Immigrating to the UK

AdrianH

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Feb 27, 2005
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Booked my wife's accommodation. Managed to find a flat share less than 1km from where she'll be working for £520 per month including utilities. She'll be flying out on the 16th.
Good news.

Wife and I are seeing consultant tomorrow to ask a whole bunch of questions. Looking to be gone end of September.
 

AchmatK

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Good news.

Wife and I are seeing consultant tomorrow to ask a whole bunch of questions. Looking to be gone end of September.
One thing we found out while looking for accommodation was that rental agents insist on credit and reference checks. Even though my wife is a British citizen, she has no credit record there as she left the UK when she was only 4.

We were initially looking at a 1 bedroom furnished flat for about £850 excluding utilities. Found the perfect place but couldn't pass the credit and reference checks. Other agents refused to even get back to us. Another option would have been for her employer to stand as guarantor. We ended up settling for a private lease in a shared flat with another female.

We've been married for 18 year and never spent any significant amount of time apart except for business trips which lasted less than a week at the longest and only a few times a year. This is going to be an adjustment for both of us as I'll probably only join her in 6 months time.
 

AdrianH

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One thing we found out while looking for accommodation was that rental agents insist on credit and reference checks. Even though my wife is a British citizen, she has no credit record there as she left the UK when she was only 4.

We were initially looking at a 1 bedroom furnished flat for about £850 excluding utilities. Found the perfect place but couldn't pass the credit and reference checks. Other agents refused to even get back to us. Another option would have been for her employer to stand as guarantor. We ended up settling for a private lease in a shared flat with another female.

We've been married for 18 year and never spent any significant amount of time apart except for business trips which lasted less than a week at the longest and only a few times a year. This is going to be an adjustment for both of us as I'll probably only join her in 6 months time.
Eish, 6 months is a while hey.

I have a feeling wife will go over before me and we too will be apart for some time, probably max 2 months though, towards September time. We have found out that with spousal visa, she has 30 days to land in UK after application is approved (to be confirmed tomorrow with consultant). So she will likely go over before me with our daughter, as she has friends there and they will help her look for a pet friendly place to rent, get her NHS stuff sorted, collect dogs are airport, etc. I'll hang back to make sure properties are sold and transfers are complete, my financial emmigration is finalized, pack up and ship any belongings we want to take with is finalized, sell cars, and what ever else needs to be done.

Must say, out of everything, it's the uncertainty of how long things take that stresses me out.
 

Cicero

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One thing we found out while looking for accommodation was that rental agents insist on credit and reference checks. Even though my wife is a British citizen, she has no credit record there as she left the UK when she was only 4.

We were initially looking at a 1 bedroom furnished flat for about £850 excluding utilities. Found the perfect place but couldn't pass the credit and reference checks. Other agents refused to even get back to us. Another option would have been for her employer to stand as guarantor. We ended up settling for a private lease in a shared flat with another female.

We've been married for 18 year and never spent any significant amount of time apart except for business trips which lasted less than a week at the longest and only a few times a year. This is going to be an adjustment for both of us as I'll probably only join her in 6 months time.
I was in a similar position 4 years ago, technology definitely helps to stay feeling connected, with instant messaging etc.

A friend of mine had to pay 6 months worth of rent in advance for their place when they moved over, luckily I only rented my own place after bunking with relatives for 5 months before my wife joined me. In which case I had enough of a financial presence in place and simply paid a regular deposit. Once you've landed, and you can go and see a place in person, it gets much easier. Same with employment.

It all goes very quickly, enjoy the adventure. Funds dependent, you can always visit prior to the 6 months being up.
 

AchmatK

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The 6 months is mainly due to complications with our 2 children. They are currently in foster care with us and we are busy with the adoption process. When the adoption is completed they will get British passports as their adoptive mother is a British citizen. South Africa is also a signatory to the Geneva adoption convention so it will be considered an international adoption and recognised by the UK. My spousal visa will take 2 to 3 months from time of submission.
 

AchmatK

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My wife has now been in the UK just over a week.

She managed to register at a GP and they provided her with her NHS number from when she was born. She has a UK bank account that was opened online and was delivered in 2 days. Registered to vote in her district and have an appointment with Job Centre next week for her national insurance number.

Groceries are not that expensive and in most instances are cheaper when converting to rands. 2l bottled water was only £0.17. All meat however is expensive. Most of her grocery shopping is done at Aldis or Tesco. We don't really eat out much and don't drink and she reckons she can live off £4 a day excluding transport costs. Everything is close by and she has not yet needed to use public transport. She will be going in to London tomorrow to meet up with a friend from high school. Work is also just over a km away within walking distance. It does help that the weather has been good there the last week.

The accommodation is also perfect and larger than what she expected. The bedroom is smaller that what we have here but there is a decent sized lounge and open plan kitchen.

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AchmatK

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So a few things she misses.

There's no one to pack in your groceries in bags. Not that much of a big deal but a small convenience we have here. She also cannot do loads of shopping as she walks to the grocer and needs to make sure she can carry everything she buys. You also have to pay to use the shopping cart so she just grabs a basket.

Dstv. There's only Netflix in the flat and the free channels. I managed to get a VPN setup on her phone and laptop and she can now access our dstv now and showmax subscriptions. There's a decent fibre connection in the flat.

She does miss the driving experience but public transport is very good with a bus stop right outside her flat and a 10 minute walk to the closest train station to get into London.
 

AchmatK

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It's a lot smaller than our current 4 bed, 3 bathroom house in Somerset West but for a flat, it's bigger than what we were expecting. Where she's living now would be too small for our family when I join her with our 2 kids.

They will need to adjust to a smaller place but there are a lot of open public spaces.

This is what we will be leaving behind in Somerset West.
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bwana

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So a few things she misses.

There's no one to pack in your groceries in bags. Not that much of a big deal but a small convenience we have here. She also cannot do loads of shopping as she walks to the grocer and needs to make sure she can carry everything she buys. You also have to pay to use the shopping cart so she just grabs a basket.
Where does she shop? Every place I've used only requires a deposit, if anything, of £1 but it's just that, a deposit.

I'd take self checkout over grocery packers any day.
 

AchmatK

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Where does she shop? Every place I've used only requires a deposit, if anything, of £1 but it's just that, a deposit.
Yes. Deposit. But if she takes the trolley then she will end up buying more than she can carry so she just grabs the basket as the basket will only hold what she can carry as she walks from the shop home.
 

bwana

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Yes. Deposit. But if she takes the trolley then she will end up buying more than she can carry so she just grabs the basket as the basket will only hold what she can carry as she walks from the shop home.
Ok - so she's not actually paying for the trolly. Good. :)

Tesco delivers too you know :)
 

Dave

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Groceries are not that expensive and in most instances are cheaper when converting to rands.

When she finds her feet (or possibly when you get over and it becomes easier to shop she/you need to shop around for meat. Pork is cheap most places but beef and lamb you need to shop around for, I’ve recently bought beef silverside for £5 a kg and rump steak for £9 a kg and lamb legs for £4.50 a kg (butcher can cut it into chops and roast).

So a few things she misses.

There's no one to pack in your groceries in bags. Not that much of a big deal but a small convenience we have here.

It’s a blessing, I’ll even go to the self service tills, just to avoid the chatty cashiers.

Dstv. There's only Netflix in the flat and the free channels. I managed to get a VPN setup on her phone and laptop and she can now access our dstv now and showmax subscriptions. There's a decent fibre connection in the flat.

There is also Freeview (about 80 channels incl HD channels through the aerial), and suppliers like NowTV (part of Sky, but supplied by streaming, not satellite).
 

The Voice

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Space (or the lack there of) does take some getting used to, as well as the other "luxuries" a lot of South Africans have grown up with: having someone pack your groceries and, probably the weirdest one, pumping your own petrol. Thank God they at least drive on the correct side of the road here! Oh, on that note, right back to space: some roads are as wide as South African pavements.

Sounds like your Mrs has come over here with the right attitude, and I think that counts for a lot. You guys will do just fine!

P.S: there are loads of Saffer (what you'll be known as over here) shops, just in case you miss the taste of home (biltong, real Fanta, etc - our chocolates and cookies come via Oz now because our government is kak and didn't renew the dairy licence or something).
 

Dave

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Space (or the lack there of) does take some getting used to

Depends where you live though, I lived quite rural at one stage and the house was a 5 bedroom with huge rooms (and only cost £500pcm to rent).

probably the weirdest one, pumping your own petrol. .

There are still some petrol stations with an attendant up here in the north east, I actually find it extremely weird to sit while someone else pumps the petrol now.
 
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