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How To Open A US Bank Account As A Non-Resident. A Complete Guide.

Step by step guide to Open A US Bank Account As A Non-Resident. Along with the best banking options.

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Can a non-citizen open a bank account in the United States? you might think. Yes, you certainly can. Non-citizens may find the process difficult, but it is not impossible. Setting up a US bank account will be beneficial, whether for business, travel, or personal reasons.

If you are looking how to open a US bank account as a non-resident, you can easily find helpful information in this guide even you are not a resident of the United States.

Why not start your new life in the United States with an online bank account? Opening a US bank account for non-residents online can be tough, but it’s possible if you’re willing to work hard. We’ve got some great options for getting this done!

Also, Read Our Guide On How to start a business in the US as a non-resident.

Banking in the US just got harder. The Patriot Act was created to help fight crime, but it’s had some unintended consequences for everyday Americans. One of the biggest changes is increased verification requirements. Now you have to jump through more hoops than ever before to prove your identity and access your money.

Let’s get started with our guide on how to open a bank account for non us citizens!

Opening A US Bank Account As A Non Resident

Before you can open a bank account in the United States, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. This usually entails providing a Social Security Number (SSN), an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and confirmation of residency in the United States. You’ll also have to carry identification documents like a passport, driver’s license, government-issued photo ID, and, if necessary, citizenship papers.

Read Our Guide: What Is An EIN?

You can create an account if you meet these requirements. When it comes to opening an account with a bank in the United States, you have several options:

  • Use a “correspondent” bank: A correspondent bank is one that has a connection with a bank in the United States and can support you in opening an account there. Not all banks have these connections, and you will be unable to create an account with a US bank.
  • Create an international account with a bank: That’s where you open an account with a bank in another country. You’ll need to deposit a large sum of money and keep your account balance high.
  • To open the account in the United States, travel to the following locations: Although not ideal, you can travel to the United States and open an account with a bank there. You’ll need some documentation, so call ahead to double-check the requirements before heading out.
  • Establish a Wise Multi-Currency Account: This is often the easiest choice, as it allows you to open a virtual account in the United States with full banking details that you can use like a regular bank account.
  • Open an Account with Remitly Passbook: Remitly Passbook is a new offering from Remitly targeted towards foreigners that allows you to open an all-online, American bank account without submitting your Social Security number.

Documents Needed For Opening A Bank Account In US

First and foremost, it’s essential to consider the United States’ diversified banking ecosystem. You’ve definitely heard of some of the big names, such as Bank of America, but there are also a bunch of new regional and state-based banks, credit unions, online banks, and investment banks to choose from. As a non-resident, we advise banking with larger institutions such as Chase Bank, Bank of America, or Citibank. They are all available to non, as far as we know. Smaller, more local banks have a reduced risk limit, and if you don’t have a US address, you’ll very likely be turned it down.

Also Read, What Is DBA For Your Business?

Moreover, the paperwork you must provide in order to open an account differs depending on the bank, state, and even branch. Residents of the United States, on the other hand, will usually be required to submit the following documents in order to open a personal checking account.

Know More About SSN.

Following are some of the general criteria for opening an account with a bank or credit union:

  • Name, address, and phone number are examples of contact information.
  • Usually needs atleast two government-issued identification documents, such as a valid driver’s licence or passport
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) (If you’re a non-citizen but don’t have a Social Security number, you’ll nearly certainly need an ITIN.)
  • Monthly payment that shows your current address
  • Payment in cash (usually $25 to $100)
  • Depending on the state or financial institution, requirements may differ.

To open a checking or savings account, you must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. address, regardless of whether you are a U.S. citizen or not. An undocumented person who has no legal permission to be or remain in the United States can also open a bank account in the United States. An ITIN and a U.S. address are two important criteria.

Read Our Guide On How To Check LLC Name Availability

It is a well-known fact that in most cases, non-U.S citizens cannot open accounts online; instead, they must go to one of the many branches available for doing so (e.g., Bank or Credit union). Santander Bank accepts applications from U.S residents with either an ITIN/Social Security Number but only if you’re willing to accept these limitations!

What Are The Types Of Bank Accounts For Non-Residents?

Non-residents can open personal and corporate bank accounts, respectively.

A personal bank account can be opened by almost anyone, and as a non-resident, you’ll have more alternatives with one than with a business account. However, if your organization is based in the United States, you can easily register a corporate account.

Opening A Personal Bank Account In The US

Opening a personal account is easy. You can open either current or savings accounts at most banks in the country, with some restrictions on what type of funds they accept as collateral for their loans—but don’t worry! There are plenty more options available if you’re unable to provide documentation about where your money came from (whether it’s savings, capital gains, etc.).

When choosing how to register your company, it’s important that you take the tax benefits into account. Setting up a US LLC as a non-resident will allow for different levels of filing and other requirements depending on where in America or abroad they are based – but if their goal was simply anonymity then this might just do what needs to be done! Therefore, if you have the proper documentation, you should be able to create a personal bank account in the United States pretty fast.

Opening A Corporate Account In The US

Another alternative is to create a business in the United States and obtain a corporate bank account. This choice is incredibly beneficial for those who conduct business with companies in the Usa and receive online payments from them.

The price is quite affordable. When you form a business in the United States, you’ll be issued an EIN number (which is the SSN for companies, roughly speaking). Your banking options will be more diverse if you have an EIN. Generally, businesses that provide foreigner incorporation services can also assist with establishing a corporate bank account.

The majority of bank accounts in the United States are checking or savings accounts. Checking accounts function similarly to current accounts in other countries and offer services such as:

  • Account transfers
  • Bank transfers and direct debits
  • Recurring payments
  • Debit cards
  • ATM withdrawals
  • Online banking access
  • Bills and other payments

Savings accounts enable you to save some overtime while also earning interest. The number of times you can withdraw money from a savings account is usually limited. Both current and savings accounts will include the following features:

  • A routing number is a unique number that identifies your bank
  • An account number is a number that uniquely identifies your account

What Are The Benefits Of Opening A US Bank Account With Foreign Address?

Going to fill up documents, attending an agent’s office, and spending nearly two months may seem tedious, but the advantages of having money in the bank much exceed the difficulties.

Let’s see some advantages of opening a US bank account as a non-resident:

  • Increased finalcial protection: Keeping a pile of cash in a drawer is far riskier than depositing it in a bank account. Deposit insurance is available from banks and credit unions up to $250,000. The banking industry offers that piece of mind as a key benefit.
  • Reduced fees: Cashing a check without a bank account might be fairly costly. Forms of alternative checking accounts, such as check-cashing services and prepaid debit cards, can cut into income.
  • Lending opportunities: Building a relationship with the banking industry might connect with other people to even bigger life ambitions, such as buying a car or home ownership. In fact, several banks have made it their mission to assist non-residents of the United States in achieving homeownership.
  • Planning for the future: Establishing a checking account is a solid first step for anyone’s financial affairs, and having a savings account is the next logical step.
  • Debit cards are accepted: Debit cards are available from many banks and credit unions. You can use a debit card to get cash from an ATM, make online purchases, and pay for in-store items purchased.
  • Obtaining direct deposit access: This allows your money to be deposited into your individual account.
  • Bills to be paid: Rather than purchasing money orders, you may be able to pay invoices by cheque or online.
  • Increasing your chances of being approved for a loan: If you have a bank or financial institution account with them, they may be more ready to loan you funds since you already have a connection with each other.

Here are some drawbacks of opening a US bank account as a non-resident:

  • There is a convenience factor to banking in the US, but there is also a risk factor. Consider this if you’re planning to deposit all of your life savings in an American bank.
  • In addition, it is heavily reliant on the US currency and the costs associated with international transactions can be quite high if you are not careful. Try out the financial possibilities if you frequently deal with currencies that aren’t one of your own.

What Are The Alternative Accounts for Non-U.S. Citizens

If you’re a non-US citizen who can’t open an account with a US bank or credit union, you might want to look into the options given:

  • Depend on your home country’s bank: Some international banks have business dealings with American banks. If your account is one of them, it may be able to assist you with opening a bank account in the United States.
  • Open an account in a foreign country: Such type of financing, often known as an international account, is held at a bank that is not located in your home nation or the country where you are now staying. Yet, the account’s income and deposit requirements can be relatively high.

How To Apply For An ITIN ?

An ITIN can be obtained by non-residents and non-citizens of the United States. When an individual does not have a Social Security Number (SSN), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) (which is the case of most non-resident non-citizens). Some banks will let you open a bank account without providing your SSN if you have an ITIN.

To receive an ITIN, follow these steps:

  • Submit a W-7 application form and your completed tax return to the IRS. ITIN applications can be made online, and you don’t need to go to an IRS office. The application can, however, be submitted in person.
  • To prove your identification and status as a foreigner, submit official documents from your country of origin. The IRS recognises a total of 13 papers as proof of identity.

What Are The Banks And Credit Unions That Accept Alternative IDs?

Many bank websites appear to indicate that they don’t accept alternate IDs at first sight. Even though many of the largest banks in the United States include a Social Security requirement on their websites, it is crucial to remember that the need may just be for opening an account without visiting a branch. Some banks will help you if you don’t have all of the required information. Many major financial institutions that accept an ITIN in place of a Social Security Number allow you to make consultations online.

Non-residents of the United States should verify if Bank On accounts is available to them. Unbanked customers are being persuaded to participate in the banking industry via the Bank On campaign. Additionally, Bank On’s rules recommend that alternative IDs be accepted.

Alternative forms of identification are also accepted by some credit unions. DC Credit Union, for example, has a SAFE Checking Account for non-citizens in the nation’s capital. To open up a new bank account with an ITIN, you should verify with nearby credit unions to see if they accept it. It will depend on where you live.

Top Recommendations For Business Accounts

1. Wise Business

Wise Business, which helps to transfer larger sums while maintaining a fixed exchange rate of 0.5 percent (compared to standard rates). You will be provided with a debit card that can be used for both personal and business purposes. If you’re looking for a simple, no-hassle way to send and receive money from the United States without having to become a US resident or form a US LLC for your business, this is a great choice.

2. Mercury

Mercury is an excellent choice for banking in the United States. It is a US-based platform that was designed for tech start-ups to use as a banking solution. In order to set up a business account with Mercury, you will need to form an LLC, but the good news is that you don’t need to reside in the United States in order to do so.

As long as we’re talking about opening up a business account in the United States, we have to admit that Mercury’s low costs, high-interest rates, and multi-currency access make it the greatest option for trying to set up a US business account internationally.

3. Chase Business

Chase for Business is an excellent choice for companies small and big, and one of the most well-recognized banks in the US. While it is possible to open an account remotely during the pandemic if you have an ITIN or SSN, you will not be allowed to do so. However, most of the initial work can be done online. To avoid the $15 fee, you must maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,000, which is lower than the average daily balance in the United States. The company also offers a wide variety of business credit cards that offer various travel benefits. For non-resident personal accounts, Chase is a wonderful alternative, and it’s also simple to link them together if you really prefer.

4. Citibank

Another wonderful option for businesses is Citibank, which allows you to open a company account in connection with your LLC as well. Customers with CitiGold status or accounts in other developed nations can perform this online transaction. However, keep in mind there is a $15,000 minimum deposit for doing things remotely, so depending on your financial limitations a trip to the United States might be more helpful.

With 700 branches in the United States and more than 1,800 branches in 160+ countries, it is a very worldwide bank with a wide range of options for both small and large enterprises, starting with the CitiBusiness Streamlined account. This one has a monthly transaction limit of 250 and a fee of $15, which is eliminated if you keep a $5,000 balance in your account. The monthly charge for larger businesses is increased to $22 per month, but there is no limit on the number of transactions that can be performed each month.

Can I Open A US Bank Account For Non-Resident Online?

No. For non-residents, most banks in the United States need a face-to-face expression application. That means you’ll have to fly to the United States and visit a bank in order to open an account there.

It’s possible to open up international accounts, such as international and multi-currency ones, if you live outside the US yet frequently visit there.

These location-independent accounts can be set up from anywhere in the world, whether for business or personal use. They have multi-currency accounts as well. That means you’ll be able to keep a variety of currencies on hand at all times. Sending money around the world is now hassle-free thanks to its low transaction costs and competitive exchange rates.

As a non-resident, opening a bank account in the United States can be difficult. But you can find the perfect choice for your needs with a little research and a lot of patience.

Final Words

It might be difficult for non-citizens to meet the banking industry’s standard identification standards. But many banks and credit unions will accept alternative types of identification. It takes more time and effort to get an ITIN but having the opportunity to apply for a bank account, such as a checking or savings, and even a home loan, can help you go successful in life.

Even though opening a bank account in the United States as a non-citizen takes more time and effort, the advantages far exceed the drawbacks. To open a bank account in the United States, you’ll need to shop around, as each bank has distinct rules and regulations.

Above we have mentioned how to open a US bank account as a non-resident. In case you want more information for opening an account, just leave your question in the comment box below! We will be happy to respond to you all!

FAQs On Opening A US Bank Account For Non-Resident

1. What are the tax implications of having a non-resident account?

For tax purposes, US citizens are taxed at a higher rate if their business has a physical presence in the US, such as employees, facilities, or any other type of physical license. The interest you receive from bank deposits, credit unions, and insurance companies is not taxed at all if you are a non-resident of the United States.

2. Can a Non US citizen open a bank account in the US?

It is possible for a non-resident alien to open a bank account in the United States. Opening a bank account is usually restricted to residents of the United States and legal permanent residents of the country. Non-citizens are unable to open accounts at these banks because they lack a social security number. This is the most common issue that foreigners come to realize.

3. How can a foreigner open a US bank account?

You’ll have to bring some form of identification with you. An energy bill, for example, can be used to verify a person’s name, date of birth, and physical address. You may have to offer more if you were born outside of the United States. Additionally, these customers are required to present a photo ID that includes a numeric ID.

4. Can I open a US bank account online for non-residents?

Non-citizens of the United States are generally unable to open an online account. A branch of a bank or credit union would be the only option for opening an account. If you want to open an account with Santander Bank, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident foreign with a valid Social Security number or ITIN in order to apply online.

5. Which countries allow foreigners to open bank accounts?

There are 5 best countries that allow you to open bank accounts:
1. Cayman Islands
2. Switzerland
3. Singapore
4. Germany
5. Belize

6. How do I open a foreign bank account?

Non-citizens of the United States are generally unable to open an online account. A branch of a bank or credit union would be the only option for opening an account. If you want to open an account with Santander Bank, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident foreign with a valid Social Security number or ITIN in order to apply online.

7. How do I open a US bank account online?

A checking account can be opened online if you are at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the United States. The following details are required: Your personal identification number, such as an SSN. Driver’s license, passport, or state or military ID with a government-issued photo.

8. How long does it take to open a US bank account?

And for most credit cards and checking accounts, you’ll get a decision within 2-3 minutes. In order to protect your personal and financial information, you can use the most advanced security measures available today.

9. Do I need a US address?

Inquire about the bank’s requirements for a physical location in the United States, as well as their preference for a mailing address. For many banks in the United States, a postal address or PO box should is enough because both bankings rely heavily on mail. However, some banks may demand evidence that you actually live at the address you’ve provided (such as a phone bill), so make sure to double-check before applying. 

10. What documentation do I need to open a bank account in the US?

Here are the documents which you need to open a bank account in the US:
1. Address verification.
2. Contact information for the holder.
3. Documents of official identification from the government such as a valid driver’s license or passport.
4. The Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
5. It’s time to put down a down payment.
6. Permits to enter the country.

Sayani Chakraborty

Sayani Chakraborty

Experienced Software Test Analyst who has a comprehensive understanding of all of the tools available for software testing and analysis. Results-oriented quality assurance tester in a fast-paced SaaS startup with quick application development life cycles. Responsible for collecting test data on new software and worked closely with engineers using advanced technologies to integrate testing as a part of the development process. Performed integration testing, System Testing, End-to-End, and Regression testing and supported developers in resolving problems by completing additional tests. Skilled at functionality testing, quality, front-end testing, and implementing test plans, test cases, and test processes. Have Interest In Data Execution, Test Reporting, and Continuous Development Of Testing Skills.

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