WORKgateways UK e-newsletter
Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveller
February 2008, Volume 4 Issue 2
The WORKgateways e-newsletter is written for working travellers bound for the UK hailing from all over the globe - from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada and more. Whether you're already in the UK, impatiently awaiting your departure date or thinking about going in the future, we've got something for you. Scroll down to view this month's info.
- New tax info on WORKgateways
- General Highly Skilled Migrant category soon to be active
- Around 16,000 UK jobs on WORKgateways
- Changes to the National Shortage Occupation List
In every issue
2008 is already flying by as we head into February. This month we've got some info on the new immigration system to be phased in this year and some changes to the National Shortage Occupation List. Don't miss out on other important tax info and our latest Lonely Planet giveaway. We've also got thousands of UK jobs that need applicants, so get searching!
AThe end of the UK tax year is in April and if you are currently working in the UK, or going to be working the UK, then you should be aware of how much tax you should be paying and whether you're due a refund.
We have just updated our tax info on WORKgateways to include information about getting your UK tax refund and whether you need to a UK tax return. Check out the new UK tax information. If you are self-employed, then the deadline for any tax owed to HMRC for the 06/07 tax year has just passed (31 Jan).
The first phase of the new UK immigration system is due to be phased in from March onwards. The new Tier 1 General Highly Skilled Migrant category will change very little from the current Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.
The biggest difference is the removal of the MBA provision, which allowed those with MBAs from a list of specific universities to claim an automatic 75 points. There is also a new 'maintenance provision' which requires that applicants from outside the UK have at least ?2,800 to show they can support themselves in the UK (plus more if you have dependents).
For more information about the current Highly Skilled Migrant programme, visit the UK Border and Immigration Agency website.
There's a severe shortage of a number of occupations in the UK from Teaching, Engineering, Health and Town Planning to Accountants, Finance and Construction professionals. WORKgateways has around 16,000 jobs waiting for the right applicants.
With effect from 18 March 2008, 38 healthcare-related occupations will be removed from the national shortage occupation list for work permits.
For more information and for a full list of the occupations which have been removed, visit the UK Border and Immigration Agency website.
Companies wanting to sponsor someone to work in the UK must now also pay a one-off licence fee of either ?300 or ?1,000 depending on the size of the company.
Gillian arrived in London late last year, and is just settling in to her new life in the UK.
When did you arrive in the UK and what are your first impressions?
I arrived in the UK in November last year, after a seven-month travelling stint in South America. Homeless and pounds-less, I was excited to have landed in such a fast-paced city, and to be reunited with old friends, but felt pretty overwhelmed by the pressure to find work and a place to live with so little time. Despite these stresses though, I fell in love with London pretty quickly?it?s a city where anything is possible, and where there is always someone to see and somewhere exciting to go. London is very cosmopolitan and full of sub-cultures, so you could find any sort of scene you are looking for.
Did you use a UK recruitment agent and what was your experience with them like?
Basically as soon as I arrived in London I started job-hunting, mostly by browsing through job sites online. Being on a Working Holiday Visa, the majority of jobs I applied for were for contract roles through recruitment agencies, as this is huge industry in London! Initially I was a little sceptical?thinking that finding work through an agency did little but double the interview process?but, after registering with a few, I now realise that there are many benefits. I think the key is to find a consultant who really listens to you, and who will put you forward for roles that you?re genuinely interested in. There is an unlimited amount of choice in London, so if you?re patient you?ll inevitably find an agency that?s right for you!
Any more tips for dealing with agencies?
I think that the biggest advice would be to make sure you let your agent know exactly what sort of roles you?re looking for. You don't want to waste your time going to interviews for jobs that you wouldn?t be willing to take.
Finally, what do you like about London and what would you recommend?
I think the biggest advice I have would be to make contact with your friends here (if you?re lucky enough to have contacts), find somewhere to stay (even if just for a week or two), and get your resume ready. I?d also recommend using an kick-start agency such as 1st Contact or Visa First to help you set up a bank account ? this is pretty crucial if you want to start working ASAP and get paid. Other than that, I?d say bring your warmest coat and invest in a copy of a London A-Z ? a pocket-sized street-map book, which is basically the bible for all new Londoners!
WORKgateways can help you out with all the things you need to organise and think about when you are making the move to the UK.
Avoid banking hassles by setting up your bank account before you leave home. With WORKgateways, it's cheap and easy, and we can help you pick the right package for you - we have options from 1st Contact and Visa First. Find out more information about purchasing UK bank accounts.
Get the latest news from our international money transfer partner, Tranzfers
It's been a steady few weeks on the currency market as thinned volumes over Christmas failed to inspire any major movement. The impact of the continuing global 'credit crunch' was however enough to concern some investors, and as a result we saw some volatility in the 'high yielding' currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars. While both have remained comparatively steady against the US dollar, with AUD/USD currently around the 88 cent mark and NZD/USD just shy of 77 cents, there has been continued movement against the pound with GBP/AUD slipping to as low as 2.24 and GBP/NZD presently changing hands at 2.5630.
Find out more about international money transfers.
In every issue
Be one of the first to get your hands on the brand new Lonely Planet guide to Devon, Cornwall and southwest England. We have five copies to give away.
Many working travellers flock to the southwest of England to get a taste of the surf and sand culture they miss from home. It's an exceptionally beautiful part of the country, with stunning beaches, rugged cliffs and pretty villages.
All you have to do to win is email us with 'CORNWALL' in the subject line (and your mailing address). Entries close 29 February.
The winners of last month's Ryanair ?20 flight vouchers were Orinda Chew and Valerie Hayes.
Are you in the UK and want to feature in our newsletter? Got a hot tip for working travellers about finding a job, taking a holiday or about living in London? Or are you still at home and have found a great website? Email our newsletter editor, and if we publish your comment, we'll send you some goodies.