Ways to access a UK account for students from Brazil

Making the decision to study in a foreign country is a brave choice, and with 5,500 miles between the two countries – nearly 9,000 km – travelling from Brazil to study in the UK should be an adventure in itself.

But it’s only natural to want some confidence about your finances before you leave home – and with the lengthy application processes you have to go through as an international student with some of the UK banks, you could be left trying to live only using cash for quite some time.

While it’s difficult to get a bank account before you actually arrive in the UK, with very limited options for advance applications from the banks, planning ahead can make sure that you are ready to open an account immediately when you arrive, with no cause for added delay.

Welcome to the UK

International students from Brazil feel welcome in the UK, according to a 2014 survey by the UK’s National Union of Students.

The NUS survey found that Brazilian international students topped the list of those who felt the UK government was welcoming to overseas students at that time, with nearly three quarters feeling either positively welcomed, or overall neutral.

Brazil was second only to the EU when asked if students would recommend the UK as a place to study, with 80% saying yes and another 10% unsure – only one in ten said they would not advise friends and relatives to study in the UK.

The figures are testament to the warm welcome the UK puts forward to international students from all over the world, and especially to the many Brazilian international students who feel at home here during their academic career.

Getting ready

The banks can be less welcoming – especially if you don’t have the specific forms of ID, proof of your financial history, or proof of your education status that they might demand in order to open an international student account in your name.

You can plan ahead, for example by making sure you have your passport or driving licence with you when you go to your meeting with the international banking advisor, but they may still ask for something you did not expect, such as several months of bank statements on paper, or even several years of past address history.

If you are unable to provide the documents – for example because they are 9,000 km away back home – you could find it very difficult to open an international student account in a UK bank.

A warmer welcome

Arro Money do not believe in excluding eligible applicants – in fact we guarantee to accept all applications for an Arro Personal Account, unless there is a reason why it is impossible for us to do so.

Rather than ask for lots of paperwork to prove your identity, we just ask you to fill in our quick online form. We then use the information you have given us to check databases for 160 different countries, which allows us to verify your ID down to street level.

This does not mean accessing your credit file at all, so there is no impact on your credit rating, and we only ask that you must be aged over 18 years and you must have arrived in the UK before you send your application for an Arro Personal Account.

What will I get?

Opening an Arro Personal Account in just three minutes gives you some of the most common account capabilities you will need in order to live a comfortable lifestyle in the UK.

You will get:

  • An online account dashboard to view recent transactions and your account balance.
  • Access to common ways of sending money, including Faster Payments and Direct Debit.
  • No fees to receive money into your account or to set up new Direct Debits.
  • A cash card you can use to withdraw money at ATMs throughout the UK.
  • A MasterCard® debit card you can use in shops and online to make card purchases.

You can apply as soon as you arrive in the UK – we need a current UK address, but we don’t need you to prove months or years of your address history – and the application process can take just three minutes.

Once your account is opened, we will immediately send you your account details so you can start moving money in, along with your virtual MasterCard® debit card details via SMS, which you can start using online right away.