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Old 02-22-2010, 10:53 PM
Location: Canada
1 posts, read 3,461 times
Reputation: 10


Hello all.
I'm 26 and have just recently paid off all of my debt and have decided to move to London simply because of dual citizenship and having a couple of friends there! I am in possession of both my UK and Canadian passport and my flight is booked.

I have a few questions, lots I've researched on my own, but I'm just not sure about some! I'm leaving on April 12th (49 days!) with a about 5000 CAD in savings and 3 years of banking experience (lending, investments) and have a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in marketing.

-Do I need to get any sort of health insurance from Canada while I wait to receive my National Insurance number while in the UK? From what I can gather, they will cover my health costs as long as I go to a NI approved doctor, but not until after I apply for an receive the number after arriving?

-Is it overly necessary that I open a bank account while still in Canada (HSBC or similar)? The passport accounts look fairly expensive (12 gbp/month, while some of the accounts opened there are free?). When I come over, I'll be carrying mostly cash I think (as I get a great exchange rate working for a bank currently) and then travelling around uk and other parts of europe, trying to live as cheaply as possible for as long as possible and then attempting to find a job when I have to!

-Not that I am really dead-set on getting back into banking, but since I have the experience, I feel banking might be a good fallback option. From what I can find, I am looking at anywhere from 10-20 gpb/hr? This doesn't really seem like I'm going to be able to live. What is a wage to look/ask for that will allow me to live close to city centre (flatsharing is just fine!). I want to be able to go out on weekends, have a small room in a shared flat (peeling paint not an issue), and eat on occasion. I'm just not sure what to expect! I know nothing about any of the desirable areas for young(er) people to live in.

-Any other tips you can think of that would make my transition easier with a few less surprises.

Please let me know! I'm getting closer to the day and need to prepare what I can!
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:03 AM
Location: Airstrip 1, Oceania
963 posts, read 2,434,464 times
Reputation: 1041
You are confusing NI with NHS. National Insurance is the state pension scheme - you will get an NI number when you start work. You are fully covered by the NHS as soon as you step off the plane - you just need to register with a local doctor wherever you will be living. You will find it easier to open a bank account once there - be aware that your credit rating won't carry over from Canada - you will start at zero. You have picked a lousy time to move with no job - it could take you months to find one. If I were you I would make that my top priority and forget about the travelling around bit for a while. You may need most of your C$5000 for a rental deposit on an apartment. Good Luck !
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:07 AM
Location: The Silver State (from the UK)
4,663 posts, read 6,932,777 times
Reputation: 2862
I would think that being a British citizen means that you will have access to the British National Health Service. You will need to register with a local surgery when you find somewhere to live. You will also need a national insurance number (I'm sure you can find out how soon enough online) to start work, and to use the NHS should you need to.

Open a bank account when you get here. After you have an address its quick and easy to open a bank account. The normal 'pay in draw out' account that people normally use as their primary account is referred to as a 'current' account - or 'checking' account in the US (not sure in Canada). You could probably open one online once you have an address.. you may also need a national insurance number (??).

London is expensive but if your prepared to rent a room etc then you should be OK. check out monster.co.uk, prospects.co.uk for jobs, and also register with a few recruitment agencies once your in town. Just search on google for banking recruitment (for e.g) and I'm sure you will find quite a few. I can't really comment on wages.. the recession etc has increased competition for jobs and squeezed entry wages, but employers in the UK will advertise wage/salary within the job add so you will have to decide what you are/not willing to accept. There are many who live in London on a minimum wage, but the average in London is around 28k I think (nationally around 23k).

Clapham in south London is a very popular place for younger people in London that want to have fun. One thing to note is that its the norm for landlords/agents in London to want 1 months rent in advance plus a 6 week damage deposit. If your rent is 1000 per month then they will want 2500 in advance.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:34 PM
1 posts, read 3,419 times
Reputation: 10
hi i was pleased to see your post - as i am in a somewaht similar situation - i have dual indian & eu citizenship and also considering going to londong to spend some time there ( through i do realise probably not the best time) - though i am still awaiting my passpost which i have applied for.i also work in banking - though i am still in employment

having lived in uk as a student before i found NHS is very accomodating - probably you could get a travel insurance for a month / 2 to play safe for untill you get registered with the NHS.

you can easily open your bank account once you get there - just carry some pounds (cash) / traveller cheques for use in the interim

i noticed this website for shared accomodation classified; you could try it out & maybe even book before you get there. also lots of temp traveller accomodation in central london - [generator hostels is quite conveniently located but there are plenty more]

London Classifieds - Accommodation and Jobs in London, UK

Id be interested to keep connected to so we could beenfit from each others experiences - though i suspect i would only be making any moves in june / later. if this works for you we connect on email?
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