This article will explain how to open a bank account and get a bank letter for international and EU students.

We strongly recommend that you open a bank account once you arrive in the UK. It is the safest and most effective way of managing your money and making and receiving payments.

Opening a bank account

To open a bank account in the UK, you will need the following documents:

  • Proof of your identity (passport or EU identity card)
  • Student visa in your passport or BRP card (non-EU student only)
  • A letter from the International Office, which confirms you are a registered student

Bank letters

International and EU students may be required to show a bank letter from the University (International Office) in order to open a bank account. You can only request this after you have arrived in Portsmouth and have registered as a student. A letter can be produced for the following banks only*:

Request a bank letter - instructions

1. Choose a bank and complete the appropriate form:

2. Letters requested before 4pm each day can be collected after 10am on the next day. Letters requested after 4pm each day can be collected after 2pm on the next day.

3. Collect from International Office Reception. Bring your passport and student card at the time of collection.

Erasmus+ and Exchange students

If your course is six months or less, you will only be able to open an account with Halifax or Lloyds Bank.

Pre-sessional English students

Your letter will be produced by the Pre-sessional English course team in Park Building.

Visiting scholars

Please email us at international.office@port.ac.uk to request a letter. In your email include information about your given name, surname, date of birth, the title of your course (which department you are visiting), passport number, expected start and end date, home address and local address. Once your letter is ready, we will notify you by email.


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