Are you hoping to open a US bank account as a non-resident? Banking in US isn’t as easy as it used to be as before. The US passed the Patriot Act to prevent the use of the financial system for criminal activities. Although it has far-reaching effects, one of the biggest changes it brought was increased verification requirements. You may be wondering, "Can a non-citizen open a bank account in the United States?"
Well, I'll confirm that it's very possible. Though the process may be more difficult for non-citizens, it is not impossible. Setting up a US bank account is worthwhile whether for business, travel, or personal reasons.
Banking in the United States has numerous advantages. To begin, you can avoid exorbitant bank and credit card fees when spending money in the country. Even if you are not a resident, you can make deposits of up to $250,000 that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Before we continue, I'd like you to look at this; you might find it interesting as well.
Opening Personal Bank Account Without Social Security Number or ITIN
A foreigner may open a bank account in the United States. Most small banks will only open accounts for US citizens and permanent residents. Non-citizens do not have a social security number, which these banks require. This is the most common issue that foreigners encounter.
Larger banks, however, such as US Bank, TD Bank, Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo, will allow non-residents to open a checking and savings account. Instead of your Social Security number, they will request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and other documents. You will be able to open an account with these banks as long as the necessary requirements are met.
You can open a personal account as a non-resident. Personal accounts include checking and savings accounts. Let me explain the different types to you.
Checking account: A checking account can be used for everyday transactions such as grocery shopping and gas purchases. This account will include a variety of services such as ATM withdrawals, debit cards, account transfers, and more.
A savings account, on the other hand, is used to store funds that you want to set aside for rainy days. They typically have higher interest rates than checking accounts. That means you'll be able to earn more money with the money you've saved.
Because opening a traditional bank account can be difficult for non-residents, other options, such as a multi-currency account, an international account, and a correspondent account, are available. These alternatives may assist you in opening an account from your home country.
What documents do you need to open a US bank account?
If you live in the United States but do not yet have resident status, you can apply for a bank account in person. Online services are typically available only to US citizens and permanent residents.
Bank requirements may differ by branch or state. Some bank branches in New York, for example, will require you to present a utility bill addressed to your name and US address. However, the same bank in New Jersey does not have such a requirement.
As a result, make sure to call ahead and confirm the bank's non-resident requirements so you don't miss anything. Make an appointment with the bank to open an account.
Other documents you may be required to submit when opening a US bank account for a non-resident:
- Valid passport
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- Government-issued ID
- Immigration documents
If you want to open a bank account, you must make an initial deposit. The minimum amount varies by bank, but it can range from $50 to $3,000 or more.
Applying for ITIN
An ITIN, which stands for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is essentially a social security number for noncitizen residents. An ITIN is available to foreigners who are not qualified to work in the United States, as well as their spouses and dependents. It is made up of nine digits, the first of which is always a nine.
To apply for an ITIN, you must fill out and submit Form W-7, according to the IRS.
Along with the form, you will be required to present documentation proving each individual's identity and your foreign status. You can mail the form and the necessary materials to the address specified in the instructions. You can also take it to an IRS walk-in center or an authorized Acceptance Agent.
Correspondent Bank Accounts
Correspondent accounts make use of inter-banking relationships. They facilitate banking in countries where your home bank does not have a physical presence.
So, how does this actually works?
Your country's bank has a partner bank in the United States. Your bank can assist you in opening an account in the United States. Even if you do not have a physical location in the United States, your home bank can still assist you. You can then conduct wire transfers, deposits, and other financial transactions.
These international transactions will be carried out via the SWIFT network, which stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. To conduct transactions with a foreign bank, a respondent bank will require the SWIFT code of the correspondent bank.
Assume you want to make an international transfer. You must open an account with an issuing bank, which will be your home bank. The funds will be transferred from the issuing bank to the beneficiary bank via a correspondent bank. The funds are available from the beneficiary bank.
Not all banks will provide this service. As a result, contact your home bank to see if they have partner banks in the United States.
The process will also differ depending on the country, bank, and branch, so you'll need to inquire with your home bank about the specific process and requirements.
International Bank Accounts
International accounts may be offered by banks with a global presence. This can be a convenient option for foreigners who do not have a US address. You can open an account from your home country, eliminating the need to travel to the United States beforehand. Most banks even provide web services that allow you to open a bank account online.
HSBC, Charles Schwab, and Citibank are among the top banks with a large international presence in the United States and elsewhere. Citibank, with operations in over 30 countries, may have the broadest reach of the three.
Some of the typical requirements for opening international bank accounts are as follows:
- Government-issued ID
- Proof of residency
- Initial minimum deposit
Again, the requirements differ depending on the country and the bank. Before attempting to open an account, confirm the requirements with your home bank.
These international accounts, despite their benefits, are not for everyone. International bank accounts, for example, frequently require large initial deposits that can exceed $100,000. You will be charged monthly. You'll also need to keep a high minimum balance.
How to Send Money from the US Overseas as a Non-Citizen
If you live in the United States and want to send money overseas, you have several options in addition to traditional banking services. Money transfer services such as Boss Revolution are far more convenient.
You can send money to countries all over the world using Boss Revolution, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, and France. Depending on the country to which you are sending money, you may have a number of delivery options. There are cash pickup, home delivery, and mobile wallet options. In some countries, you can wire money directly to a recipient's checking or savings account.
As part of their mandatory regulatory compliance evaluation, Boss Revolution, like other financial services, may request additional information. If your transactions exceed a certain threshold, you may be required to provide your SSN or ITIN.
Boss Revolution comes with both a PC version and a mobile app that allows you to send money to specific countries.
Best US Bank Accounts for Non-Residents
- Wise Account: Best USD account for non-residents.
- Sable: Best checking account for residents without a SSN.
- Majority: Best migrant-friendly account for residents without a SSN.
- Zenus Bank: Best USD deposit account for non-residents.
- Bank of America: Best traditional banking experience for residents.
Corporate Bank Accounts for Your Business
To open a corporate bank account in the United States, your company must be based there. As previously stated, larger banks are more open to non-resident applicants. JP Morgan Chase and TD Ameritrade are two examples.
As with personal accounts, the requirements differ depending on the bank and the branch. In general, the following documents will be required to open a corporate bank account:
- Government-issued ID
- Proof of US address
- Proof of business address
- Articles of incorporation
- Federal Employer Identification Number
Non-residents have limited access to online banking. However, some fintech companies are changing the game by making traditional services more accessible to a wider range of people.
These financial institutions will assist you in opening a corporate account without requiring residency. Some may still require your company to be registered in the United States, while others will allow you to open an account regardless of where your company is located.
You can use services like Wise Business, Airwallex, and Payoneer if you don't have a physical presence in the United States. Because they facilitate international trade, these services are ideal for location-independent entrepreneurs.
If your company has a US entity, services such as Mercury can assist you in setting up a business account remotely. They offer FDIC-insured bank accounts, as well as services such as virtual cards, API access, and team management.
Is It Possible to Open a US Bank Account Online as a Non-Resident?
In reality, this is not possible. Most US banks will require non-residents to apply in person for an account. That means you'll have to travel to the United States and walk into a bank branch to open an account.
If you live outside the United States but frequently visit the country, you can open borderless accounts, such as international and multi-currency accounts, to have more financial freedom when you travel.
These location-independent accounts can be set up from anywhere in the world, whether for business or personal use. They are also multi-currency accounts. That is, they will allow you to store and access different currencies as needed. You will be able to send and receive money from anywhere in the world without worrying about exorbitant transaction fees or exchange rates.
Conclusion on How to open a Bank Account in the US as a Non-Resident
I can say that opening a bank account in the United States as a non-resident is not easy. However, if you follow the above article correctly, do some research, and are patient enough, you will be able to determine the best option for your needs.
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