I have my UK visa, what now?

Now that you have successfully applied for your visa you might be wondering what you need to do next? Read on to find out!

Bank Account - we recommend one of two options when it comes to opening a bank account. Either an App based bank (we recommend Monese and Monzo), no physical branch or a high street, bricks and mortar branch account, through HSBC. You can read more about your options in your my.britbound portal with instructions to set up either or both! You should be able to open an App based one before you leave but the HSBC bank option will need to be opened at an appointment - which we can book for you ready for when you arrive. If you are not familiar with App based banking options then you can read more about them here.

UK SIM Card - one of the great things about the BritBound portal is that it will allocate you a phone number. Which means that before you even leave, you can add this to your CV and be instantly contactable by any potential employers when you arrive. There is no contract attached to it, you simply top up each month on a Pay As You Go basis. The different networks all offer you bundle deals to give you a certain amount of data, texts and minutes as part of your payment. To help you choose the best one, you can read about the different bundles once you are logged in. If in the future you decide to go onto a contract or switch to a different network your number is portable, so you can keep the same number if you move to another provider.

Arrival Accommodation - arriving here with no accommodation lined up, is he fast-track to a stressful experience. Hostels run at high capacity here and quite often there are no beds at all. If you are thinking about doing Air BnB then just make sure you do your research to make sure you are not in a ‘dodgy’ area and that you are not falling prey to one of the many fake houses listed. We would advise you book at least 1 weeks accommodation, if you want us to organise a hostel then you can opt for this in your my.britbound portal. Alternatively, read our article here for more ideas about short-term house shares.

Employment - whilst it is unlikely that you are going to be able to organise this until you get here (unless you are interested in some of our job placement options), you can start to create a strategy so you can minimise the amount of time it takes. Here at BritBound we have a number of contacts with employers and employment agencies open to recruiting international candidates and those arriving on working visas. In your my.britbound portal there is a CV forwarding option where you can select the industry sector you are interested in and if we have any recruitment partners in your field, your CV will be sent onto them. You will then receive an e-mail telling you where it has been sent. We have also written a few articles to help you get the ball rolling with regards to work.

CV Advice - if you would like any pointers when it comes to your CV then please attach it here, telling us a bit more about what area of work you are hoping to get into.

Money Transfer - BritBound recommends registering with a service called OFXwho offer BritBound members unlimited fee-free transfers. You will need to register with them before you leave, you should hear from them within 72 hours. If not, contact your location toll free national number to finalise your registration.

You will need to upload two documents (photos or scans are fine) in order to register with OFX

  1. Photographic Identification - Document in the form of either a current Drivers Licence or Passport.
  2. Proof of Address Document - Either your drivers licence (as long as you did not use it as your ID) or a recent bank statement or utility bill issued within the last 3 months & addressed to you.

National Insurance - We will start the process of applying for your National Insurance Number (NIN) when you arrive, as you cannot apply until you are in country. Please make sure that you have completed this tab in your my.britbound portal so that we have the right details to arrange this for you. The process involves you completing a form and then including a photocopy of your passport and BRP card. If you are on a British or EU passport then you will have to attend a separate identity interview. Which we will organise. Your NIN usually takes around 4-6 weeks to be processed but you can still start work in the UK while you are waiting for the outcome. Please note that the National Insurance application cannot be fast tracked in anyway despite what you may read or hear online!

Mail Holding - if you do not have a secure address to use in the UK you will be able to opt to use ours. A small fee is applicable but if we use our address for your NI number then we become the default address for all your HMRC documentation which means you won’t ever lost any important tax correspondence, like a tax refund!

Travel Insurance - We understand that after saving your heart out for your trip, travel insurance may seem like an additional expense you can live without. That said travel insurance could actually save you money in the event of a medical emergency or travel delay or incident. So, whatever you do, don't forget to pack your travel insurance whether it is for your time in the UK or your travels through Europe.We recommend World Nomads, for more information visit them here.

Payroll - Here in the UK, there are a number of different ways to be paid, depending on your job. We work closely with Income Made Smart (IMS), who can give you a FREE mentoring session on Tax, Umbrella & Limited Companies. For further information and to find out if you qualify for the tax advantages offered by these alternative structures then you can request further information from them through your my.britbound portal.