For Insignia Global Partners, success does not stop once an international nurse, doctor or healthcare professional has started life in the UK. For us, this is simply the first step on a journey filled with success and achievement. Insignia Global Partners continues to support both our clinicians and employers throughout the rest of their journey once in the United Kingdom, in order for our clinicians to reach their fullest potential. Life in the UK can be very exciting, full of new things to experience. Once in role, there are lots of different aspects of life in the UK to adapt to. Here is some guidance to allow you to know what to expect upon arrival:
As a UK Registered Nurse, Doctor or Clinician, it is important to keep up your registration, so you are allowed to practice in the UK. The NMC, GMC and HCPC’s websites all provide guidance on how to pay your yearly registration fee. Your fee will be due by the expiry date, which you can check online. It is important that you pay your fee on time or your registration will automatically lapse, and you will not be able to practice until you are readmitted to the register. This can take up to six weeks!
Once in the UK, you will need a bank account to get paid. There are many things to consider when opening a bank account in the UK. For example, does the bank have branches close to your home or work, and how easy will it be to transfer money from your bank account back home? Some banks, like Monzo will allow you to start your bank account online. The Immigration Act 2014 means that every bank or building society must carry out a status check. They must not open a current account for a person who requires immigration permission to be in the UK but who does not have it. Therefore, to open a UK bank account, you must provide evidence that you are legally in the UK. This means that you will need to provide proof of leave to remain in the UK. You may also need a letter from your employer confirming you work for them. Many banks require proof of your UK address too, such as a rental agreement. Always let your bank know, as soon as possible, if you change your address or any other personal details. Initially, the bank may only allow you to open a basic account. This will usually become a full account once you have had wages paid in for three to six months. Beware of high bank charges for going overdrawn. If you are struggling with your finances, speak to the bank before going overdrawn or speak to the RCN Welfare Service.
As an international healthcare professional in the UK, you will receive a Tier 2 General working visa. Life in the UK is exciting and you may wish to bring your family too. Your spouse (wife, husband or partner) and children under the age of 18 may come to the UK as dependants upon your Tier 2 visa. Children over 18 years old currently living in the UK as a dependant, also count as ‘dependants’. Dependants must complete their applications online from their country of residence. You must demonstrate that your dependants can be supported whilst they are in the UK. Each must have £630 available to them. This must be supported by evidence of bank statements; the funds also must have been in the account for at least 90 days before the application is made. All dependants’ visas cost £464 per person. You will also need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge of £400 for each year, per dependant. Your dependants will need to have visa appointment in their country of residence. They will need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre to get a biometric residence permit as part of their application. They’ll have to collect their biometric residence permit within 30 days of when they said they’d arrive in the UK. They may be able to get their visa faster or other services depending on what country they’re in - check with the visa application centre. The UK’s Government website details the whole process to gain a visa for a dependant.
Your employer may support your initial move and provide accommodation for a few weeks or months to allow you to settle into your role. However, you will want to find your own home, especially if you are planning on bringing your family to the UK. The Immigration Act 2014 states that landlords have a duty to check a person’s immigration status. A landlord may be fined up to £3,000 per adult if they cannot provide evidence that their tenant is legally in the UK. Therefore, you may be asked to provide such evidence to enter into a tenancy agreement. Your landlord may use the Home Office checking service to check if you are legally in the UK. If you wish to have proof of your status to provide to your landlord, the RCN can supply this to members.
Life in the UK will provide you with lots of new experiences. Staying in touch with family and friends outside the UK is important; they will want to know you are safe and enjoying your new role. Most mobile operators will work automatically in roaming, but this can be very expensive. If you search the different networks, you can find good deals with top up cards (pay-as-you-go), SIM only deals if you already have a mobile phone, or contracts, to call home with reduced prices. You also can check the most common networks used around UK, including Three, Vodafone and O2. Regarding internet, there are various providers. You should research your options and compare offers for your location. To have the internet installed, you must schedule an appointment with the company and an engineer will call to your house. Internet installation takes two days to three weeks. Some of most popular providers of internet and telephone are BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.
When you start earning you will have to pay income tax if you earn more than a specified personal allowance in any tax year (a tax year runs from April to April). Your personal allowance varies depending on your circumstances. Your tax is usually taken from your wages by your employer and passed to the revenue service. The amount of tax you pay will show on your payslip. You can find out more about personal allowances, tax relief and income tax rates at the HMRC website. Both employees and employers pay National Insurance contributions. These contributions help to fund contributory benefits, such as the state pension, and certain benefits that you might be able to claim if you are unable to work. Your National Insurance number is a unique personal number which is used to record your National Insurance contributions. You do not need to have a number before starting work. However, you must obtain one when you get a job. You need to make an appointment to apply for a National Insurance number. Check what documents you will need to bring to the appointment. You usually need to take your passport, payslips or a letter from your employer confirming that you will be working for them. Your appointment will take place at your nearest Jobcentre Plus office.