In the past few months, some UK Visa Jobs members informed us that they had secured job offers from UK companies and successfully submitted their visa applications. It was an important milestone for many of them. In this article, we explained some important things you need to do once you have arrived in the UK.
Receiving a letter from the Home Office notifying you that your Skilled Worker visa has been granted is exciting and that is the news you have been waiting for. If you have applied for your Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK, this is the point where you can safely book your travel and begin making the necessary arrangements.
However, there are still a few things that you need to do after arriving in the UK to fulfil all UKVI requirements.
- Collect your BRP
If you applied for your Skilled Worker visa from overseas, you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) once you have arrived in the UK. A BRP is a document issued to foreign nationals who have been granted a visa or immigration permission to live, study or work in the UK. Your BRP is an important document which provides evidence of your immigration status in the UK.
You will usually need to collect your BRP before the vignette sticker (the sticker in your passport or travel document) expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later. BRPs can be collected from either a named Post Office branch or an Alternative Collection Location.
- Register with the police
Under UK immigration rules, certain foreign nationals are required to register with the police shortly after arriving in the UK or after getting permission to stay for longer in the UK. You will normally need to register if all the following apply:
- You are 16 or over
- Your visa (or permission to stay in the UK) is for longer than 6 months
- You are a citizen of a listed country.
You can find out if you need to register with police by checking your visa ‘vignette’ (sticker in your passport), or the letter or email you got from the Home Office when your application was approved. To register, you will need to attend an appointment at the police station for your area and pay the £34 fee. Where you register is determined by where you live as opposed to where you work or study.
After registering, you will be issued with a Police Registration Certificate (PRC), a document which proves the holder has complied with the requirements of their UK visa. You will need to keep your PRC for the duration of your stay in the UK and must inform the police of any changes to your circumstances, such as a change of address or if you have been granted a new visa.
- Open a UK bank account
Opening a UK bank account is one of the first things you should arrange as soon as you have got your BRP. Many employers will specify that their employees must have a UK bank account or building society which their salary will be paid into. In most cases, you’ll also need a UK bank account to set up a mobile phone contract, pay household bills directly or verify your address.
To open a bank account in the UK, you will usually need to provide proof of your address in the UK and confirm your identity using documents such as your passport and BRP. In some cases, you may be able to open an account with a UK bank before you arrive here. Some banks offer international bank accounts which can be opened overseas before you travel. If you choose this option, it may take a little longer than if you open one in the UK.
- Apply for a National Insurance number
You need to apply for a National Insurance (NI) number if you intend to work in the UK. You can only apply when you’re in the UK. You can start work without a NI number if you can prove that you have a right to work in the UK. If you have a BRP, you might have a NI number already – it will be printed on the back of your BRP if you do.
Sometimes your employer can help you with a temporary NI number, which can be used until you obtain your NI number. Obtaining an NI number may take a few days to a few weeks. So, it is important to apply for one as soon as you can. More information on obtaining a NI number can be found here.
- Register with a GP
Most people applying for a Skilled Worker visa are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of the application process. The IHS is a fee which allows migrants to access free healthcare on the NHS for the duration of their stay. You will usually need to pay the health surcharge if you’re applying for a visa that’s valid for more than 6 months, unless an exemption applies.
You can start using the NHS as soon as you arrive in the UK. It is a good idea to register with a GP close to where you will be living. More information on finding a local GP surgery and how to register can be found here.