Bank Accounts Closure and Immigration

By law, banks and building societies will no longer open the bank accounts of an illegal person. An illegal person for this purpose will be someone who does not have any “Leave to Remain” or “Leave to Enter” in the UK.

Since 30 October 2017, banks and building societies are required by the law to check the immigration status of each account holder after every 3 months. The banks and building societies are required to inform the Home Office if an account holder is without a legal status in the UK

Home Office upon the notification of a bank or building society can either ask the court to freeze the account or order the bank or building society to close the account of the illegal person

Account Closure

Where a bank or building society closes the account of an illegal person, such bank and building society is obliged by law to inform the account holder that his/her bank account is closed and the reason why it is closed.

Exception (legitimate barrier to leave)

What can be a legitimate barrier is not very clear at this stage. The general principle is that where there is a valid and genuine reason that the illegal person cannot leave the UK, he/she may be allowed to reopen his/her bank account.

Mistake by Bank

Where a bank or building society has closed the account of someone who has a legal status in the UK (leave to remain, leave to enter, citizenship or other legal status), such person has to complain directly to Home Office as the bank account is already closed.

Where the account of someone legal is subject to the freezing order, such person can appeal against the freezing order of Home office

Where the bank is in the process of closing account but has not closed it yet and the evidence is there that you are legally residing in the UK. You can ask the bank to contact the Home Office and your account should not be closed

Evidence required

Passport, Biometric Residence Card or any other equivalent document which can show that the person has a legal status in the UK

The evidence must be presented to the concerned bank and building society. The bank will apply to the Home Office to reopen your bank Account. Where a bank refuses to reopen the account after someone has shown the evidence, such a person has to contact Home Office.

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