Man, I’m unprepared. There’s a checklist of things you should do before moving to England. I came over here without any money, preparation, or attack plan. There’s something unbelievably stupid about this. It worked for me when I moved to Germany, but moving to England’s a bit more complicated, apparently. Either that, or I’m remembering it wrong.
But I’m not the only one. The office I’m working in is full of non-British people. It’s a rag-tag group of Germans, Italians, Brazilians, Spaniards, one (1) American, and who knows what else that all found themselves in the same boat when they first came over. This despite promises from The Company to help one resettle; promises which are certainly not kept and, when referred to in conversation, change their shape and character like a Democrat on a whistle-stop.
But at some point a kindly soul in the department, now departed, made a list of the reality of the situation. It’s a short list of what one really needs to do when moving to England. Unfortunately, I only found out about it after I’d already been here a week. Here’s your to-do list once you’ve arrived in England:
Get a room. If possible, get a rental agreement or any bill with your name and address on it. (proof of address)
Deposit is usually 1 1/2 times the rent. Deposit and first rent is to be paid beforehand. If the room is unfurnished, see “Things to Buy” for shops and example prices.
Get a letter from your office manager (HR Lady) stating that you are working for the company and including your address. (proof of employment)
Get a bank account. Just walk in with your documents:
- Passport or national ID card
- Proof of employment (see 2.). it might be handy to have your contract with you.
- Proof of address
HSBC – try to get a standard account (they try to sell you an advanced package including insurances etc.)
NatWest – Also recommended as this bank does not charge for withdrawing money from a different bank’s cash machines
Give your bank details to The Company
Register with Inland Revenue – this is done by your HR manager. You should get your tax code about 2 weeks later (PAYE Coding Notice) At the end of the fiscal year (ending April 5th), you will get a “P60 End of Year Certificate” detailing your “Pay and Income Tax” levels.
Get a National Insurance Number by applying at a Job Centre Plus office. They ask for dtails before they schedule an interview appointment to verify your eligibility. Appointments are scheduled about two weeks ahead, and take place in the nearest county office, which usually isn’t near at all. Without an NI number, you will be on emergency tax, which is higher than the standard tax rate.
National ID card
Driving License or any other official document identifying you (Birth certificate, police registration, medical card, etc.)
Proof of employment (see 2.)
Proof of address (utility bill, rental agreement, etc. – see 1.)
It might be handy to have your PAYE Coding Notice with you
As money is paid in a timely manner so it is available on the 27th, try to get your appointment after this date.
If you are British, a citizen of a member state of the EU, or other Commonwealth citizen, you can apply for inclusion on the Register of Electors. This will allow you to vote at local government elections. Your credibility will rise (good for tenancy applications or bank-related matters) and you are obliged to pay Council Taxes[^1]
If you buy any TV or radio equipment, you will be asked for your address, which will be automatically forwarded to the “TV Licensing Office”
Get a Tesco Clubcard
Get a life ;-)
Any address change has to be communicated to all above-mentioned authorities. For the official notices to local council, the TV licensing, and most other on-line services, you can use I am Moving , where you can create/use an account for free.
All of this could have been avoided with a bit of planning. I am bitterly disappointed in myself.
[^1]:Council taxes are universal as far as I can tell, and are perceived, by the British at least, as an extension of the rent.