Interim Payment After Arrival in the UK

You’re likely to need cash when you arrive to buy food and essentials. Your local council will provide you with a one off payment of £200 per guest, which you do not need to pay back. Please note, this payment is made by Hertfordshire County Council.

You need to contact your local council to claim this payment. The list of contacts of the district and borough councils in Hertfordshire can be found at this link.

Emergency Funds Whilst Waiting for Benefits

Every Ukrainian will receive a one off payment of £200 (see above). It may be possible to apply for a Refugee Integration Loan of up to £500, which can be usually be applied for via Job Centre Plus. Some charities also have emergency relief funds for refugees at risk of destitution.. For example, the British Red Cross have small emergency grants for refugees. They have factsheets available in Ukrainian specifically for those resettling in the UK. Other local charities will have sources of clothes and hot meals, we will update details of local offers.

How to Set up a Bank Account

To open a bank or building society account, you will probably have to:

  • Make sure you have an email address set up in your name and a valid phone number, to help the bank or building society communicate with you
  • Collect all your identification and visa documents

You can apply for an account either in person at a bank or building society branch (you may need to make an appointment), over the phone, online or via a bank’s mobile app. If going into a branch, you should take all relevant identification documents with you.

If you don’t have all the identification documents, take all information you have with you to the bank or building society. Banks and building societies are encouraged to consider alternative ways to identify and verify their customers, and the government has been working closely with the sector to support access for incoming Ukrainian nationals who may not have standard documentation for identity verification. There are a range of providers, and you can choose one that suits you best. More information, including a list of some providers and their websites can be found at section 2.1 of the UK Government welcome pack.

You can find a dedicated website for arrivals setting up new bank accounts.