Moving abroad (Portugal / Brazil)

I’m moving abroad soon and I’d like to know whether it’s fine to keep my Monzo account and what are the requirements. The Monzo FAQ on this topic is surprisingly lacking in information:

Moving abroad
We can only offer accounts to UK residents at the moment, although we’d love to offer them to anyone in the future.

My interpretation of this is that I may not have a Monzo account after I move abroad. However, I’ve read many posts here saying the opposite. But they are all pre-brexit, so rules could have changed.

Does anyone know what the current rules are? I already have an account. I’m not sure if I’m moving to Portugal or Brazil.

Thank you.

The rule is as you’ve copied really.

Whether you bother to tell them and keep spending/using your card abroad is up to you.

It has nothing to do with Brexit.

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Oficially you can only have an account if you live in the UK iirc

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If you are a U.K. resident, I think the relevant rules are these ones.

It’s likely you count as a resident for at least your first year living abroad. Note banks can’t give advice on this so it’s really up to you to know where you are a ‘resident’ of, but they might close the account (with notice) if they figure you have moved abroad permanently

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If I remember correctly monzo have contacted people who have been abroad for a while consistently.

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@Revels @andrew_fishy @kolok
So, I’m not allowed to have a Monzo account officially if I live abroad and I should contact Monzo and close my account; if I don’t, Monzo might contact me anyway. Is that it?


Tax if you’re non-domiciled

You do not pay UK tax on your foreign income or gains if both the following apply:

  • they’re less than £2,000 in the tax year
  • you do not bring them into the UK, for example by transferring them to a UK bank account

My understanding is that I may keep a UK bank account, I’m just not allowed to transfer income to it, otherwise I’m subject to tax in the UK. This means the UK doesn’t care whether I keep an account, only whether I transfer money to it. This is useful information, but not enough, as it doesn’t mean Monzo allows us to keep the account open. After all, HMRC allows us to keep our ISA (and pay zero tax in the UK, although we might have to pay tax in the country we move to), but I couldn’t find a single ISA provider that allows me to keep using my ISA after moving abroad. The best I could find was Vanguard, which allows me to keep it open but not make any new investments (i.e. if I sell shares in the ETFs I own, I can’t buy again until I move back to the UK).

In summary:

  • HMRC doesn’t mind if we keep the account open;
  • Monzo does mind and will want to close the account when they figure out we moved abroad.

Is this correct?

I would say so. It’s up to you if you want to be honest or risk it.


I mean, it’s not even like I have a choice. Monzo sees all my transactions, they can figure it out very quickly. It’s just weird because it wasn’t the case not too long ago. I wonder when that changed.

The main issue you’ll have is card replacements. Lost, stolen, damaged and renewals.

They charge to send abroad (think it’s £30) and as you said, if you order all of your cards to the same address abroad that could also raise red flags.

They might at some point (like your first card) decide to only send it to your registered UK address for security.

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Just to add to this, Brazil is on the excluded list so you can’t get a card sent there.


Ah. In that case I think it’s fine. I won’t be away from the UK long enough to need a card sent abroad. I will take my chances, worst case I still have Revolut, which allows me to keep the account (at least in Portugal, unsure about Brazil). Does Monzo at least give us a chance to transfer all the money to Revolut before we are forced to close the account?

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Of course. They’re not going to steal your money :slight_smile:

From what I’ve seen on here, they give you a form to input the new account details and they transfer all of your money over.


It’s always been the case. You need to be a UK resident. Nothing has changed.


Alright, thanks! I now understand how this all works :).

It’s nothing to do with HMRC. They are just the rules for considering whether you are resident or not.

As I understand from Monzo’s perspective, as they are a U.K. bank they are only allowed to offer accounts to U.K. customers, anything else falls out of their remit. It’s probably to do with ‘know your customer’ banking regs and the fact it’s hard for them to know enough about you if you don’t live in the U.K.

If you’re planning on returning to the UK within 12 months, working for a UK employer or travelling generally you’re okay.

If you’re moving outside of the UK permanently then that wouldn’t be acceptable use :relaxed:


Cool, thanks for the clear answer. I’m planning on returning within 12 months (possibly even earlier), so I will keep it open.


Monzo may at some point in the future decide that, given your card usage and lack of UK use, that you are not ordinarily resident in the UK, and that they can no longer offer you banking services.

They may do many things.