Please only make payments to verified accounts or people during the relocation process. If unsure, please get in touch with the IW relocation partners or the IW People Ops team.
Getting into Leeds
Chances are that you will not get a straight flight to Leeds-Bradford airport. Manchester airport is the next best thing, and if that is not an option, then land in London. There's typically a train station in the airport which can take you to Leeds.
Pack as light as possible, and make sure your suitcase has rollers. You will likely need to buy new clothes and shoes anyway. If it's around winter (October-April), carry a coat as part of your carry-on luggage and expect nightfall by 5pm.
Land in Manchester, It's the closest airport to Leeds that will likely have a flight from your home country.
Download the Trainline app and find a train from the airport station to Leeds. You can also get on a bus since they are slightly cheaper, but sometimes they are few and far between and make for a longer trip.
The airport will have WiFi. You can buy a SIM card with data. If you still need one, a store always sells them at the airport.
Change some cash (£5 - £20) at a currency exchange and try to get one pound coins. You might need one to get a baggage trolley at the train/bus station. Otherwise, as long as you have a virtual card on your phone, you should be good to go.
Picking up your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
You're going to need to choose a post office to pick up your BRP from as part of the visa process. LS2 7DZ Leeds Markets Post Office is a good option city centre. Try not to pick a different city, to avoid having to travel to pick it up when it is ready.
Before you consider getting a long-term house, get a place you can stay when you arrive. Airbnb or Spareroom would be your best bets. For more long-term lettings, check out Rightmove or Zoopla. There's also Life Residential.
You'll need to provide a rental history, but letting the agency know you have been living abroad is fine. Avoid mentioning your temporary accommodation if you do not have a rental agreement, because the agency might request a letter or the agreement from the landlord and that will prolong the process.
You will likely need to provide a guarantor (if you don't have any friends or family in the UK, have a chat with your recruiter or People Ops) or, in some unlikely cases, you can pay six months in advance on the rent. In addition to rent, there are other bills to consider, and council tax and EPC are probably unfamiliar. Here's a helpful breakdown.
Banking and money matters
Before you get to the UK, consider getting a Wise or Revolut account. They allow you to move money easily between currencies at a fair rate, and you can get a virtual card that is compatible with Apple/Google pay, which will allow you to make payments when you initially enter the UK. You may need to get a physical card before requesting a virtual one, if it cannot be delivered to your home country, or you have no one in the UK it can be delivered to, use the IW office in Leeds as the delivery address, but be sure to tell your IW contact about this beforehand.
With both apps, you also get a UK bank account to receive salary payments. Remember to open an account with a standard UK bank.
- Monzo lets you open an account even if you're not a UK tax resident. All you need is to live in the UK and have a UK address.
- Starling bank is a UK-based digital bank that lets you set up an account from your phone.
More Traditional Banks
Traditional banks can provide several advantages you can't get from a digital bank. Cash deposits, in-person experience and a sense of security are all reasons to choose the high street bank over online. https://www.finder.com/uk/banking
Fortunately, the UK has a great public transport system, but, you need to know how to track and book trains and buses. Here are some phone apps that can help you:
- Citymapper: This is your go-to guide for bus routes and schedules in multiple cities across the UK.
- First Bus: Particularly useful in Leeds as they are the primary bus operator, and it also allows you to track the location of the buses in real-time.
- Uber: Ride-hailing service.
- Amber cabs: Ride-hailing service.
- Trainline: Basically your go-to for all things trains. You can also buy a railcard on the app.
- Google Maps: Great for walking and driving.
Paying for buses and trains can always be done at the station or when you get on the bus with your contactless card or Apple/Google Pay. Some additional tokens make things a little more convenient for you and your pocket.
- Railcard: A card that gives you discounts on train rides and costs about £30 a year. There are various railcards for different people, for more information, visit their website. You can get a digital railcard from the Trainline app.
- mcard: If you frequently use the bus in west Yorkshire, then consider mcard.
Setting up internet at home
Chances are, a provider is already set up in your building, and it's usually easier to continue using that. Please speak to your neighbours and see how they feel about the service or research companies before you arrive. If you want to go with a different provider, several providers in the UK vary in price and quality. See the below links to compare providers:
Register to GP and dentist
Accenture offers AXA coverage. If you sign up for that, then this is an excellent place to start: AXA health private GP appointment
Register to vote
Follow the link to register to vote
The UK maintains the right-hand driving system. If you do not go out often, have young children, or live a fair distance from somewhere you will need to visit frequently; you're probably better off using the bus, getting a bicycle or walking. if you need to drive then this tells you all you need to know about getting your license: learn to drive in the UK
Car Insurance comparisons:
Building up your credit score
Here is an article that tells you everything you need to know about credit scores: UK credit score system
Try these sites to find new places and stay up to date on the social scene in Leeds: