Moving to London: I’m here, now what?!?

What do I need?

When I had been in England for 2 minutes I felt overwhelmed by everything ahead of me. Now I’ve been here 3 weeks and feel like I’ve acomplished nothing. If only I knew them what I know now, I would have been more organised and got things done the short way instead of the hard and exhausting way. I felt the need to share the little information I’ve gathered so far, in an attempt to maybe help someone else or perhaps feel productive.

In no particular order, the most obvious things you will most likely need to get you started living in the UK include:

  • Proof of Address

Your proof of Address is essential when applying for a Bank account, NHS and NIN number amoung other things. If you’re moving in with relatives upon arrival and you don’t have a proof of address of your own, the best thing to do is contact your home bank to change your address and order a statement to the new address in the post. Printed eStatements from online banking accounts won’t be accepted especially by banks, so waiting for the one in the post is your best bet.

  • Sim cards

The option to keep your home number is fine but you will be subject to roaming costs everytime you make a call or send a text message. It’s cheaper to get a sim card with a local number. Mobile neworks here include:

  1. Vodafone (Voxi under vodafone is now available for students/ young people with pay as you go plans offering you more social media data.)
  2. O2
  3. Three 
  4. EE
  5. Virgin media
  6. Tesco Mobile
  7. GIFF GAFF
  8. LycaMobile
  9. ASDA mobile
  10. Plusnet Mobile
  11. BT mobile
  12. SKY mobile
  13. ID mobile

With all of those options it’s hard to know which network may be the best for you. The most straightfoward article I found to help with this is: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/mobile-phone-providers/article/best-mobile-networks-overview

  • Bank account

Similar to Mobile networks there are many bank accounts too. If you don’t mind what account you open, it’s best to pick the more convienient option – that being the bank with branches all over the country and with decent online and mobile app banking! Popular banks include:

  1. Barclays Bank
  2. Nationwide Building society
  3. Llyods Bank
  4. Metro Bank
  5. HSBC
  6. NatWest

Whick.co.uk have a helpful article inclusive of all banks in the UK:https://www.which.co.uk/money/banking/bank-accounts/best-and-worst-banks-a3q5d8c6dj7y

Just to quickly add, there is a new bank called Monzo bank which allows you to have an account without a prrof of address. then you may request a statement from them and use that as a proof of adress is your stuck! It’s 100% safe and secure.https://monzo.com/

For student banking:

https://www.which.co.uk/money/banking/student-and-graduate-bank-accounts/student-bank-accounts-ablvm7t6pdjr

  • NHS number

The NHS is the National Health Service in the Uk. Getting an NHS number will make receiving healthcare easier for you. You will need to find a GP near you and register with them, then you  will receive a letter containing your unique NHS number. For more information on the NHS numer and what it is you can visit:

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-the-nhs/what-is-an-nhs-number/

  • A personal number ( NIN)

If you plan on working in the UK, you will need an NIN number, this enables you to pay tax and legally work here. A legitimate site to apply for your NIN number is: https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number beware of fake sites and scams!

It is a pretty simple and straightforward process all you need to do is make an appointment, how to do so is explained on the link above, you then must bring with you: Photo ID and proof of adress to your appointment. Anything else you may need will be outlined during your phone application. If you don’t have a proof of address they may allow you to use the one of the person you are staying with, however, that person must write a simple letter stating that you are living there and then sign and date it.

  • Oyster Card

Getting an Oyster card is the most simple thing to do. It’s Important to not that they only work in London though.If your moving to another city outisde of london all you need is a contactless bank card or some Coins. To get your Oyster Card for London Travel click on the link below:

https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/entry.do

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