures from The UK Cards Association. This is the lowest annual total since 2000 and follows on from a fall of 28% in the previous year. In most cases, banks provide customers with a free card reader which helps confound fraudsters and protect customers’ accounts. It is simple to use, allowing customers to access their account online securely and complete payment transactions. However, despite the increasing take-up of Online banking services, some of you will still want to pop into a local branch and talk to a member of staff. This is another factor you might want to consider if you are moving to the UK and want to speak to a friendly face. It is worth checking whether the bank of your choice has a branch in the town or city where you are going to live. What’s more, for those who are looking to
The number of people coming to live in the UK according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics reached 591,000 for the year ending March 2011. Moving to a new country is likely to be an upheaval and so it makes sense to try and make the move as hassle-free as possible. And keeping your finances in check will be at the top of the list of priorities for most. Take your bank account, for instance. It would be reassuring to know that once you have arrived in the UK you could check your bank balances whenever you wanted to, or transfer money between accounts in an instant, and pay bills (quite possibly in different currencies) whenever you wanted, and to whoever you wanted, be they in the UK or overseas. You might want to be able to send money home and require both an Offshore, as well as an Onshore account. It would also be comforting to know that there would always be someone to talk to at any time of day or night. Well, banks in the UK allow you to do all of that and more. In the UK there is a raft of different bank accounts from which to choose and so it makes sense to select the account or accounts that suit your personal circumstances. There are traditional current accounts, which come with a cheque book and debit card, to deposit interest-earning accounts, currency accounts and longer-term savings accounts. You can opt for accounts that are free from a standard account charge but will carry charges should you go overdrawn or exceed an agreed overdraft facility. If you have a healthy balance, then look for a current account that pays interest credit balances. Such accounts were few and far between in days gone by, but the competition in this area has intensified in recent years. There are also regular saver accounts, which pay a competitive rate of interest so long as you pay in a minimum amount each month – although there is normally a cap on the amount you can deposit each year. 3
have a more personal experience with their bank and prefer face-to-face contact, a number of banks will offer a Relationship Manager or a team dedicated to them. Customers will have the comfort of having a single point of contact and have the opportunity to build a relationship with someone who understands their needs. Getting a bank account up and ready as quickly as possible is likely to be a priority for many expats. For starters, you will want to have the convenience of being able to pay for goods and services with a credit or debit card, as well as being able to withdraw cash. If you are coming to work, you will want to organise for your salary to be paid in to the new account too. Opening a bank account will require you to pass certain security checks. UK banks generally require new customers, both domestic and foreign, to provide specific documents that verify their UK address in addition to documents that simply verify their identity. Having a passport and driving licence are standard proof of ID, but proof of address can cause problems as many will not have a permanent place to live upon arrival. Even if you do, you are unlikely to have any utility bills to speak of straight away, as these are often sent every three months. There are a number of banks that work with Corporate Employers to assist employees relocating to the UK. People moving to the UK are unlikely to leave their old life behind completely. For many it will be temporary, such as a work posting overseas. Many people coming to work in the UK will be paid in foreign currency or it is likely that they will continue to have financial commitments in their country of origin, such as bills to pay. This is where a multi-currency account can help. A multi-currency account gives you the opportunity to keep your income in the currency needed to accommodate your financial commitments - and possibly earn interest in one place too. Likewise, paying a bill in a different currency is generally not a problem as long as the account can support multiple currencies. Paying a bill in the correct currency is less hassle and it also avoids transaction fees and fluctuating exchange rates. For expats intending to stay in the UK for longer, the relationship with a UK bank can be
more than just a bank account. You may want a credit card or a mortgage or somewhere to save and invest capital in over the longer-term. Again, UK banks can help here too. Moving to a new country will be a time of great excitement and you will want to take it all in. It would be a shame if problems with routine matters such as paying bills and transferring money took the gloss off your new life. It makes sense for people who are moving to Britain to start to consider their banking needs in the weeks before they are due to leave. With foresight and a little planning a bank account can be opened before you land on British soil. NatWest Global Employee Banking offers a service for Corporate Employees coming to work in the UK and will work with Corporate HR departments and relocation companies to meet verification requirements. Accounts can be opened either onshore or offshore dependant on the customerâ€™s requirements. NatWest Global Employee Banking has been established for 18 years and has a long-standing relationship with many multinational organisations, including many blue chip corporations. The organisation does not have to bank with NatWest to be able to use the service. We can also open accounts for corporate employees prior to their arrival in the UK subject to receipt of all required correct information. We are always happy to consider new opportunities or introductions to corporate organisations that may benefit from this service. We would need to undertake investigations of the company to be sure of its credentials at the outset. If this free service may be of interest to you please contact Neil Barsby, Head of NatWest Global Employee Banking directly on 01245 355628 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org For more information please visit our website www.natwestglobal.com for more details on the accounts on offer or contact Neil directly.
clubs St James Chapter, NSDAR (Westminster) www.dar.org/natsociety/overseas.cfm
WOMEN’S CLUBS – LONDON AND SURROUNDING AREA American Women of Berkshire & Surrey www.awbs.org.uk
St Johns Wood Women’s Club www.sjwwc.co.uk
American Women’s Club of London www.awclondon.org
Thames Valley American Womens Club www.tvawc.com
American Women of Surrey www.awsurrey.org
WOMEN’S CLUBS – REST OF UNITED KINGDOM American Club of Hertfordshire Email: AmClubHerts@aol.com
Arab Women’s Association (AWA) email@example.com
Association of Turkish Women in Britain www.atwib.org.uk
American Expats of North West England www.expatsnw.co.uk
Australian Women’s Club in London www.awclondon.org.uk
American Women’s Club of Central Scotland www.awccs.org
Canadian Women’s Club www.canadianwomenlondon.org
American Women's Club of Dubin, Ireland www.awcd.net
Chilean Ladies Group firstname.lastname@example.org
Association of American Women of Aberdeen www.awaaberdeen.org
Chilterns American Women’s Club www.cawc.co.uk
Dutch Women of Surrey (DWS) www.dutchwomenofsurrey.com
Daughters of the American Revolution National Society, Walter Hines Page Chapter, NSDAR (London) www.dar.org/natsociety/overseas.cfm
International Women’s Club of Edinburgh www.iwce.co.uk
North American Connection – Midlands UK www.naconnect.com
Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas www.fawco.org
Petroleum Women’s Club of Scotland www.pwcos.com
Focus Information Services www.focus-info.org
The Edinburgh Expat American Meetup Group www.american.meetup.com/210
Hampstead Women’s Club www.hwcinlondon.co.uk
Political Democrats Abroad UK www.democratsabroad.org/group/
Italian Cultural Association (Il Circolo) www.ilcircolo.org.uk Junior League of London www.jll.org.uk
United-Kingdom Federal Voters Assistance Program www.fvap.gov
Kensington & Chelsea Women's Club www.kcwc.org.uk
Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) www.overseasvotefoundation.org
Londres Accueil www.londresaccueil.org.uk
Republicans Abroad UK www.raukonline.org
New Zealand Women’s Association www.nzwa.co.uk
To feature in this section next year, email: email@example.com
Northwood Area Women’s Club (NAWC) www.northwoodareawomensclub.co.uk 5
driving Driving in Great Britain (GB) on a licence issued in a European Community/ European Economic Area (EC/EEA) country All drivers must comply with British minimum age requirements. These are 17 years for cars and motorcycles, 18 years for medium sized vehicles and 21 years for large lorries and buses.
your 66th birthday or for five years after becoming resident, whichever is the shorter period If you are aged 65 or over for 12 months after becoming resident. You must get a British driving licence in order to continue driving after these periods.
Notifying health conditions You must tell the DVLA about conditions which existed before you came to GB and which you may have already notified to the authorities, as well as any conditions you have recently become aware of. In most cases, the rules will be the same as those in other EC/EEA countries although there may be some differences. Higher visual standards apply for vocational drivers in this country.
European Community and European Economic Area Licences issued in the European Community and European Economic Area make up two groups that are treated equally. The full list is: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Taking a driving test If you want to take a British driving test you must be normally resident in GB. However, if you have moved to GB having recently been permanently resident in another state of the EC/ EEA, you must have been normally resident in GB for 185 days in the 12 months prior to your application for a driving test and a full licence. To take a GB driving test you will need to either: • Apply for a GB counterpart licence (D58/2) by completing a D9 (available from embassies or the DVLA) and enclose your community driving licence, which will be returned to you. The provisional licence document is issued free of charge. However, the appropriate fee must be paid and your community licence surrendered in exchange for a GB one when claiming the full entitlement • Exchange your community licence for the • British equivalent and request the appropriate provisional entitlement.
Visitors If you hold a valid community licence and are visiting GB, you can drive any vehicle if your licence is valid. The appropriate full entitlement for the vehicle you wish to drive must be shown on your licence. Residents If you have a valid community licence, this will authorise you to drive in GB for the period set out below. Alternatively, you can exchange your licence for a British one at any time. Provided your licence remains valid you may drive in GB: Car and motorcycle driving licence holders (ordinary driving licence): • Until aged 70 or for three years after becoming resident, whichever is the longer period Lorry, minibus, bus driving licence holders (vocational driving licence) • Until aged 45 or for five years after becoming resident, whichever is the longer period • If you are aged over 45 (but under 65) until
Community licences issued in exchange for licences from elsewhere A community licence issued on the strength of a licence from a designated country will be valid 6
be allowed to drive as a full licence holder and provisional licence conditions will apply. If you do not apply for a provisional licence within the first 12 months you must stop driving and obtain a British provisional licence with a view to passing a driving test. Provisional licence conditions will then apply. If you are the holder of a vocational licence (minibus, bus, lorry entitlement) and a new resident, you must not drive large vehicles until you have passed the relevant GB driving test. Driving test candidates are required to pass a motor car (category B) test first before applying for provisional entitlement for larger vehicles.
for driving in GB for 12 months only, and is acceptable for exchange purposes. A community licence issued on the strength of a licence from a non-designated country will be valid for driving in GB for 12 months only, but is not valid for exchange purposes. A licence from any country outside the EC/ EEA, which was originally issued on the basis of a community licence, will be valid for driving in GB for 12 months only, and is acceptable for exchange purposes. Evidence of the original EC/ EEA entitlement must be provided. DRIVING ON LICENCES FROM ALL OTHER COUNTRIES, AND STUDENTS ON A FOREIGN LICENCE If you are a visitor, resident or student in Great Britain (GB) and still have a driving licence issued in the country you have come from, there are certain conditions that affect how long you can drive, and what you can drive in Great Britain.
EXCHANGING YOUR FOREIGN DRIVING LICENCE If you are the holder of a foreign driving licence and want or need to change to a Great Britain (GB) driving licence there are certain conditions that need to be considered when applying. Applying for the exchange of your foreign driving licence If you want or need to change your driving licence for a GB driving licence, you must complete the application form D1 that is available from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) form ordering service and Post Office速 branches. You will need to enclose original documentation confirming your identity and a passport style colour photograph. Send your completed application and the appropriate fee to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BT. If the licence being exchanged is vocational, and the original was issued in Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you must also provide a D4 medical report form that must be completed by a doctor, ensuring that all the relevant questions are completed. If your vocational licence was issued in an European Community (EC) or European Economic Area (EEA) country you need only submit a medical report form if, on exchange, you are 45 years of age or over. This applies even if your vocational licence is still current. Application forms D2 and medical form D4 are available from the DVLA form ordering service.
Visitors You may drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes and with up to eight passenger seats, provided your full licence or driving permit remains valid for up to 12 months from the date of coming to GB. However, you may only drive large vehicles which have been registered outside GB and which you have driven into the country. Residents If you are the holder of an ordinary driving licence (car, moped, motorcycle entitlement) and provided your licence remains valid, you can drive any category of small vehicle shown on your licence for up to 12 months from the time you became resident. To ensure continuous driving entitlement a provisional GB licence must have been obtained and a driving test(s) passed before the 12-month period elapses. If you obtain a provisional licence during this period, you are not subject to provisional licence conditions e.g. displaying 'L' plates or being supervised by a qualified driver or being precluded from motorways. However, if you do not pass a test within the 12-month concessionary period you will not 7
Premium checking service for holders of EC/EEA, Gibraltar and designated countries driving licence If you are the holder of a full EC/EEA, Gibraltar or designated country driving licence you can exchange it for the UK equivalent using a premium checking service.
Motorcycle licences from the Republic of Korea and Faroe Islands are not exchangeable.
South Africa As there are two types of South African driving licences, the following will apply: • The book of life, which is a driving licence and identity document: the licence part of the book will be stamped to say the applicant has exchanged their licence and the book returned to the person; for the book of life to be acceptable for licence exchange the applicant will need a letter of authority from the South African licensing authority • The photocard licence will be returned to the South African licensing authority.
Rules for exchange The following conditions must be met before a licence can be granted in exchange for a GB one: • You must be normally resident in GB and have a permanent address here • If you are a community driving licence holder applying for a British test at the same time as exchanging your licence and you have moved to GB having recently been permanently resident in another state of the EC or EEA, you must have been normally resident in GB for 185 days in the 12 months prior to your application for a full driving licence • Licences from the designated countries must be current at the time the application for exchange is received at DVLA: licences from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands are acceptable for exchange if issued after 01/04/91.Those issued in any EC or EEA country may be valid for exchange even if they have expired • You must surrender your foreign licence which will be returned to the issuing authority • International driving permits are not exchangeable • Test pass certificates are not exchangeable except for those issued in Northern Ireland or Gibraltar when the test was passed within two years of the date of the licence application • Japanese licences must be accompanied by an official translation, available for a fee from the Consulate General of Japan at 101-104 Piccadilly, London W1V 9FN or 2 Melville Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 7HW • Republic of Korea licences must be accompanied by an official translation from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea at 60 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ
Canadian licences If you are the holder of a Canadian licence you will receive automatic transmission only when exchanging for a British licence. This can only be upgraded to manual upon presentation of confirmation, from the relevant licensing authority, of a manual test being passed or a manual test is passed in this country. You must drive on the left hand side whilst in the UK Drivers Enquiries
Telephone: 0870 240 0009 Address: Drivers Customer Services (DCS) Correspondence Team DVLA Swansea SA6 7JL. (To avoid delay with written enquiries it is important to use the correct postcode) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Note: For confidentiality reasons it is not possible to release driver numbers or personal details from your driving record via e-mail replies Textphone: Textphone for the deaf and hard of hearing Textphone users 01792 766 366 Driving Licences Automated Fact Sheet Service 0870 240 0009 Website: www.dvla.gov.uk
www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/ index.htm Crown Copyright © Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency Swansea SA6 7JL 8
Dual Careers Dual career couples are couples who both have a career and want to continue to work and progress in their respective fields. Dual career is often an issue for couples raising children, but it becomes a bit more complex when one spouse takes on an assignment abroad. An international move may affect a person’s career continuity; and one of the biggest challenges in a new country is to acquire an understanding of the local job market and all the opportunities that are available to ultimately find a job that one is passionate about and that fits with a new lifestyle. This transitional time will probably be filled with wonder, impatience, frustration and excitement and these emotions will appear in various degrees. Whilst job searching is usually not an easy experience at home, it can be made more difficult when in another country where the methods or approach to job searching may be different. Before beginning a job search, there are many issues which are important to consider: • Permission to work in the UK • Transfer of qualifications • Possibility of career progression • Career portability
have, and where they were obtained, you may or may not be able to practice here in the UK. Some areas which may prove more difficult are law, medicine and taxes. For information on how your qualifications may transfer, the UK NARIC (www.naric.org.uk) is the National Agency responsible for providing information, advice and expert opinion on vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications from over 180 countries worldwide. Possibility of career progression Career progression is often an aspect that is left behind as people are more focussed on getting any job rather than getting the job that would help further their career. Ongoing learning and career development opportunities are fundamental for career progression and the new skills acquired while abroad should be capitalised upon once repatriated or moved to a new posting. Career Portability A portable career gives you the freedom to choose where to live and work without losing your professional identity. Moreover, it gives you the opportunity to have continuity in your career even though you move from place to place. If you are planning a career change then the international move can be the perfect time and excuse to do so. When considering choosing a portable career it is important to think about: offering products or services with a high global demand; utilising a wide skill set; having universally accepted credentials or degrees; and speaking multiple languages. It isn’t always easy to get the perfect job, especially when living abroad. Any experience gained outside the home country is incredibly valuable and will make you stand out from the crowd.
Eligibility to Work in the UK When applying for any kind of job, you will be asked if you are eligible to work in the UK and the answer will be crucial to employers as they decide whether or not to proceed to the next stage with your application. All Swiss nationals and Citizens of the member countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) have free access to enter the UK, work, study and claim state benefits. Other nationalities may need a visa to work in the UK. Dependent spouses, whose partners have permission to enter the UK through their work permit, are permitted to work by virtue of their visa. Partner VISAs are also available for the partner of visa holders complying with specified criteria. You will find detailed information on the Home Office website www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk
Career development has been one of the core services of FOCUS since being founded in 1982. For more information please visit www. focus-info.org
Transfer of qualifications Depending on the type of qualifications you 9
EDUCATION: SCHOOLING the children on the school lists must be the first goal and one has to realise that a delay can see a child go from having a possible place to finding themselves on a long waiting list – demand is high and delay can be critical. One needs to ascertain which system the schools undertake. In reality some will only undertake the American Preparatory Programme, some only the International Baccalaureate Programme, some the British or a combination of a number of them. As more and more families travel throughout the world and children become “global nomads”, it is essential that one establishes early on which would be the best type of education for one’s child – and one should always ask oneself where you might be in three to four years time because in many ways that will help in establishing what would be best for one’s children. All of these International Schools pride themselves on their placements to Universities, and with the right school, the path to Oxford, Cambridge, Yale or Harvard is very much an achievable goal, be it in the American, International or British system. Each of these International schools outlines their programme on a website and the first task should be to see what they have to offer: ACS International Schools – Cobham, Egham, Hillingdon – www.acs-schools.com American School of London- www.asl.org International School of London – www.islschools.org/london/ International Community School – www.icschool.co.uk/ Marymount International School – www.marymountlondon.com North London International School – www.nlis.org Southbank International School – www.southbank.org TASIS – The American School in England – www.tasis.com Kingham Hill School www.kinghamhill.org.uk International School of London: Surrey -
When expatriates are informed they have to move to the UK the major question asked is whether they should place their children into an International or British school system. There is always much debate and indeed, as the question has been asked over the last two years of which way the British system is headed, much has been made of the schools which now run the International Baccalaureate and many top British schools are now either undertaking the IB alongside A levels or indeed allowing the IB to stand alone and abolishing A levels. The American and International Schools It is true to say that all of the American and International Schools here in the UK maintain programmes to a very high standard. In London itself you will be surprised to find that there are a number of American and International Schools these are: The American School of London (ASL), Southbank International School, The International School of London (ISL), North London International School (NLIS), the King Fahad Academy and the International Community School (ICS). In the Home Counties you have the ACS Schools: Hillingdon International (Middlesex), Egham International and Cobham International (Surrey), the International School of London: Surrey (Surrey), TASIS - The American School in England (Surrey) and Marymount (Kingston upon Thames). There is also Kingham Hill in Chipping Norton which runs an American programme for those looking for a British school but enabling a child to follow the American way of study. It is essential to realise that these schools will request reports from a student’s former school along with the application and in many cases comments from current teachers in their assessment of a child before a place can be offered. Essentially the first step must be to register as quickly as possible as soon as one realises that a move to the UK is going to happen. Placing 10
Paul’s Boys (already undertaking IGCSE’s in certain disciplines) and St Paul’s Girls may possibly follow this route before too long. Students whose parents are continually moving around the world because of their profession (i.e. the expatriate nomad) will find the IB is clearly the best solution. A child is able to transfer easily into any school, which undertakes the IB, and follow a curriculum, which allows them to continually progress. Many parents who live and work in ever changing areas within the UK itself also find difficulty when trying to change schools for their 15/16 year olds. They too discover different Examination Board requirements and different syllabus areas within subjects, factors which make changing school at this time in the pupil’s life very distressing. It is often asked what the problem seems to be with the GCSE and A level system in comparison with the IB. One example of how difficulties may arise is in the case of a child moving from abroad, to the UK, with their parents, at 15 years
www.islschools.org/surrey/ The King Fahad Academy www.thekfa.org.uk/ Likewise if there are learning issues, one might wish to consider Centre Academy – www.centreacademylondon.eu, where smaller class sizes and more individual tuition are available. If one feels that the American or International system may not be the best route then firstly one must also look at the differences between the British and International systems and what is currently happening in the UK. British system v The International Baccalaureate The late High Mistress of St Paul’s School for Girls in London, (Elizabeth Diggory), indicated that she believed GCSE’s to be a waste of her girls’ time. Quickly followed was the comment made by the Head Master of Eton (Tony Little), indicating that he thought them to be like Boy Scouts collecting badges. That momentum has not stopped and many schools (such as the City of London School for Boys) have introduced the IGCSE’s (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) which are more like the old “O” level examinations in that they are a straight examination with no coursework. Schools such as Sevenoaks in Kent and Kings College School Wimbledon, which for a number of years had the IB (International Baccalaureate) working side by side with the A levels, have now abolished A levels completely and their students now only take the IB, however, (Kings College School Wimbledon will revert to offering both programmes in September 2013), they have now been joined by schools such as Charterhouse and Kings Edward’s Whitley. Two of the top London girls schools, North London Collegiate and Godolphin and Latymer, introduced the IB and are now currently at the top of the schools ratings and joining schools such as Oakham and Haileybury who have already established outstanding results. Schools such as Winchester are rumoured to be following suit. Indeed Eton have gone one step further in that their fifth year students no longer take GCSE’s but the boys go straight to AS levels. It is expected that both St 11
American High School Programme, it is desirable that they should be allowed to complete it, if this is at all possible. Many children, at this time, do not make the transition easily and although some do, it is important that the position in which they find themselves at an already emotional stage in their lives be carefully considered. The question every parent should ideally ask before they move their children into any educational system is “Where will I be in three to four years time?” The answer is critical and the choice of education for the child should reflect the answer. The IB with the Primary Years Programme (3-11), Middle Years Programme (12-15), and Diploma (16-18), allows flexibility within a demanding academic environment, especially for the family who by the very nature of their transitory lifestyle desire to provide a sound educational base for their children. At the moment there are numerous schools undertaking the IB Diploma in the UK but only six, at present, provide all three programmes and are located in or around London: Southbank International School – www.southbank.org ACS Egham International School – www.acs-schools.com International School of London www.islschools.org/london/ North London International School www.nlis.org International Community School www.icschool.co.uk Nine others offer two programmes: ACS Hillingdon www.acs-england.co.uk MYP and Diploma Dartford Grammar School (a State selective school for boys) – www.dartfordgrammar. kent.sch.uk MYP and Diploma Marymount (Girls only) – www.marymountlondon.com - MYP and Diploma Rossall School - www.rossall.co.uk PYP and Diploma Wellington College - www.wellingtoncollege. org.uk MYP and Diploma Havelock Academy - www.havelockacademy. co.uk/ – MYP and Diploma Hockerill Anglo-European College - www.
of age. The GCSE programme starts at Year 10 for a 14 year old and is a two-year programme involving considerable course work. That course work is so demanding that no top school in the UK will allow any student to enter their programme after the half-term of the first term of Year 10. The very nature of the course does not allow for such a late start and would be poor educational practice. Thus for a 15 year old there are normally just two options: 1. To start year 10 again with the 14 year olds and begin the system at the correct point – although this has worked for some, the social implications here are self-evident and can be distressing, disruptive and undesirable for the pupil 2. Undertake the IB where no such problems arise and movement into the system is simple. Pupils will have a year pre-IB preparing for the Diploma. At this point it must be stated that the IB is not an easy option, it is very academic and any school which undertakes the programme will wish to see that the student is capable of achieving a good mark. Some Important Points of Which to Be Aware Most British schools abroad start their academic year in February undertaking the IGCSE programme. If a student completes their programme in February and as a 14 /15 year old then moves with parents to the UK, they will have already missed six months of the course and not be able to slot into the system; it would be necessary to begin the programme once again. Likewise the content of the syllabus used by the IGCSE is unlike that of the GCSE and therefore incompatible. A 16 year old arriving with no GCSE qualifications and who wants to do A levels will be required by the top schools to acquire some GCSE results during the following year before returning or alternatively embarking upon the IB. Parents, who, for many reasons wish to give their children the “British Experience”, must be sensitive to the needs of a 16 year old within an educational structure. Experience suggests that if a pupil is already established, for example, in the 12
hockerill.herts.sch.uk/ - MYP and Diploma King Fahad Academy - www.thekfa.org.uk PYP and Diploma The IB website can be found at www.ibo.org The most helpful and important move a family can make is to seek professional advice. The system is changing and all pupils are individuals, what might be suitable for one child may not be right for another. The British examination system of GCSE and A Level may not necessarily be the right one for your child’s needs and consideration of all the options is advisable.
Nursery It is most important that children are placed into Nursery from the age of two and a half. Unlike other countries this is not a play process, and although elements of experimental and educational play are involved, it is conducted in a structured and learning environment. In the UK, at this age, the Reading and Writing process will begin. It might, to many, coming from outside the UK seem extraordinary that the most prestigious and successful ‘Pre-Preps’ will require a child of only four years of age to be tested in order to obtain a place – but they do and delay can be critical. In one of the busiest areas, registration is a priority. In Kensington and Chelsea there are 54 Nurseries at the moment and all are fully subscribed with waiting lists. Places do become available and it is essential to be fully conversant with the localised movement. New and potentially good nurseries are regularly being launched but those with established reputations, naturally have long waiting lists. Local knowledge and a reputable consultant can provide sound advice in these areas.
The British System It is widely accepted that the British Independent Education System remains second to none and therefore finding places in what are considered the top schools is not without hard work and research. It is a surprising piece of knowledge for parents to learn when they plan on moving to the UK that the best schools require pupils to be registered at birth.
For the expatriate coming into the country this is probably somewhat astounding as well as another challenge to be faced. In short, the sooner that one undertakes the education search the better, and as soon as one knows that a move is likely, it is imperative to seek help and advice. At least 7% of the population in the UK is educated within the Independent Sector. In London there are approximately 60,000 children each day who travel across London to go to school; many children do not go to school within easy distance of their home but at an establishment where parents believe they will be academically challenged. To give some idea of the situation, some children in Kensington will catch the train from Victoria to attend Dulwich College south of the river; at least an hour’s journey each way. The available systems are: • Senior (11-18 for Girls and 13-18 for boys) • Preparatory (7/8-11 for Girls and 7/8-13 for Boys) • Pre-Prep (4-7/8) • Nursery • We will deal with each, beginning with the youngest.
Pre-Preps Some Nurseries are part of Pre-Preps and indeed some Pre-Preps are part of established Preparatory Schools. Like nurseries these are in high demand and it is important to register for a place as soon as possible. Head teachers may decide not to grant an interview with parents if they do not have a place available. If they have a waiting list already and offer to place you on this list, it could be that the number is already some 50+ strong. It is prudent that parents do not expect the right of a definite place. Parents should be realistic in a competitive environment and understand that their first, second or even third choice may not be an option. Even in this current economic climate the situation has not changed at the top schools – the last thing that will go in a time of financial crisis is a child’s education thus currently the main schools are still heavily oversubscribed. Without wishing to paint a pessimistic picture, it would be sensible for parents to be aware of 14
history of the school. They run through to 11 and 13 respectively for girls and boys. They have to ensure their educational standard is strong â€“ their success or failure depends on their placing their charges in the top secondary schools. There are later points of entry, at 10 or 11 years of age, to some of these schools but once again we ask parents to be aware of the fact that there are some 118 students who will compete for just 11 places. A child who is 10 for a girl and 12 for a boy will find a place in a Prep School quite difficult to find. Entry at this late stage would mean a very short preparation time before they have to take entrance examinations for a Senior School and any Prep School, who guards their academic reputation closely, would be very wary of that happening.
some of the established and long standing situations. In the top Pre-Preps such as Wetherby for boys, and Pembridge Hall for girls, it is standard procedure and a requirement to register within 24 hours and 14 days of the birth respectively of a prospective candidate. Places after that are extremely rare. Every child of 5 years of age has to be in full-time education; however State Education now exists from the age of 3. The Independent Sector is in consequence under heavy pressure and again space is limited. All children will normally be tested at 4 years of age to see if their ability is acceptable for a place. The level of education at these schools is high, with the aim being to gain a place at an established Prep School. In some schools an Educational Psychologist will undertake the testing.
Independent Senior Schools
Prep Schools (Preparatory)
These schools are by their very nature well established with a long history, many going back
Prep schools start at ages 7 or 8 depending on the
are told that their child coming from another system will possibly be behind the British system; it is not a condemnation of the child, system or country, simply that we do things in a different order here. Particularly in Maths and English students may find themselves struggling in the examinations. Parents to whom this is indicated would again be sensible to take advice before committing themselves to the “British Experience”. On a positive note, numerous schools will wish to have a cross section of pupils within their establishment and as always, will invariably, give credit for other skills and accomplishments where necessary. It is important that parents ensure that the school is aware of their child’s strengths, especially in areas such as music, drama, sport and other hobbies or interests; again these are a considerable part of an established school ethos and play a vital part in a child’s development as a well-rounded student. Most established schools have Scholarships or Exhibitions within these areas as well as the academic fields.
even further than the first English Parliament in the 13th century. The top schools will have entry points for girls at 11 and boys at 13 and then not again until the sixth form at 16. In the case of Eton and St Paul’s a child not registered by ten years of age will not be allowed to sit for entry at 13. The North London Girls’ Day Schools require registration in the November before the set birthday for entry and will sit examinations in the following January. Some of these schools will allow the entry examinations to be taken overseas if they are assured that a child’s current school can provide a strict examination process. This does allow some flexibility and a child is able to work in a known environment. Some schools will require pupils are brought here for testing and it is essential that the child is allowed a couple of days, at least, to recover from tiredness and flight fatigue. Independent Schools are very much governed by League Table results and these are produced on their success rate at GCSE and A level. Results are published annually and are available to all. It is essential to understand that the grading is for 5 GCSE passes at grades A* - C; somewhere like St Paul’s Girls’ School has a pass rate of 75%+ of their girls obtaining A* and A grade in all of their examinations, which for some may number 11 or 12 examinations.
Pupils Seeking Entry at Fifteen In the UK, whether a pupil is in the State or the Independent Sector for Education, the General Certificate of Education (GCSE) examination is taken after a two year structured course that generally commences in “Year 10” at the age of 14. This structure does not allow, by its very nature, a child to start in the system unless they enter at the beginning of the GCSE programme. It is not unknown for a 15-year-old pupil to join at the beginning of a programme by placing them ‘out of year’ with the 14-year-old candidates. This obviously has a cumulative effect and although in some cases works well, can be both academically and socially disruptive for others. Perhaps a school, which offers the International Baccalaureate (IB), may be the answer and, as with all other aspects of education, it is advisable to seek proper help and guidance. Please also be aware that even if a pupil is already in a British School abroad, the process is not necessarily simplified. It will depend on the syllabus and
Anomalies of Which to Be Aware Parents need to be aware that some top schools still have Saturday Morning School with sport in the afternoon. This is very much part of the British system and the ethos of the school. This is a non-negotiable part of the school week. If you wish to have your child attend a particular school, but want the weekends for family time, then it is vital one checks the school’s requirements. At its best the British System of Education is one of the finest and it therefore follows academic standards are very high, as is the level of expectation from pupils. Some parents are rather astonished when they 16
child comes, they will be fairly considered and assessed, upon their ability amongst their peers within the school and nothing else. The British are renowned for their patience in queuing and that is true of our schools. Although no one would wish to appear flippant in any dealings concerning education, it is always sensible to remember one senior Head who always informs over-zealous parents, “It would not make any difference if you were the Queen of England, your child would not jump our list”. One is at least assured of fairness for all.
examination board and also when the academic year commences, whether or not a smooth transfer may be affected. Occasionally some leeway is offered but no school, concerned about standards and quality of pupil preparation will allow any student to start the GCSE programme after the first half of the Christmas term of the first year of the course. Starting the Process It is important to register a pupil as soon as possible and that includes payment of the registration fee, which is non-refundable. Parents coming to the UK need to bear in mind that some schools have hundreds of applicants for few places and many British parents will automatically register with a number of schools and therefore allow themselves a higher chance of securing a place of their choice. You are respectfully advised that queue jumping, favours or monetary offerings are never acceptable. No matter from which school your
The Final Stages Once registered and a place offered, a deposit is required upon acceptance and is a legally binding contract which commits you to the school. If deposits are paid at more than one school you will be committed to paying the first term’s fees at those schools, regardless of whether your child eventually attends. Please do not assume that one may be able
to flout this rigidly enforced system, those who have attempted to do so have found that it is to their detriment and cost. Likewise ONE TERM’S clear notice of your intention to withdraw is strictly enforced, or the next term’s fees are liable.
information. Likewise in this country, it is believed that a school is always as good as its Head. Reputation and change can be dramatic, therefore be advised by someone who knows the schools personally and operates in the here and now.
The Way Forward
Martin Humphrys is Managing Director of Humphrys’ Education Limited and has over thirty years teaching and education consultancy experience of placing children of expatriate families in schools and universities throughout the world. He is a member of IECA (Independent Education Consultants Association of the United States). He advises a number of the London American and International Schools, working closely with the British Independent and State sectors, and is a Member of the Association of Relocation Professionals (ARP). He can be contacted on +44 (0) 1525 290402 or by email at email@example.com.
As we have highlighted throughout, the process of finding your child the right school is a very important one. At times the whole process may appear daunting, but you are not alone and there is sound professional advice to guide your steps through the various procedures. It is very easy to become overwhelmed with myriad views from those who are perhaps not as conversant with the system as they might like you to believe. A professional adviser has a wide bank of experience and local knowledge and his or her reputation is founded upon and only continues by giving impartial and comprehensive
education: universities point score. There is no official list of how UK grades or tariff points compare with other countries' qualifications. Each university or college will decide whether or not your qualifications meet its entry requirements and you must check your qualifications with the universities you want to apply to. Further advice and information about qualifications for entry to UK higher education institutions can be obtained from the UCAS qualifications hotline +44 (0)1242 544900, email: quals@ ucas.ac.uk or the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) www.naric.org.uk/. The admissions tutor for each course you have applied for (a maximum of 5 courses in total) will look at your UCAS application form, and particularly your personal statement, to make sure that you can meet the entry requirements by the time you start your course. The requirements may include academic and professional qualifications, such as exam passes in stated subjects and particular grades. They may also include specified work experience or even financial or medical conditions. Increasingly, top universities require pre-admissions tests for certain subjects and written work or questionnaires to be submitted subsequent to application. You may be qualified by the time you fill in your application form or in the process of gaining the qualifications. In the latter case, universities will most often give you a conditional offer. You will then need to meet the entry requirements by 31 August 2012 for courses that start in September or October 2013. You can apply for entry with credit (to start a course at year two, three or four), but you must have the university's agreement that it will consider you for this before you fill in a UCAS application form. UK qualifications are accepted and highly regarded throughout the world. However, you should check that employers and professional organisations in your country (or the country where you want to work) will accept the course and qualification you have chosen and the course content covers the areas of the subject that you
The UK is well known for the quality of its further and higher education programmes. Degrees last three or four years. Medicine, dentistry and architecture courses are longer. The universities range in size from 30,000 or more students, to smaller ones with fewer than 1,000 students. All students have to apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service known as UCAS. The scheme covers over 50,000 programmes of study in over 330 member institutions. A short guide to higher education in the UK is available on the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) website www. hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2004/HEinUK, and the British Council also produces some useful information for international students on its website www.educationuk.org. The UK has a long history of welcoming international students to study in its universities and colleges. In the UK there are 1.8 million fulltime and part-time students in higher education, with over 300,000 international students, with numbers increasing annually. Useful general information, including contact details for universities and colleges, is available from the UCAS site www.ucas.co.uk/instit/index.html. There are people at each university and college who are there to help while you are in the UK. Many organise a programme of events before you start your course to welcome you. Social and cultural activities are run for international students throughout the year. Universities and colleges also provide a variety of clubs and societies. Information about the subject provision offered by all universities and colleges within the UCAS scheme is available on www. ucas.co.uk/ucc/index.html. Before applying you need to think through the following: The entry requirements for each course help universities and colleges choose students who will be successful. You can find them in each university and college prospectus. The entry requirements will be described in terms of UK exams either as grades or as a Tariff 19
UCAS is the only impartial centre with upto-date information about higher education courses, universities and colleges • You complete only one application form for up to five different courses • UCAS has regular contact with admissions staff and is familiar with their requirements • UCAS monitors the progress of your application from start to finish. How to apply: You must apply online. To do so, you will need to go to: www.ucas.co.uk/students/ apply/. You can then register and have access to the appropriate online application form. Your school, college or local British Council office can help you with your application form. You can also contact UCAS or the admissions tutors for the courses you have chosen at anytime for help. The UCAS website has all the information you should require to make an application. The reference on your application form should be completed by someone who knows you well enough to write about you, but is not a member of your family, a relative or a friend. It needs to be a full written reference talking largely about your academic merits. If you are at school or college, or you have left recently, you should ask your head teacher, principal, teacher or tutor. If you are a mature student ask a responsible person who knows you to be your referee, such as a senior colleague in employment or voluntary work.
want to study and that you need in order to follow your chosen career. Make sure that you have answers to all the questions that are important to you before you choose where to live and the college or university at which you want to study. You will be asked for certificates showing that you have passed all the exams that you need for entry to your course and also certificates of your qualifications in English; you will need either the originals or certified photocopies. You will need a valid passport and from certain countries you will need to get visas before they come to the UK. You should contact the British Embassy or the High Commission in the country where you live to find out whether you have to fill in an application form at the British Embassy or High Commission to show that you meet the student requirements for receiving a visa. Even if you do not need a visa check with the British Embassy or High Commission to confirm you will be able to come to the UK as a student. When you arrive in the UK all students need: • A valid passport • A letter from the institution that confirms you have been accepted unconditionally for a full-time course • Evidence that you have enough money to pay for your course. It may take you some time to get the right documents. You should start as early as possible by asking your local British Embassy or High Commission what documents you will need, and how and where you can get them. The local British Council and your UK university or college will be able to give you advice and help. The guidance information for international students from UKCOSA site is very helpful www.ukcosa. org.uk/pages/advice.htm. Your application through UCAS offers some significant advantages for international students: • All UK universities, except the Open University, most colleges of higher education, and an increasing number of further education colleges offering HE programmes are members of UCAS and are recognised by the UK Government, or offer courses that are validated by Governmentrecognised universities
Students from EU countries UCAS should have received your application form by 15 January 2013, for entry in the year 2013, although it is advisable to submit earlier. The closing date for applications to Oxford and Cambridge, and for applications to medicine, dentistry and veterinary science/medicine is 15 October 2012, for entry in the year 2013. Forms received after these dates will be treated as late. Any application forms received after 30 June 2012 will go through the Clearing process in August and September. This allows students to find a suitable place on courses which are not yet full. Students from outside the EU If you are a student of any nationality applying from a non-EU country, UCAS will process your application and send copies to the universities and 20
colleges you have chosen at any time between now and 30 June 2013 for entry in the year 2013. For applications to courses in art and design, please read on. Most applicants apply well before 30 June but in many cases it is highly advisable, and at some universities required, to meet the 15 January deadline regardless of nationality. If you think that you may be assessed as a 'home' student (UK or EU) for fee purposes, you should have applied by 15 January 2013, exactly the same as if you were applying from an EU country. If you are a student from a non-EU country wishing to apply to one choice only, and you already have the necessary qualifications, you may apply at any time in the applications cycle, although early applications to top universities are encouraged. However, before completing an application form you should contact UCAS or your chosen university or college for advice. Any applications received after 30 June 2012 will go through the Clearing process. There are special rules and deadlines for Art and Design courses, particularly for Foundation courses, and students for these must seek advice, particularly concerning portfolio guidance. Your completed application form is sent to each of the universities and colleges that you list, who will make a decision after carefully considering your application. UCAS will send you information on how they process your application and tells you what you need to do at each stage. The universities and colleges decide whether or not to offer you a place and then send their decisions to UCAS who will then tell you and ask you to accept or decline the offers you have received, and will inform the universities and colleges what you have decided. When a university or college knows that you have accepted a place, it will contact you and send you all the information you need about coming to the UK and arrangements for your arrival and registration. To avoid financial problems, you need to be sure that you can pay the full cost of: • Your tuition fees
The everyday living expenses of you and your family for the whole time that you are in the UK, including accommodation, food, heat, light, clothes and travel • Books and equipment for your course. Regarding part-time work as a student - check out the following website www.dfes.gov.uk/ international-students/wituk.shtml If you are British but live outside the UK, or you are an EU national, you may be able to get a student loan and other help with your fees. If you would like to know more about the financial support that you might be able to get, you should contact the Student Support Division of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) at the address/telephone number below: Student Support Division www.studentsupportdirect.co.uk Tel: +44 (0) 0845 077577 If you are a an EU student you should contact the EU Customer Services Team ad the DfES Higher Education Branch at the telephone number below for general information about fees: Mowden Hall, Staindrop Road, Darlington DL3 9BG Tel: +44 (0) 141 243 3570 If you want precise information on the fees that you will be charged for your course, and how and when to pay them, you should contact the university or college. For assistance with Higher Education Placement and all aspects of the UK University application process, Humphrys Education recommends the services of Dr. Lewis Owens of EdmissionUK, +44 (0) 7739 568455, Fax +44 (0) 1895 676432, email: Lewis@edmissionuk. co.uk. Web: www.edmissionuk.co.uk. Martin Humphrys is Managing Director of Humphrys’ Education Limited and has over thirty years teaching and education consultancy experience of placing children of expatriate families in schools and universities throughout the world. He is a member of IECA (Independent Education Consultants Association of the United States). He can be contacted on +44 (0) 1525 290402 Fax +44 (0)1525 290538, or by email at martin@ humphrys-education.com 21
EMBASSIES & HIGH COMMISSIONS A
Afghanistan Embassy 31 Princes Gate London SW7 1QQ Telephone: 020 7589 8891 Albanian Embassy 33 St George’s Drive London SW1V 4DG Tel: 020 7828 8897 Algerian Consulate 6 Hyde Park Gate London SW7 5EW, Telephone: 020 7589 6885 www.algerianconsulate-uk.com American Embassy 24 Grosvenor Square London W1A 1AE Telephone: 020 7499 9000 www.usembassy.org.uk Andorra Embassy 63 Westover Road London SW18 2RF Telephone: 020 8874 4806 Angolan Embassy 22 Dorset Street London W1U 6QY Telephone: 020 7299 9850 www.angola.org.uk Antigua & Barbuda High Commission 2nd Floor 45 Crawford Place London W1H 4LP Telephone: 020 7258 0070 www.antigua-barbuda.com
Australian High Commission Australia House Strand London WC2B 4LA Telephone: 020 7379 4334 www.australia.org.uk
Belize High Commission Third Floor 45 Crawford Place London W1H 4LP Telephone: 020 7723 3603 www.belizehighcommission.com
Austrian Embassy 18 Belgrave Mews West London SW1X 8HU Telephone: 020 7344 3250 www.bmeia.gv.at
Bolivian Embassy 106 Eaton Square London SW1W 9AD Telephone: 020 7235 4248 www.embassyofbolivia.co.uk
Azerbaijan Embassy 4 Kensington Court London W8 5DL Telephone: 020 7938 3412 www.azembassy.org.uk
Bahamian High Commission 10 Chesterfield Street London W1J 5JL Telephone: 020 7408 4488 Baharaini Embassy 30 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8QB Telephone: 020 7201 9170 Bangladeshi High Commission 28 Queen’s Gate London SW7 5JA Telephone: 020 7584 0081 www.bangladeshhighcommission.org.uk Barbadian High Commission 1 Great Russell Street London WC1B 3ND Telephone: 020 7299 7150
Argetinian Embassy 65 Brook Street London W1K 4AH Telephone: 020 7318 1300 www.argentine-embassy-uk.org
Belarus Embassy 6 Kensington Court London W8 5DL Telephone: 020 7937 3288 www.belembassy.org/uk
Armenian Embassy 25a Cheniston Gardens London W8 6TG Telephone: 020 7938 5435 www.accc.org.uk
Belgian Embassy 17 Grosvenor Crescent London SW1X 7EE Telephone: 020 7470 3700 www.diplomatie.be/london 22
Bosnia and Herzegovina Embassy 5-7 Lexham Gardens London W8 5JJ Telephone: 020 7373 0867 www.bhembassy.co.uk Botswana High Commission 6 Stratford Place London WC1 1AY Telephone: 020 7499 0031 Consulate General of Brazil 3 Vere Street London W1G 0DG Telephone: 020 7659 1550 www.brazil.org.uk Brunei Darussalam High Commission 19–20 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8PG Telephone: 020 7581 0521 Bulgarian Embassy 186-188 Queen's Gate London SW7 5HL Telephone: 020 7584 9400 www.bulgarianembassy-london.org Burma Embassy 19A Charles Street, Berkeley Square London W1J 5DX Telephone: 020 7499 8841
Cambodian Embassy 64 Brondesbury Park Willesden Green London NW6 7AT Telephone: 020 8451 7850 www.cambodianembassy.org.uk
Cameroon Embassy 84 Holland Park London W11 3SB Telephone: 020 7727 0771 www.cameroonhighcommission.co.uk
Czech Embassy 26-30 Kensington Palace Gardens London W8 4QY Telephone: 020 7243 1115 www.mzv.cz/london
Estonian Embassy 16 Hyde Park Gate London SW7 5DG Telephone: 020 7589 3428 www.estonia.gov.uk
Canadian High Commission Canada House, Pall Mall East, Trafalgar Square, London W1Y 5PJ Telephone: 020 7258 6600 www.canada.org.uk
Ethiopian Embassy 17 Princes Gate London SW7 1PZ Telephone: 020 7589 7212 www.ethioembassy.org.uk
Chilean Embassy 12 Devonshire Street London W1G 7DS Telephone: 020 7580 6392 www.echileuk.co.uk
Danish Embassy 55 Sloane Street London SW1X 9SR Telephone: 020 7235 1255 www.denmark.org.uk Dominican Republic Embassy 139 Inverness Terrace London W2 6JF Telephone: 020 7727 7091 www.dominicanembassy.org.uk
Chinese Embassy 49-51 Portland Place London W1B 4JL Telephone: 020 7299 4049 www.chinese-embassy.org.uk
Dominica High Commission 1 Collingham Gardens South Kensington London SW5 0HW Telephone: 020 7370 5194
Colombian Embassy Flat 3 3 Hans Crescent London SW1X 0LN Telephone: 020 7589 9177 www.colombianembassy.co.uk
Congolese Embassy 281 Gray’s Inn Road London WC1X 8QF Telephone: 020 7278 9825 Costa Rican Embassy 14 Lancaster Gate London W2 3LH Telephone: (020) 7706 8844 Croatian Embassy 21 Conway Street London W1T 6BN Telephone: 020 7387 2022 Cuban Embassy 167 High Holborn London WC1V 6PA Telephone: 020 7240 2488 Cyprus High Commission 13 St James's Square London SW1Y 4LB Telephone: 020 7321 4100
Ecuador Embassy 3 Hans Crescent London SW1X 0LS Telephone: 020 7584 1367 Egyptian Embassy 26 South Street London W1K 1DW Telephone: 020 7499 3304
Fijian High Commission 34 Hyde Park Gate, London SW7 5DN. Telephone: 020 7584 3661 www.fijihighcommission.org.uk Finnish Embassy 38 Chesham Place London SW1X 8HW Telephone: 020 7838 6200 www.finemb.org.uk French Embassy 58 Knightsbridge London SW1X 7JT Telephone: 020 7073 1000 www.ambafrance-uk.org
Gabonese Embassy 27 Elvaston Place London SW7 5NL Telephone: 020 7823 9986
Egyptian Consulate 2 Lowndes Street London SW1X 9ET www.egyptianconsulate.co.uk
Gambian High Commission 57 Kensington Court London W8 5DG Telephone: 020 7937 6316
El Salvador Embassy 8 Dorset Square London NW1 6PU Telephone: 020 7224 9800 www.embassy.el-salvador.org.uk
Georgian Embassy 4 Russell Gardens London W14 8EZ Telephone: 020 7603 7799 www.geoemb.org.uk
Equatorial Guinea Embassy 13 Park Place St. James’s London SW1A 1LP Telephone: 020 7499 6867
German Embassy 23 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8PN Telephone: 020 7824 1300 www.london.diplo.de
Eritrea Embassy 96 White Lion Street London N1 9PF Telephone: 020 7713 0096 www.eritrean-embassy.org.uk
Ghana High Commission 13 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8PN Telephone: 020 7201 5900 www.ghanahighcommissionuk.com
Greek Embassy 1A Holland Park London W11 3TP Telephone: 020 7229 3850 www.greekembassy.org.uk
Iranian Embassy in London 16 Prince’s Gate London SW7 1PT Telephone: 020 7225 3000 www.iran-embassy.org.uk
Kenyan High Commission 45 Portland Place London W1N 4AS Telephone: 020 7636 2371 www.kenyahighcommission.net/
Grenada High Commission The Chapel Archel Road West Kensington London W14 9QH Telephone: 020 7385 4415 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ireland Embassy 17 Grosvenor Place London SW1X 7HR Telephone: 020 7235 2171 www.embassyofireland.co.uk
Korean Embassy 60 Buckingham Gate London SW1E 6AJ Telephone: 020 7227 5500 www.koreanembassy.org.uk
Guatemalan Embassy 13 Fawcett Street London SW10 9HN Telephone: 020 7351 3042 Guyana High Commission 3 Palace Court Bayswater Road London W2 4LP Telephone: 020 7229 7684 www.guyanahc.com/ghclondon
Hondurun Embassy 115 Gloucester Place London W1U 6JT Telephone: 020 7486 4880 Hungarian Embassy 35 Eaton Place London SW1X 8BY Telephone: 020 7235 5218 www.mfa.gov.hu
Icelandic Embassy 2A Hans Street London SW1X 0JE Telephone: 020 7259 3999 www.iceland.org/uk Indian High Commission India House Aldwych London WC2B 4NA Telephone: 020 7836 8484 www.hcilondon.org Indonesian Embassy 38 Grosvenor Square London W1K 2HW Telephone: 020 7499 7661 www.indonesianembassy.org.uk
Israeli Embassy 2 Palace Green London W8 4QB Telephone: 020 7957 9500 http://london.mfa.gov.il Italian Embassy 14 Three Kings Yard London W1K 4EH Telephone: 020 7312 2200 www.amblondra.esteri.it Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) Embassy 2 Upper Belgrave Street London SW1X 8BJ Telephone: 020 7201 9601
Jamaican High Commission 1-2 Prince Consort Road London SW7 2BZ Telephone: 020 7823 9911 www.jhcuk.org Japanese Embassy 101-104 Piccadilly London W1J 7JT Telephone: 020 7465 6500 www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp Jordan Embassy 6 Upper Phillimore Gardens London W8 7HA Telephone: 020 7937 3685 www.jordanembassyuk.org
Kazakhstan Embassy 33 Thurloe Square London SW7 2DS Telephone: 020 7581 4646 www.kazembassy.org.uk 24
Kuwaiti Embassy 2 Albert Gate London SW1X 7JU Telephone: 020 7590 3400 Kyrgyzstani Embassy Ascot House 119 Crawford Street London W1U 6BJ Telephone: 020 7935 1462 www.kyrgyz-embassy.org.uk
Latvian Embassy 45 Nottingham Place London W1U 5LY Telephone: 020 7312 0041 www.london.am.gov.lv/en Lebanese Embassy 21 Kensington Palace Gardens London W8 4QN Telephone: 020 7229 7265 Lesotho High Commission 7 Chesham Place Belgravia London SW1 8HN Telephone: 020 7235 5686 www.lesotholondon.org.uk Liberian Embassy 23 Fitzroy Square London W1T 6EW Telephone: 020 7388 5489 www.embassyofliberia.org.uk Lithuanian Embassy 84 Gloucester Place London W1U 6AU Telephone: 020 7486 6401 www.lithuanianembassy.co.uk Luxembourg Embassy 27 Wilton Crescent London SW1X 8SD Telephone: 020 7235 6961
Macedonian Embassy Suites 2.1 & 2.2 Buckingham Court 75-83 Buckingham Gate London SW1E 6PE Telephone: 020 7976 0535 www.macedonianembassy.org.uk Madagascar Consulate 8-10 Hallam Street London W1W 6JE Telephone: 0203 008 4550 www.embassy-madagascar-uk.com Malawi High Commission 70 Winnington Road London N2 0TX Telephone: 020 8455 5624 www.malawihighcom.org.uk Malaysian High Commission 46 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8QT Telephone: 020 7235 8033 Maldives High Commission 22 Nottingham Place London W1U 5NJ Telephone: 020 7224 2135 www.maldiveshighcommission.org Malta High Commission Malta House, 36-38 Piccadilly, London, W1J OLE Telephone: 020 7292 4800 www.mfa.gov.mt Mauritius High Commission 32/33 Elvaston Place London SW7 5NW Telephone: 020 7581 0294 Mexican Embassy 16 St George Street Hanover Square London W1S 1FD Telephone: 020 7499 8586 Moldovan Embassy 5 Dolphin Square Edensor Road, Chiswick London W4 2ST Telephone: 020 8995 6818 www.moldovanembassy.org.uk Mongolian Embassy 7-8 Kensington Court London W8 5DL Telephone: 020 7937 0150 www.embassyofmongolia.co.uk
Moroccan Embassy 49 Queen’s Gate Gardens London SW7 5NE Telephone: 020 7581 5001 www.moroccanembassylondon.org.uk Mozambique High Commission 21 Fitzroy Square London W1T 6EL Telephone: 020 7383 3800 www.mozambiquehc.org.uk
Namibian High Commission 6 Chandos Street London W1G 9LU Telephone: 020 7636 6244 Nepalese Embassy 12A Kensington Palace Gardens London W8 4QU Telephone: 020 7229 1594 www.nepembassy.org.uk Netherlands Embassy 38 Hyde Park Gate London SW7 5DP Telephone: 020 7590 3200 www.netherlands-embassy.org.uk New Zealand High Commission New Zealand House 80 Haymarket London SW1Y 4TQ Telephone: 020 7930 8422 www.nzembassy.com/uk Nicaraguan Embassy Suite 31 Vicarage House 58-60 Kensington Church Street London W8 4DP Telephone: 020 7938 2373 Nigerian High Commission Nigeria House 9 Northumberland Avenue London WC2N 5BX Telephone: 020 7839 1244 www.nigeriahc.org.uk Norwegian Embassy 25 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8QD Telephone: 020 7591 5500 www.norway.org.uk 25
Oman Sultanate Embassy 167 Queen’s Gate London SW7 5HE Telephone: 020 7225 0001 www.omanembassy.org.uk
Pakistan High Commission 34–36 Lowndes Square London SW1X 9JN Telephone: 020 7664 9204 www.pakmission-uk.gov.pk Panama Consulate Panama House 40 Hertford Street London W1J 7SH Telephone: 020 7409 2255 Papua New Guinea High Commission 3rd Floor 14 Waterloo Place London SW1Y 4AR Telephone: 020 7930 0922 www.pnghighcomm.org.uk Paraguayan Embassy 344 High Street Kensington 3rd Floor London W14 8NS Telephone: 020 7610 4180 www.paraguayembassy.co.uk Peruvian Embassy 52 Sloane Street London SW1X 9SP Telephone: 020 7235 1917 www.peruembassy-uk.com Philippine Embassy 8 Suffolk Street London SW1Y 4HG Telephone: 020 7451 1800 www.philembassy-uk.org Polish Embassy 47 Portland Place London W1B 1JH Telephone: 020 87580 4324 www.london.polemb.net Portuguese Embassy 11 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8PP Telephone: 020 7235 5331
Qatari Embassy 1 South Audley Street London W1K 1NB Telephone: 020 7493 2200 www.qatarembassy.info
Romanian Embassy Arundel House 4 Park Green London W8 4QD Telephone: 020 7937 9666 Russian Embassy 6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens London W8 4QP Telephone: 020 7229 3628 www.rusemblon.org Rwanda Embassy 120-122 Seymour Place London W1H 1NR Telephone: 020 7224 9832 www.ambarwanda.org.uk
Saint Christopher and Nevis High Commision 10 Kensington Court London W8 5DL Telephone: 020 7937 9718 Saint Lucia High Commission 1 Collingham Gardens South Kensington London SW5 0HW Telephone: 020 7370 7123
Senegalese Embassy 39 Marloes Road London W8 6LA Telephone: 020 7938 4048 www.senegalembassy.co.uk
Swaziland High Commission 20 Buckingham Gate London SW1E 6LB Telephone: 020 7630 6611 www.swaziland.org.uk
Serbian Embassy 28 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8QB Telephone: 020 7235 9049 www.serbianembassy.org.uk
Swedish Embassy 11 Montagu Place London W1H 2AL Telephone: 020 7917 6400
Sierra Leone High Commission 41 Eagle Street, Holborn London WC1R 4TL Telephone: 020 7404 0140 www.slhc-uk.org.uk Singapore High Commission 9 Wilton Crescent London SW1X 8SP Telephone: 020 7235 8315 www.mfa.gov.sg/london Slovak Embassy 25 Kensington Palace Gardens London W8 4QY Telephone: 020 7313 6470 www.slovakembassy.co.uk Slovenian Embassy 10 Little College Street London SW1P 3SH Telephone: 020 7222 5400
South African High Commission South Africa House Trafalgar Square London WC2N 5DP Telephone: 020 7451 7299 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines www.southafricahouse.com High Commission 10 Kensington Court Spanish Embassy London W8 5DL 39 Chesham Place Telephone: 020 7565 2874 London SW1X 8SB San Marino Embassy C/o Consulate of the Republic of San Marino, Flat 51, 162 Sloane Street London SW1X 9B Telephone: 020 7823 4768 Saudi Arabian Embassy 30 Charles Street Mayfair London W1J 5DZ Telephone: 020 7917 3000 www.saudiembassy.org.uk
Telephone: 020 7235 5555
Sri Lankan High Commission 13 Hyde Park Gardens London W2 2LU Telephone: 020 7262 1841 www.slhclondon.org Sudan Embassy 3 Cleveland Row, St James’s London SW1A 1DD Telephone: 020 7839 8080 www.sudan-embassy.co.uk 26
Swiss Embassy 16-18 Montagu Place London W1H 2BQ Telephone: 020 7616 6000 www.swissembassy.org.uk Syrian Embassy 8 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8PH Telephone: 020 7245 9012 www.syrianembassy.co.uk
Tanzanian High Commission 3 Stratford Place London W1C 1AS Telephone: 020 7569 1470 www.tanzania-online.gov.uk Thai Embassy 29-30 Queen’s Gate London SW7 5JB Telephone: 020 7589 2944 www.thaiembassyuk.org.uk Tongan High Commission 36 Molyneux Street London W1H 5BQ Telephone: 020 7724 5828 Trinidad and Tobago High Commission 42 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8NT Telephone: 020 7245 9351 www.tthighcomm.org.uk Tunisian Embassy 29 Prince’s Gate London SW7 1QG Telephone: 020 7584 8117 Turkish Embassy 43 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8PA Telephone: 020 7393 0202 www.londra.be.mfa.gov.tr
Turkmenistan Embassy St Georgeâ€™s House 14/17 Wells Street London W1T 3PD Telephone: 020 7255 1071
Uruguay Embassy 1st Floor 125 Kensington High Street London W8 5SF Telephone: 020 7937 4170
Uzbekistan Embassy 41 Holland Park London W11 3RP Telephone: 020 7229 7679 www.uzbekembassy.org
Ugandan High Commission Uganda House 58/59 Trafalgar Square London WC2N 5DX Telephone: 020 7839 5783 www.ugandahighcommission.co.uk
Yemen Embassy 57 Cromwell Road London SW7 2ED Telephone: 020 7584 6607 www.yemenembassy.org.uk
Zambia High Commission 2 Palace Gate, Kensington London W8 5NG Telephone: 020 7589 6655 www.zhcl.org.uk
Ukrainian Embassy 60 Holland Park London W11 3SJ Telephone: 020 7727 6312 www.mfa.gov.ua/uk
Venezuelan Embassy 1 Cromwell Road London SW7 2HW Telephone: 020 7584 4206 www.venezlon.co.uk
Zimbabwe Embassy Zimbabwe House 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR Telephone: 020 7836 7755
United Arab Emirates Embassy 30 Princeâ€™s Gate London SW7 1PT Tel: 020 7581 1281 www.uaeembassyuk.net
Vietnamese Embassy 12 Victoria Road London W8 5RD Telephone: 020 7937 1912 www.vietnamembassy.org.uk
This list of Embassies, to our knowledge, is correct at time of going to press. We cannot accept any responsibility for incorrect contact data printed but we apologise for any inconvenience in the event of this occurring.
english as a foreign language which the school is managed and student welfare is cared for. So seeing the English UK logo on a school's website or brochures is a good indication of the quality you can expect. There is an excellent course finder on the English UK website at: www.englishuk.com/en/ finder/advanced-course-finder
Make The Most Of Your Time In The UK: Improve Your English Skills While you are living and working in the UK, there are opportunities you should not miss. If you are not a native English speaker, the most important of these opportunities is the chance to improve your language skills. This might seem a strange idea, particularly for those families whose work means regular relocation. But you will know that English is increasingly the language of business and education: where better to improve your skills than in the UK? Taking classes during your stay is clearly a win:win situation, because not only will it help everyone get the most out of their time in the UK, but you and your family will have acquired useful qualifications for the future. In other words, getting better at English means you'll all enjoy being in the UK more, and still gain from the experience when you move on again. The most important thing is to find a school or college which is fully-accredited, and offers the type of course you are seeking. Once you have done that, you can be confident that you will receive the best teaching, advice and care to help you achieve your goals.
What kind of courses are on offer? The short answer is: almost anything you want. English language centres are a very diverse group, and used to catering for all aspects of the market. There are three basic types of course: leisure, academic and professional. Leisure courses Leisure courses aimed at adults are often called English Plus courses, and typically last for a week or two. They will usually combine mornings in the classroom with afternoons exploring a particular hobby, such as tennis, football, cookery, fashion or even flower arranging. The language level can vary, and can include the specialised vocabulary connected with the afternoon sessions. Leisure courses for juniors are usually residential and are particularly popular in the summer holidays. Again, they generally last for two or three weeks and will combine English lessons with sightseeing, sport and social activities.
How can I find a reputable place to study? English UK is the world's largest language teaching association with more than 450 members in the UK in both the private and state sectors, which are all fully accredited. Members are situated throughout the UK and they range from small, family-run schools through to internationally-known academic chains to national colleges and universities. Every one of our member centres has passed a rigorous inspection by Accreditation UK, an organisation run by the British Council and English UK. Accreditation UK's inspections were the first in the world to check the quality of English Language teaching, as well as the way in
Academic courses These are aimed at people who are serious about learning or improving English, and are available at every level from beginner to those about to begin an undergraduate or postgraduate course. These courses are usually called General English, although you may see some described as the qualification you are working for, for instance Ielts. Your language centre will assess your language level to get you studying in the right class, and you should progress to taking an internationally-recognised qualification. It is particularly important for people who may wish 28
to return to study in the UK at a later date to be able to prove their language level. It is also possible to take courses in academic English, which are particularly useful for people going to university. Many centres also offer pathway courses designed to bridge the gap between starting at a UK university and completing school in a different education system. These courses typically cover language, culture and some academic work.
Professional courses Whether you simply want to improve your business English, need intensive work on a professional vocabulary for a particular career, or need to improve particular workrelated skills, you will find a course tailored to your needs. Tony Millns is Chief Executive of English UK www.englishuk.com
2013 Monday 4th February 2013
Healthcare lawfully in the UK voluntarily and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being, with an identifiable purpose for their residence here which has a sufficient degree of continuity to be properly described as settled” • You are exempt from charges under the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended. A guide to the circumstances in which overseas visitors are not liable to pay for NHS hospital treatment can be downloaded from the publications section of the Department of Health website. If you are not eligible for free treatment, you may be liable for charges.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, your health will be one of your main concerns. Quite simply, you want to be healthy and happy. It can be less simple to unravel exactly what healthcare will be available to you when you are living abroad. This article will help you understand the healthcare system in the UK and tell you what to look out for if you need or choose to have private medical treatment when you are living here. The UK has a two tier healthcare system. Publicly funded healthcare is provided by the National Health Service (NHS). Private healthcare (where the patient pays for treatment) is also available. The National Health Service (NHS) The NHS was set up in 1948 and is recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of the best health services in the world. It is made up of NHS England (in England), NHS Scotland (in Scotland), NHS Wales (in Wales) and Care NI (Northern Ireland). The information in this article relates to the NHS in England. For more information on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, please visit the websites given at the end of this article. The NHS, managed by the Department of Health (a UK government department), provides the majority of healthcare services that most people will need, including general practitioners, accident and emergency departments, longterm healthcare and dentistry and supplementary services such as the NHS Direct – a 24 hour telephone and e-health information service. These services are funded by taxes so are generally provided free of charge to eligible users. There are some exceptions, such as prescriptions and dental treatment, which are chargeable services.
NHS charges and exceptions Under the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, the NHS hospital that is treating you is responsible for deciding whether you are eligible for free treatment. Full details can be found on the Department of Health website. However, it is worth knowing that the following are always free of charge: • Treatment given in an accident and emergency (A & E) department • Treatment given in a walk-in centre providing similar services to those of an accident and emergency department of a hospital • Treatment for certain communicable diseases. Some countries have reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the UK, giving their citizens access to free NHS treatment. See the Department of Health website for more information. Private healthcare provision in the UK As outlined above, not everyone is eligible for free, public healthcare in the UK. In these cases, the Department of Health recommends that you take out appropriate private medical insurance (PMI). Some people choose to go private rather than
Who is eligible for free NHS treatment? You are eligible for free NHS treatment in England if: • You are “ordinarily resident” in the UK. This is defined as “someone who is living 30
use the NHS because they believe they will get better quality treatment more quickly and they will be able to choose the treatment centres and sometimes the professionals that they use. The NHS is dogged by negative press about waiting lists, hospital cleanliness and funding issues that push people towards private treatment. Treatment for acute conditions (conditions that can be cured) has long waiting lists on the NHS, but this kind of treatment is available privately and is covered by PMI plans. Private healthcare services run alongside those provided by the NHS, and sometimes offer complementary or alternative treatments. The cost of treatment means that people going private will usually have a PMI plan to pay for their medical treatment. Your employer may have a group scheme that you can join. If not, you will need to buy your own PMI plan. The international private medical insurance market There are over 20 international PMI providers operating in the UK and abroad, each offering a number of plans with medical treatment ranging from in-patient only through to cover for most in- and out-patient treatment. Many providers can cover individuals, families and corporate or affinity groups, and providers will differ in the way that they underwrite plans. Plans tend to run on a yearly basis, so if you are in the UK for a relatively short period of time you may want to investigate the cover available from travel insurance plans, rather than private medical insurance plans.
Domestic versus international private medical insurance As an expatriate in the UK, you can choose between taking out a UK domestic PMI plan or an international PMI plan. As an expatriate, there are features of an international plan which may be of benefit to you. Our checklist outlines some of these. Your checklist for international private medical insurance Here are a few things to consider when you are looking for international private medical insurance: 31
Pre-existing medical conditions: some providers underwrite their plans on a moratorium basis. This means that any pre-existing medical conditions that you have will not be covered by the plan until a specified time period has elapsed. The benefit of a moratorium is that it allows a provider to keep their premiums down, that the application process is easier and quicker as you don’t have to fill in a medical questionnaire and there is no permanent exclusion of preexisting medical conditions. An alternative is to look for a provider that medically underwrites their plans. This means that you will need to fill in a medical questionnaire when you apply for a plan and the provider will then tell you what conditions they will cover and what it will cost. If you have pre-existing conditions make sure you know exactly what will and won’t be covered on a plan In-patient treatment claims: look for a provider that will pay the hospital or clinic direct for your in-patient treatment. If so, you will not be out of pocket while you wait for your claims to be settled. Make sure you choose a provider that offers you access to a 24 hour, multi-lingual helpline so you can get emergency assistance and approval for treatment at all times Out-patient claims: where claims are settled through reimbursement, find out how quickly the provider pays out. Make sure there are no bank charges deducted from your reimbursement Emergency evacuation and repatriation: in some parts of the world, high quality medical treatment is not readily available, so you may need to be evacuated by air ambulance. The most comprehensive emergency evacuation benefit will cover the patient’s evacuation, medical treatment and repatriation back to the country of residence and, in addition, will cover both travel and accommodation costs of the patient’s dependants. Some providers will evacuate you if there is no adequate treatment in your location, as well as in an emergency
Out-patient treatment: most plans will cover in-patient and emergency medical treatment, but not all of them cover outpatient treatment. Treatment that should be covered under the out-patient section of a PMI plan includes post-hospitalisation treatment, visits to your GP, diagnostic tests, consultants’ and specialists’ fees, psychiatric treatment, physiotherapy, complementary therapies, scans and treatment for allergies Chronic and terminal conditions and HIV/ AIDS: if you develop a new chronic condition, a plan with high monetary limits for maintenance (for example routine check-ups and prescribed medicines) will give you peace of mind. If the worst happens and a condition is diagnosed as terminal, a plan that covers palliative treatment will ease the financial burden. HIV and AIDS are covered on some plans, often in a separate benefit Wellness: with preventative medicine becoming increasingly important to your wellbeing, some providers will cover the costs of preventative tests such as cervical smear and prostrate cancer tests and vaccinations. Look out for other benefits that you can use when you are well, rather than in a medical emergency, for example hormone replacement therapy, treatment for allergies, complementary therapies, dental and maternity benefits Dental: dental treatment can be expensive so only the top end plans tend to cover this. However, it can be invaluable if you want to access the highest quality, private dental treatment available Maternity: when you are planning a baby, cover for private maternity treatment will make the process a lot easier for you. Some plans include maternity benefits as standard while others offer it as an optional add-on plan, meaning you only need to pay for the benefit when you need it Add-on plans: some providers offer optional add-on plans that complement
your main healthcare plan. For example, worldwide annual travel insurance, personal accident insurance and cover for maternity treatment Non-medical benefits: some plans cover legal expenses if you suffer an injury as the result of a third party, a visit to a critically ill relative or for your body to be returned home should you die abroad Area of cover: you will have a choice of geographic area that your plan will cover. If you want cover in your home country, make sure you pick a provider and area of cover that allows this. Also look at whether the plan covers emergency medical treatment outside of your chosen geographic area of cover War and terrorism: some PMI plans will cover you if you need treatment as a result of an act of war or terrorism. Make sure you read the benefit conditions and exclusions to find out if this will be covered Reducing your premium: some providers offer a no claims discount (make sure this is not affected by claims for “wellness” treatments), special rates for families or the option to select a voluntary excess.
Useful websites www.dh.gov.uk The Department of Health website, includes information on eligibility for free NHS treatment www.nhs.uk Information on the NHS in England www.show.scot.nhs.uk Information on the NHS in Scotland www.wales.nhs.uk Information on the NHS in Wales www.healthandcareni.co.uk Information on the NHS in Northern Ireland www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk 24 hour e-health information service www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk Impartial information on insurance and money matters from the Financial Services Authority www.amii.org.uk The Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries website, allows you to search for an AMII member in your area. 32
IMMIGRATION Before entering the UK to reside, your partner will need to apply at a British Consulate for a visa and provide documentary evidence of two year’s co-habitation and the relationship. Your partner will also be required to provide evidence that he/she will be able to maintain himself/ herself without recourse to public funds (this requirement also applies to married couples). If satisfied that these requirements are met, entry clearance should be issued. These rules hold true for both heterosexual and same-sex relationships.
Your questions answered - spouses and dependants of those coming to the UK on a working visa. Over the last four years the UK immigration system has been subject to significant changes, starting in 2008 with the introduction of the Points Based System (“PBS”). These changes could have an impact on visa holders and their families, but can easily go unnoticed when already juggling the demands of daily life and moving to another country. If not properly managed or planned for, and with so much change occurring at such a fast pace, the specific needs of a visa holder’s family can often be overlooked. This article seeks to address some of the typical questions that might be asked in relation to PBS migrants and their families.
Are there any restrictions on our children living with us in the UK? When first applying for entry into the UK, your children must be under the age of 18 to qualify as dependants under current immigration rules, unless exceptional circumstances apply. You will have to show that you can support your children without relying on state benefits or other public funds. Your children must be dependent on you, this means that they cannot have formed an independent family unit or be leading an independent life. In the case of younger children this will be clear on the facts, however, for children who are 16 years old or over, you will need to provide supporting documents to evidence that they are still reliant on you. This could, for example, be established by providing documents to show the child still lives in the family home.
Who can be considered a dependant under the Immigration Rules? Under the PBS, dependants consist of married partners, civil partners, unmarried partners (living together for at least two years), same sex partners and children under the age of 18. In very limited circumstances it may be possible for children over the age of 18, parents or grandparents to be considered dependants, for example, if the family member suffers from a severe learning disability, or if they are shown to be wholly and financially dependent on the main applicant. However, these types of cases are considered very exceptionally.
What about my children from my first marriage, can they live with me in the UK? Bringing children to the UK from a previous marriage can be challenging. Given natural and understandable concerns over child abduction and the need to ensure that proper parental consent has been given to allow a child to leave their home country, both parents must be either lawfully in the UK or both be applying for entry to the UK. This is unlikely to be the case when the marriage has ended. Exceptions to this requirement apply where there is only one surviving parent, or if the parent who wishes to
We are not married but are living together. Does my partner qualify to come and live with me in the UK? If you are in an unmarried relationship it is possible for your partner to live with you in the UK. You will need to be able to meet more demanding requirements to satisfy the UK Border Agency that your relationship is genuine. You and your partner must have lived together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years and be able to provide supporting evidence to prove this. 34
UK will not be British Citizens automatically. They will be subject to the same immigration controls as you. You will need to apply for leave to remain to regularise their stay in the UK. To do so, you must apply for a passport for them from your home country’s embassy and then file an application within the UK for them as your dependant. You should make this application as soon as possible after the child is born, and certainly before you travel outside of the UK together, as your child may be refused entry back in to the UK without a valid entry clearance visa endorsement.
come to the UK has sole responsibility for that child’s upbringing. The exact meaning of “sole responsibility” (and the extent to which it should be applied) has been the subject of much interpretation and debate. However, where the other parent still has significant involvement with the child, the requirement for sole responsibility may not be met. Without the explicit consent and support of the other parent to confirm that you have sole responsibility for the child, or, in the absence of such consent, other strong evidence to show that you have almost exclusive parental responsibility, the application may be refused. Of course, there is scope for the British Consulate to exercise discretion and other serious and compelling family or other considerations could be taken in to account. The decision will be made based on the specific facts of each case.
Are my dependants allowed to leave the country while I am here on a visa? Yes. Your dependants may leave the country and return as they wish so long as their UK visa remains valid. They must not commit any act to cause their visa to be invalidated (e.g. acts of criminality) and you, as the main PBS migrant, must also maintain your UK visa. Your dependants’ visas are tied to yours and therefore if your visa expires or becomes invalid, so will theirs. Whilst your dependants may travel freely, prolonged absences from the UK may attract further questioning from the port authorities. In addition, your dependant must re-enter the UK before the expiry of their visa. If they attempt to re-enter on the expiry date of the visa or close to it (e.g. within days), the immigration officer at the port of entry may ask why the visa has not yet been extended and the imminent expiry may cast doubt on whether your dependant intends to lawfully stay in the UK. Therefore, it’s advisable for you and your family not to travel outside of the UK right before your visas expire if you intend to return to the UK. It is also important to always remember to apply for any extension in advance of the expiry date to avoid serious immigration consequences.
Will my partner be able to work? The spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner of a PBS migrant is generally entitled to work in the UK. However, they are not allowed to take up employment as a doctor or dentist in training unless they have a primary degree in medicine or dentistry from a recognised UK institution. What happens to my children when they finish school in the UK at 18? Can they remain in the country? If your child already has immigration permission to be in the UK as your dependant when they turn 18, they can remain in the country provided they remain dependent on you. They will need to confirm they are not leading an independent life, are unmarried, are not in a civil partnership and have not formed an independent family unit. Once this is no longer the case your child would need to apply for a UK visa in their own right. For example, as a sponsored skilled worker under the PBS or as the spouse of a person with settled status as is the case.
Can my dependants visit other countries in the European Union (EU)? Your visa and your dependants’ visas are valid for the UK only and do not confer any rights to
If I have a child born in the UK, will they be British? As a PBS migrant, your children born in the 35
enter other EU countries. Therefore, based on your nationality, you may still need to apply for a visa to travel within the European Union (EU). United States citizens do not require a visa to visit any EU country. It is important to note, however, that you cannot remain in the Schengen group of countries more than 90 days in any 180 day period. The Schengen group of countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The 90 days are counted from your first date of entry into the Schengen region. Therefore, if you or your dependants are planning to travel frequently within the Schengen region, you must continuously monitor your travel and the amount of days you remain in each country.
should look to the date of when your visa was first granted to determine under which set of rules you fall and therefore whether you are entitled to apply for settlement. What are the eligibility criteria for permanent residence? If you are eligible to apply for permanent residence, you must still meet certain requirements in order to be granted ILR. The specific requirements will vary depending on which visa category you are in. Generally speaking, PBS migrants who are in a category that allows settlement will be able to apply to settle after five years of continuous residence in the UK. The basic requirements for ILR are: • Continuous residence for at least 5 years • No unspent convictions • Financial stability and therefore no reliance on public funds • Passing the “Life in the UK Test” (this will apply to most but not all PBS migrants) • If in Tier 2, you must still be required for your employment and be paid at least the minimum salary for your type of job as stipulated by the UK Border Agency. Additionally, it was announced on 29 February that those applying for settlement between 6 April 2016 and 5 April 2018 need to be paid at least £35,000. Those who do not qualify will be able to stay for a maximum of 6 years, after which they will be prevented from returning in Tier 2 for one year • If in Tier 1, you will need to score the requisite number of points based on the same attributes as when you initially applied for Tier 1 status e.g., age, earnings, qualifications. Your dependants may also apply with you. In the case of your partner you must be able to show that you have lived together in a subsisting relationship for at least the last two years. Once you and your family are granted ILR, you will no longer by part of the PBS and will be free of any further immigration control in the UK. So long as you maintain your ILR status,
Can my family and I get permanent residence in the UK? This will depend upon whether you satisfy the requirements for permanent residence, otherwise known as indefinite leave to remain (“ILR”) and the visa category you are in. Tier 1 and Tier 2 (General) are considered settlement categories. However, for Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (“ICT”) visa holders, the options become more complex. Historically, an ICT visa holder could also apply for settlement after five years of continuously residing in the UK. In turn, this could eventually lead to an application for citizenship. Since 6 April 2010, however, those coming in under this category are prevented from applying for settlement after five years, although they can still extend their visas. On 6 April 2011, the category was further restricted. From this date, not only are visa holders under this category prevented from settling, but they are also prohibited from staying in the UK under the Tier 2 ICT category for any continuous period of more than five years. At this point a “cooling off” period compels the individual to leave the country for at least 12 months, before returning in the same visa category. If you are in the Tier 2 ICT category, you 36
you will be able to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. This response has been necessarily brief, covering the main requirements for ILR. For further detail you should refer to the UK Border Agency guidance for settlement applications or seek specialist advice to assist with your application.
alternative options or rules may be applicable. This article was researched by Kelly Chua. This information is accurate as of March 2012 Bill Foster is a Partner of Fragomen based in the London office. He has responsibility for Fragomen vendor relations in Europe, Middle East and Africa and oversees of the delivery of services for major accounts across the region. Bill has extensive experience in UK immigration matters. In addition, he has a vast knowledge of global immigration policy, with particular acumen in providing strategic and consultative advice and assistance to some of the worldâ€™s largest global organisations. Bill has experience with large-scale infrastructure deployment projects in challenging markets. Bill worked with Fragomen in the United States for over 10 years. Prior to joining Fragomen, he worked in both private practice and the Crown Prosecution Service in the United Kingdom. He also was a Legal Officer with the Director of Public Prosecutions Office in the Republic of Fiji. To contact Bill Foster, please call +44 (0) 203 077 5056 or email email@example.com
What happens when the visa expires? Your dependantsâ€™ ability to stay in the UK will very much depend on you as the main PBS migrant. If your visa is extended, then your dependants will be able to extend their visas in tandem (keeping in mind the requirements of children who are over the age of 18). If your visa is not extended, then you and your family will be expected to leave the UK prior to the visa expiry date. How often does immigration policy change? Whilst immigration policy for PBS migrants is subject to frequent change, family policy tends to be relatively stable. Having said this, the government have been reviewing family policy and changes are expected to be announced in the Spring. Historically however, the government has recognised the importance of being able to bring family members to the UK to accompany the main visa holder and we do not expect this to change. Of course, nothing is set in stone and it is always advisable to keep an eye out for policy changes that may affect you and your family. This article has been written with PBS migrants in mind, particularly those in Tier 1 (General) and Tier 2, who are thinking of coming to the UK or have recently arrived. However, it is important to note that the UK immigration system is extremely complicated and one size does not fit all. Furthermore, there are still several other PBS categories â€“ Tier 1 Investors, Entrepreneurs and Post Study Workers, Tier 4 Students and Tier 5 Temporary Workers to whom there are alternative, additional or varying immigration rules. Accordingly, it is always best to seek specialist advice to discuss your individual case as
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Insurance for Expatriates in the UK •
Ad-On Coverage – This entitles you to Breakdown Assistance, Uninsured Loss Recovery and a courtesy car in the event of a claim. There may be instances in which a car insurance policy may not cover the cost of a rental car, so carefully review the terms of your agreement. Under the “Road Traffic Act” in the UK, drivers are required to have Primary Liability insurance (called Third Party in England). Also, if you are planning on driving your car outside of the UK, be sure to check that your insurance provides temporary out-of-country coverage (known as the Green Card in the UK). An international insurance company can provide you with the necessary comprehensive coverage, to keep you worry-free and protected at all times.
Living abroad can be a transformational experience that can enrich an individual’s life for years to come. Although living in a foreign country can bring excitement, it can also bring many unknown risks. As such, it is important to protect yourself against unanticipated events. With comprehensive insurance, you can adapt to your new surroundings with peace of mind knowing you are fully protected against unforeseen risks. All too often, expatriates are unaware of the gaps in coverage that can exist while travelling, whether it’s a short-term trip or work relocation. From small accidents to major disasters, comprehensive insurance is the most effective way to financially safeguard you and your family should the unthinkable occur. Here are a few considerations to help you “mind the gap” in your insurance coverage as you acclimate to life in the UK.
Personal Property To best protect your cherished personal belongings, most personal property policies offer the option of listing scheduled and unscheduled items. Most items will be considered unscheduled, such as clothing or household items. Highvalue items, such as jewellery and artwork, are considered scheduled items. Scheduling coverage ensures you receive the full, appraised amount for the item in the event of a loss. Ideally, this list should be updated annually, as item appraisals can change over time. In addition, it’s important to be mindful of the coverage effective date. If you are cancelling your current homeowner or property coverage, the effective date of the new international policy should be the same as the cancellation date to prevent a gap in coverage.
Automobile If you own your car and plan to drive it in the UK, you have several different levels of coverage to consider when determining your car insurance: • Primary Third Party – This is the minimum car insurance required in the UK. This protects you and your passengers from any claim for damage to people or objects involved in an accident (not including you, your car and your possessions). As the insured, Primary Third Party covers you as a result of an accident if it is deemed to have been your fault • Third Party Fire and Theft – This type of coverage is one step above the required Primary Third Party insurance: it provides additional protection in the event that your car is stolen or damaged by fire • Fully Comprehensive – This insurance shields you from almost every potential claim: it covers any damage or injury that you or your passengers cause to property and/or persons involved in an accident. In addition, it pays for any damage to your car, and will often cover injury to you as well
Health Aside from auto and personal property coverage, the most valuable asset that requires comprehensive insurance is your health. Standard health coverage does not typically extend beyond the borders of your home country. As a result, you might need a new supplemental plan to cover this gap as you travel or relocate. 39
A medical emergency situation is the wrong time to discover that your health plan will only pay for local medical assistance. Confirm ahead of time that your policy includes emergency evacuation for guaranteed transport to a suitable medical facility in a life-threatening situation. Some policies even include a clause that allows family to be transported to the hospitalisation site as well. It is also important to understand the claims process of your insurance plan. Many health plans will only reimburse the insured for the expenses paid when medical services are rendered. In this situation, you must pay out-ofpocket, and then must submit a claim form for reimbursement. An emergency which requires surgery or long-term hospitalisation is a major expense, so enquire about the claims process prior to purchasing a policy. Relocating to a new country involves many unfamiliar risks. While international insurance will safeguard against these risks, the complexities of an insurance policy are often overwhelming for a newly arrived expatriate. Consult with a trusted international insurance company with a history of providing insurance solutions to expatriates, so no matter where in the world your journey takes you, youâ€™ll be protected.
Clements Worldwide For further information please call our London office: 44 (0) 20 3009 3380 or our Washington office: +1 202 872 0060 or 800.872.0067 or visit www.clements.com
pet transportation vaccinated and that these are still current. Most countries require vaccinations to be more than 30 days old but less than 365 days old at time of entry. You may also need to apply for an Import Permit and an Export permit, as well as organising veterinary visits to prepare the pet for any specific country requirements. You will also have to determine if there are any quarantine restrictions applicable for the destination or preexport tests and waiting periods before arrival. In some cases this can be 6 months or more prior to arrival. You will have to find out if your pet will even be allowed into the new destination as some countries restrict the number of pets allowed per family, based on the number of human passports available. Certain breeds and species are banned outright. Owners will also have to purchase special airline approved travel carriers and ensure the size is correct or the pet maybe refused at departure. They will also need to find out if the airline accept the pets in the cabin, as excess baggage or as manifest cargo? Some countries only allow shipments as manifest cargo -'pet cabin'. You will need to find out if there any heat restrictions or temperature embargoes in place as certain airlines and routes cannot accept pets during hot or cold periods. Pet owners also need to check on how to book with the airline. Airlines normally only accept a Pet Excess Baggage Booking after the owners have confirmed their booking and then there is no guarantee space will be available, and they need to consider how and where they will collect the pet at destination as well as whether the travel carriers will fit into the airport transport vehicle with everything else that is travelling with the family. This is only the tip of the iceberg! Dependent on the type of pet or the destination there can be a huge amount of preparation, paperwork and permits required. Without a shadow of a doubt the owners suffer the stresses and strains much more than the pets!
Some facts • 3 in 4 households own one or more pets • These pets are often “the family or children” • They usually become the nucleus of the move • Most owners think the pet will suffer or even die in transit • Millions of pets are shipped on airlines each year • There are few fatalities - airline travel is extremely safe for pets. The airlines look after pets better than the humans upstairs • The pets do not have to suffer in-flight catering or the movies. They get to sleep the whole way • No Jet Lag! • Sedation also helps…….. but not for the pets, only the owners! One of the most crucial and stressful parts of any family’s international relocation revolves around the “other” members of the family – pets! Very often these “pets” are the family and the whole move will centre on their wellbeing, care, transport and travel plans. These may range in shape and size from a Californian King Snake named “Adrian”, to a Red Cheeked Water Turtle named “Harold”, or a Hamster named “Mr Nibbles”, to a Horse named Trigger. Dogs and Cats are still the most common, however, there is an ever increasing range of domesticated pets involved in the moving and relocation process. Fortunately many multi-national corporations recognise the importance that pet’s play in the family’s resettlement and success of the relocation process, and accommodate the pet transport costs in the relocation budget. In today’s global market, people & pets are faced with an ever increasing mountain of bureaucracy, red tape, forms, procedures, tests, permits, logistics and transport restrictions that make the stresses of travelling and transporting their pets almost insurmountable! In a “normal” scenario, if there ever is one, the owner will need to ensure the pet is fully 41
Owners are often confused, misinformed and poorly advised when it comes to the pet’s transportation. This then often causes heartache and frustration for the owner and a feeling of helplessness and despair. Specialist pet transportation companies can assist, and where required, handle some or all of the pet transport arrangements on a complete “door to door” service. More importantly, a top quality pet transport company will be able to instill confidence, provide reassurance and peace of mind to the owners, that their beloved pets will handle the trip in their stride and arrive safe and sound at the new destination. Pet transport companies should have staff trained to follow the strict guidelines established by the Animal Welfare Act and IATA and always make the safety and comfort of the pet the first priority. They should have membership of IPATA, the Independent Pet Animal Transport Association. Owners should seek references or be recommended before entrusting their pet to a pet shipper. Also, ask what services they can provide: • Import Permits • Export Permits • Export health exams and certificates • Quarantine services in countries such as (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore etc.) • Collection from residence and delivery to airport • Book the flights • Organise legalisation and translation of documents required for some countries • Expertise under PETS Passport Travel Scheme (UK) • Short and long-term boarding • Supply standard and customised travel carriers • Customs clearance • Delivery to new destination residence. Most pet transport companies always have the welfare of the pet as their main focus, however, standards vary as do service levels and charges. It is strongly recommended that owners carefully select who they entrust the “other” and sometimes “most important” family members to.
Can you do it yourself? Yes! Pets may be able to travel as “excess baggage”. The airlines only charge an “excess baggage fee” compared to the normal commercial cargo rates - not all airlines allow this.This can mean a significant cost saving. Check with the airline you intend to use, and whether the country you are going to allows this. The steps are quite straight forward: 1. Purchase an airline approved travel carrier. These are available from most pet stores. 2. Book your flight with the airline. 3. Reserve space for your pets. They will need the size of the travel carrier for this. 4. Organise general or export health certificates. 5. On departure day check your pets in with you, at least 2 - 4 hours before in the passenger terminal. 6. You will collect them from the baggage hall when you arrive at your destination. 7. Clear customs, and off you go! Check with DEFRA – (Department of the Environment for Rural Affairs), on what export requirements there are. Considerations • Will you need an Import or Export Permit? • Veterinary visits & or Special Vaccinations? • Can I track my Pet? • Are there temperature issues? • Flight Changes – Connection Times • Is there space for pets and children in transport to and from airport? • Check in & connection times are longer when travelling with a pet • Use a Pet Transport Company? Are they a member of: • IPATA - Independent Pet Animal Transport Association & Agents • IATA – Independent Air Transport Association Travel Carriers: • Must be airline approved; ventilation on all 4 sides • The pet must be able to stand, turnaround, and lie down • Carriers must have a water & food dispenser • Health Certificates • Import & Export Permits - These may be 42
required depending on origin & destination. Certain Pets need special permits - CITES.
Air Transport – on the plane or in the Cabin Generally Airlines have a limit of 4-5 kilos. Pets must be in a carrier which fits under the seat in front. Most international flights/airlines do not accept this. Cargo – Pet Cabin Pet’s generally travel in the pet hold which is in the rear of the aircraft. It is temperature controlled & pressurised. Pets are secured in the travel carrier. Pet shipments are logged on the Captain’s manifest to ensure the safety of the pets. The Captain is responsible for their well-being.
Step 4 – Tapeworm treatment – (dogs only). Before entering the UK, all pet dogs (including assistance dogs) must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment. No treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta Step 5 – Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route – Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.
What you need to do if you are entering the UK from the Republic of Ireland • Under the EU pet movement system, all pet dogs, cats and ferrets moving between EU Member States must meet the same animal health rules. From 1 January 2012, the requirement is that all pets travelling from the Republic of Ireland to the UK should be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and accompanied by a pet passport • As both the Republic of Ireland and the UK have had no indigenous rabies for many decades, compliance checks on pets travelling between the two countries will not be applied. Pet owners travelling with their pets should therefore not experience any change on the ground from the 1 January.
Moving to the UK – What you need to do if you are entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries Preparing your dog, cat or ferret: • Step 1 – Have your pet microchipped. Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified • Step 2 – Have your pet vaccinated. After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date. The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after the first vaccination date. A waiting period is not required for subsequent entries into the UK, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date. If the vaccination is in two parts the 21 day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination • Step 3 – Get pet travel documentation. For animals being prepared in an EU country, you should get an EU pet passport. If you are preparing your animal in a non-EU listed country or territory you will need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate (apart from Croatia, Gibraltar, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland who also issue pet passports)
What you need to do if you are entering the UK from unlisted non-EU countries Preparing your dog, cat or ferret • Step 1 – Have your pet microchipped. Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified • Step 2 – Have your pet vaccinated. After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date 43
Step 3 – Arrange a blood test. After your pet has been vaccinated, it must be blood tested to make sure the vaccine has given it a satisfactory level of protection against rabies. The blood sample must be taken at least 30 days after vaccination. The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is three calendar months from the date your vet took the blood sample which led to a satisfactory test result. The three month waiting period will not apply if your pet was vaccinated and blood tested in the EU and issued with an EU pet passport before it went to an unlisted country • Step 4 – Get pet travel documentation. You will need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate • Step 5 – Tapeworm treatment – (dogs only). Before entering the UK, all pet dogs (including assistance dogs) must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment. No treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta • Step 6 – Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route – Your pet must enter the UK with an approved transport company on an authorised route. Pets arriving not properly prepared can still be subject to quarantine. Rabbits & small mammals entering the UK from another EU country do not have to enter quarantine. Rabbits & small mammals entering the UK from any other area must enter quarantine.
departure. The blood test is not required to leave the UK but will be if the pet is to return from an EU or approved country without quarantine. Pets travelling to other destinations may require some or all of the following: • Micro Chip • Normal Vaccinations • Rabies Vaccination • (Vaccinations often have to be more than 10/30 days old at time of travel but less than 365 days old) • An Import Permit • Pre-export Treatments or Blood tests. Quarantine may be applicable on arrival at the new destination. DEFRA – (The Department of Environment for Farming & Rural Affairs) has a system of Export Heath Certificates for Pets leaving the UK for most destinations - the USA is a notable exception. These certificates must be applied for with DEFRA well in advance of the estimated move date. These are then sent to the nominated vet for completion prior to export. The nominated UK vet must adhere to the Guidelines in these certificates in order for the pet to leave the UK. In some cases these certificates are not required by the destination country and may have treatments and process that are not required for the destination country/may be out of date however the UK vet cannot complete and sign the certificates if the requirements laid down in the certificates have not been met. This can create confusion and unnecessary costs for the owner. In cases where DEFRA do not have an approved Export certificate owners may be advised to seek a derogation document from the destination country. In some cases these certificates must also be translated and endorsed by a consulate or Embassy in the UK prior to departure. The export of pets from the UK can be a complicated process!
Leaving the UK This should be easier than the process to arrive in the UK but it is not always the case. Pets travelling from the UK to an EU Country officially have to be in possession on an EU passport. This means they need to be micro- chipped & vaccinated against rabies. The rabies vaccination should be more than 21 days old at time of
For further information please contact Ross Gays, WordCare Pet Transport www.worldcarepet.com 44
Residential lettings and is to signal your intent to proceed with the let. If you do not proceed with the tenancy, then you may lose this money. The agent should set out the terms under which this money is held clearly in writing. References are usually taken by asking you to fill out an online form. The type of information required is similar to a credit check required to open a bank account. You will also be asked to provide photo identification. If you are using a relocation company, they will attend to the negotiations and processes on your behalf. If your company is renting the property on your behalf, they are likely to have their solicitors review the tenancy agreement. Remember that lettings agents in the UK work for the landlord who is their client, and that they will continue to show the property to other prospective tenants until you have signed the tenancy agreement. Your offer is always made “subject to contract” and both you and the landlord will be able to withdraw from the deal prior to signing. Thus, it is in your interests to move things along quickly. Most agents use digital signature technology which will enable you to sign documents quickly via email. The initial monies required are the first month’s rent in advance in addition to a deposit equivalent to 6 week’s rent. This deposit is held against unpaid rent, bills and damages. Agents may also typically charge you an Administration Fee for the legal paperwork. The funds must clear by the start date of your tenancy, otherwise you will not be allowed to move into your new home. Within the UK, bank transfers usually take 3 – 5 working days to clear, but remember that transferring money from abroad may take longer. Most agents accept credit and debit card payments, but be sure to check if any time is required for the money to clear so as to avoid any problems. If your annual rent is less than £100,000 (Assured Shorthold Tenancy), your deposit is protected by law under a tenancy deposit scheme. The deposit is held by the agent and they should provide you with a certificate confirming that
Renting a property in the UK can be a daunting experience, and it is important to do your homework. The types of property available and the lettings agents that deal with them can vary a great deal from one area to another. Unlike many countries such as the United States, where agents are licensed, no such accreditation is required in the UK. In order to avoid “rogue” agents, therefore, it is imperative that you choose an agent that is a member of ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) to ensure that you are getting the most professional advice. A good starting place is to pinpoint areas in which you want to live, and do as much research on the neighbourhood as possible, both by visiting the areas in question and by searching the internet. This will give you an insight into the types of property, the prices, transport links, amenities and schools. Portals such as rightmove.co.uk, globrix.com, and google street view are especially helpful. Whilst rents are normally paid monthly or quarterly, prices tend to be quoted by the week. In some areas outside London, some agents may quote prices in months. These figures represent pure rent, and do not include utilities or the local Council Tax. Once you have identified the area in which you want to live, you should speak to letting agents in that area and arrange to view some properties. Remember that properties are usually priced as seen, so if you would like something to be added, taken away or changed, you should let the agent know upon making an offer. Landlords may want more money to make changes, although many are commercially astute and will do minor works if you are offering the asking price, moving in quickly, and are looking to stay for a long time. This is where your negotiation skills will come into play! Once the offer is agreed, the agent will confirm the terms in writing, and commence taking references for which there is usually a charge. At this point, the agent may take an administration or reservation fee, which can be a fixed sum or an amount equivalent to a week’s rent. This money is offset against the first month’s rental, 45
your deposit is registered with such a scheme. Your written consent will be required at the end of the tenancy before any money is taken from your deposit and given to the landlord. If you do not agree with any proposed deductions, you have the right to have your grievance heard by the tenancy deposit scheme. This ensures that your interests are safeguarded. In instances where the annual rent is over ÂŁ100,000 or where your company is the tenant (Non Housing Act Tenancy), your deposit will not be covered by such a deposit protection scheme. It is advisable that you check the tenancy agreement carefully to ensure that you understand and are happy with the process for the return of your deposit money; and that you seek advice if you are unsure. Professional advice is also strongly recommended when going through your tenancy agreement, bearing in mind that it is a legally binding contract and that there is no one single standard document in use. Generally, the tenancy agreement will list the principal details of the tenancy: names and addresses of the landlord and tenant, the start date, end date, duration and the rent payable. The document will also detail what the landlord and tenant are obliged to do and are not to do. There should be a section covering how to end the tenancy, the process for holding and returning the deposit, as well as any specially agreed clauses. Each letting agent uses different tenancy agreements, which are of varying length and quality. English law is complex and can appear somewhat confusing, so it is advisable to have a solicitor check the document on your behalf before you sign it. Once you have paid the initial funds and signed the tenancy agreement, you have a legally binding contract, and you are bound by the terms of the tenancy agreement. On the move â€“in day, there will be an inventory carried out of the property. You should attend and meet the inventory clerk on site, so that the clerk can walk you around the property and point out the condition of the property and its contents. The clerk will encapsulate their findings and comments in a document known as an Inventory Check-In Report, a copy of which will be given to you. At the end of your tenancy, the inventory clerk will
return and compile a similar schedule of condition called an Inventory Check-Out Report. It is within this document that any damage, dilapidation or other points of note are recorded. As the inventory clerk compiling these documents is independent of both the landlord and the letting agent, the Check-Out Report is used as the basis upon which the landlord will base any claim against your deposit. It is usual for the landlord and tenant to share the costs of the inventory clerk, typically with the landlord paying for the Check-In and the tenant paying for the CheckOut. Whilst this sounds like a lengthy process, a professional letting agent can turn the whole thing around in a matter of a day or two, provided that your references and monies are forthcoming. Ultimately the best advice one can give is that you choose an ARLA agent, which will ensure that you are dealt with both professionally and fairly. Nik Madan is the Lettings Director at John D Wood & Co. and the Central London regional representative of ARLA. Contact him on email@example.com or telephone 020 7908 1109. www.johndwood.co.uk
Serviced Apartments: The Speed of Change flourished during the current recessions. Serviced apartments are cost-effective, convenient, comfortable and flexible. Perfect for the expat, for relocation generally, for training and temporary assignments. Independent properties and global operators are opening new locations every week, not only in the urban centres but in smaller towns up and down the country. Every shape and size and every price bracket with facilities not always standard, but designed to cater for a specific marketplace and clientele. Growth has been furious - sometimes random. But the sector is reaching the first stage of maturity. Regulatory associations ensure standards and professionalism. The market grows and the sector likewise. New models, new cousins: all-suite hotels, shortlets, extended-stay hotels, residences, apart’hotels, boarding houses, mobile inventory, corporatehousing. But each one has developed in recognition of the fact that, in today’s world, expats and relocating executives require a fast and flexible solution to their accommodation requirements. And what of the future? Supply will no doubt depend on whether the current demand continues. Projections suggest that some hotel services will be integrated as in the rapidly expanding US extended-stay hotel model, where the serviced apartment development will also have a Reception Desk and convenience shop or dispenser as well as an area where guests can socialise, including weekly welcome drinks. The message may well be that it’s nice to become self-sufficient in a new environment as quickly as possible, but it is also important to feel an integral part of the community in which you are living. Some things will never change.
Things are different now. But twenty years ago, accommodation options were limited for the expat who required temporary housing in the UK: hotels up to 6 months, and long-lets beyond. There was no secret, best kept or otherwise. In the UK, the short-let apartment model was developing partly out of the holiday-lets sector, but being applied to the expat and relocation markets. Combine that with the Stateside Corporate Housing experience and the established European apart’otel, and prospects were altogether rosier. Which was just as well. International relocation was on the increase. The world was a smaller place. The world was also a faster place with pressure on the speed of assimilation and integration. Pressure too, on an accommodation model which catered for this market, as employers offered assistance in Change Management and recognised their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to provide adequate and appropriate living-space. The serviced apartment sector today is a generic term which incorporates many housing models, all of which offer self-catering self-sufficiency. The sector continues to grow and continues to fragment. Indeed, the expat is now faced with a possibly bewildering choice of where to stay and how to live. Assistance is always at hand in the form of serviced apartment booking agents who often support the efforts of their cousins: hotel booking agents (HBAs) and travel management companies (TMCs). Online bookings are becoming increasingly common through online travel agents (OTAs) and, for the shorter stays through agents with access to the Global Distribution System (GDS) and even price comparison sites. It is probably not an exercise for the faint-hearted and, notwithstanding existing brand-loyalties, agency assistance is possibly more likely to secure value-for-money. And value-for-money is frequently key. For, although there may be a perception that accommodation akin to a hotel suite must be expensive, the growth in popularity of the serviced apartment market has run parallel with the growth of the budget hotel market, and has
Roy McKenzie, Managing Director, London Serviced Apartments Ltd
Suite 109, Churchill Business Centre, 6-10 Church Hill, Walthamstow, London, E17 3RY. Tel: +44 (0)208 520 0244 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 48
Tax Guide for Individuals Moving to the UK where an individual continues to be paid from outside of the UK. If you are an employee moving to the UK, you will be required to complete Form P46 (or P46 Expat), which provides both personal registration with the UK tax authorities and will ensure that you are included under the UK entity’s tax withholding reference. These forms will be provided to you by your employer. If you do not receive one of these forms to complete, you should contact your employer immediately. Following receipt of Form P46, HMRC will issue a tax code to your employer. This code is used to determine the total deduction withheld each pay period. The code can include taxable benefits, pension relief, underpaid tax for prior years etc., and will differ significantly from one individual to another. The “standard” tax code for 2012/13 is 810L (which would mean that a full tax free allowance of £8,105 is being applied against income). At the end of each tax year, your employer will provide a Form P60 (details of pay received through payroll and tax withheld for the year) and may also provide Form P11D (details of non cash benefits provided, such as company car, private medical insurance etc.,). These forms are then used to prepare your tax return, if one is required (see below). If you are “self-employed” or in a “partnership”, you will declare income through the filing of a tax return form and generally make tax payments twice a year, by 31 January and 31 July respectively.
Tax administration and allowances The UK taxing authority is known as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (or HMRC for short) and the tax year runs from 6 April to the following 5 April. There is no system of joint filing and married couples must submit separate tax returns. For tax resident individuals, a personal allowance of tax free income is available (this is £8,105 for the tax year ending on 5 April 2013). Non residents who are UK citizens or EEA nationals can also claim a personal allowance. The personal allowance reduces for individuals with annual earnings of more than £100,000, (reducing to nil at £116,210 for 2012/13). In addition, certain “non-domiciled” individuals may be required to give up the personal allowance (more information on this is provided below). For 2012/13, the first £34,370 of earnings above the personal allowance (where available) is taxed at 20%, the next £115,630 is taxed at 40% and any balance above that is taxed at 50% (different tax rates apply for capital gains, dividends and certain savings income). There are also social security taxes, known as National Insurance Contributions, in addition to the income tax rates. The employee rates for 2012/13 are 12% on earnings between £7,605 and £42,475 and 2% on earnings above £42,475. The UK does not have “itemised deductions” or similar. The main tax reliefs are limited to contributions to pension schemes or UK registered charities. Certain tax qualifying investments are available, including Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). It is worth noting that investments that are qualifying in the UK are unlikely to have similar status outside of the UK and the tax advantages may be lost if you are still required to file a tax return as a resident or citizen of your home country.
Tax returns The first thing to note is that not everyone in the UK is required to file an annual tax return. The typical taxpayers that must file are (this list is not exhaustive): • Anyone earning more than £100,000 in a tax year • All self-employed taxpayers • Any taxpayer with foreign income liable to UK tax
How is tax collected? Employees working in the UK are subject to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax withholding on cash payments and certain benefits. This applies even 50
reduce or cancel a payment on account, however, if a taxpayer does reduce too far, an interest penalty will be charged from the original due dates when the return is filed.
Taxpayers claiming non resident, not ordinarily resident, or non domicile status • Any taxpayer who receives more than £10,000 from savings and investments • Any taxpayer who receives more than £10,000 of rental income (before expenses) • Any taxpayer that has additional tax to pay from other sources, such as capital gains (note that if a taxpayer is aware that they will owe tax for a particular year they are required to request a tax return if one has not been issued – failure to request a return can result in a penalty charge!) • Anyone that has been issued with a tax return by HMRC. The UK has a system of “self assessment” which means that a taxpayer will prepare and submit their tax return without any backup, such as dividend or interest vouchers. Following the submission of a return, HMRC has a further year from the filing deadline to open an “enquiry”. This may consist of a few questions or they may request a full breakdown of information and additional personal details. If HMRC suspects that a taxpayer has been fraudulent, they have up to 20 years to raise assessments of underpaid tax. If a taxpayer wants HMRC to calculate their tax, or is completing a “paper return”, they must submit their tax return by 31 October following the tax year end. In other cases, the return must be filed electronically by 31 January following the tax year end (this is the date that tax agents will typically work towards). There are no requirements for or ability to file extensions and an automatic penalty of £100 will apply if you are late. The full amount of any tax due must also be settled by 31 January following the tax year end, if interest and potential surcharges are to be avoided. In addition, if you have significant income not taxed at source, you may need to make payments on account. If this is the case, the first instalment will also be due by 31 January with the second payment due by the following 31 July. Payments on account are only generally required for those that are self-employed, or where a taxpayer has a significant underpayment on their return and expects to owe a similar amount for the following year. It is possible to
Tax residence status The basis on which an individual is taxed in the UK is largely dependent upon their residence status. This status has as much to do with the intended length (and purpose) of stay on arrival as days of actual presence. The tests are based predominantly on case law and are subject to frequent change as new cases are heard and appeals filed. In general, if you have come to the UK for a settled purpose, for example to live or work in the UK for three years or more, you will be considered resident and ordinarily resident from the date that you first arrive. If you expect to remain in the UK for less than three years, you may be considered resident but not ordinarily resident, although other factors such as ownership of property can have an impact on this. If you expect to remain in the UK for less than two years, you will normally be regarded as resident but not ordinarily resident in any tax year in which you spent 183 days or more, or otherwise non resident. If you have come to the UK for no fixed purpose, you will be deemed resident and ordinarily resident from the year of arrival if you expect to spend an average of 91 or more “midnights” in the UK over a four year period. If you do not expect to spend this length of time in the UK, but end up exceeding this average, you will generally be treated as resident and ordinarily resident in the UK from the start of the fifth tax year. This is a particularly complex area of UK taxation with significant recent changes in HMRC interpretation. It is therefore essential to obtain specific advice relevant to your situation. A new statutory residence test, providing clarity over residence status for individuals moving to and from the UK is expected to be introduced in April 2013. Domicile status An individual can also claim non domicile status if this is beneficial. Domicile is less governed by 51
the length of an assignment, and individuals who do not intend to remain in the UK permanently are likely to be able to claim non domicile status. An individual who is considered non domiciled in the UK will usually only pay UK tax on overseas investment income and gains to the extent that the income or proceeds are remitted to the UK, so this can be a very useful tax break. For the first seven years of tax residence, a non domiciled taxpayer has two options: 1. Declare worldwide personal income and gains; or 2. Only declare overseas personal income and gains if remitted to the UK, but give up the UK personal tax free allowance and capital gains tax allowance. By concession a taxpayer that is in the first seven years of residency can elect option 2 without giving up the UK personal (and capital gains) tax allowances if their total overseas income and/or gains are less than £2,000 during the tax year. Once a taxpayer has been resident in the UK for more than seven tax years, option 2 remains available, however, the taxpayer must then make an annual payment of £30,000 to HMRC to maintain this privilege. This rises to £50,000 per annum where a taxpayer has been resident in the UK for twelve or more years.
A: Detached duty relief HMRC will allow relief from income tax for travel and subsistence payments if they are incurred in the performance of the duties of the employment. This relief is commonly referred to as Detached Duty or Temporary Workplace relief. To qualify for relief an individual must be working away from their normal work location for a period of no longer than 24 months. This would typically apply to individuals that are “seconded” to the UK by an overseas employer for a fixed-term assignment and not to individuals that move to the UK to take up a new UK employment (as to back up the temporary nature of the workplace, an existing relationship with a home country employer must remain). Where an individual qualifies for relief, the following expenses may be claimed: • The cost of travelling from home (or indeed anywhere) to the temporary workplace • The reasonable cost of accommodation near the temporary workplace (including utilities) • Daily subsistence costs (to cover the cost of meals) • It should be noted that these expenses relate to the employee only and not their family. The rules are complex, but can provide a significant tax planning benefit. It is recommended that advice is sought at an early stage as it will be necessary to retain receipts and/or proof of payment in order to substantiate any claims.
Tax planning There are a number of tax planning strategies that may be available to individuals moving to the UK which can significantly reduce the liability to UK tax. Many of these opportunities will require the correct structuring of a taxpayer’s financial affairs at the time of moving, and advice should therefore be sought at an early stage to maximise any applicable tax savings. In general, tax savings can be made for individuals who: • Are assigned to the UK by an overseas employer for a period of up to 2 years (see “A”) • Intend to remain in the UK for up to three years and will have business trips outside of the UK (see “B”) • Are in receipt of non UK investment income or gains on the sale of non UK assets (see “C”).
B: UK tax exemption for non UK working days An individual who intends to remain in the UK for less than 3 years will generally be regarded as “resident but not ordinarily resident” in the UK. Such individuals will be entitled to claim UK tax exemption on the proportion of their employment income relating to days spent working outside of the UK. However, a condition of claiming this relief is that at least the amount being claimed as a deduction must have been paid and retained outside of the UK. If any amount of this claim is remitted to the UK, the tax relief available will be reduced accordingly. To take advantage of this tax relief, you should ensure that your net pay is delivered to a non 52
UK bank account. If you are being paid by a UK employer, this can be achieved by using an offshore account with any of the major banks based in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man. Whilst such branches remain part of the UK banking system, the jurisdictions are considered to be outside of the UK for taxation purposes. It is also important to note that the account should be in the sole name of the employee (although a joint account is fine provided that the spouse does not receive income directly to that account). You should also note that where an overseas workday claim is made of more than £2,000, you will not be entitled to the UK personal allowance, so the exemption being claimed must be larger than the allowance to make the claim worthwhile.
In addition, a restriction may apply if a taxpayer leaves the UK but does not establish a tax home overseas (for example, the family remains in the UK home for the duration of assignment). A taxpayer will need to submit a completed Form P85 to HMRC on departure. This form is generally used to claim non resident status in the UK, from which point only UK source income remains taxable. The typical income that a non-resident taxpayer will need to report to the UK authorities will be: • UK investment income (bank interest/ dividends) • Gains on sale of UK assets owned at departure (unless taxpayer is absent for at least five full tax years) • Stock / share option income where the grant was made prior to leaving the UK (taxed on workdays from grant to vest/exercise depending on treaty) • UK rental income • Earnings relating to UK workdays (in certain cases). In addition, a non resident taxpayer must report details of days spent back in the UK, including the number of those that are spent working and number of separate trips made, if they continue to have a UK filing requirement. National Insurance Contributions (NIC) A taxpayer’s requirement to pay UK NIC will depend upon which country they have come from, who their legal employer is and how long they expect to remain in the UK. If they are liable and an employee, they will be required to pay Class 1 Contributions. If a taxpayer is seconded to the UK by an overseas employer within the European Economic Area (EEA), they will generally be required to continue to pay in the home country (and gain exemption from UK NIC) where the secondment is expected to last no longer than 24 months. For longer assignments, depending on the agreement between the member states in question, a taxpayer may be able to pay only in the home country for up to five years. To make the claim the home country employer will be required to complete form A1 in order to obtain a “Certificate of Coverage”.
C: Non domicile claims If you are considered non domiciled in the UK, you will not be required to declare or pay UK tax on any non-UK investment income or gains on the sale of non UK assets, provided any such income or gains are kept outside of the UK. Leaving the UK A taxpayer that leaves the UK under a full-time employment contract will generally become non resident if they expect to be absent from the UK either for at least a complete UK tax year. A taxpayer leaving on 1 September 2012 would need to be absent until at least 6 April 2014 (the tax year outside of the UK is then 2013/14). If a taxpayer is moving abroad for another purpose (other than full time employment), they would only be considered non resident if the absence is expected to last for at least three years and there are no immediate plans to return. Even then, HMRC may seek evidence that a taxpayer has made a clear and definite break with the UK before approving such a claim. To maintain non resident status, a taxpayer must not spend an average of 91 or more midnights in the UK by way of return visits each tax year over a rolling four year period. By concession, a taxpayer that does expect to be abroad as outlined above will be considered not resident from the day following the date of physical departure. 53
If a taxpayer is seconded to the UK by an overseas employer based outside of the EEA, but in a country which has a reciprocal social security agreement with the UK, they may also be able to remain in the home country scheme for two to five years. If a taxpayer expects their assignment to last longer than the specified period, they will normally cease payments in the home country and commence payments in the UK. If a taxpayer is seconded to the UK from a country other than the above (and remains employed by their home country employer), they will normally be required to pay UK Class 1 contributions from 52 weeks after their arrival. Where an individual transfers to the UK as a local hire (on a UK employment contract), they will generally be required to pay into the UK system from day one.
seconded to the UK for a period of less than 183 days may be able to claim tax exemption in the UK. However, in most cases this will only work if the salary costs are not recharged to the UK entity, so keeping below 183 days is not always sufficient! Further advice The above guidance is intended to be general in nature and as everyone’s position will be different, advice should be sought before relying on this. In addition, tax legislation is constantly changing and it is always good practice to review your tax situation on a regular basis. Richard Watts-Joyce CTA is Regional Managing Director (EMEA) at Global Tax Network, a professional services firm specialising in expatriate tax consulting, with member firms and affiliates worldwide. Richard has over 18 years of experience advising clients moving to and from the UK in tax and social security matters. Richard can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by telephone on 0207 100 2126.
Pension In certain cases, it is possible for a taxpayer to continue to participate in an overseas pension plan and gain the same tax advantages as a UK plan. This would mean that contributions would be tax deductible (subject to a maximum) and employer's contributions would be tax free. Each country will have a different agreement with the UK but as an example, a US 401k pension plan, where contributions continue as part of UK service, would be specifically allowable under the UK/US treaty provided that the assignee was a member of the plan prior to arrival in the UK.
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Use of tax treaties The UK has the largest network of Double Tax Treaties covering over 100 countries and used effectively, these can avoid a situation where a taxpayer becomes liable to both UK and overseas tax on the same item of income. A tax treaty will dictate which country has the right to tax which item of income, whether this is employment, capital gains, dividends, pension income etc. Treaties can often be used to provide exemption from tax on employment income, where an individual is seconded to the UK by an overseas employer for a limited period. The exact requirement will depend on the particular “home” country, however in general an individual that is
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travel: air, rail & london UK AIRPORTS London: Heathrow Airport – 0844 335 1801 www.heathrowairport.com
Southern England: Southampton Airport – 0844 481 7777 www.southamptonairport.com Wales: Cardiff International Airport – 01446 711 111 www.cwlfly.com Swansea Airport – 01792 204 063 www.swanseaairport.com
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TRANSPORT FOR LONDON www.tfl.gov.uk For information on getting around London, including the London Underground, Buses, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Coaches and the Oyster Card, visit the official Transport for London website or call the TFL travel information line on 020 7222 1234.
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