Working in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a leading global economy and, according to the International Monetary Fund, it has the fifth largest GDP in the world in 2018. It is also one of the most globalised economies and among the world's largest foreign direct investors. 

The UK's decision to leave the EU saw the pound fall to its lowest level in more than 30 years. However, it is still too early to determine the full impact of this and much will depend on the terms negotiated in the UK's exit deal. 

Job market in the United Kingdom

As is the case in most developed countries, the economy of the UK is overwhelmingly fuelled by the strength of its service sector, which accounts for almost 80 percent of its total GDP. The most prominent service sectors in the UK are banking, insurance and business.

However, while financial and creative industries are dominant in the UK, it remains one of the world’s largest manufacturing economies. Many important players in the aerospace industry are based in the UK and it is also home to a number of prominent pharmaceutical companies.

Finding work in the United Kingdom

At present, EU nationals have the right to live and work in the UK without needing to apply for a visa. Historically, this has given nationals of these countries an edge in the job market, since it requires less paperwork on the part of the employer than hiring someone from outside the EU. However, the future of EU expats in the UK remains uncertain in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the Union. At present, EU citizens are still free to enter the country and look for work, although they may find employers are less inclined to hire them in the current political climate.

Ideally, it is best to look for a job in person while in the UK. However, non-EU citizens will generally need a visa to enter the UK and there is no visa specifically for job seeking. While it's possible to enter on a visitor's visa, this does not allow expats to look for work. In order to apply for a work visa, expats will need to have a job offer in hand. This creates a catch-22 situation.

The best course of action in the case of expats unable to look for work from within the UK is to contact British recruitment agencies relevant to one's profession. Networking on websites such as LinkedIn can also be helpful.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Aetna offers award-winning international health insurance plans to more than 55 million members worldwide. Their plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of you and your family while you are away from your home country, living and working abroad. Get peace of mind knowing you and your family will be protected and have access to quality health care wherever you are, where you need it.

* For a limited time, there is a discount of up to 20% on new multi-member policies and up to 10% on single member policies. This offer is valid until 19 June 2020. See website for details.

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Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

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