London is a busy vibrant and fast moving city; if you are coming to London for the first time it is important that you are prepared. There are many administrative issues that you can deal with before you travel to the city. The majority of you will be coming to London in the search for work and housing; here are a few helpful websites and tips that you can avail of during your time here.
Before leaving for the UK
It is important that you apply for a National Insurance Number before arriving in the capital. Call Jobcentre Plus on 0345 600 0643 to locate your local Jobcentre and read the guidelines for application and your interview at the following link: gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number
Opening a bank account
You should open a bank account as soon as you arrive in the UK. The majority of employers or contractors will require your bank details in order to make payments to you. It is quite difficult to work in the UK without an account. There are a vast amount of banks you can choose from. The most common high street banks in the UK are Barclay’s, Nat West and Santander.
Working in the Construction Industry
If you are engaging in work in the Construction Industry you will be required to register for a Unique Taxpayers Reference Number (UTR). You will be able to obtain this number until you have been granted your National Insurance number. You can register online via the link below or call HM Revenue and Customs on 0845 915 4515. Click here for the form.
In order to work on construction sites you will also be required to hold a CSCS card – to apply you can go to the CSCS Webite. CSCS website.
Register with a doctor
Once you have arrived in the UK, it would be a good idea to register with your local GP practice. In order to find your local practice, please visit the NHS website and provide your postcode.
Health and Well-being
Here are number of links to services that cater for the London-Irish community regarding mental health and wellbeing.
Housing and Accommodation
There are a number of handy websites designed for individuals to find housing in their preferred area. It is also useful to visit the local estate agents in your area, these will mainly be situated on local high streets.
Getting around London
Once you arrived you will be witness the excellent transport system London has to offer. Before you can avail of these services you must purchase yourself an Oyster Card. It is a quick and easy process, simply go a local newsagent in your area or register for one at the website link below. Please note buses in the capital are now cash free and do not accept cash fares, but your Oyster card will work on buses too. You can also use your Debit card and pay directly for each single journey as you go. You simply ‘tap in’ at the underground station gates or when you get on the bus.
Your Irish Shop provides a vast selection of Irish foods, products and books and also offer a delivery service. If you need a quick fix of Irish produce in your area large Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s offer a small selection of products.
Joining a local GAA team in your area is a great way to meet people and is a path to find our more about your London Irish community.
Time Out London
Provides fantastic insight into the goings on in London whether you are interested on concerts, theatre or the city attractions.
Pick up your weekly edition of the Irish Post to for music listings, local pubs and county association events. The paper also has a strong online presence and up to date news concerning the Irish community.
Irish Post On-Line
Embassy of Ireland – London
Whether you need a passport or a list of important services for the Irish in London, the Embassy of Ireland has a host of useful links and advice.
The Irish Embassy Website