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What to do before you
leave for the UK: The big count down

You’ve decided to move to the UK. What happens next?

We understand what it’s like to move to a new country – many of our team members have made the same journey.

As it can be difficult deciding where to begin, we have put together a helpful timeline to help you plan the months leading up to your departure.


3-6 months before you leave

Unless you have a UK or EU passport, you’ll need to apply for a visa that will allow you to live in the UK. As there are many visa options available, it is important that you find out which one is best suited to you.

Our experienced visa team is on hand to assist you every step of the way. Give us a call on 1800 039 300 or email us on to see how we can help you start your journey.

1-3 months before you leave

1-3 months before you leave

Once your visa application is underway, you can start looking at flights. As you are not eligible for insurance until you have lived in the UK for six months, we recommend getting travel insurance before you leave.

6 weeks before you leave

6 weeks before you leave

Start looking for a place to stay. There are a number of options in the UK – from sharing a house, renting a room in an apartment or even living by yourself.

Budget is usually the most important factor to consider when looking for accommodation. Take into consideration the deposit required and what council levies apply. If you’d prefer to house-hunt when you arrive in the UK, we recommend staying in a hostel or backpackers during your search.

5 weeks before you leave

5 weeks before you leave

Try to finalise all the smaller, administrative tasks, so you don’t have to worry about them when you arrive in the UK. This includes visiting your local dentist and doctor, and organising a power of attorney to take care of any personal duties back home.

4 weeks before you leave

4 weeks before you leave

Notify the post office of your chosen forwarding address – we recommend using your parents or the person you’ve given power of attorney. If you rent, it’s worth asking your landlord for a reference, as this may help when looking for accommodation in the UK. It’s also time to have some fun and plan your going away party.

2 weeks before you leave

2 weeks before you leave

Print the relevant bank statements to show you have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK. Photocopy all important documents: Your passport, flight tickets, visa, insurance documents and credit cards. It’s a good idea to leave a copy with your parents and agent.

Scan these documents and save them to your cloud storage, which will allow you to access them securely, from anywhere in the world. It’s also worth taking extra passport photos with you, just in case.

1 week

1 week before you leave

Time to start packing! Enjoy your last few home cooked meals and stock up on your favourite local treats. Confirm your flight details and check in online if you can. All that’s left is for you to say goodbye, get on the plane and start your adventure. If you have any last minutes questions, feel free to call us on 1800 039 300.


On your way back: Dealing with excess baggage

Ready to come home – and discover you can’t close your suitcase? 1st Contact Shipping can help you transport your belongings back home to Australia or New Zealand, safely and affordably.

Visit 1st Contact Shipping to get your quote.

News for all our 1st Contact clients

1st Contact is rebranding to Sable International.

For the last year we've been merging with our big brother, Sable International. In 2021, we're going to complete the rebrand.

The accountants, brokers, advisors and caseworkers that you are used to dealing with will not be going anywhere as the entire 1st Contact team will be in the same roles at Sable International. You'll still get that same great service, just under a new name.

We'll be keeping you in the loop as we prepare for the next exciting phase in this rebranding.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly.

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