Moving to London: Where to Start

Moving to London: Where to Start

For whatever reason, whether it be for travel, for work or for study, moving to London can be very daunting. Planning can be a stressful experience but knowing where to start can be invaluable.

London is an exciting metropolitan city where day or night there is something going on. The hospitality industry definitely doesn’t stop.

As a hospitality and catering agency, many of our casual workers are overseas travellers or international students. So we’ve put together a short blog to help others thinking of doing the same thing and visiting London.

We’ve separated our suggestions into 2 categories, before you set off vs. once you’ve arrived:

Before you set off:

The very first thing would be to arrange your flights and any necessary visas, for this blog we are assuming this has been arranged.

It is important to check to see if there are any arrangements for healthcare coverage with your birth country and the UK. You can find helpful information here. If you’re birth country doesn’t have any exemptions, then arranging healthcare insurance is a must.
Somewhere to live:
London is a big place and actually the pricing of renting accommodation can vary quite drastically. Hospitality work can be found across the whole of London and travelling around is pretty easy but keep in mind travel times when looking for housing.
To give you an indication of rent costs in London, click here.
There are many of websites you can look at for house shares, like Spareroom, Roombuddies & Idealflatmate as well as Facebook groups & Gumtree.

Apply to sign up with agencies:
This can be easily done by submitting an email or filling in a webform on the agencies website. Explain you are currently outside of the UK at the moment and inform them of your arrival date. You can then start to book interviews for as soon as you land – depending if you would like to work straight away.
Get in touch with us if you’re currently looking for work in the UK.


Once you’ve arrived:

National Insurance number:
A national insurance number is a unique number combination for the UK government to collect income tax from your individual earnings. In most cases, you need a NI number to work in the UK, there are a few exceptions which you can read here.
Otherwise you’ll need apply by phone for a NI number:
National Insurance number application line: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Telephone: 0800 141 2075

You can work whilst this is being processed however, you will be paying a higher emergency tax until you provide your employer with your NI number. You can claim this back at the end of the tax year.

Get yourself an oyster card
Travelling around London requires you have an oyster card. An oyster card is a pre-paid card that allows you to tap on and off trains, tubes and buses. You can buy these online or from any train station and some news agent shops. You can top them up with a set amount of money or you can buy a weekly, monthly or yearly travel card. We’d advise you to register your card just in case it gets lost – you can do that here.

Set up a bank account
There are many banks to choose from in the UK. Choosing your bank comes down to convenience and personal preference. Pick a local bank to open up a bank account. Your bank card should arrive within 3-4 days and a contactless card can be used instead of an oyster card for travel. You will need a bank account set up prior to working with Spayse Temps so that we can pay you.

Sign up with a couple of agencies
We advise people to get in touch with agencies to set up meetings and interviews prior to arriving in the UK but, it isn’t necessary. You can wait until you’ve arrived in the UK to begin your job search. Book in numerous sign-ups for the same day to save money on travel costs.

Get the uniform
Each client of ours has a slightly different uniform. We’d advise you to wait until you meet with your agency and they’ll advise you what to buy. Alternatively, a basic waiting starter kit would include a pair of black plain work trousers, a white shirt, a black t-shirt (potentially a white t-shirt as well) and a pair of smart black shoes. This kit would cover most of our Spayse Temps clients.

Finally, and most importantly – Enjoy living in London! Once you’ve landed don’t forget to visit us and say Hi!


Get in touch with the Spayse team to discuss your company’s event team or to join our casual workers:   Call 0203 011 0824

© Spayse International 2018

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