Moving to London

Old Nov 25, 15, 8:24 am
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Moving to London

It's official! I accepted a job in London and will start January 11, 2016. New Year, new adventures.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 8:31 am
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Welcome! Permanent move or temporary?
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Old Nov 25, 15, 8:39 am
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Congrats....and good luck with the logistics of your move. This summer I talked to a colleague who was re-locating to London and was very frustrated by the bureaucracy of getting the permanent residence visa and work permit, plus setting up an apartment with electricity, etc.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 8:52 am
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It will be "permanent" for the next 3-5 years or so. My husband's Mum isn't doing well and we need to be closer to her.

I paid my money and National Insurance surcharge and got my settlement visa in a week. Married to a Brit and did the on-line application. I think having a spouse who is a Brit will help a bit. He's been back in northern Ireland for the last 3 months so have already set up his bank account, drivers license, and got his National Insurance back in order.

Plus what I do is in short supply and high demand. A Tier 2 visa would only take a month for my skills. Decided the settlement visa was a better option for the flexibility of changing employers later if I wanted.

Just signed a job contract and they have an agency that will help find accommodations, ect.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 10:32 am
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As soon as you know where you'll be living, give the local council a ring and tell them that you're moving in and need to pay them Council Tax from that date. They'll take your details, then post you an official looking council tax bill the next day. This can then be used as proof of address for opening a bank account, and for applying for an NI number, getting a library card etc

It'll come much more quickly than the other options, and avoids issues with online utility statements often not being accepted. (Paperless billing for utilities often saves some money, but makes proof of address harder)

Another thing to do soon after moving in is get yourself on the electoral role by registering to vote - getting credit is quite a bit harder if you're not on it
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Old Nov 25, 15, 11:22 am
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Can I vote if I am not a UK citizen?


Originally Posted by Gagravarr View Post
As soon as you know where you'll be living, give the local council a ring and tell them that you're moving in and need to pay them Council Tax from that date. They'll take your details, then post you an official looking council tax bill the next day. This can then be used as proof of address for opening a bank account, and for applying for an NI number, getting a library card etc

It'll come much more quickly than the other options, and avoids issues with online utility statements often not being accepted. (Paperless billing for utilities often saves some money, but makes proof of address harder)

Another thing to do soon after moving in is get yourself on the electoral role by registering to vote - getting credit is quite a bit harder if you're not on it
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Old Nov 25, 15, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by MoreMilesPlease View Post
Can I vote if I am not a UK citizen?
Only if you are an EU, Irish or Commonwealth citizen.

EU citizens cannot vote in elections to the UK Parliament (i.e. for your local member of Parliament in the House of Commons), but can vote in all local elections and elections to devolved bodies, and also in the European Parliament election.

See this website from the Electoral Commission:

www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/register-to-vote/who-can-register-to-vote
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Old Nov 25, 15, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Gagravarr View Post
They'll take your details, then post you an official looking council tax bill the next day.
You and I obviously don't share the same council.
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Old Nov 25, 15, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by ajax View Post
You and I obviously don't share the same council.
The only thing my local council is quick about is sending bills!
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Old Nov 25, 15, 2:34 pm
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I'll not be voting in any UK elections then....

Originally Posted by Mizter T View Post
Only if you are an EU, Irish or Commonwealth citizen.

EU citizens cannot vote in elections to the UK Parliament (i.e. for your local member of Parliament in the House of Commons), but can vote in all local elections and elections to devolved bodies, and also in the European Parliament election.

See this website from the Electoral Commission:

www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/register-to-vote/who-can-register-to-vote
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Old Nov 26, 15, 10:42 am
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Originally Posted by Gagravarr View Post
As soon as you know where you'll be living, give the local council a ring and tell them that you're moving in and need to pay them Council Tax from that date. They'll take your details, then post you an official looking council tax bill the next day. This can then be used as proof of address for opening a bank account, and for applying for an NI number, getting a library card etc
This is the key. The AML regulations are VERY strictly enforced and without a current original (not online) proof of address in proscribed form, you will simply not be able to get any type of financial account.
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Old Nov 26, 15, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
This is the key. The AML regulations are VERY strictly enforced and without a current original (not online) proof of address in proscribed form, you will simply not be able to get any type of financial account.
My husband is a Brit and already has an account. Also my new employer will provide assistance in opening accounts if I need. They have a relocation specialist they use but I haven't been given the info yet.
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Old Nov 26, 15, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by MoreMilesPlease View Post
My husband is a Brit and already has an account. Also my new employer will provide assistance in opening accounts if I need. They have a relocation specialist they use but I haven't been given the info yet.

Do not underestimate the challenge of opening a UK bank account, especially if you are a foreign national with no UK history of residency/work/credit. If you are a US citizen, it will be even harder. Any documentation (such as council tax bills - good advice given earlier on this thread) will help a lot.
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Old Nov 27, 15, 2:48 am
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I would also stress what bibbju said above - opening a UK bank account (as an expat) is quite a challenge. In fact, signing up for any of these services is quite time consuming as they will ask you for your address during the past 3 years, etc etc.

A council tax bill will definitely help e.g. to get a phone contract, credit card, etc.
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Old Nov 27, 15, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by bibbju View Post
Do not underestimate the challenge of opening a UK bank account, especially if you are a foreign national with no UK history of residency/work/credit. If you are a US citizen, it will be even harder. Any documentation (such as council tax bills - good advice given earlier on this thread) will help a lot.
If you have a job then your employer can usually assist you with this so it's not too much of a hassle. Although they may place certain restrictions on your account until you are able to furnish them with further details.
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