Being an immigrant in the United Kingdom could be a challenge. It could be a harrowing experience trying to collect legal documents to meet certain requirements in order to have a basic bank account, for example. Providing proof of address when you just arrived in the UK is such a pain most of the time.
I, being an immigrant from the Philippines via the spouse visa route, had encountered challenges in providing proof of address. My husband and I have had several bank appointments to settle my application for a bank account. Having a bank account is but a basic necessity here when you wish and plan on getting a job. After a few miss with the bank appointments, we finally made things perfect this time, the fourth time around.
Here’s the list of things my husband and I did to be able to finally secure me a proof of address:
- Called his energy supply provider to add me on the utility statement of account/billing statement. It took a few days to get it corrected. The problem was that the energy supply provider staff told us they had stopped catering to the double-names-in-one-account registration because of them having difficulties getting paid when there’s divorce or separation happening between the persons named in the bill. What happened was that my husband had me named in the billing statement. Unfortunately, when we went to the bank for my third appointment, we found out that the statement needed to be under my name for at least 3 months. Bugger!
- My husband had requested his local council to add me to his council tax bill. He made the request the second week of December. But because of the Christmas holidays, the request was put on hold. On the day after my third bank appointment when we found out we couldn’t use the utility bill as my proof of address, my husband rang the local council to get an update on his request, we were told that the updated council tax bill was already mailed and would be received in a day or two. But of course, just like with my visa application and everything related which was full of blunder, the council tax bill was there sitting prettily in our mailbox when we arrived from the bank!
The following is a list of documents (posted verbatim below) you may use to be able to use as proof of address as stated and posted on the UK government website:
- household utility bill (eg gas, electric, water or fixed line telephone but not a mobile phone bill). It must be no more than three months old and show your name and current address;
- current, valid full UK photo-card driving licence with signature or ‘old style’;
- driving licence. Provisional licences are not acceptable as proof of address;
- bank, building society or credit card statement. It must be no more than three months old and show your name and current address;
- local authority tax bill (e.g. council tax) valid for the current year;
- local authority rent book;
- solicitor’s letter confirming recent house purchase or land registry confirmation (in this case, proof of previous address will also be needed);
- HM Revenue & Customs (Inland Revenue) tax document e.g. tax assessment, statement of account, notice of coding. It must contain your full name and current address. P45s and P60s are not acceptable;
- original notification letter from the relevant benefits agency confirming the right to benefits or state pension;
- Northern Ireland Voter’s Card showing your current address.
If I may give you some tips regarding the matter discussed, it would be this: because the big role in all of this matter lies on the sponsor or the spouse who’s a UK citizen or the like, you might as well do the adding of the name of your other half on the documents which could be used as the proof of address so that as soon as they get in the UK, you have all the documents in original hard copy.
I wish you all the best!xx
The list of proof of address documents may vary with each organization so it would be wise to check with the local organization you’re going to be dealing with for the list of requirements they may ask from you.