Oyster Card & Public Transport
Most of London’s transport systems operate ‘cashless’ payment systems. If you are relocating to the Greater London area, we recommend getting an Oyster Card on arrival. This is a prepaid contactless payment card that can be used across the entire TFL network. London is separated in zones 1 to 9. If you will be travelling regularly, it will be cheaper to purchase a Travel card from TFL. They have several options available depending on which transport zones you require. Please note that all London transport also accept contactless credit/debit payments. If you are moving to a different city or town in the UK, simply head over to your local council’s website to find more information on public transport and Travel cards. Find your local council here.
UK Telephone Number
Luckily for you, picking up a UK telephone number is not only simple but also cost-effective too. Upon arrival, you will most likely be using a SIM card from your home country. We suggest picking up a UK sim card within the first few days. There are a lot of providers to choose from, and if you already own a handset, you could opt between a fixed monthly contract or a rolling 30-day contract. We would recommend GiffGaff as you are not locked into a contract and the plans are very reasonable starting at just £5 a month.
UK Bank Account
One of the first things you will need is a basic bank account. In order to open an account, you must book an appointment with the bank of your choice a few days before your flight. Each bank has different rules and regulations but they all follow the same principles for opening a basic account. We suggest you check their websites before making a decision. You can also check this page for some extra info on opening a UK basic current account without being a UK resident.
National Insurance Number
National Insurance Number or (NI), is a unique number per individual, which we all must have in order to work and in order to do almost anything financial in the UK. The way to begin your application is to make a simple phone call to the numbers provided by gov.uk and book your appointment with them. Click here for more information.
You must call to arrange an appointment, once you arrive in the UK. The service does not allow you to call before your arrival.
Once you complete your application, it will be a matter of days before your NI number is sent to your address!