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Moving to London and the UK: the first steps you need to take

Moving to London and the UK: the first steps you need to take

FIRST STEPS TO MOVE TO LONDON AND THE UK

All non-European nationals must obtain a VISA before travelling to the UK, if they want to come for more than 6 months. Please check the immigration laws of your own country. For EU citizens, for the moment being nothing changes: a passport is enough. Brexit may change things for EU workers, but we need to see Article 50 will be invoked. In this very moment, nobody knows what’s going to happen…So.. Stay tuned!

 

These are the steps you need to take when you move to London and the UK:

GET A UK ADDRESS

find_accommodation_londonImage owned by Thelondonsalad.com

The first thing you need to do once you are in London or the UK is to get a roof over your head. This will allow you to have the necessary address to receive all the documents by post for your NIN and bank account. If you are staying at a hostel or have booked temporary accommodation through Homestay., it’s usually not an issue. Simply give the  temporary address but remember to communicate the new permanent one to your bank and at the Job Centre Plus which issued your NIN.

If you need temporary accommodation and you don’t have anyone to host you, I strongly advise you book through Homestay.

Below you can find a list of links for temporary accommodation such hotels and hostels in London which may be useful to you. At least you’ll have a roof over your head while you’re looking for something more permanent through agencies or sites such as sparerooom.

FAMILY ACCOMMODATION IN LONDONTOP 10 BEST LONDON HOSTELS WITH GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY
TOP LONDON 1-STAR HOTELS WITH GREAT VALUE FOR MONEYTOP 10 LONDON 2-STAR HOTELS WITH GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY
TOP 11 LONDON 3-STAR HOTELS WITH GREAT VALUE FOR MONEYBEST 5-STAR HOTELS WITH SPA

 

Read also this articles about Home and Rents in London, full of useful tips.

 

APPLY FOR NATIONAL INSURANCE NUMBER (NIN)

National Insurance NumberThe NIN is necessary to work in the UK. It will allow you to pay taxes, and you will be entitled to all the rights British citizens have, including the NHS (National Health Service).

In order to receive your NIN:

Call the Job Centre Plus on 0845 600 0643 to get an appointment. You will be asked

-Your full name
-Your birthdate
-Your date of arrival in the UK
-Your address with postcode
-Possible disabilities you may have
-The reason why you are requesting a NIN (say “for work”)
-Your marital status
-A British telephone number

You’ll be assigned a reference number, the address of the closest job centre and the date and time of your appointment.

You will be notified by post of the time and the address for the appointment, which will be followed by a confirmation letter.

Punctuality for the appointment is a must. If you are late, you will not be received. You will need to take your passport with you and, if you have got them, proof of both your residence and your working contract.

You’ll be asked:
-Some simple questions about your personal data
-Your address in your original country
-Your telephone number [get one from GiffGaff if you haven’t got it already]
-Your arrival date in the UK
-The reason for your stay
-Which job you are looking for
-How long you are going to stay in the UK

At the end of the interview, you will be handed a second reference number, which you need to keep. If you don’t receive your NIN, this reference number will allow you to communicate with the Job Centre Plus about your application.

If ,after 4 weeks, you still haven’t received your NIN or if in the meantime you have changed your address, please contact

Glasgow Phone Number 08456415008

Open Mon- Fri from 9:30 – 12:00 / 14:00 – 16:30

OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT IN THE UK

barkleys_London_banks in LondonImage copyright: Dominic Alves

If you already have a British address, you may consider banks such as TSB or MONEY SUPERMARKET where you can do all your banking online.

At the bank appointment, expats will be asked some basic questions:

-Why are you here in the UK?
-How long are you going to stay? (always say forever)
-Have you got a job?
-What is your yearly income?

If you don’t work or if your income is low, you will be offered a basic account with no fees. In this case, you won’t be assigned a credit card but a debit card will be enough to withdraw cash from your bank account and to make online purchases.

You’ll be required to present a proof of identity (your passport), a telephone number and an address where the bank will send the bank account documentation and your debit card. Some banks may require a proof of address, generally your tenancy agreement, and/or your utility bills. In case you don’t have a proof of address, you may want to bring with you a letter written by your landlord. If you are a student, a letter of reference from your place of study will likely suffice.

Some banks are more strict than others, and some branches of the same bank are more scrupulous than others. So if you find difficulties with a clerk of a particular bank, just head to the next one. Sometimes your experience can really depend on the bank employee you find in front of you and whether he or she has had a bad day or not!

Here’s a list  of the most popular banks. At the top of the list are the ones which are the most used by expats.

BARCLAYS

Barclays  is the bank I personally recommend to expats as they open accounts without too many problems.

HSBC

HSBC don’t require proof of address.

BANK OF SCOTLAND

They also don’t require proof of address.

NATWEST

Opening an account with them is usually easy. In their conditions, they write “We may also ask you to bring proof of your identity and address to your local branch.”

LLOYDS

They do ask for proof of address. If you don’t have it, just leave it. To open a bank account with them, you need to present the following:

  • Bank, Building Society or Credit Union statement
    (we do not accept statements printed off the internet)
  • Current UK non-photo driving licence
    (only if it has not been used as your proof of identification)
  • Utility Bill/Utility Statement or Certificate/Letter from a supplier of utilities dated within the last 3 months
  • Local authority tax bill/council tax bill for current year
  • Benefits or pensions notification letter confirming the right to benefit
    (only if it has not been used as your proof of identification)

So that’s really all you need. Good luck!

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