When I remember back to when I first started blogging, I told myself I wouldn’t
venture into list based articles, because some pretentious, puritan and
wankerish part of my brain told me that’s what I needed to do to “not sell out”.
I was wrong. Ask my girlfriend, and she’ll tell you that it’s a miracle to hear
those words from me. So it turns out that lists, make information easily
“digestible” and it’s just a matter of formatting, not sacrificing quality

So here it is:

6 Easy to Overlook Things You Need to Do, When Moving to the UK

This list is based on when I moved to the UK (the first time) and all the
hiccups I had along the way. I’m not going to talk about getting visas, multiple
currency cards, the usual stuff, but rather the things that nobody told me
about, that could have derailed me as I went.

  1. Get a sim card/mobile number first. I know this might seem
    a bit basic, but I was amazed by how in the UK, they don’t take any information
    from you when purchasing a sim card which seemed amazing compared to back home
    where you need to provide ID and all your details. The reason why we get the
    phone number first is because you don’t need to provide any other info, but it’s
    needed when applying for a bank account etc. or when looking for jobs. What
    we’ll do is basically work our way up from what has the least requirements, to
    what have the most.
  2. You will now need a proof of address such as a utility
    bill. This is probably the biggest pain the arse that you will
    have to deal with when establishing yourself in the UK because if you’re renting
    you’ll have to wait until you receive a bill in your name, or you’re probably
    more likely to be staying at a hostel or similar where this is impossible. If
    you were like me and you were living where you work (I had a
    live-in pub job) then all you need is a letter from your employer
    stating that you live there
    and pay “x” amount in rent etc.
  3. Letter from your employer. If you are getting a letter from
    your employer as a part of step 2, ask them to add your employment conditions
    and expected annual salary into the letter. If you aren’t getting a letter as a
    part of step 2, ask for a letter just with your employment details. These
    letters need to be signed and printed on the company’s letterhead..
  4. Apply for a bank account, ONLY with these two banks: What
    you’ll need as your everyday transactional/wages account, which a lot of
    countries refer to as a “savings account”, is referred to in the UK as a
    “current account”. If you ask for a savings account, you’ll
    instead be offered an account without a debit card attached that is purely for
    medium and long term savings. The reason I have a love/hate relationship with
    the UK banking system, all started with the fact that current accounts
    are a form of credit
    (technically speaking). They don’t actually have a
    credit facility and they don’t overdraw anymore than what an Australian savings
    account might, but because they are defined as being credit, they
    require a credit history check.
    If this is your first time in the UK,
    then obviously you can’t have a bad credit history, but instead you will
    unfortunately have no history whatsoever, resulting in an insufficient score for
    most banks. Take it from me that there is only one thing that will want to make
    you punch a greasy haired banker more than being declined a bank account that
    does not provide credit, for having an insufficient credit score. The one thing
    that will make you want to lamp them even more than that, is them saying that
    you can’t even then get there “low requirement savings account that anyone can
    get” because you’ve just had a knock-back. You can see the irony.HSBC, Nat West, Lloyds Bank, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland
    are but a few examples of banks that you probably can’t get an
    account with
    for various reasons such as credit scores and Nat West for
    example, will not accept a letter from your employer unless your employer holds
    their business account with them. So who are the best options for newcomers to
    the UK with no credit history? Nationwide Building Society or
    Santander Bank with my preference being Nationwide for the fact
    that if for some strange reason you did get declined for a current account, you
    will still at the very least be able to get a savings account from them, despite
    having been knocked back for the current account.If you only take away one thing from this post, please let it be about which
    banks to use, because I literally wore a hole through my only pair of shoes and
    spent most my money, trying to figure this out over the course of a few days.
  5. Get a National Insurance Number. This one is a bit too
    obvious for this list, but I have included it as step number 5 because you’ll
    need it to work, but you’ll also need it before you do step number
  6. Register to vote. This only applies if you have citizenship
    of course, but another peculiar thing about the UK is that by registering to
    vote, it actually improves your credit score and as we now know, this can affect
    your ability to apply for even the most basic of facilities.

I hope I’ve been able to provide you with some info over and above the usual
content about visas, travel insurance, national insurance etc. and that you’re
now a little bit closer to settling in the UK. If like me, you’re just going
there for a working holiday to start you on your travels or as a stop along the
way, then you might want to take a look at what it’s like Living and
Working in a Pub in England
and maybe even check out How
to go From Being Broke to Becoming a Full Time Traveller in Under 8 Weeks

P.S. If there’s something you still want to know that I haven’t addressed in
6 Often Overlooked Things You Need to Do, When Moving to the
then feel free to drop a line in the comments below and I’ll be
more than happy to answer.


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