Getting a Monzo bank account as a refugee

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Opening a bank account has traditionally been a very time-consuming and frustrating process. But if you recently arrived in the UK as a refugee, that process becomes even harder.

As we said yesterday in our post on getting a bank account as a recent immigrant, you can end up going round in circles with banks and other officials, unable to get the right documentation to even get started. It often turns out that staff you interact with don’t know or understand the relevant regulations, so your experience can vary branch-to-branch and bank-to-bank.

A bank account is essential to starting your life in the UK. Things like renting a flat or getting a phone usually need you to prove you have a bank account. And without one, we know it can be very difficult to settle in and access important services.

We’re working hard to make sure refugees can open bank accounts with Monzo: we want to make it quick and easy to sign up for an account and make sure that we cater for as many people as possible, even if your situation is unique or you don’t have a passport or ID card. We’ve outlined below different options for opening an account with Monzo.

Ways to open a Monzo account as a refugee

Biometric Residence Permit

If you have a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), you can open a Monzo bank account today. Just download the Monzo app and sign up. You’ll need to have your BRP card with you, and an address in the UK where we can send your Monzo debit card. Signing up and ordering a card should take less than ten minutes, and you can do it all from your smartphone.

Other IDs

If you have a valid passport, driving licence or national ID card, you can open a bank account with Monzo today. Just download the Monzo app and sign up. You’ll need to have your ID document to hand, and a UK address we can send your Monzo debit card.

Ways we don’t support yet

Application Registration Card

If you have an Application Registration Card (ARC), unfortunately you can’t open a bank account with Monzo at the moment. We’re working really hard to make it possible for people with different papers to open an account with us, and we’ll update this page if anything changes.

There’s still plenty of work to do, so we’ll keep this page updated as we improve and make Monzo accessible to more people.

If you are a refugee or are helping a refugee open a bank account, and have any questions, please email us at and we’ll do everything we can to help.