Insights for savvy globetrotters - A blog packed with tips

What you need to know before moving to London

You plan to move to London, here is what you need to know before moving:

  1. Find accommodation
  2. Get your National Insurance Number
  3. Open a bank account
  4. Transports in London
  5. Register to NHS
  6. Get an English number and sim card
  7. Find a job in the city

1) Search for a room / a house / a flat

The most popular is to find a collocation in London. It can be a good idea if you come to London alone and want to meet people, and it is also and above all much cheaper. Some prefer to stay a few days in a hostel or Airbnb to make the visits. Others have already found before coming. Always ask for a video tour (Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime) in addition to photos before accepting.

2) Next step, apply for your National Insurance Number in London

To start working, you need a NIN (national insurance number). Getting an appointment and fixing the problem may take some time. You have to call and it’s free. You need an English number to phone. To obtain an interview, you must have proof of address. This can be a rental agreement, an invoice or a bank statement.

3) Open a bank account in the UK as soon as possible

To make an appointment, you need a proof of address. There are student accounts, savings, debit cards, credit cards, everything. Otherwise, you can turn to the free online banks (Monzo, Revolut). It is always interesting to start with one of them + an account in a physical bank in a second time.

4) Plan for transportation as soon as you have a home and know where you are going to work

The Oyster card or a contactless card will be your options. Get an Oyster as soon as you move and buy a monthly subscription if you use much transportation.

5) Register with the National Health System (NHS)

This is very important to pay when you arrive: registration with your local GP (general practitioner. Once you have an address and proof of residency, search for a practice in your area by using the NHS Index and register.

6) Get a British sim card

I suggest you Giffgaff. Choose the SIM card that best fits your needs. You must be connected to WI-FI with your friends, family, bosses and colleagues. Many places they have WI-FI for free if you need to apply for a job for example.

If you send CVs before leaving you need an English number. With a French mobile number, it is safe and certain that they will not call you.

7) How to find work

If you want to have a job aligned before moving to London, but you do not know where to start, the following sites are good places to start:
– Monster
– Total jobs
– Gumtree
– Employment Center
You can also search for recruiters in your industry, as they can often help you to be interviewed as well.

Bonus: The must have applications in London
– City Mapper is the safest way to get from one point to another in the city.
– Uber, much cheaper than black cabs
– Viavan, same system as Uber, only available in London, Berlin and Amsterdam.

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