Today I’m coming to you with a continuation to one of my previous posts. Moving houses wasn’t easy In the last one my main focus was packing the luggage, shopping for household appliences and just settling in the new place. Now it’s high time I told you something about what we all love – paperwork.
Moving houses, especially moving countries means LOADS and LOADS of papers to fill in that will drive you crazy. From telephone number, via banking, to voting ?! I was more than surprised when a lady knocked at my door telling I had to fill in a paper letting me to vote during elections. However as it has turned out I obviously cannot vote but the papers still needed to get filled in.
Lets start with the basics. After about two days of being here I finally plucked up the courage to begin with all the formalities starting with getting a bank account. There was a large number of banks trying to catch students’ attention but looking at various statistics I went for Barclays. So far I have only been using the account for two weeks so I cannot tell you much but they must have been a good choice since almost every student I know has their account at Barclays.
However the process of opening the account may be tiring especially during freshners week when the wave of multinational students wants to get all the paperwork done at the same time. Firstly when you come to the branch of the bank they will as you for your student’s confirmation letter, because it also plays the role of the proof of your address. Then they set up an appointment where you will be able to apply for the bank account. Depending on the number of people in the queue you may have to wait up to a month to get the interview.
For the engagement you ought to bring the student’s confirmation letter again, as well as a valid ID, it takes about 30-60 minutes to sort ou the paperwork. Afterwards you can expect to get your card delivered in up to 4 days, but in my case it was actually a day. Anyways, what I find very odd is the fact that the PINs to mobile, online and telephone banking do not come at once but separately, at different times and dates.
Although getting a new mobile number might seem the most important thing ever since nowadays we cannot imagine life without using mobile data – in order to get better deals for smaller prices you need a student’s bank account here. Why ? Cause students are treated better haha.
In the beginning I bought a pay as you go sim, just so I could use some data obviously and make UK calls for free. Once I had my bank account sorted I did some research to find out which broad band to choose, and for now I’m at VOXI which is cheaper version of vodafone. Nonetheless I have to admit, even the “cheap” plans here are much more expensive in comparison to what we understand by “cheap” plan in Poland, but it is the UK after all and I can’t complain.
National Insurance Number
Now something about my most dreadful, annoying and time-consuming experience. This is the most important commodity to remember about when moving here. NIN provides state assistance for people who are sick, unemployed or retired.
The application ? Takes ages and will drive you mad. First step is to call some central branch and before you even hear the signal you are asked a million questions by an authomatic speaker what already gives you a million reasons to let it go. Then you are kindly asked to wait and told “our speaker will be in contact with you ass soon as possible” – foreget it. Later on very posh, classy music is played and this is the step that lasts HOURS until you finally get to speak with someone. That adds another million reasons to wish to stop the torture. Once someone answers the phone at lasts, which in my case was a very angry, and impolite lady, you will need to provide your PESEL, address, date of birth and all the important data about yourself.
Moving on they tell you what’s the next date available for an appointment and you could pray for it to be less than a month, but I guarantee you that will lead you nowhere.
Luckily the appointment itself is quiet friendly in comparison to the previous experiences. But when you think that would be all you are a fool cause, they will just fill all your data in again and tell you to wait for the actual number another 6 weeks. Good luck. My nerves didn’t pass this test.
I have no clue what should I mention here. All I know and remember is the lady that knocked to our door and asked us for our data, afterwards we got an e mail that contained another formular to fill in with our data so we could vote apparently. I didn’t do any research I must admit but I’m pretty sure they were also just doing a list of new residents.
Those are 3 most important things to remember when moving here or another country. I hope for someone who does it in the future to have better experiences to mine. But life is brutal.