Get help with your visa, bank account, National Insurance number and more
By Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter @kellythekiwi)
If you’re thinking of moving to the London then 1st Contact can help you get there by sorting out all the boring admin stuff. The team come from all over the world – NZ, Australia, South Africa and Poland – so they understand what you are going through and can take away the stress of moving overseas by helping you out every step of the way – starting from helping you decide which visa you should apply for. You can concentrate on the fun things like sightseeing, meeting people and … while they help you get your bank account, NI number, accommodation… even a job!
#1 | Classic Kickstart Package
The Classic Kickstart Package is a must for anybody who is planning on moving to the UK. Here is a breakdown of the services your Kickstart Package will include:
#1.1 | UK Bank Account
It can be really difficult for newcomers to open a UK bank account, especially when you don’t have a permanent address yet. 1st Contact has a great relationship with many of the top UK banks so they can help you open a bank account without any hassle. They will help you to prepare the necessary documents, book your appointment and complete all the boring administration bits.
#1.2 | Accommodation Help
It can be quite difficult to find the perfect accommodation in London, especially if you haven’t been here before and you don’t have any friends or family here. 1st Contact have partnered with accommodation providers Ultimate Housing and Arrive Homes to make it easier for you to find unpack your belongings in.
#1.3 | Job Assistance
I know how stressful it can be looking for a job in London. You are always thinking about what money is left in your bank account and how much longer you can afford to live! 1st Contact has a team who will check your CV and makes sure that it is in the right format and ready for your potential employers to read. They will then pass it on to their network of over 50 recruitment agencies. All you need to do is wait until your phone to start ringing…
#1.4 | Mobile SIM Card
Your Classic Kickstart Package includes a Lebara mobile SIM card so you can get your number sorted out before you even leave home. Lebara automatically connects to the Vodafone network (saves unlocking fees) and has excellent international calling rates so you can keep in touch with your family and friends back home.
#1. 5 | Vouchers and Discounts
To help you get settled in to your new home, the Kickstart Package includes a number of vouchers and discounts so you can get out there and enjoy yourself. This includes a free pub crawl ticket with 1 Big Night Out London, 25% off cruises when you book with Sail in Greece, 2-for-1 cocktails at Adventure Bar plus other great offers.
#1.6 | Free Money Transfer
Once your bank account is open then it is a good idea to transfer your savings (hopefully you have some) into it. 1st Contact Forex provides great transfer rates and you will have your money way faster than if you transferred via your bank. Plus you will get a free transfer when you purchase your Classic Kickstart Package.
#1.7 | Life in the UK Guide
Most of the 1st Contact team have been in the same position as you at some point so they know what it is like to move to a new country and start afresh. They have put together the Life in the UK Guide to help you get settled in. It has heaps of tips and info in it including how to claim your tax back, travelling to Europe from the UK and how to live like a local in London.
#1.8 | Life in the UK Sessions
1st Contact presents informative Life in the UK Sessions every Monday and Friday at 10:00am and on a Wednesday at 3:00pm. You will get information about all sorts of things like how to register for the NHS, how to work as a freelancer and advice on travelling abroad from London. Plus, the Kickstart consultants will be on hand to answer any questions you might have.
Cost: The Classic Kickstart Package costs £35 and you can purchase it from the 1st Contact website.Get the Classic Kickstart Package Here
#2 | Kickstart Package Add-Ons
You can customise your Classic Kickstart Package to make it work better for by purchasing one or more of these add-ons:
2.1 | London A-Z Map Book – You’ll never be lost when you’ve got this in your bag! Cost: £5.50.
2.2 | Oyster Card – Get exploring straight away with your Oyster Card already loaded with £10 credit. Cost: £17.
2.3 | Mobile Broadband Dongle – Get connected as soon as your arrive in the UK. Includes dongle, SIM card, USB cable and 1GB of data. Cost: £34.99.
2.4 | UK mobile SIM card top up – Purchase this add-on if you think you will need more air time than what is included in your package. Cost: £5 – £20.
#3 | Easy NINO
Another really helpful thing that 1st Contact does is help you get your NI number sorted. You can either add the Easy NINO service on to your Classic Kickstart Package or you can buy it separately. Here is how Easy NINO will help you:
- You complete the online application form
- 1st Contact will call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), register your application and arrange for the signature form to be posted to you
- You sign the form and return it to DWP
- 1st Contact will check that everything is correct and supply any supporting documents (like proof of employment) that might be needed.
Cost: Easy NINO – £30; Easy NINO + Classic Kickstart Package – £55.Get the Easy NINO Package Here
#4 | UK Visa Packages
If you are planning to move to the UK to work then you will need to make sure you have the correct visa. If you don’t know then fill out the 1st Contact Visa Assessment form online. Unless your application is a bit complicated you will have your answer right away.
1st Contact offers three UK Visa Kickstart Packages:
4.1 | Ancestry Visa Kickstart Package: If you are a Commonwealth citizen with a grandparent who was born in the UK. This visa entitles you to live and work in the UK for 5 years.
4.2 | Tier 5 Kickstart Package: The Tier 5 (or Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa allows people between the ages of 18 and 30 to live and work in the UK for 2 years.
4.3 | Partner Visa Kickstart Package: If you want to join your partner or spouse in the UK then this is the visa for you. You can live and work in the UK for 2 years and 6 months then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
All of the visas have quite a few conditions that need to be met before you apply which is why it is helpful to use a company like 1st Contact. All of these packages include the 1st Contact Kickstart package that I wrote about earlier – very helpful! And the good news is, if your visa application is declined then you will get your money back – 1st Contact work according to a strict “no visa, no fee” policy.
#5 | 1st Contact Perks
Aside from all the great things I have mentioned there are a few other perks that you get when you purchase one of the 1st Contact services.
5.1 | Buddy Up: If you sign up for one of the Classic Kickstart Packages you will get 50% off the same package for your buddy – perfect if you are planning on moving to the UK with a friend/partner.
5.2 | Free Money Transfer: The Classic Kickstart Package includes one free money transfer.But you can get a free trial of 1st Forex without buying a package. Just go to this page on the website. If you decide to keep using 1st Forex to bring money into the UK then every 5th transfer is free and you will get £10 for every friend you refer to the service (provided they use it!).
#6 | 1st Contact Reviews
You’ve read what I have to say about 1st Contact but what about what other people have to say? Here are some of the reviews I have found online…
“What an awesome company to deal with! Had the pleasure of working with Phillipa who assisted me with every step of my application. Would not have been able to do it without her. Thank you so much.” – Justin
“The service I received wasn’t worth the money I paid, it was worth a hundred times more. Phillipa Greene sort to our every need. She answered all our questions and explained the things we didn’t understand. Don’t even bother using any other company, first contacts service has been top notch. Thank you Phillipa you are the best of the best!” – Roxanne