Important things to do after arrive in the UK


It is never easy to pack up your life in two suitcases and uproot yourself to move to a faraway land. This challenge is no less difficult for international students moving to the UK. Maximum from a different country, or even a different continent, who arrives in Britain for the first time is bound to feel confused, to begin with. There were lots of paperwork to fill in and lots of responsibilities to be done before you may want to settle in.


These are the most important items for your arrivals ‘To-Do’ list;


Register with the Police

Some international students need to register with the police within 7 days when they arrive in the UK. Check your visa. If it says “document to police” or “have to document to police within 7 days”, which means that you ought to complete registration with the police within 7 days of arriving. This is a legal requirement and therefore very important.

You need to additionally note that for students who must sign up with the police, your registration certificates must be updated whenever you get a new visa or alternate address.


Get a UK phone number

One of the most important things you should do when you arrive gets a UK mobile SIM card for your phone.

Of course, you’ll want to call your family as soon as your plane touches down to let them know you’ve arrived safely. It’s a lot cheaper to call home using a UK mobile service. Many of the registrations you need to go through will also ask for your contact number, so it’s useful to have a UK number from the start.

There are many mobile phone service providers to choose from in the UK. Do some research on which providers and packages will suit you before you leave home, to save a lot of time when you arrive.


Open a Bank account

It is never wise to carry a large amount of cash with you. If you will be staying in the UK for six months or longer you should open a bank account as soon as possible.

To open a bank account, you will usually need:

  • A ‘student status letter’.  This is issued by the university and confirms details of your program, including its duration. You must be fully registered before you can get this letter
  • A document to prove your identity. You can use your passport, driving license, or identity card.
  • A document to prove your address. You can use documents such as a tenancy agreement or bill to show your address.
  • Ideally, choose a bank that has branches on campus or near your accommodation. Do some research and ask for advice from Student Services before making a decision.


Find a local GP (doctor’s surgery) and register here yourself:

We strongly advise which you to sign up with a doctor or a GP as soon as possible when you arrive so that you can receive medical care if you need it. Not registering can purpose you delays in getting access to help in case you are unwell in a while. Also, it can sometimes result in significant medical bills. So don’t delay this action.


Travel pass:

If you will be living with a host family you need to get a bus bypass, or Oyster card in London, to save cash when you journey to and from university. Ask your host family or Student Services to tell you where you can get one. If you live on a college campus accommodation may not need a bus pass or Oyster card, but there will still be discounted travel tickets that you can use when you explore your new hometown.

Don’t be shy about asking for help!


Copy your documents:

Take copies of your passport and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), either digitally or on paper, and keep them separate from the originals. You may also wish to copy your air travel ticket(s).

Purchase insurance to protect your valuables (laptop, phone, camera, etc.)


We can help you to apply free of cost. 

If you are interested in studying in the UK, submit your application now:

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