How to get a current account for a migrant in the UK

Opening a UK bank account for migrants is the first step towards living a comfortable lifestyle when you’re new to the UK. It gives you the freedom to get paid by employers in UK currency, as well as to be able to spend on the everyday items you need, without foreign exchange fees when you do.

But the banks often make it take a long time to open a bank account in the UK for migrants, with lots of meetings with international banking advisors. They may even ask you to prove your reason for being here – either with a letter from your college or university, or proof of your employment status.

On top of that, there are tests of who you are, so you may have to show your passport, driving licence or European ID card, along with proof of how much money you have back home and whether you have a good credit rating in the UK.

This can all feel very intrusive, and if you are not a fluent English speaker, that can make it even harder to answer all of the questions correctly. Arro Money believe it shouldn’t be this hard.

Why we made the Arro Personal Account

Nobody should have to live without access to a current account in a foreign country. The ability to spend your own money in the local currency, without having to live entirely using cash, is a basic thing to want, and we wanted to make sure it is possible for as many people as we can.

We designed the Arro Personal Account to be ‘foreign-friendly’, so no matter how recently you arrived in the UK, and no matter what your nationality or residency status, as long as you have a current UK address and you are over 18, we aim to provide you with an account.

To be able to do this, we use online ID checks that cover 160 different countries – all without accessing your credit report – and that means that if you meet our simple Fair Fit criteria and we can verify your ID online, we guarantee to accept your application.

What about my credit status?

We promise we will not access your credit file. Opening an Arro Personal Account as a migrant does not show as a loan application – in fact it does not show on your credit history at all – unlike if you were to apply for a bank account with an overdraft, or for a credit card.

In fact with an Arro Personal Account, you don’t necessarily need a credit card, as every account comes with a MasterCard® debit card in your own name, which lets you spend money from your account without any need to apply for credit.

The account and card are UK-based and your balance is in pounds sterling. That means no foreign exchange fees when you spend money in UK pounds – just the same transaction fees we would charge to any UK accountholder, which we publish in full upfront.

How long can I have an Arro Personal Account?

You have to live in the UK to have an Arro Personal Account, so if you are an international student or a seasonal worker, you can keep your account open for as long as the UK is your ‘normal’ location – short visits back home or vacations elsewhere are not a problem.

If you move permanently back home or to a different country, it’s easy to transfer your remaining balance out of your account using the Arro Money online dashboard, so you won’t lose whatever is left in your account.

And if you stay for longer, there’s no expiry date on your account. It is the same account we give to UK-resident Arro Personal Account customers, and we will not force you to close it or move it if you decide to stay longer than you originally expected.

Open an account as a migrant

Your nationality is not really a problem when opening an account as a migrant with us – what matters is where you live at the time of your application, as we need to be able to verify your UK address, and that you are over 18.

We promise to accept you if we can, subject to our Fair Fit test and those basic requirements, and as your application will not show on your credit file, there’s no risk of damaging your credit rating by applying.

Just fill in our quick signup form and we will do the rest – and if all goes well, you will have your fully featured Arro Personal Account just like any other customer, within a matter of minutes.