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In earlier posts I explored my reasons for moving to London, the visa application process and securing a job. This post offers a checklist of the more admin-ey things to think about once you’ve got your visa and are preparing to go.

Sign up for the 28 degrees credit card and the citibank plus transactional account

  • The combination of the two accounts will help to bridge the gap between your arrival and setting up longer term UK bank accounts.
  • Use the 28 degrees credit card for everyday purchases and the citibank debit card as a fee-free way to withdraw cash from atms.
  • Both have $0 annual fees and don’t charge fees (other than the usual FX spread) for non-AUD transactions.

Set up a UK bank account before you arrive

  • Used to be quite a pain but UK banks such as Lloyds are now offering non-UK residents the option of setting up bank accounts prior to arrival. Get onto this as soon as your visa is approved as it can be quite a length process – taking up to 2 months before your visa debit/atm card lands in your postbox.
  • You may need a UK bank account to lease an apartment so it helps if you’ve already gotten this set up before arrival.

Set up a power of attorney for your AUS bank accounts

  • A power of attorney is used to empower someone you nominate (usually someone you trust intimately like a family member) to act in your shoes in relation to your bank accounts.
  • The main purpose is to allow someone else to take care of banking issues that may arise while you’re gone and/or to update your postal details for your new UK address (which is a handy workaround if you’re trying to secure a lease).
  • Standard form template to set one up can be found at this link. Most bank clerks are quite ignorant about what this actually is and will often argue (usually without any basis) that a ‘proper lawyer’ needs to draft this and that there need to be witnesses etc. After a lot of pushback I asked the staff to search their intranet for how to deal with such requests and for CBA in Victoria, the completed form from the provided link is all you need.
  • If you bank with someone else and can’t get anywhere, an alternative is to simply have your nominated person set up as an authorised person for the account.

Buy a UK prepaid sim and have it delivered to you

  • I went with Giff Gaff which can be activated and charged right our of the packet.
  • Having an active phone line and data on day 1 in a new country is invaluable while you’re running around sorting out other admin-ey things.

Buy a prepaid sim to preserve your AUS mobile number

  • Apart from preserving your number for when you return, you may also need a prepaid sim that allows for roaming so that you can receive bank account-related texts.
  • I went with Optus which offers a prepaid sim whose credit lasts 6 months.

Notify the AUS electoral commission you’re leaving

  • Let the AEC know you’re not going to be in the country by submitting this form

Suspend your private health insurance policy

  • By suspending your private health insurance, you’ll retain any unused credit for when you return.
  • It’ll also mean you avoid the waiting periods associated with signing up for a brand new policy when you return.

Cancel services with recurring fees

  • Get onto this asap as many service contracts stipulate notice periods for cancellation (even if you’re outside the commitment period) e.g. to cancel a Fitness First gym membership you need to provide 28 days notice.
  • Bank accounts and Credit cards.
  • Gym memberships.
  • Postpaid mobile plans.

Determine whether you’ll be a non-resident for tax purposes

  • So that you know what you need to do when you file your tax return from overseas.
  • Speak to your usual tax adviser or visit the ATO website for guidance.
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