International Recruitment: Benefits Tax Advice Support on Arrival

Benefits Tax Advice Support on Arrival

Your new recruit will face many challenges when entering the UK, not least of which will be financial issues. These will relate to their employment but could also include challenges around extended family accompanying them, their children and their status.

This section is designed to help you navigate some of the issues with your employee and help them on arrival in the UK.  Whilst your organisation will undoubtedly understand what needs to be in place from an employer’s perspective, there are many community organisations to help your recruit settle and understand: UK benefits, tax and immigration status rules and what help can be provided through advice, guidance and practical help with form filling, and contacting relevant agencies.

Support on Arrival


Your new employee may arrive in the UK with no finances. It is good practice for the sponsoring organisation to provide some financial support to their recruit. A salary advance, for example, will ensure they have some cash available to them as they are setting up a bank account and obtaining their documents. It is important to remember that  they may very well not have had the same level of earnings to help them settle into the UK, depending on their country of origin.

Whilst housing and accommodation has been covered in another section, as the employer you may also want to help your employee to understand their responsibilities regarding utility bills, what they are (they may never have had to pay for water for example), what needs to be paid and when. You may also consider covering the costs for the first month, for example, alongside rent.

Your new recruit must – as soon as possible on arrival in the UK – open a bank account, obtain a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and get a national insurance (NI) number. The BRP needs to be obtained prior to the NI number and is a secure card containing their personal details and immigration status thus showing their right to live and work in the UK.

Apart from the need to transfer their salary and for most other financial arrangements, other reasons to sort a bank account, BRP and NI number include:

Access to Services: Many essential services in the UK, such as utility bills, housing payments, and other subscriptions are often linked to a bank account. Having a local account streamlines the process of setting up and managing these services.

Building a Credit History: Establishing a credit history is important for accessing credit and loans in the UK, such as mortgages or personal loans. A local bank account is a starting point for building this history.

Taxation and National Insurance Contributions: The National Insurance number is crucial for taxation purposes. It ensures that the appropriate amount of income tax and National Insurance contributions are deducted from the employee’s salary.

Opening a Bank Account


It is important to note that the processes highlighted below might vary slightly based on individual circumstances, and it is advisable to check the latest information on the  government websites to ensure accurate and up-to-date instructions.

The new employee will need to choose a bank so should research various banks in their area and their offerings to find one that suits their needs.

Typically, they will need proof of identity (passport), proof of address (rental agreement/utility bill), and employment details.

Some banks will enable the person to open an account online, while others may require an in-person visit to a branch. The employee will fill out the necessary forms and supply the required documents. The bank will verify their documents and conduct necessary checks. Once approved, they will receive their account details and a debit card.

Applying for a Biometric Residence Permit


Before coming to the UK, your employee will have likely applied for a visa that corresponds to their employment situation. This could be a work visa or a skilled worker visa.

During their visa application process, they will be asked to choose a BRP collection point; this is usually a post office or a service centre nearest to the address they will have put on their visa application form.

They will collect their BRP from this location after arrival in the UK. Please note that your recruit may need to be reminded of this at a time when they might be very anxious. Once they receive their letter from UKVI, they have 10 days in which to collect the BRP, else they could be fined. 

Once the recruit has their BRP, they can then continue to apply for a National Insurance number, and they will need their BRP as part of the application process for the NI number.

Obtaining a National Insurance Number


Your employee can apply for a National Insurance number as soon as they arrive in the UK and have obtained their BRP.

They will need to call the Jobcentre Plus application line to request an application form. They will ask a few questions to decide eligibility.  They will fill out the application form and return it as instructed. Depending on their circumstances, they might have to attend an interview.  Once their application is approved, they will receive their National Insurance number by mail.

Benefits


International Care Workers cannot apply for most benefits or the State Pension.  To determine eligibility – depending on their circumstances – your recruit can visit this page on Public Funds or seek help from a general advice service, click here to view the page.


General Advice Services


The national Citizens Advice website has advice covering hundreds of different topics. Most offer a range of support around welfare benefits, debt, money, relationships, immigration, the law and courts, housing, discrimination, work and employment, consumer rights, healthcare and much more.

Your recruit can search for your nearest Citizens Advice through the website and contact their nearest (by phone/text/email). They can follow some of the links below to book an appointment or drop in to a community session or read the website.

Whilst Citizens Advice could be a main source of support to your recruit, not all may offer immigration advice specifically. Check the website and links to different areas below to find out your nearest advice centre. In addition, some of these links will help your employee to understand law around family issues, healthcare and more.

Check if your immigration status lets you get benefits and help with housing – Citizens Advice

Check if your adult family member can get a visa to join you in the UK

Check if your immigration status lets you get free healthcare

Hampshire

Click here to view Hampshire Country Council’s dedicated web page with resources and links to help with money and debt issues


Citizens Advice


Citizens Advice operate across Hampshire with services in the following areas

East Hampshire

Telephone: 0808 278 7901 (Freephone number)

E Mail:  [email protected]Website:  https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/east-hampshire/

Test Valley

Telephone: 0808 278 7862 (Freephone number)

Local Call Back Number:  0808 178 6882

Website:  https://www.testvalleycab.org.uk/

E Mail (Andover): [email protected]E Mail (Romsey):  [email protected]

Eastleigh

Telephone: 0808 278 7862 (Freephone number)

Website:  https://www.citizensadviceeastleigh.org.uk/

Winchester and Bishops Waltham

Telephone:  0808 278 7861 (Freephone number)

E Mail:  [email protected]

Website:  https://www.citizensadvicewinchester.org.uk/

Basingstoke & Tadley

Telephone (Basingstoke): 0808 278 7829 (Freephone number) 

Telephone: (Tadley): 0808 278 7987 (Freephone number)

E Mail (Tadley):[email protected]

Website:  https://www.basingstokeandtadleycab.org.uk/

Gosport

Telephone: 02392 520112 / 0808 2787903

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.gosportcab.org.uk/

Fareham

Telephone:  01329 237121

E Mail:         [email protected]

Website:      https://public.citafareham.org/citizensadvicefareham

Havant

Telephone:  0808 278 7809

E Mail:      [email protected]

Website:      https://www.citizensadvicehavant.org/

Hart and Rushmoor

Hart (Yateley and Fleet)

Telephone: 0808 278 7864 (Freephone number)

Form to request advice:  https://citizensadvicehart.org.uk/contact/

Rushmoor (Aldershot and Farnborough)

Telephone:  0808 2787 912 (freephone)

Aldershot main telephone number is:  01252 333 618.

Farnborough main telephone number is: 01252 513 051.Website:  https://citizensadvicerushmoor.org.uk/

New Forest

The New Forest is a larger area, so there are multiple Citizens Advice offices serving different towns and communities within the New Forest district. The New Forest has offices in Ringwood, Totton, Hythe, Lymington and New Milton.

Telephone:  0808 278 78 60 (Freephone number)

Form to request advice:  https://newforestcab.org.uk/email-adviceline/

Website:  https://newforestcab.org.uk/about-us/

Portsmouth

Advice Portsmouth provides free, confidential and local advice on bills, benefits, debt, housing, consumer, family and employment issues.

Telephone:  023 9279 4340

Text:  07789 550593

E Mail: [email protected]

Portsmouth Citizens Advice Bureau provides free advice on benefits, debt, consumer, family, health, housing, law and the courts, employment and immigration issues.

Telephone:  02394 006 600

Contact form for advice: https://caportsmouth.org.uk/pages/contact-us#emailForm

Website:  https://caportsmouth.org.uk/

Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Citizens Advice 

Telephone: 0800 144 88 48 (Freephone number)

Textphone: 18001 0800 144 8884

Form to request advice:  https://www.islefindit.org.uk/contact-us

Link to self-help advice directory: https://www.islefindit.org.uk/advice-pages/advice-directory

Southampton

There are a few organisations that can help with general advice:

Advice in Southampton is a partnership of accredited services providing advice, information, and guidance for people living in the city.  They provide advice on Benefits, Debt and Money, Employment, Energy, Consumer, Family, Hate Crime, Health and Social Care, Housing, Immigration, Law and Rights issues.  

Their website takes you to the partnership of providers:

https://adviceinsouthampton.org.uk/about-us/

Southampton City Council has a Benefits & Welfare page that provides information on money and debt advice, basic bank accounts, advice for parents with children and private renting.

https://www.southampton.gov.uk/benefits-welfare/

Southampton Citizens Advice provide advice for people living in Southampton which is defined as the area covered by Southampton City Council – so postcodes from SO14 to SO19.

Telephone: 0808 27 87 863 (Freephone number)

Website:  https://citizensadvicesouthampton.org.uk/

Form to request advice:  https://citizensadvicesouthampton.org.uk/advice-request-form/


Tax Advice


If you or your worker need tax advice, then you may wish to use the services of a free advice agency in your area.  The following is a link to the main Government tax page:

https://www.gov.uk/tax-help

If you need advice with a specific tax issue you can use this web page to look up that issue such as National Insurance or Income Tax which will take you to the contact details for that issue at HMRC.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact

Tax Aid offers free, confidential advice on tax to those on low incomes.

http://taxaid.org.uk/

Telephone: 0345 120 3779

Request Advice Form: https://taxaid.org.uk/contact

Tax Advice on the Isle of Wight

The Citizens Advice Isle of Wight Tax team are the only completely free face to face tax advice service on the Isle of Wight.  They urge anyone who needs advice with a range of tax enquiries including Self Assessment, PAYE, Tax Codes, Tax Credits, National Insurance, Marriage Allowance, Work Related Expenses, Capital Gains and navigating online HMRC resources to contact them on the details below.

Telephone:  01983 823898 ext: 2836

Text on 07702 803274

E Mail:  [email protected]