Moving to the United Kingdom – Checklist

I have been living and working in England as an au pair for almost eighteen months now and I don’t ever want to leave. Of course, I know this might change in a couple of years, but for now, my plan is to settle in England. The only problem is that Brexit is coming soon. By now they have made it clear that they don’t want people to leave England and they (they being the British government) are setting up all these procedures that are supposed to make it easier for immigrants to stay here.

That doesn’t make me feel any better, though. Nor does it make any of the other Dutch people that live in England feel better. Everything is still unsure and I don’t think we’ll really know what is going to happen until March 2019.

But enough about Brexit (because that’s a depressing subject). I have slowly been moving everything to the UK. And I don’t just mean my physical stuff (I’m leaving the books in the Netherlands until I have my own place). My bank account, my health insurance, taxes… Everything.

There are a lot of things you need to think about and all I really wanted was for someone to give me a list of things to do and check off. So that’s what I’m giving you guys.

If you plan on moving to England, these are the things you have to get sorted first:

  • Get a National Insurance Number. They are a pain in the ass to get because you have to go in for an interview, but you need this number if you want to get a job.
  • Get an NHS number. Register with a local GP and they will automatically assign you an NHS number. You can, of course, also choose a private insurance.
  • Set up a bank account.
  • If you have a driving license, exchange it for a UK license. You can drive in the UK with your foreign license for up to six months (though I don’t know how they are actually going to check how long you’ve been here). This will give you a proof of address, which makes it easier to apply for different things.
  • Get a credit card. In England, they actually look at your credit history. If you move here from a different country, you’ll start with no history. This makes it harder to get loans. Unfortunately, credit histories are non-transferable between countries. I recently got my first credit card with Vanquis. If you don’t pay the bills on time, you’ll be paying them a lot of money. If you do, it’s a great way to improve your credit score.

 

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