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Leaving Belgium. Registration in UK


I am a Belgium citizen from Hasselt and got a job offer (fulltime job) to start in Manchester UK from July 31st onwards. I have to accept/deny the offer by this Friday. I am offered 2300 GBP/month for a person with 5 years experience.

If I plan to take it up and as I am totally unware of the setup process in the UK could anyone suggest what steps I would need to do from now onwards. I am living with room mates here so housing wise there's nothing to do. I'm only concerned with the cityhall process in Belgium to de-register and the subsequent registration in the UK (Council, NI, NHS, etc).

Lastly, are month-month housing contracts available in the UK since as I start a new job, I dont know how well it will go and if it dosent work out, I may be stuck with a 1yr contract. Do I even need an apartment contract to do the initial setup or will a hotel, AirBnb suffice for let's say 2-3 months when I know the job is good to continue.

Any suggestions will help. And any other tips?


There is no "city hall" process. However, it does make sense (assuming it all works out and you're happy to stay) to get yourself on the electoral register (which is effectively a population register, and not just a electoral register), you can do this online at the site. It will help to be on the register, as that way there is at least something to show that you have an address. It also means that you will be in order with respect to council tax, which is an annual local tax.

Because there is no identity card system in the U.K. you may be amazed that to get things like a phone contract, they will ask you for proof of address, and accept things like a monthly electricity or water bill as proof. However, if you go to phone shops near the university, they will be more used to internationals and will be able to help.

Your employer will have to apply for a national insurance number for you.

For the NHS - just find your local GP service in the phone book, and register there. Most allow you to register on-line.

Manchester has 50,000 full time and a further 50,000 part time students studying at any of 9 universities. This is one of the largest concentration of students in any city in Europe. Because of this, finding temporary / short term and long term shared housing is very easy. You should look somewhere like this :

You mention that you're from Hasselt, so I'm not sure if you speak French, but there is a huge French speaking community in Manchester (mostly French as opposed to Belgian). Not so sure about Dutch speakers.

Generally speaking, Manchester is a great city for young people. If I had my time again, it would probably be top of my list.

This may be useful

Jul 5, 2017 18:35

Hi as above you don't have to register as such in the UKyou just arrive and set up no questions asked. The housing contracts are very different to here you go to a local agent and find a place you sign a contract that set out the terms of notice usually a month by month contract is possible but some prefer yearly, nut when then you can give notice usually.. you will be asked for proof of income and maybe a refepreence or guarantor but work should help you, you may have to pay the agent to set up your contract. If you ask your new employer they may well assist you to find some temporary place. People also let a room in their home sometimes which is. A good first step until you know where you prefer to live.
Manchester is a very cosmopolitan city and lots of things to do and see be aware that EU citizens rights to NHS etc are currently under neegiaitiom as Brexit also that health services are very different and stretched there it's not income to wait over a week for a none urgent GP appointment and even urgent one you maybe call screeened by a nurse to see if you really need to see a doctor that day. Dental care whilst cheap is hard to find dentists with a space for new clients. However in an emergency you should be able to access free hospital care and prescriptions are a set charge. Good luck

Jul 6, 2017 08:22
o sé

Reflect very carefully before going to the U.K. In 19 months after Brexit you will be considered as a foreign alien. You will no longer have your rights as a European citizen, medical, social welfare etc. For this reason many Europeans are leaving the U.K. To benefit from the reciprocal agreement you will have to have been in the U.K. For 5 years. The U.K. Will not welcome."foreigners"

Jul 6, 2017 13:13

o sé - "skyhigh" will be fully employed, paying taxes and national insurance.

The UK has already said that they will not kick out any EU citizens.

What's more, even following Brexit, "skyhigh" will have the same (if not better) rights in the U.K. as the hundreds of thousands of other people from non-EU countries like the US, Russia, China, Japan, etc. etc,. Most, if not all, EU and non-EU citizens, are able to access the full services of the NHS either by being "ordinarily resident" in the U.K due to their work, in which case they pay nothing, or they pay an annual NHS surcharge of £200 (which is frankly amazing value.)

Just over 14% of the entire population in the UK is foreign born. The idea that the U.K. doesn't welcome foreigners is completely ridiculous.

Jul 6, 2017 15:32
o sé

The main reason that the majority of british voted for brexit was to keep out immigrants who were " responsible " for bringing the NHS and schools to a grinding halt, and stealing british jobs.
Existing EU employees in the NHS are worried about their future and they also pay insurance etc.,why are so many leaving and a huge drop in numbers arriving ?
Not exactly what could be considered a welcoming atmosphere.

Jul 6, 2017 16:16

Net immigration into the U.K. currently exceeds 200,000 per year, and the numbers have been well over 100,000 per annum for the past decade. Yes there's been a small decrease since the referendum, but to claim that there is a huge drop in numbers is incorrect.

Jul 6, 2017 17:03

Thanks ANON, CC_R, O SE for all the inputs.

Couple of questions more. About opening a GB bank account, do I need an address proof or will the employment letter suffice atleast initially to get the account open? I will still have my Belgian bank account open with some money in it and will that help in any way?

Secondly, I was able to find a friend's friend's place to stay for the initial few months without signing a contract as an option. Will this do if banks ONLY need an address or they actually need a proper address proof like a utility bill or statement that actually comes to that address?

I'm trying to obtain the correct flow of steps sequentially in moving from here to there so that the move happens without any hiccups.


Jul 6, 2017 18:26

Skyhigh, the level of proof that you'll need to open a bank account will depend on the bank, some are stricter than others. However, I suggest that you go to one of the banks near the university where they deal with overseas students in temporary accommodation all the time. (There are thousands of overseas students in Manchester). There is a Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC all within 50m of each other on Oxford Road (between 320 & 350, right next to a lot of university accommodation). Just go in there and ask. If one won't help, just walk in next door to the next one.

The fact that you are already in full time employment will be a plus, and if your employer will give you a letter of introduction that's even better. The other thing to do is ask around to see if there are other Belgian, Dutch, French people in your company, and where they bank.

Jul 6, 2017 19:10

Don't underestimate how difficult it will be to open a bank account. Foreign residents, perhaps living and working in the UK for only a short period, don't make the banks any money because they don't take out big loans, indeed they usually cost the banks money, so there is no incentive for the banks to do anything other than insist on applying strictly the proof of address regulations.

Jul 6, 2017 21:21
o sé

I wish you only the best wishes on your project, however Britain is not the most welcoming country in Europe that is why the majority voted to cut themselves off from Europe.I have lived in Belgium for 32 years and find it welcoming and friendly I live among Europeans that is not the case in Britain. Be aware that for one who welcomes in Britain two want you gone. Do not cut your ties.

Jul 6, 2017 21:29