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Moving to the UK

We attract staff from all over the world and take care to create an open and fully inclusive environment for everyone. Find all the information you need to move to the United Kingdom to work with us.


Current vacancies

Visa costs

Successful applicants will be able to claim the cost of their ICR sponsored visa and of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for themselves and for their dependants once they have joined. 

Before applying for or commencing employment in the UK, applicants should check their visa requirements.

Open passport with stamps

Information for applicants from the EU/EEA/Swiss citizens

From 1 January 2021, the rules on living and working in the UK for EU citizens has changed. 

  • Those not in the UK by this date and coming to the UK from 1 January 2021 onwards are covered by the new points-based immigration system (although you may have immigration permission outside of this e.g. ancestry). 

Living in London

London is a fantastic city to live in and there are plenty of services offering private rented accommodation and house shares.

The ICR's sites are located in Chelsea and Sutton. There are two sites in Chelsea; the Chester Beatty Laboratories and our corporate offices. Our modern campus site in Sutton, south London, houses our high-tech facilities.

View of Big Ben and London buses at night

Renting and buying


You can find private rented accommodation and house shares near the Chelsea or Sutton site through online services such as Zoopla, RightMove and Gumtree.

Properties are usually available for a minimum period of 6 to 12 months and may come unfurnished, part furnished or fully furnished. It is recommended to ask to see the inventory list if the accommodation is furnished and to keep a copy for your records.

Renters will often be asked to pay a holding fee and a deposit of one or two months' rent, and to provide one or two references from previous landlords.

Read GOV.UK's 'How to rent' guidance for more information.

For help and advice on housing, you can contact the Citizens Advise Bureau.


If you are interested in buying property, find more information about the process and costs of buying a home on GOV.UK.


ICR shuttle bus

A regular shuttle bus service transports ICR staff and students from Sutton station to the Sutton site for free. The shuttle bus service also provides free transport between the Sutton and Chelsea sites.

Public transport

The Transport for London (TfL) website shows all London bus, tube and train timetables as well as regular traffic updates. Travelling by bus, tube or train is paid for with an Oyster card or by contactless payments only (no cash), and students can get a 30% discount by registering their card. 

A Railcard is available for purchase if you’re aged between 16-25 and 26-30. The railcard saves you 1/3 on rail fares throughout Great Britain.


You can hire a bike from as little as £2 with Santander Cycles, which you can return to any docking station in London. You can sign up for a free Cycle Skills session, and also find advice about protecting your bike from theftcycling safety, and more, on

ICR employees can also buy a bike through the Ride to Work scheme once they have completed their probation period.

Cabs and Uber

Black cabs can be hailed on the street and the orange light on the roof indicates they are available.

Minicabs are licensed private hire vehicles which must be booked in advance (it is strongly advised not to hail minicabs on the street as some drivers can be unlicensed). The reception desks at Chester Beatty Laboratories (CBL) in London and the Brookes Lawley Building (BLB) in Sutton have numbers of local minicab firms.

Uber is a taxi service which operates in London using an online app. You will need to set up an account with Uber on your smartphone before using the service.

Living costs

Council tax

Council tax is a fee each household has to pay for the services provided by the local council, such as rubbish collection, libraries, fire services, etc. The amount of council tax you pay will depend on the property you live in and whether you live on your own or with other people. 

Utility bills  

When you move into your new home, you will need to arrange the following utilities (unless they are included in your rent payments):


The National Health Service (NHS) provides free emergency and primary healthcare for residents. You will need to register with a local General Practitioner (GP) practice to be treated for physical and mental health problems. Most NHS services are free to residents, but you will need to pay for the medicine you are prescribed unless you are exempt.

If you wish to reduce waiting times for treatments, you can opt to pay for a private health insurance.

GP diagnosing a patient

Dentists and opticians


NHS dentists provide dental care at a low fixed cost. You can register with an NHS dentist or you can choose to use a private dentist at a higher cost.


To get an eye test or to renew your prescription glasses, you can book an appointment at any opticians - you do not need to register. In most cases, you will be charged a fee for the appointment and the glasses. 


National Insurance

Employees in the UK must pay for National Insurance which funds services such as healthcare, state pension, maternity allowance, and more. You will need a National Insurance Number to work in the UK - you can apply for a National Insurance Number as soon as you arrive in the UK.

Income Tax

Employees in the UK must pay an Income Tax, which will vary depending on your income. You may also have to pay income tax on money you earn abroad.

We recommend prospective researchers read through the British Council's Euraxess guide for international researchers moving to the UK.

Hands typing on a computer


To open a bank account in the UK you will need:

  • Two forms of ID - usually a passport and drivers licence.
  • Confirmation of your current UK address, such as a tenancy agreement, rent book or mortgage book.
  • Confirmation of your overseas address.
  • The previous month's bank statements, from bank accounts in the UK and/or your country.

You should check with the bank beforehand to clarify what information is needed, as some banks may vary with their request for information.

Hand typing bank code at ATM


There are several childcare options available to you in the UK. The UK government has a few schemes in place to support eligible parents with the cost towards childcare.

If your child is aged 3 to 4, eligible parents may be able to access up to 15 hours free childcare a week for 38 weeks.

If your child is aged 11 and under, eligible parents may be able to access the Tax-Free Childcare government scheme. You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare.

A child building a colourful jenga tower

UK school structure

Children aged 0-4 years:

There is a variety of childcare options available for children aged 4 years and under. Parents can choose between using a Childminder, Day Nursery or Nursery Schools. Each option will vary in cost, child to adult supervision ratio and availability throughout the year.

Children aged 5-17 years:

It is compulsory for children aged 5-17 years to be in education in the UK. The UK provides free education within state schools and is accessible to all children. Some parents may choose to send their child to an independent school (also known as a private school) or may choose to home school their child with private tutors. Both options are paid for by the child’s parents and is paid termly/yearly in advance.