Frequently Asked Questions

Travelling to the UK to work is a major step for anyone and we know you have many questions. The following information covers some of the most common questions and will help you on your way.

What are the basics of getting a job in the UK?

You can apply to individual jobs or register with agencies in your field of work. Investigate the leaders in your skill set and then register with each of them to apply for specific jobs and maximise your job search.

Do I need a visa to work in the UK?

UK visas and immigration services are run by the UK Border Agency, an agency of the Home Office.

The immigration categories for non-European nationals have different eligibility requirements than if you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

For non-European migrants who want to work in the UK there are immigration categories that have different requirements and you should investigate your chosen category before you apply for a visa. Most of the work-based categories are part of the UK’s points-based system for immigration.

Foreign nationals can apply for visas at more than 250 visa application centres worldwide.

The UK immigration system can be a difficult and time consuming process. You may have to wait some time for your UK visa application to be processed by the UK Border Agency, so ensure you have left a sufficient amount of time and have all the correct paperwork.

What is a Payroll or Umbrella company?

A payroll or umbrella company acts as a third party between yourself and your employer. The employer pays the umbrella company on invoice and they pay you ensuring that the correct national insurance and tax has been paid. Suitable for all types of workers whatever area/industry you are working in. UK Work Study partners with FPS – one of the major suppliers of these services. See the UK Work Pack page for more details.

Can I bring my family with me to the UK?

Yes, in certain circumstances. We strongly advise you to look at: for advice and detailed information.

What type of accommodation is available?

There is a variety of accommodation available throughout the UK including shared accommodation, furnished or unfurnished flats or houses which you can rent through an agency or privately rent directly from the landlord. UK Work Study partner with one of the top accommodation portals. See UK Work Pack for more details.

Will I have to pay a deposit for my accommodation?

You will normally be expected to pay a deposit and one month’s rent in advance as security against damage or non-payment of rent. The landlord MUST use a tenancy deposit protection scheme and give you details of the one they are using.

What if I have a problem with my accommodation?

If there are problems with the accommodation you have rented such as sharing accommodation, repairs, deposits these fact sheets will assist: sheets.htm

How do I access my money?

An international UK bank account can be opened before you arrive in the UK. The account can be in sterling (pounds £).

You will be required to provide documentation to open the account such as proof of identity, proof of where you will be living, proof of acceptance at your place of learning, personal bank statements and a completed bank account application form. UK Work Study provide the application forms and help you to open an account – as part of the UK Work Pack.

How much cash do I need to bring with me?

You can pay by credit or debit card almost everywhere in the UK. Once you have a British bank account you will also be able to get cash out from the numerous cash points.

However, you should also bring some cash with you, as there will be a lot of expenses in your first few days and so you shouldn't rely solely on your card. Set yourself a budget so you know roughly what you spend each week. The UK Work Pack contains a pre-paid cash card – which you can load money on to before you arrive and use wherever you see the MasterCard® sign.

What is the legal drinking age in the UK?

18 years old. If you are not 18, then most bars and clubs will not let you in without some form of ID, such as a passport. Make sure you carry ID with you when you are going out.

Can I receive NHS treatment free of charge?

You can receive free NHS treatment if you are lawfully entitled to be in the UK and usually live here. This is called being ordinarily resident.

For specific information on the NHS – Your health, your choices -

For private medical cover for you and your family UK Work Study partner with Chase Templeton , the UK’s largest broker offering independent advice and help for all types of insurance. This includes critical illness, travel and life assurance.

Can I drive in the UK on a foreign licence?

All drivers must comply with the British minimum age requirements of 17 for cars and motorcycles. There are different rules depending upon where you come from. Follow this link for more detailed information -

What should I do in an emergency?

If you need police, ambulance or the fire services ring 999. Your call will be dealt with immediately.

The non-urgent number is 101.

You should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response.

For example, you should call 101 if:

  • your car has been stolen
  • your property has been damaged
  • you suspect drug use or dealing in your neighbourhood

Or to:

  • report a minor traffic collision
  • give the police information about crime in your area
  • speak to the police about a general enquiry

All emergency numbers are free and will work from a mobile telephone.

If you need specific health advice telephone NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or put your symptoms onto the web site for initial diagnosis

If you can get to a hospital without the need to an ambulance find the closest hospital that has and Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.

Do I need travel insurance?

It is always best to get travel insurance to cover yourself during your stay in the UK. You never know what you might need cover for such as loss of baggage, personal liability, legal expenses.

How do I get on the internet?

There are many ways to access the internet in the UK. Sometimes access is free such as on university campus’, coffee shops and library’s using Wi-Fi, but do make sure your computer security is up to date. Pay for time where internet cafes, local IT businesses charge by the hour or on a monthly contract. Note that if you are moving into a property and there is no phone line connected then the internet can take up to 2 weeks to get installed.

Do I need any vaccinations for the UK?

No – there is nothing compulsory. However, you could consider being immunised against meningitis on arrival. See or

Can I smoke in the UK?

From 1st July 2007, smoking in enclosed public places has been banned. This includes pubs, restaurants, public transport and all places of work.

Individuals contravening this law can face on-the-spot fines of £50, which can rise to £1,000, should the issue be brought to court. Employers/managers of the premises can also face a fine of £200, and this figure can rise to as much as £2,500, if not paid within the correct timeframe.

Can I drink the tap water?

Tap water is safe to drink in the UK.