London series : Part 2. 1st Contact London

1st Contact Kickstart package

On January the 30th, 9:28PM I arrived in London, UK. I had my suitcase and warm bed to sleep in, some awesome flatmates, an Oyster card for public transport and some Euro notes in my pocket.

I wanted to work in London so I compiled a list of things I would need to handle this:

  • National Insurance Number (Nino)
  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Bankaccount
  • Proper UK CV
  • The right mindset

Next to the CV and the mindset I didn’t had much. I couldn’t get the NHS number without the Nino so I booked the appointments with Jobcentre Plus for the Nino and went to a local GP to get my person registered for NHS.

Getting the bank account seemed to be a bit more difficult. The issue here is that you can’t get a bank account if you don’t have a proof of address and if you just arrived in a country you don’t have any “recent” utility bills with your name and new address on it. I wasn’t planning to wait for several months to fix this so I do what I do best, browse on the wide webs.


1st Contact

After some browsing on the internet I found a service provider called “1st Contact”. This provider helps expats with common problems when they first enter the country. I bought the “Kickstart” package which fits my needs and the next day I got a message that my personalized package was ready to be collected at their office!
When I arrived at the office the whole procedure didn’t take more then a hour, maybe 2 if you include traveling with the tube. One of the staff members explained the contents of the package to me and the reason why I went for the 1st Contact was that they are able to help you out with the bank account. By providing you with a document which replaces the proof of address and allows you to open an account.
When the documents were sorted we booked an appointment with a bank of my choice for the next day, sweet!

A small summary what the kickstart package provides you with for £35 :


  • UK Bank account Quick and easy best of all no need for proof of address in the UK. You have a choice of three different banks, HSBC, Barclays or Lloyds TSB.
  • UK National Insurance Number Assistance Avoid paying emergency Tax by registering for your NI Number. As part of the Kickstart package we offer you a help guide that explains how to apply yourself.
  • A UK SIM card Available in both Standard SIM and Micro SIM sizes for iPhone 4 and iPad users. (Your new UK Phone number is also provided before you leave home, which is great for your CV and Family and Friends).
  • FREE Pre registration to 1st Contact Umbrella If you are working in a temporary contract position use 1st Contact Umbrella Payroll and claim back a part of your relocation costs including your flights.*
  • FREE International money transfer Send your money to your new UK bank account for FREE.
  • CV and Job Assistance 1st Contact offer the correct UK CV format and send your CV to our Job Assistance team for FREE.
  • FREE 5 days gym membership PLUS discounted gym contract.
  • UK informative Guide This includes everything you need to know about London from the transport system, the UK tax system, the healthcare system, UK sporting events, driving, entertainment, finding work, travelling abroad and lots more.
  • FREE Accommodation Assistance We teamed up with a network of accommodation providers to suit your budget, from private studio apartments to hostels.
  • FREE Travel Insurance quote Talk to us about your needs and we’ll provide a quote that suits your travel plans.*
  • PLUS Discounts on 1st Contact Services and affiliated partners including tax refunds, shipping, accommodation and tour operators.
  • Optional Additional Extras EURO Travel Money Card, A-Z London Guide, TNT Little Black Book and Mobile Broadband Dongle

Note: no minimum deposit is required to open a bank account through this package.
*upon submitting your NI paper application form to 1st Contact OR attending your Evidence of Identity Interview (EOI) with the JobCentre Plus.
*to claim back your relocation costs 1st Contact Umbrella must be your first employer in the UK.

*travel insurance available for Australians travelling to the UK

Click here to get the 1st Contact Kickstart package