How to open a UK account if you’re a student from India

India is one of the three countries that send the most international students to the UK – anywhere between about 10,000 and 15,000 in a normal year – and that number is growing in recent years too.

Getting an online UK bank account as a student from India isn’t always easy. The traditional banks don’t always accept online applications, so you might end up travelling to a local branch and waiting a long time for an international banking advisor to see you.

Arro is different. The Arro Personal Account was designed for newcomers to the UK and for anyone who is not well served by British banks.

Because Arro is not a bank, we can do things differently. We provide electronic money services online. That means the application process is completely online and very fast, and unlike a traditional banking sort code, your Arro Personal Account is not linked with a specific local bank branch – so if you move around during your stay in the UK, it’s no problem.

Where do Indian students study in the UK?

UKCISA compile statistics on international students in the UK, where and what they study, where they come from and so on.

For the UK as a whole, about one in five students come here to study from abroad, with India, China and the USA the three main countries of origin.

You might be surprised to know that Scotland has the highest proportion of international students, with 22% of its student population coming to study from abroad.

England is close to the national average at 19%, while in Wales 17% of students are international and just 9% of students in Northern Ireland come from overseas.

What do Indian students study in the UK?

Again the UKCISA figures give an insight into what overseas students study in the UK, with business and administrative studies top of the list.

International students account for about a third of engineering and technology students, and about a quarter of those enrolled on both law and architecture programmes.

Mass communications, mathematical sciences and computer sciences are also high on the list, followed by more transferable skills like social studies, languages, and art and design.

Can I stay in the UK after my studies?

As long as you can get a valid visa, you do not have to go back to your home country once your study programme ends, and you typically have four months to make any such arrangements.

The options include:

  • Tier 2 General Visa: Sponsored by an employer, this lets you stay in the UK as long as you have a suitable job and salary.
  • Tier 4 Doctorate Extension: Sponsored by your education provider, this gives you 12 months from completing a PhD course, to seek work or start a business of your own.

There are also options for entrepreneurs, if you have a credible business plan, or you may qualify for a UK Ancestry visa if just one or more grandparent was born in the UK.

Can I keep my Arro Personal Account?

As long as you stay in the UK, yes you can. It doesn’t matter if you move around – even to a different part of the UK, such as from England to Scotland or Wales – as long as you still have a postal address here.

If you stay as a worker rather than a student, we will not make you change your current account. You will keep your sort code, account number and same debit card details, with all of the account features you have become used to using.

While the traditional banks may put certain limits on bank accounts for international students from India and other non-EU countries, we give you a full Arro Personal Account that is yours to keep for as long as you are in the UK.

If you go into business on your own using an entrepreneur visa, you might even want to consider applying for an Arro Business Account to make sure your professional money is kept separate from your personal budget.

And finally if you decide to return to India, it’s easy to transfer money out of your Arro Personal Account. You can do so online via Faster Payments, in exactly the same way as friends and family from back home can send you money throughout your stay here, or use your Arro cash card to withdraw your balance at an ATM (subject to the usual withdrawal limits and rules on carrying cash out of the country).