Online Bank Account for Student from China | Chinese Student

How to open a UK bank Account if you’re a student from China

China is by far the biggest source of international students coming to study in the UK – in 2016, more than 75,000 Chinese students were given visas, not including those on short-term study courses, and that number climbed to over 88,000 in 2017.

It’s a number that just goes up and up, and will soon pass 100,000 each year, and yet the UK banks don’t always make it easy to set up an open online bank account if you’re a student from China or anywhere else overseas.

We want your experience of living and studying in the UK to be as positive and enjoyable as possible – and that means not spending hours waiting in line in a bank branch to see an international advisor.

Although Arro is not a bank, we are regulated to provide online electronic money services. We were created based on first-hand experience of being new to the UK, and of how difficult the British banks made that process.

We guarantee to accept all eligible applications. That means in just three minutes you can have a UK current account with its own sort code and account number – everything you need to receive financial support from back home.

Am I eligible to open an account as a student from China?

The short answer is yes, probably. If you can fill in our simple online application form, there’s a very good chance we will accept you.

We just ask for some basic details:

  • Name
  • Date of birth (you must be aged 18 or over)
  • UK address (where you will live for most of your time – your ‘base’ in the UK)
  • Contact details (to provide your account number and MasterCard® details)

There’s no credit check, just a very basic Fair Fit test, and assuming you pass you should receive your account number and virtual MasterCard® details within minutes, and a physical card through the post to your UK address.

What do I need to study?

According to UKCISA, who compile data on overseas students in the UK, business studies, engineering, technology, law and architecture are among the most popular subjects for international students from all countries.

Maths and computer sciences come next, followed by social studies, languages, art and design – proof that overseas students don’t only study the sciences, but also arts subjects.

In fact Arro don’t require you to study any particular course – the Arro Personal Account is not limited only to the traditional business-type subjects, or even only to university students.

No matter how you choose to study in the UK, if you are here on a valid student visa or short-term visa and can provide us with a UK address and the other basic details mentioned above, we guarantee to accept your application if we can.

Where should I live?

The first recorded visit to the UK by a Chinese person dates back to 1685 and there are permanent Chinese communities in every major city – often found in a ‘Chinatown’ district complete with authentic Chinese restaurants, grocery stores and so on.

London has its Chinatown and several London boroughs have their own Chinese community centres. But it’s believed that Liverpool was the first UK city to have a significant permanent Chinese population.

You’ll also find Chinese communities in Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield, as well as Newcastle in north-east England, Belfast in Northern Ireland, and in Glasgow and Aberdeen in Scotland (more than one in five students in Scotland come from overseas, well over the UK national average).

Another way to look at it is, wherever you choose to study, you are likely to find a substantial local population of permanent British Chinese residents and of international students from China, along with other countries from all over the world.

Long-term visa options for Chinese students in the UK

Depending on what you study, you may be able to stay in the UK and continue on to a postgraduate or PhD course using a student visa.

If this is not right for you, there are some other options to consider – but you will usually need to have your new visa in place within four months of the end of your current study programme.

A Tier 4 Doctorate Extension is a one-year extension to the end of your study visa, sponsored by your education provider, and this aims to give you time to get a job or start a business in your chosen sector.

A Tier 2 General Visa must be sponsored by an employer, but as long as you get a suitable job this should allow you to stay in the UK once you are no longer a student.

  • Flexi


    From £0.00 per month

    Use your account as much or as little as you like!

    £1.00 per ATM withdrawal

    £1.00 per Fast Payment

    Max Balance £25K

    Annual Limit £120K

New to the UK? How Arro can help with personal banking

When you are new to the UK, one of the first things you need is access to your money, with fast, easy personal banking so you can pay rent, buy food, and live day to day.

You may have moved to the UK to study or to be with family and friends. Or you may have moved for work – as part of your job, or to look for work in the UK, or even to start and grow a business in the UK.

But without a UK bank account, it can be hard to find a job, rent a house, or even to get a UK mobile phone on a monthly contract.(online Shopping, send or receive money from back home)

The Arro Personal Account makes it easy to get a UK sort code and account number. We guarantee* to accept your application once your ID is verified, and we can check ID automatically in most cases from 160 countries.

Don’t waste hours standing in line at the International Banking desk in your local high street bank. With an Arro Personal Account you can have an account number and a virtual debit card in minutes.

  • Instant applications and automatic ID checks open your account faster.
  • No waiting for your payments card – we can send a working CVV number by SMS.
  • No credit involved – so you don’t need to have a credit record in the UK.

Why open an Arro Personal Account?

On your first days in the UK you will probably rely on cash to buy things like food, but it quickly gets very hard to live just using cash.

You will find it hard to set up a mobile phone contract and pay utility bills like electricity, gas and water using cash. You might even find you cannot rent a property if you want to pay in cash.

A lot of companies in the UK expect you to have a credit record or credit rating – a score of how well you use your money – and without this it can be hard to get approved for all kinds of things too.

We guarantee to accept your application for an Arro Personal Account, as long as we can confirm your identity.

This gives you a UK banking sort code and account number with no fuss and no waiting, which you can then take to companies to set up payments, make direct bank transfers, start a Direct Debit or pay by debit card.

  • No paperwork, no waiting in line. Get an Arro Personal Account when you need one.
  • Full UK banking. Get your own sort code, account number, debit card number and CVV code.
  • Guaranteed to be accepted. We can check ID from over 160 countries in minutes.

What is an Arro Personal Account?

An Arro Personal Account gives you a UK bank account, MasterCard debit card and the ability to make payments online and set up regular payments by standing order or Direct Debit.

Full UK bank account

An Arro Personal Account gives you a UK bank account, MasterCard debit card and the ability to make payments online and set up regular payments by standing order or Direct Debit.

MasterCard debit card

Your account also comes with a MasterCard debit card, accepted in the UK and around the world. You will receive your CVV 3-digit security code by SMS within minutes, so you can make card payments online even before you get your physical card.

No credit involved

Your Arro Personal Account holds your own money and your debit card can’t spend more than you have in your account. Because we don’t lend you any money, we don’t need to check your credit rating. This means you will still be accepted, even if you have had money problems in the past.

Is an Arro Personal Account right for me?

We made the Arro Personal Account after coming to the UK and trying to open a bank account, buy the things we needed to live, and set up important bills like paying rent.

It is very hard and very slow to open a personal account with a British high street bank. You have to prove who you are, wait for meetings and fill in lots of forms.

We wanted to do better. So we made the Arro Personal Account to cover everything you need to make payments and buy things in the UK, with none of the waiting and paperwork.

You need to know you will be accepted. So we use automatic systems in over 160 countries to check your ID and approve your account in minutes – if we can prove who you are, we guarantee you will get an account.

How to Apply

Go to our Personal Account Signup page to apply. We just need your name, date of birth and a UK address. We also ask for a UK mobile phone number if you have one, and an email address to send confirmation to.

You don’t need a referral from a UK bank and you don’t need a job in the UK. But we do need a physical UK address. That means you can’t apply until you get to the UK, but can sign up in less than five minutes when you do.

We have a very simple list of fees. On our Flexi account there is no monthly fee, just a £1 charge for fast payments and cash machine withdrawals, plus a few charges for rejected payments and lost debit cards – and that’s it.

    Sign up in minutes with your name, date of birth and UK postal address.

  • No delays – get an account in minutes when you arrive in the UK.
  • You don’t need a job or a referral from a British bank.
  • We may ask for a passport or driving licence in rare cases when we can’t verify your ID automatically.

Arro want to make your UK banking as fast and easy as possible, so we give you a full British bank account and debit card, with the minimum of background checks and banking fees.

Send us your details today to get your account number and virtual debit card details in minutes.

Sign up for a Personal Account
Personal fees

*Subject to Fair fit

  • Flexi


    From £0.00 per month

    Use your account as much or as little as you like!

    £1.00 per ATM withdrawal

    £1.00 per Fast Payment

    Max Balance £25K

    Annual Limit £120K

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