24 Responses to Bank Accounts and National Insurance Numbers

  1. MATT March 14, 2012 at 12:07 AM #

    Great post and a good reminder of the rewarding feeling that comes from getting something accomplished in a different country that we may take for granted at home.

  2. JARRATT March 15, 2012 at 12:47 AM #

    Timely post for me – I’m just deciding whether or not to go through a service like 1stContact.

    By the sounds of things it’s not too hard, I always thought with the proof of residence over there you had to show a bill from 2 months prior or something like that?

    The 1stContact package costs $85AUD which I would of course prefer to keep in my back pocket, so if it is not too difficult then it sounds like it can be managed yourself without much trouble!


  3. HEATHER March 27, 2012 at 11:54 PM #


    Has anyone been successful with a hotel address for a National Insurance Number?


  4. HIEN April 1, 2012 at 3:08 PM #

    Hey guys. I arrived in London a few days ago and went straight to Barclays. They told me I did not require a proof of address as I have an Aussie passport. It seems that in the order of trustworthiness, they rate us quite highly. I did bring along my passport and a previous bank statement from Australia which had my Aussie address printed on the front. They even told me that I was eligible for ANY bank account, not just the bare basic one which they usually give out to other travellers. Also, unlike Aussie banks, there are bugger all fees. Cheers, Hien

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD April 2, 2012 at 9:04 AM #

      Hien thanks for the comment as that’s really useful info for others travelling over to London. I did have a choice of bank accounts when I signed up but not for a credit card. Seems they are really restricted over here unlike at home.

      • SHARLA February 18, 2014 at 11:29 AM #

        barcleys has actually become really restricted again!!

        LLOYDS bank lets you open an account with an australian passport and thats all you need! its currently the only bank that will let you open an account without proof of address, and you can call and change your address if your moving from hostel to hostel! it was so easy!! I went to every single bank in england and they all said no!

        and with national insurance there are companies who help you, it only costs 30 pounds and can actually get your process done quicker! im going through the process now as my new UK sim card will not let me phone the job center! but if you call from a payphone it is free :)

        • TIM March 3, 2014 at 4:56 PM #

          I can confirm that Lloyd’s will open a bank account with just an Australian passport and no proof of address. Staff were extremely friendly and helpful (Earl’s Court branch).

          See here for more details

          By the way, this site has been extremely useful for my move to london, thanks so much for recounting all your experiences!

    • ANTHEA WHITLEY April 4, 2012 at 3:07 PM #

      Hello Hien,
      Its strange how one bank can say one thing and another bank another… for instance l was lucky enough to be born in england , hence l have dual citizenship with Oz…. so Santander only needed my birth certificate and a bill to open an account.
      however they were very very restrictive in what types of bank accounts they offered me. (because they said l had NO credit history with them Uhhhh???)
      They wouldn’t give me a credit card, although l’d bought a motorhome in england for £40K…. !
      I’d like to buy an investment property while the economy is down and affordable in london, but they told me l’d have to buy the first one outright then use that one as collateral to purchase a second one with a mortgage…
      And the house prices haven’t dropped that much that l can afford that LOL !!
      But l’ll definitely check out Barclays and maybe they will offer me what Santander wouldn’t.
      thank you, Anthea

      • HIEN July 26, 2012 at 9:29 PM #

        Hi Anthea

        I just read your message now! funny how that happens sometimes. Yes, I find it quite variable between the companies in the UK…on your comment regarding credit cards, I have heard that if you have an Amex from outside the UK, your credit rating carries over to the UK, which means you don’t have to wait 6 or 12 months to build up enough rating…I am not sure but I gather if you have a UK Amex, then you MAYBE able to then apply for a visa or mastercard credit card…worth a try. Myself, I won’t be in the UK long enough to make it worth the hassle – Hien

  5. ALBERTO July 29, 2012 at 10:24 PM #

    Hello, great post! I liked although it doesn’t help me to get de NIN.

    I’m having some troubles with it. I’m having the interview on two weeks, but I am not sure if I’ll pass it. I’m gona explain my problem and if someone have a hint…

    I’m living in a host family house, I’m paying the rent weekly without any contract, I asked for a receipt hoping that maybe it would be a proof of address, but she gave me a paper with … “Alberto paid 100 pound, on 24-7″… I don’t thing that it could be a proof of anything.

    Last week I tried to open a bank account, first I went to ‘Co-operative bank’ and they told me that they needed a proof of address!! Then I went to ‘Santander’, they just made a copy of my passport and took my new address, finally they sent me a letter declining my application.

    Then arrived another letter from the job centre with the information of the interview for the NIN, and I would like to know if this two letters could be enought as proof of address??? Anyone knows it????

    I have just tried to change by internet the address in the bank account that I have in spain, but they don’t let me, because I should present some bill to proof my new address!! It’s like a nightmare!!! :-S

    And finally somebody told my to translate my driving license to english putting my new address, and It could be a proof of address. Is that true? Pleeease help me!!

  6. HANNAH October 18, 2012 at 7:52 PM #

    i dont know if ne 1 noes this but all u need with to open up a bank acc with barclays is ur aussie/nz passort now cos it was a mission for me and then i found that out!!!!
    hope its of use…

  7. SQUID March 12, 2013 at 4:05 AM #

    I’ve talked to the commonwealth bank of australia recently, and they said that the changing of address to one in London can be done online for getting a Statement as the “official proof of address” for a bank in the UK.

    I guess Barclays doesn’t seem to care about that document for Aus/NZ passport-holders though.

  8. SQUID March 12, 2013 at 9:48 PM #

    Hey Aussie Nomad,

    you’ve said that the NI number gets access to “free health insurance”, but I thought that was what the NHS number was for? Or are both of them needed for health insurance?


  9. NICOLA August 14, 2013 at 6:06 AM #

    hi just wondering is theres anyway to get your nin before leaving australia or can you only get it when your over seas?

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD August 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM #

      Hi Nicola, I’m afraid not. They need to post you out an application form and check some details on when you arrived etc.

      • NICOLA August 20, 2013 at 1:50 AM #

        ok thanks, and with your experiences do you think with the low wages that its worth working and living over there…like is it realistic with a minimum wage?

        • THE AUSSIE NOMAD August 20, 2013 at 11:41 AM #

          Nicola, honestly it depends on the type of job you want to do and where in London you want to live. If you just want to do bar work and live right in the city then you’ll struggle unless the job includes live in accommodation.

          I got a job in my profession I studied for at Uni so found living and working in London fine as I had the income to support myself.

  10. LUCY October 1, 2013 at 2:32 AM #

    Hi, i’m moving to London for 12months in November and have the Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa. I have a job as an Au Pair and they are planning to pay me via bank transfer, or cash if I wish. Over the past 18months, I have visited the UK 3 times and have been questioned SO much by border security (and these times I was only coming for 6weeks for a holiday to visit my boyfriend in London). So, I am getting prepared early but am so confused from what I am reading.

    My biggest question is should I open a bank account, or should I just ask the family to pay me cash? Its only a small amount (100pound) they’re paying me each week as the role is live in.. so do I have to still have the national insurance number too? What do you thing border security will ask me about this?

    Also, do I need any proof to show that I have a job that I am going to.. i.e. some sort of contract from the family?

    My visa got issued November 2012. Even though I still have the funds (if not more) available, do you think they’ll question me on this?

    I have only booked a one way flight. I have read in your other blogs that this is fine, however in the past the border security people have asked to see my return ticket.

    Sorry for all the questions.. I really appreciate your blogs and help you have given people. Awesome job!!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD October 1, 2013 at 11:22 AM #

      Hi Lucy, I think I’d get a bank account. Will be useful for travel into Europe and will save you carrying money around with you for everything.

      As for being paid under the table so to speak and not getting an NI number its a difficult one. On one hand you avoid all the tax problems and the family does as well but if you were to get caught (highly unlikely I think) it could be bad news for everyone.

      As for border control, they won’t worry about you at all with the visa. Its an open ticket I’ve found to get past customs without problems. I was never stopped or had problems and I came and went from the UK many times.

  11. KATE March 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM #

    I just completed & paid for my youth mobility visa application, now waiting for the biometrics interview next week. In the application it asked whether I had an NIN; I said no because I didn’t, and I didn’t know I’d need it at the time. Do you think it could jeapordize my application if I now get an NIN? Should I wait until my visa is approved, or until I get to the UK even, to apply for one? Has anyone else had this situation at all? Thanks in advance!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD March 27, 2014 at 2:28 PM #

      Hi Kate, you’ll be fine as you only get a NIN once you get to the UK and apply. It’s not required for the visa application.

  12. JENNIFER April 14, 2014 at 9:33 PM #

    Hey all – this is some really great advice!

    When on the Youth Mobility Visa, and working occasionally, what have you done for taxes and or National Insurance? I guess I’m talking more self-employed – but does anyone have any advice for this? I’m actually a Canadian (WOO CANUCK!) on the same visa as you! Any advice would be amazing!! :)


    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD April 15, 2014 at 4:18 AM #

      Hi Jennifer I’m afraid I’m not much help to you here as I was never self-employed while living in the UK. I’d seek some assistance from an accountant to be honest.


  1. MOVING TO LONDON - THE AUSSIE NOMAD - November 11, 2012

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