After a long trip, you have finally arrived in the UK, but what’s next? Where can you collect your residence permit, is basic health insurance mandatory, and do you need a personal travel card? Find out all you need to know about arriving as an au pair in the UK below.
You can open your own bank account via Revolut bank online once you've received your visa sticker in your passport. This is a way to open a bank account before you come to the UK. This means you will be paid out directly for the first months upon arrival, and you won't have to switch banks. Here you will find the manual manual for how to open your bank account with Revolut.
Another option is to open a bank account when you arrive in the UK. Barclay bank seems to have less strict requirements (i.e. when it comes to proof of address), therefore it's easier to open once in the UK.
Arrange travel/au pair insurance (optional).
There are many travel and au pair insurance available online. A commonly advised package is the PROTRIP-WORLD insurance package for au pairs in the UK.
Collect Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
A Biometric Residence Permit is proof that you legally reside, work, or study in the UK. The BRP confirms your identity, your right to study and right to public services or other benefits that you might be eligible for. If you have applied for a visa from outside the UK, you will need to collect your BRP in a post office branch once you arrive in the UK (you have chosen which post office during the visa application).
Register to a local doctor (NHS)
It is important to register with a GP as soon as you arrive to prevent having an emergency and not knowing where to go/what to do. After you register with a GP, you can download the NHS app that gives you access to a range of NHS services.
Get a UK mobile phone SIM card & subscription.
You can initially buy a SIM card with a bundle included in small grocery shops or at the post office. To get a subscription (depending on the company) you might need a physical bank card. The purpose of the physical bank card is to prove that the bank card is registered to the same home address you are providing (the host family address).
Remember to switch to WiFi at home or at friends' houses so you don't use up all your data!
Arrange a public transport pass/card.
If you are in London, you might want to get an Oyster card or a travel card. If you are living elsewhere in the UK, consult with your host family for the best options.
Register for private health insurance (optional).
With the Youth Mobility Scheme visa you are entitled to having access to NHS healthcare services but the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) you pay during the visa application, does not cover individual treatments costs such as prescriptions, dental treatment, or sight test. If you don't have travel/au pair insurance or if this insurance doesn't cover costs such as the above mentioned, you might want to consider having a private health insurance in the UK. You can check the ones available in gocompare.
Set up a regular time each week to sit with the host family to review the week before and the week ahead.
Communicating clearly and openly will save you a lot of hassle!
Spend a weekend day at home to bond with your host family at least once every two weeks (especially at the beginning).