I've written this guide to try to clarify the process by addressing the most important issues you'll likely face when moving here.

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If you can stand some uncertainty, it's probably better to pick a place once you're actually in London so that you can get a feel for different areas.

I would strongly advise against buying a place until you have a good feel for an area, as buying and selling property is both expensive and time consuming and it's worth getting right the first time.

My best piece of advice for anything to do with immigration is to go straight to the source: the GOV.

UK website will tell you in plain English what type of visa you'll need and the requirements that go along with it.

However, in my personal opinion, this way of thinking about London does little to capture the reality on the ground.

There are plenty of places in the North or West that I would consider less desirable than places in the South and East.

There is lots of information about working abroad, but if you're coming to the UK to work and you don't have a UK or EU passport, you're most likely going to need a work visa.

Students, on the other hand, only need a student visa.

Nevertheless, public attitudes towards immigrants/foreigners are on the whole vastly more positive in London.

This might have something to do with the fact that over 1/3rd of Londoners were born outside the UK.

Postcodes are a common way to identify roughly where you live and they correspond very loosely with compass points from the City of London.