Today’s post continues my series on UK immigration via Category A spousal route. Congratulations, you got your visa! I’ll be talking about what you can do as soon as you land as a resident.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an immigration adviser. I am not any kind of professional. I’m merely giving my own input and experience in UK immigration, and it should be treated as such. However, I hope it eases your confusion and helps you on your journey to Britain. I highly recommend consulting ExpatForum whether or not you have additional questions, as my experience is limited.
Congratulations, you have landed (or are about to land) as a resident of the UK! That’s some MAJOR stress and anxiety over and out of the way, and I’m sure you’re breathing a huge sigh of relief and happiness right about now!
But wait! There’s still a few things to do after you land, with the most important thing being your Biometric Resident Permit card! Once all these things are out of the way, you can take yet another well-earned sign of relief!
- – Pick up your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) within 10 days of landing. Your visa application and acceptance letter tell you where to pick yours up, and you’ll need to do this within ten days of landing in the UK.
- – National Insurance Number. If you plan on working, register to apply for your National Insurance Number. I was asked a few questions on the phone, then set up an appointment to go to a Job Centre Plus to officially apply. I brought my passport and BRP with me, although as far as I can remember they only needed to have a look at my BRP.
- – Claim marriage allowance. If you think you’ll be earning less than your spouse/sponsor when you start working, you can claim Marriage Allowance, which will give your spouse/sponsor a bit of a break financially.
- – Open a bank account. With some banks you need to go into the branch and show residential proof from an official letterhead, such as a bill or other statement. However, Halifax let me come in and open a bank account with just my passport.- Get a mobile number. I’m unsure whether you can get a contract or not, since you most likely won’t be able to get a credit card until you’ve lived in the country for 2.5 years. However, I easily got a pay as you go account on Three Mobile, and I bought my phone pre-owned from CEX.
- – Register with your local GP. Bring your photo ID and two bills/statements/similar in your name, and you can just walk right into a medical office and ask to register. You’ll have to fill out a couple of forms, but they’re quite simple!
- – Register as an organ donor. I registered as an organ and tissue donor very soon after I landed, but of course this is entirely optional and only something you should do if you want to.
- – Immediately start filing away all incoming bills, statements, tax info, official bills (except mobile phone bills), doctor letters, bank statements, and other “official” correspondence in you and your spouse’s names (joint or separate names is fine, so long as it shows you two living at the same address). You’ll be extremely thankful you did in 2.5 years when you have to have some of that to file for your visa extension!
And there you have it! Enjoy your new life in the UK! I hope this series of posts has helped even one person in some way. Immigration is nerve-wracking enough; it doesn’t have to be super confusing as well.