Are you getting tired of that gloomy weather in the UK? And that British humor is starting to annoy you as well, isn’t it? Then why not change your path by moving from London to San Francisco? SF is “only” 5,351 miles away, but that didn’t stop other Londoners and Britons from relocating there. And if you get nostalgic for some quality tea time in the afternoon hours, we know a perfect spot where you can satisfy your tea cravings.
The view of the Golden Gate Bridge will welcome you while landing in the Golden City.
Going Across the Pond – Moving From London to San Francisco
Has Brexit made you think about making your own exit and starting fresh somewhere far away? Is the UK no longer the best European country to live in for you? Although Brexit is not the main reason for many relocations, it certainly is a game-changer, especially for entrepreneurs. Just like London, SF is an important hub for business and entertainment industries, but with a few more sunny days.
With a bit over 9 million residents, the UK capital actually has more residents than the entire SF metro area. Add millions of tourists to that number, and you quickly realize why LDN is so overcrowded and pricey. Going to a pub is a part of the capital’s lifestyle, but it can get quite expensive if you want to do it every week. You need roughly around $1,000 per month for all expenses, without the rent, while in SF, where salaries are much higher, you’ll need slightly more, approximately $1,150. So, when you put all the numbers down, it does make sense to move across the pond.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Things You Need to Do After International Relocation to SF:
Set up a bank account and transfer your money
Get a Clipper Card and ride around SF using public transportation
Apply for your social security number
Find a place to live
Apply for a Californian ID
Get a credit card so you can start building your credit history
Perhaps public transportation is not as good as the one in LDN, but at least you’ll have better views than on the Tube.
Things to Know About San Francisco
SF is not the largest or most populated city in the state of Cali, but it is certainly one of the most popular ones. It’s no surprise that many who are moving from the UK to California decide to settle in SF. Here are some of the things about this place you should be aware of:
Microclimate – This is something SF is known for, so when choosing your neighborhood, pay attention to its climate.
Weekend getaways – One of the perks of staying in SF is that there are numerous options for day trips across the state.
Large homeless population – This is also something you need to be aware of, and don’t be surprised to see people living in tents even in Silicon Valley.
Dog-friendly city – Yes, there are more dogs than children in SF, so if you’re moving with pets, you couldn’t have picked a better location.
Young population – SF is a mecca for young professionals and entrepreneurs looking to excel in their careers.
Fog on one side of the Golden City and sun on the other is an everyday scenario.
Visa Requirements When Moving From the UK to California
Since after Brexit and the outbreak of Coronavirus some immigration regulations might change, we strongly advise you to consult an immigration lawyer. An attorney will help you explore your current options and introduce you to all the important documents for moving abroad. You don’t need a visa to visit the US as a British tourist, so that’s a great way to explore SF before moving across the world. However, to get a permanent residence, you’ll need to apply for an immigrant visa.
If your spouse or parent has US citizenship, you can also apply for it. Or find an employer who is willing to file the immigrant petition for an alien worker. There is also the Diversity Visa Program, but it is available only to UK citizens born in Northern Ireland. This unique program is great, but it has one restriction. When 50,000 immigrants from one country get the green card through the lottery, that country gets excluded from the program, which happened to the UK.
People from the UK can visit SF without a visa, but in order to work and find a home there, they’ll need to apply for an immigrant visa.
Cost of Living LDN Vs. SF: Which One Is More Expensive
Both cities are metropolises known for their high cost of living, but which one is pricier? When it comes to costs, in this case, it is hard to use the word affordable for either of these two cities. They are both frequently featured among the most expensive cities in Europe and the US, and since you already live in one of them, high prices might not shock you so much. However, you can notice that in pretty much all categories, SF beats LDN, so make sure your budget is on point because SF gives a new meaning to the word expensive. On the positive side, the average salary is double the one in LDN, which explains a lot. We summarized some essential costs, and converted everything to dollars, so you don’t have to bother with calculators.
Average monthly salary, after-tax
Monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apt in a central location
Monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apt outside of the center
Monthly rent for a 3-bedroom apt in a central location
Monthly rent for a 3-bedroom apt outside of the center
Basic utilities for a 914-sqft apartment
A monthly pass for public transportation
The monthly fee for a fitness club
The monthly fee for private kindergarten or preschool
Where to Settle In SF: Neighborhoods You’re Going to Love
Whether you’re relocating with a family or alone, choosing the right neighborhood is crucial. This metropolis has five major districts and numerous neighborhoods within, and they all have a different flair, culture, and atmosphere. If you’re coming here for work, this could be one of the most important relocation questions to ask your employer, because trust us, you’ll want to live close to your work. Traffic jams are on another level, and it is hard to tell if it is worse to drive or use public transportation. But as a future former Londoner, you’re probably already used to that. Let’s see what some great neighborhoods to settle in are:
Inner Sunset – a family-friendly community,
San Leandro – a neighborhood where you can find affordable homes,
Pacifica – area that offers coastal charm and beautiful views,
SoMa – a large neighborhood in Downtown with great clubs,
The Mission – community with a Latin flair and unique street art,
Pacific Heights – beautiful Victorian houses and a neighborhood with the best microclimate.
What Kind of a Climate Shock You Can Expect
If you’re making a list of what to pack when moving abroad, don’t exclude your umbrella from it so quickly, but also don’t forget to pack sunscreen. The UK capital has around 106 rainy days per year, while SF has 72, that is one less month of rain. The rainy season in SF lasts from December until the end of January. Other months are dry and sunny but tend to be very foggy. If you find the UK weather too depressing and gloomy, you might like it better in SF, where you can expect a total of 259 sunny days per year.
You’ll get used to having more sunny days per year in no time.
Top Hiring Companies and Job Opportunities In SF
If you’re moving abroad alone, you’re probably on the hunt for a better-paid job and opportunities to excel in your career. Luckily, in this case, you don’t have to bother learning a language abroad or trying to break the language barrier. All you have to do is research the job market thoroughly because it is vast.
Some of the world’s largest companies have their headquarters and offices in the Bay Area. Conveniently, many of them offer bus shuttle transportation from your home to the office, so you don’t have to struggle with traffic. Companies such as Uber, Visa, Yelp, Airbnb, Apple, Twitter, Amazon, and numerous tech companies are all located here, so make sure to polish your resume and start applying.
There are numerous tech companies that found their home here.
5 Completely British Things To Do Around San Francisco
On days when you start feeling a bit blue or homesick, you might even consider relocating to the UK, but before you start checking out flights, check out these places in SF. Perhaps relocating from the UK to California is the change you needed, but it can’t harm to remind yourself a bit about some typically British things.
#1. Checking Out the Finest Pub Abroad
There are lots of pubs around SF, but if you’re locating for a proper British experience, then The Pig & Whistle should be your first choice. Located at Geary Boulevard, this pub serves some excellent beers, great food, and streams soccer.
#2. Finding the Right Cuppa Tea In SF
If you’re looking for a traditional tea-drinking experience in a quirky setting, Lovejoy’s Tea Room is the place you need to visit. It all started as a small antique shop located in Church Street, but it has evolved, and now they serve afternoon tea. If you’re familiar with Jonathan Gash’s novels, you’ve probably already noticed the connection to one of his characters, the antique dealer named Lovejoy.
#3. British-Irish Expat Group – a Place for all Your Moving-Related Questions
You’re new in town and want to meet someone who’s been on the same road? Or you’re looking for someone who gets your humor and enjoys talking about the same things? We know just the right group for you. The San Francisco Bay Area British and Irish Meetup Group was founded back in 2002, and usually organizes meetups on a monthly level.
#4. Have a Whiskey or Two and Compare Flavors
If you like to have a glass of whiskey from time to time, then The Whiskey Shop will become your favorite spot. They have a vast selection and also offer whiskey tasting. The staff is well informed, so you can expect to get a brief lecture and have all your whiskey-related questions answered.
#5. Visit the British Goods Store and Barbershop
Cable Car Clothiers is a shop you have to visit if you are a Londoner in SF. Whether you need a barber and a haircut appointment, or you’re looking for a tailored suit and a hat, you’ll find it all right here.
Good habits shouldn’t be changed, and Londoners can continue enjoying some of their favorite hobbies in SF.
Costs of International Relocation – Is It Worth Shipping Your Entire Household Across the Ocean
The cost of relocation is a major concern for many people, but you can use different methods to cut them down and afford to go abroad.
Is San Francisco Your Cup of Tea?
Adjusting to a new country after moving is never easy, especially when moving to California from the UK. You have to prepare yourself for a bit of a culture shock because, besides the language, the US and the UK don’t have too much in common. But if you can adjust, you’ll find yourself enjoying your new American lifestyle in one of its most vibrant hubs.