Stationary train at the train station

Travel and Transport

Visas & migration 

All foreign applicants must hold a valid visa before applying for work. As the UK is no longer part of the European Union the requirement for a visa also applies to those travelling from European Economic Areas (EEA) and Switzerland.  

You will need a Tier 2 visa which is offered to all skilled workers looking for employment in the UK.  

You can apply for a vIsa up to three months before the day you’re due to start work; this date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship. You should receive a decision on your application within three weeks. 

Find out more about Visas and work permits here 

The UK is widely accessible by air and sea. The nation is even connected to mainland Europe by the Channel Tunnel, a 31 mile stretch of rail that connects Folkestone, Kent with the northern settlement of Coquelles near Calais, France.

Major airports

The UK is home to over 40 commercial airports offering flights around the globe. London alone boasts six international airports and serves as one of the largest aviation hubs in the world for passenger traffic handling over 180 million passengers each year.

Major UK airports include:

  • Belfast International Airport
  • Birmingham Airport
  • East Midlands Airport
  • Edinburgh Airport
  • Glasgow Airport
  • Heathrow Airport
  • Leeds Bradford Airport
  • Liverpool John Lennon Airport
  • London Gatwick
  • London Luton Airport
  • London Stansted Airport
  • Manchester Airport 

Driving in the UK 

Depending on where you live and work in the UK will determine whether or not you will need to drive. If you live in a city with good transport links, a car may be unnecessary and could prove very costly, especially if you need to pay for parking. However, if you are based outside of a city centre, public transport may not always be available, meaning a car is essential. 

Cars are available to rent across the country with prices varying depending on the organisation you choose. It is also worth taking advantage of special deals. 

Here are some of the most popular car rental companies in the UK: 

  • Hertz 
  • Avis 
  • Enterprise 

There are three main types of road in the UK: motorways, primary roads and non-primary roads. 

Motorways are high-speed roads where vehicles are permitted to drive at 70 miles per hour (mph). Pedestrians and slower modes of transportation are prohibited. 

Primary roads (often referred to as single or dual carriageways) impose different speed limits which are clearly marked and are generally used to connect less populated areas. Similar speed restrictions are in place on non-primary roads, which usually offer an alternate route to primary roads. 

Driving laws in the UK are quite strict. Drink driving, texting while driving and speeding can all lead to heavy fines and the possibility of you losing your licence. Not wearing a seatbelt is also an offence, while parking in undesignated areas is prohibited.

Driving licence

Typically, an international driving licence is valid for use in the UK for up to one year however, it is advisable to apply for an international driving permit (IDP) if your licence is not printed in English. 

If you are planning on remaining in the UK indefinitely, you will need to apply for a UK driving licence. 

Drivers must be over the age of 17, British people drive on the left and speed and distances are measured in miles.

Public transport

The public transport system in the UK varies depending on your location. If you live in a city such as London, the transport links are excellent and run frequently. If you live in a rural area, there are far fewer services from which to choose.

Those living in London are advised to purchase an Oyster Card from any tube station at a cost of £5. This will give you discounted travel on the Tube, trams, buses, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, and some National Rail services in London.

Travelling around the UK is relatively simple. The country operates an extensive train network and even offers several long-distance bus (coach) services.

For further information regarding travel within the UK, visit one of the following sites: 

  • Nationalexpress.com (Bus/coach travel) 
  • Nationalrail.co.uk (Rail travel) 
Find out more

Read more on getting settled and daily life in the UK. 

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