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Life in the UK

International students in city

Opening a UK bank account and payroll

NTU will require you to open a UK bank account, so that we can pay your wages directly into it once a month. As part of your offer pack you will have received a blank bank details form, which will need to be completed by you and returned to your HR contact.

It is possible — but not straightforward — to open a UK account from abroad, so this will likely be one of the first tasks you’ll need to complete after your arrival in the UK.

Banks in the UK offer a range of accounts and services to suit differing needs. The most basic type of account is a standard ‘current account’. These accounts are typically free to open and use, but some may have fees. The most popular banks include:

  • HSBC
  • the Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Lloyds TSB
  • the Halifax
  • the Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • Santander
  • the Co-operative
  • the Nationwide
  • the Tesco bank

Once you have selected a bank to use, opening a current account typically requires two things:

  1. Proof of identity
  2. Proof of address

Providing proof of identity will be straightforward — just use your passport and biometric residence permit. Providing proof of address can be more problematic for international workers, as you will likely not have any official letters or utility bills showing your UK address.

The University can provide you with a formal letter stating your employment terms and new address. Many banks will accept this letter as evidence of address. Each bank could have slightly different requirements, however, so it is worth checking with your chosen bank about the evidence they need to see.

Once your account is opened you will be given an account number and a ‘sort code’. These two numbers identity your bank account. The Payroll team at NTU needs these details to send your wages to the correct place: please provide this information to either the recruitment team ( or directly to Payroll ( using the NTU bank details form.

Driving in the UK

To drive in the UK, you must have a valid license. If you have a license from an EU member country, you can use that license for as long as it remains valid. If it expires while you are still in the UK, you will need to obtain a UK license. To do this, please see the following guidance. Find out more about if you can drive with a non-British license.

There are important legal requirements for UK drivers, which include the following.

  • You must drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  • You can only overtake on the right.
  • Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts.
  • It is against the law to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • It is against the law to use a handheld mobile device while driving.
  • You must observe the local speed limit, which is usually 30 miles per hour. On motorways the speed limit is 70mph. If you are caught speeding by a police officer or by a camera, you will be fined.

Drivers in Britain must adhere to the highway code. For more information, please refer to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Please note that parking is available at all of our campuses, but spaces are limited (especially at the City Campus).

To buy a car in the UK, you can purchase a new or used car from a motor dealer, or by private sale (Autotrader). Cars must be taxed and insured, and they must also have a valid MOT certificate if over three years-old.