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  • julianosko

Settling in the UK – Top 10 tips

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

Hi, we are Dr Haseeb & Dr Mahgul, IMGs from Pakistan. We both moved recently to the UK and are working as junior doctors in Adult and Paediatrics A&E respectively.

Moving into a new country can be very challenging especially when you don’t have family or friends. You feel quite strange in a new and alien land however this post will make your life much easier.


The very first thing that you need to do after getting your GMC registration and securing your first NHS job is to find secure, affordable, and manageable accommodation. All these things depend on your budget and family. If you are single, a small one-bedroom flat or a shared accommodation will do but if you have a family, you will need at least a two-bedroom flat.

You can download apps such as Rightmove, Zoopla or Airbnb to help you find the right accommodation. If you have friends/family, they can help you out as well. Moreover, hospital HR is also very helpful in telling you about near-hospital accommodation or hospital accommodation itself, so do inquire.


If you don’t drive, then you need to find out local bus/trains or tube routes for easy communication. You can pay them by using your bank debit card directly inside the bus or in the tube/train stations. Or you can also buy train tickets on apps such as Trainline (easily available on the app store and play store). Payment can also be done by Oyster cards, especially in London. Apps such as Tube Maps are very helpful in finding your routes within London - Official TFL app for trains/tubes and Oyster cards

Local taxi

Search online for your local taxis. The majority of them have their own apps, they are cheaper. In hard times there’s always Uber. The app can easily be downloaded on your phone - the Uber app

Collection of BRP

One of the most important things is the collection of your BRP from the right post office as soon as possible. This is your only form of identification, after your passport and is very important. You will need it in your hospital during your induction as well.

Bank account

Setting up a bank account is an extremely tiresome and draining job as the majority of the banks require proof of address and sometimes a credit history, which is always not available. Letter for bank accounts is provided by hospital HR easily which can be used when you go to open a bank account. You can also ask the owner of your accommodation to provide you with a letter declaring your proof of residency at that address. Many people nowadays use Monzo bank accounts, which can be opened using the Monzo app. They also post a debit card as well which you can use easily - the Monzo app

Driver’s License

If you know how to drive, you can get an international driver’s licence from your home country and drive a car in the UK, however that is only valid for 1 year. You still need to apply for a provisional driver’s license, pass the theory and practical driving tests to drive without any restrictions. Please read here for more information.


Finding food with certain food preferences can be a task. There are tonnes of restaurants as well that will cater to your needs however, after a busy shift when you have no energy to cook, sometimes comfort delivered at your doorstep is the best. You can download apps such as UberEATS, Deliveroo or Justeats.

Registering with your GP

Registering with a GP is very important as all your medical and vaccination records will be entered here. This is easy. You just need to go to the NHS website, enter your postcode and find the nearest GP. Please read here about how to register with a GP surgery in the UK.

Setting up National Insurance number (NI number)

You will need a NI number and will be asked in your hospital induction as well. Setting your NI number is not that complicated. You can read a simple guide on how to apply for a NI number.

Keeping UpToDate with local rules & regulations

Lastly, all the information and local guidelines are available on the website. It is the official UK website for all the rules. If in doubt just search the website.

We hope this will be of some help to everyone who has moved or is planning to move to the UK.

If you have any questions about settling in the UK, we would be happy to answer them at

All the best,

Haseeb & Mahgul

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