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A Guide for People Moving From Hong Kong to London

Moving to London from Hong Kong has never been more appealing thanks to the UK Government’s scheme to bring more Hong Kong nationals into the UK for work or study. Similar to Hong Kong, London is a bustling city but has a very different cultural outlook.

Although, with so much to organise and arrange if you are looking at moving to the UK, it can be complex to know where to begin. Some of the factors you should consider include whether to rent or buy in the UK, your budget, which areas are most suitable for you and a rough time scale of your move.

If you are looking to gain British citizenship, you’ll want to prepare for your move in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. This guide explains everything you need to know about relocating to London from Hong Kong.

Renting in London

If you’ve decided you’d like to move to London, you should first identify your budget and consider whether you’d rather rent a property in London or opt for the more permanent option of buying in London. With that being said, renting is typically the better option as it can be extremely complex to get a UK mortgage from Hong Kong, due to difficulties with credit scores and processing a mortgage application.

Deciding where in London to relocate to is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. With millions of homes in London and 32 London boroughs, it can be difficult to decide which location is best for you. Every London neighbourhood is really different from one another.

In order to find the location that best suits you, we recommend identifying the transport links that would make your travel to your workplace or place of study as convenient as possible. Choosing a London neighbourhood will take some time, so it’s best to research the properties in London that are available to you.

Wardian, Canary Wharf

Situated on the Isle of Dogs, Wardian is within close proximity of the bustling business district of Canary Wharf, and has some fantastic transport links nearby, including Canary Wharf underground station, Crossharbour, Southquay and Mudchute DLR stations, making Wardian an excellent location for local commuting. 

Wardian boasts luxury accommodation, innovative landscaping, luxury five-star amenities, a great selection of bars, restaurants and shops nearby. 

The Wardian development also has several Asian restaurants located nearby, including Buns and Bao, Lotus, Lemongrass Kitchen and Mailinda. With plenty of Asian supermarkets, just a few minutes walk away, such as Tian Tian, Cansu 98 Ltd, Fodal Supermarket and Kuya’s Tindahan, you’ll be able to stock up on your favourite groceries that you know and love.

Embassy Gardens

With incredible views of Battersea, Westminster and Central London, Embassy Gardens is a new luxury London development, mostly known for its wealth of amenities, including a cinema, gym, lounge, concierge service and notably, London’s Most Exclusive Pool, a breathtaking world-first sky pool in London suspended between two tower blocks between 115ft in the air.

Embassy Gardens is perfectly situated for a myriad of shops, restaurants and bars nearby. With a beautiful selection of high-quality homes within the development, every apartment is purpose-built for ease of living and total comfort.

The development also benefits from various transport links nearby, including Underground and National Rail services from Vauxhall, the Northern Line from Oval and Overground links from Battersea Park. 

A short walk away and within the local area are some casual Chinese restaurants, including Dragon King Chinese Restaurant, a brand new Chinese restaurant in a stunningly renovated space, and New City, a simple destination for Chinese cooking. Some of our recommended Asian supermarkets in Embassy Gardens would include Shop and Go Oriental, just a 10 minute walk away from Embassy Gardens, and Cheung’s Oriental, around a 15 minute walk away from the development.

Other Things to Consider

If you are looking to rent in the UK, you’ll need to be aware of your finances, including your deposit, holding deposit (to secure the property), deposit protection to protect your deposit funds during your tenancy, as well as the inventory of your property, which is a comprehensive document of the household contents and condition. 

You will also need to be aware of your tenancy agreement, a contract between you, your landlord and letting agency, which outlines the rules of your rental agreement and what you should expect during your tenancy.

Hong Kong BN(O) Visa

If you are a Hong Kong resident looking to relocate to the UK, you’ll be pleased to know that the UK Government has recently introduced a unique opportunity to work and study in the UK through a government scheme. This means that those with a BNO status (British National Overseas), along with their eligible family members, will be able to come to the UK to live, study and work.

This scheme begins from the 31st January 2021, and after five years, you’ll be able to apply for settlement – also known as indefinite leave to remain, facilitating a path to full British citizenship.

It’s expected that over 200,000 applicants will arrive over the next five years, although three million Hong Kong residents will be eligible for UK citizenship.

In order to have a successful application, you will need to pass health and criminal checks and prove that you hold a BNO (British National Overseas) status. The cost of a five-year visa is capped at £250 per person, one of the lowest visa routes to the UK. Applicants will be able to access schools and the NHS – but will be required to financially support themselves in order to stay in the UK.

Following on from the initial announcement of this scheme, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “I am immensely proud that we have brought in this new route for Hong Kong BN(O)s to live, work and make their home in our country.”

While Home Secretary, Priti Patel, added, “This new visa delivers on our promise to the people of Hong Kong, honouring our strong historic relationship and upholding their freedoms. We look forward to welcoming people wanting to put down roots and build a new life with their family in the UK.”