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UK Checklist

We've put together a checklist of all the tasks you will need to consider and complete to help you better prepare for your relocation to the UK.

This information is provided as a guideline only.

UK Visa Information

To work in the UK, a valid work visa must be obtained if you do not hold a UK or EU passport. Failure to do this will result in serious consequences and the highly likely outcome of deportation. You should obtain your work visa by contacting the British High Commission at least 6 months before you leave New Zealand. They will supply you with the required information and forms to fill in. There are a number of different options:

Working Holiday Visa:

Available to Commonwealth citizens aged between 17-30 inclusive. Valid for two years, however the bearer of this visa can only work a maximum of 12 months over this period. There is no restriction on the type of employment you take as long as the employment is incidental to the holiday.

Right of Above:

Available if one of your parents was born in the UK. This means you are entirely free from UK immigration control and can live and work in the UK without restriction.

Ancestry Visa:

Available if any of your grandparents are/were British citizens. Entitles you to live and work for up to five years. This visa carries fewer restrictions than the Working Holiday Visa. You can also gain Ancestry Visa through adoptive parents and step parents (conditions apply).

Spousal Visa:

If you are married to a British person, you can apply for a one year visa after which you can apply to stay indefinitely.

Dependent Visa:

You are eligible if either your Mother or Father is a British passport holder.

Sponsorship Visa:

Employer sponsored visa. Only valid for employment by the company that sponsors you.

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme Visa:

For people who have certain skills or qualifications considered important to the UK. Applying for this visa is a fairly complex process that operates under a point scoring system. Points are scored in five main areas:

  1. Educational qualifications
  2. Work experience
  3. Past earnings
  4. Your achievement in your chosen field
  5. Your husband's, wife's or unmarried partner's achievements. You need to score 65 points or more to qualify as a highly skilled migrant.

At first, you are given permission to stay in the UK for a year to seek work. After a year, you can apply to stay for longer but you must be economically active.

CV Guidance and Advice

Creating a positive impression to a potential employer begins with your CV. It is the foundation on which their perceptions will be based so it is important that you take time to ensure your CV makes the best impression. We have a strong understanding of the UK market and CV requirements, allowing OCG to format your CV to benefit you.

We will help you:
  • Make sure all key details are included in your CV so no opportunity is missed because information is incomplete.
  • Highlight your key transferable skills so that you will get the best position available.
  • Emphasise your relevant work experience. Remember employers in the UK may not have heard of your Australian or New Zealand employer.
  • Format your CV so that it is easy to read and presents all the key points at a glance.
Details not normally necessary in New Zealand but must be included in your UK CV include:
  • Date of birth
  • Visa type and status
  • Arrival and Availability date


There are no New Zealand banks operating for public use in the UK so we strongly recommended you open a UK bank account from New Zealand before you arrive. If you're close to a local branch of HSBC New Zealand you can walk in and enquire about opening a UK bank account.

You'll need:
  • ID
  • Proof of your current bank address
  • Statements from your other bank and a minimum deposit amount

Consider opening a joint bank account if you are moving to the UK with your partner - it will cut down on paperwork and you'll share the minimum deposit amount.

Travelex is a foreign currency business that can help you open a UK bank account with HSBC. You will need the same documents as if you walked into a branch (see above). You can apply at Travelex New Zealand and then head to the Regent St branch of HSBC in London to collect your card and pin number.

Get together as much documentation as possible, including proof of ID (passport, driver's licence and/or birth certificate) and evidence of your UK address (a utility bill or lease with your name on it should be enough, but not always). It's also worth bringing a letter from your bank at home as record of your credit history, and a letter from your agency or employer in the UK. The more documentation you have, the easier your application should be.

Alternatively, a company who will assist you to open a UK bank account is 1st Contact who will help you get the show on the road for a small fee. This is a great way of doing it because they already have established ties with several major banks and can cut through all the rubbish.

The major UK banks are:

National Insurance

Everyone working in the UK pays National Insurance (NI) in addition to their normal taxes. National Insurance pays for pensions and health services. Most employers require your National Insurance number before you start work and it's a good idea to get one as soon as possible as it makes it easier to access hospital services. Numbers are issued through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and getting one can be a hassle.

Once you arrive in the UK you can apply for your National Insurance number. Phone 0044 (0) 845-6000 643 from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday to arrange an appointment.

Take your passport, a letter confirming you are employed or registered with an agency and two or three other pieces of ID. Within eight weeks you'll get a number in the post.

Alternatively, if you've already started working, your employer may be able to apply for a National Insurance number on your behalf.


To find a doctor in the UK is not difficult, but there is certain procedures that you will need to adhere to:
  • Don't wait until you get sick to register with a doctor in the UK.
  • Private treatment tends to be exorbitant, so chances are you'll be using the National Health Service (NHS).
  • You'll have to register with a doctor, before making an appointment.
Registering with a doctor:
  • Find a doctor in your local area then ring to see if they are accepting new patients.
  • Once you register you might be asked to come in for a free health check.
  • Doctors' consultations are free in the UK - as is the contraception pill.
  • If you fall ill and you haven't registered with a doctor, you can use an NHS walk-in centre. Medicine needs to be paid for, but pregnancy tests, the contraceptive pill, condoms and other forms of contraception are free.
  • Dentists can also be NHS-registered, but you will need to pay for anything cosmetic as a private patient.


Finding accommodation when you first go to the UK can be a job in itself. It can also be expensive but this shouldn't put you off as your earnings can match the cost of living. However, there are many options such as hostels and hotels that provide budget accommodation before you find longer-term accommodation.

Good sources of accommodation listings include:
  • TNT Online carries accommodation listings each week, and is widely available for free outside tube stations and locations such as New Zealand House.
  • The classified advertising newspaper Loot also carries extensive listings. Local and regional papers carry accommodation advertisements and listings for flatmates wanted and houses and flats to let.
  • One of the most popular forms of accommodation advertising in London is the Gumtree website. You can also post free advertisements seeking accommodation this site.

There is a huge variation in the cost of living across the UK. London being the most expensive location, you can expect to pay anything from