New to the UK

National Insurance

If you wish to work in the UK, you will need to obtain a National Insurance number. This number is then given to your employer and is used to ensure that you pay the required tax and NI contributions.

In order to obtain the number, you may be required to attend an interview.

To obtain a National Insurance number, you need to contact the application line:

Job Centre Plus application line

Telephone: 0345 600 0643
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Further information is available at the following link:

Bank Accounts

Opening a bank account is something most international students seek to do when arriving.

Information relating to bank accounts and how to open one can be found at the following link:

Council Tax

Council Tax is a tax which is charged by each local council in the United Kingdom.

The purpose of the charge is to pay for local services that are provided, such as rubbish collection, the police and the fire brigade. 

Charges can vary depending on the area in which a house is located and the number of people living within the home.

There are certain situations/exemptions which mean that Council Tax is not payable. Some examples of these exemptions are as follows:

• Students are considered to be full time by the University and are therefore considered not liable.

·         Accommodation provided by the university or college that is occupied only or mainly by students (for example, a hall of residence or student house)

·         Other dwellings (for example, a privately rented flat) occupied only by students

·         Other dwellings occupied only by students and their dependants, who are not British citizens, and are prevented, by the terms of their UK immigration permission, from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits (for example a spouse who is on a dependant visa that has a condition that they have “no recourse to public funds”).

In order to be exempt from paying Council Tax, De Montfort University can provide students with an exemption certificate and this can be obtained from the Student Gateway.

Further information concerning Council Tax is available at the following link:

If you have any questions or queries relating to Council Tax or you receive a letter from the City Council asking for Council Tax payments, please contact DSU Welfare and further advice will be provided.

Schooling for Children (offences)

Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children receive appropriate full time education.

This usually means that a parent should make sure that:

·         Their child is registered at a school

·         Their child attends regularly

·         Their child attends punctually

If a parent fails to do the above, it is likely that they will face a fixed penalty notice which is levied by the local council.

This also applies to when parents remove their children from school for an unauthorised holiday.

This is a serious issue and could lead to criminal prosecution.

Further information about these types of offences is available below:

If you have questions about this topic, please contact us for further advice.

Importing Personal Belongings from abroad

It is normally the case that when students enter the UK from abroad, they choose to import some of their personal belongings after they have entered the country.

In order to avoid import tax/VAT/clearance fees, you will need to declare your belongings through a specific form to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs as your belongings may qualify for duty and tax reliefs.

Further information is available on the link below:

Driving in the UK

Legal Requirements

International students who wish to drive inside the UK need to ensure that they comply with the legal requirements within the UK and correct UK procedures are followed.

It is important that you have a valid driving licence as it is a criminal offence to drive without one and if caught, you will face serious criminal consequences.

If you own a vehicle, you will need to ensure that you have:

·         A valid driving licence

·         Car insurance

·         Road tax

·         MOT Certificate (if applicable)

Road Traffic Offences

These are normally offences linked to your vehicle and commonly include the following:

·         Driving without a valid licence

·         Driving without valid insurance

·         Speeding beyond the permitted limit

In the event that you are caught for having committed an offence of this nature, you can receive a fine, endorsement points on your licence and possibly a driving ban in the UK.

These offences involve the police and can also lead to criminal court action being taken against you which is why it is important that you comply with all the requirements.

Buying a car in the UK

Purchasing a car can be a complicated process especially taking into account the paperwork which is normally involved.

We have produced a helpful leaflet which is aimed at assisting you throughout this process below:


Remember that when buying or selling a car, you are responsible for notifying the DVLA (the body which oversees driving inside the UK) and failure to do so can lead to penalties.

Useful links:

Can you use international licence in the UK?


Driving in UK as new resident leaflet: