Immigration and Visas

The University has a dedicated Student Immigration Team to provide support and advice to international students.

The best place to start is their website found on My Manchester. This is an up to date and comprehensive resource covering most visa and immigration issues that affect students.

The Student Immigration Team signpost routine e-mail enquiries to these webpages so it’s a good idea to see if you can find the answer to your question online first of all.

If you have a complex set of circumstances or you can’t find the answer to your questions, you can e-mail the Team on [email protected]. Make sure to include your full name and Student ID number in your e-mail, as well as a detailed summary of your circumstances. This will allow them to assess your situation and determine the best way to resolve your enquiry.

If you have an urgent enquiry, it is recommended that you phone the Student Services helpline on +44 (0)161 549 1182. This line is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm (BST).

Starting your course

There are a number of steps that international students often need to follow for studying in the UK. These include:

  • International Check-In
  • Police Registration
  • Renting checks

Guidance on each of these steps can be found here.

Most international students will also need to open a bank account in the UK. This usually applies if you are going to pay your tuition fees or University accommodation fees by direct debit.

Choosing a bank account

When it comes to banking there are many companies and products to choose from. Deciding on a back account comes down to what best meets your needs and personal preference. We can’t recommend a particular bank or type of account, as the best one for you will depend on your circumstances. But we’ve put together some top tips and a selection of the best resources available to help you choose.

There’s some helpful general guidance from the Money Advice Service on how to choose a bank and an account to meet your needs.

It’s worth checking out a few different banks to see how their accounts compare. It might be that some can be set up online whereas others have to be opened in person.

There could also be different terms and conditions to think about such as a minimum account balance and overdraft facilities. Save the Student have produced this helpful article on the most important terms and conditions for international students to be aware of.

When and where to open an account

You’ll only be able to open a bank account with most traditional high street banks once you’ve travelled to the UK and completed your University registration.

There is an exception for students from China. The Bank of China will allow you to open an account as soon as you arrive in the UK and before you’ve completed registration.

If you’re a new overseas student and will be studying remotely, you may need to think about using an online bank that allows you to open a UK account without proof of residency. Some high street banks may not allow you to open an account if you aren’t present in the UK.

We recommend you read the Monito article online banking for more guidance on this.

How to open an account in the UK

First of all complete steps 1-9 of university registration on My Manchester

Get the following documents together:

  • Your passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit card (if you have one)
  • Bank letter from the University showing home and Manchester addresses.
  • You’ll be sent a bank letter from early September onwards once you’ve completed steps 1-9 of registration

Once you’ve identified your bank of choice, follow the information on their website on how to open an account. You may be able to open an account online but you may need to visit the bank in person with your documents.

Managing your money in the UK

You may find that the way people use money could be different from what you are used to. It’s important to take some time to familiarise yourself with cash versus contactless payments as well as using online banking and payments.

We’re also encouraging all our students to be aware of fraud and scams. Although anyone around the world could be a target for fraud, as an international student there are certain scams that you could be vulnerable to.

We want you to be prepared and well-informed so that you can keep your money safe.

The most important thing to remember is that official organisations such as the UK Police, the Home Office or your bank will never demand or require you to transfer money into another account. They will also never ask you for personal information.

Keep yourself safe by refusing to transfer money or give our your personal details. Instead contact the Advice Service or the University for help and support. Even if the person asking you for money or personal information is insistent or threatening, you can hang up or decide not to reply.

Click here for more information and access to the University’s top tips on managing your money in your UK.

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