Your U.K. Working Holiday Checklist

Posted May 8th, 2019 by James Dodwell (no comments)
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You are traveling to a new place where you will potentially be staying for two years, with the possibility of exploring an entire country (and the rest of Europe) while you’re at it. Travel insurance will cover you during your stay and ensure that unfortunate events such as emergency flights back home, travel delays and even more extreme scenarios are covered.

For many overseas health workers, getting the UK working holiday visa is a dream come true. This exciting rite of passage promises to bring new beginnings and a chance to sharpen your skills and have fun while you’re at it. Even former Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that every young Aussie should do ‘The London Thing’ after a stint in the big smoke himself.

But while the world is a small place these days, a work visa comes with significant job changes, lifestyle adjustments, and a few practical challenges. Being prepared well in advance can help you make the most of your working holiday. 

If you are planning on getting yourself a work visa, here is your checklist before you embark on your UK working holiday:

Before you leave

You probably already know that you should have all the required documents including medical and dental checkups, up-to-date vaccines, and Australian / New Zealand police clearance.

You will need to provide proof that all relevant and required vaccines have been sorted before travel. They are much more expensive to arrange once in the UK, so do it before leaving. The required vaccines include:

  • MMR x 2 doses
  • Hepatitis B x 3 doses – Titre Level
  • TB/ Mantoux Test or TB Refusal form

A local police check is required and easier to obtain locally. It however, needs to be dated within 6 months before you leave, so plan to have it early. Also, it’s recommended to arrange 3 months proof of previous address history, as you may be required to produce one for various local checks, such as the UK DBS police check.

You should also look into opening a UK bank account. Note that it may be difficult to open a UK bank account if you are not yet living in the UK and have a permanent proof of address. Fortunately, with the rise of online banks, such as Revolut or Monzo, it is easier to start getting paid right away!

Lastly, apply for HCPC professional registration as you can’t work without it. Registration can take up to 16 weeks, so it’s important to get that going before you arrive!

On arrival

Set up your National Insurance interview as soon as you arrive. Without an NI number, you won’t necessarily be put into the correct tax bracket and could end up paying more tax than needed!

Whether or not you have to organise your own accommodation depends on the agreement with your work placement. Accommodation might be offered as part of your job contract, or you might need to figure this out for yourself. Websites like SpareRoom.co.uk can be a good place to begin. It’s important you choose a location that will fit within your budget and investigate any hidden costs associated with the area (e.g. public transport costs). 

Be ready for change

After you arrive, prepare for huge changes to your job, lifestyle, and even routine.

You are visiting a whole new work culture where things are likely being done differently. The job protocols may not be the same, and it would benefit you if you did some quick research on what to expect for your new role. If you have any specific lifestyle requirements, such as those relating to a religion, you may want to determine how these translate to your new workplace and discuss this in advance with your employer.

It’s a new lifestyle!

The UK boasts of a mild climate and a rich cultural heritage. From the countryside’s huge rolling hills to London’s bustling corporate hub, the opportunities to explore are endless. 

The new lifestyle can be overwhelming, but the secret is to be ready for adventure, and see where it takes you. Before commencing on your journey, think about what you want to get out of it both within and away from the workplace. Make sure you set a schedule that will allow you to make the most out of the vast offering Britain has. You’ll also need appropriate clothing for the weather (bearing in mind your summer is their winter!). 

Be ready for some challenges

It’s not all work, fun, and games, and you’re bound to experience a few difficulties. For a first time traveler, travel insurance is almost always overlooked. 

Why you need travel insurance

You are traveling to a new place where you will potentially be staying for two years, with the possibility of exploring an entire country (and the rest of Europe) while you’re at it. Travel insurance will cover you during your stay and ensure that unfortunate events such as emergency flights back home, travel delays and even more extreme scenarios are covered. 

Quick recap:

  • Have your visa ready
  • Get clearance from local police
  • Complete your medical checkups
  • Update your vaccines
  • Have a UK bank account
  • Apply for HCPC professional registration
  • Pre-book accommodation
  • Set up NI interview
  • Prepare for job and lifestyle changes
  • Apply for travel insurance

We can help:

To find out about the latest health worker job opportunities in the UK, view our jobs or contact us directly!