Opening a bank account in a new country is not always straightforward especially in the UK, as different banks have different policies and apply different conditions. However, most international students should be allowed to open what is called a ‘basic bank account’.
You should assume that it will take at least 2 weeks to open a bank account and make sure you have access to the money that you will need during this period by making financial arrangements similar to those you might make if you were a tourist. Bring travellers' cheques with you, and possibly a credit card and a cash card.
International students on a course at the University for less than six months may not be able to open a bank account.
Before you will be able to open a bank account in the UK you will need to have:
- Completed your enrollment and paid at least 50% of the year's tuition fee
- Made sure your correct home address (in your home country) is stored on the University's Student Records System (RISIS)
- Registered in University accommodation or, if you live in private accommodation, have updated your address details on the RISIS web portal. Be aware that once you have registered in University accommodation it can take up to 24 hours for your new contact information to be updated in RISIS.
Once you have completed this section, head over to Step 2 where you will find information on what banks and accounts are currently available, what documents you require, and how to open an account.