How To Open a U.S. Bank Account Overseas As a Non-U.S. Citizen

   If you are a person who frequently travels to the United States, or you plan to relocate in the United States, or you are a student planning to obtain a degree in the United States, opening a bank account may be one of your checklists. Opening a bank account as a foreigner is a little more complicated, especially in the United States – the requirements have become more complicated due to tightened regulations due to various money laundering activities. But don’t worry, as a foreigner you can open an American bank account through preparation, proper documentation, and a little patience is still possible.

Need an American bank account and not an American? Living abroad? Are you looking for options for remote use?

What can I do with my US bank account?

  • If you plan to work with a US company, it won’t be a problem to deposit your salary directly into your account.
  • With a US bank account, you are free to access funds and avoid paying high international fees while in the United States.
  • Bank accounts in the United States basically earn more interest.
  • Bank of America accounts make it easy to shop or collect money online.

What are the requirements for opening an account?

Please note that not all banks have the same requirements, sometimes depending on the status of your planned residence/relocation. Nonetheless, the following are the usual and most common requirements of most American banks:
  • Your passport
  • Proof of address (eg bill/utility bill)
  • Debit/credit card in your country
  • Social Security Number (This is a tutorial on how to obtain SSN as a non-citizen)
  • Initial margin
Other supporting documents you may need
  • Second-level ID cards, such as driving licenses, work visas or student IDs.
  • Immigration documents
  • Bank statement of local bank
  • Credit history report
  • Proof of employment for your U.S. employer
  • Application form (if you are a student)
Ideally, it is best to contact the bank you intend to visit by phone to clarify the required documents before heading to the bank.

USA Account opening process As a Non-U.S. Citizen:

  • go to bank
  • Bring the required documents
  • Accept interview / registration
  • Make an initial deposit. – Please note that for large deposits, you may need to provide proof of funds.

Do I need to visit the United States to open an account?

In most cases, yes.
In order to simplify the account opening process, visiting the United States to open an account will be a great thing. However, for some banks, opening an account in the US is not a real requirement. Now, you can open an account online – it only takes longer and you have a higher chance of not being approved.

How to open an American bank account overseas As a Non-U.S. Citizen?

Not all banks allow this, but some banks like HSBC and Citibank allow you to open a bank account without flying to the US just to open an account. For this, you can:
1. Contact a bank representative for assistance – some banks may allow you to submit documents to them by scanning and emailing them.
2. If you plan to open a global bank account in your country (eg HSBC, Citibank, Barclays, etc.), you can actually coordinate with them to help you open a bank account in the United States in advance. Your arrival.
3. Register online. Banks like Chase & Bank of America provide online application services.

The best American bank to open an account:

As long as you submit all necessary documents, Wells Fargo, Capital One, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Suntrust will open an account for you without any problems.

Questions and feedback from readers:

You mentioned that you need an address. But you didn’t mention how to get the address. Is the registered agent’s address valid? If you want to set up a business account-without going to the US, without a physical address-only the address of the registered agent and an EIN number and a US entity company, which banks will open an account for foreigners?
-Shawn
I have a B1 / B2 visitor visa and I want to open a bank account in the US. Can I do this? I went to Bank of America but unfortunately, they couldn’t do it for me.
-Azian
I read your blog post about opening a business account in the US without actually flying to the US.
Can you share with me whether it is still possible to open an account without actually being present?
-Zac
Yes, this is still possible. There are online banking solutions and other solutions to do this. We have 2 to 3 options. 

Do I need an actual US address to open an account?

Yes. As part of the Patriot Act and the anti-money laundering program, the bank requires that the physical address of each account holder be: 
1. personal, residential or business street address; 
2. for individuals who do not have a residential or business street address, the home or business street address of an army post office (apo) or fleet Office (FPO) box number, or a close relative or another contact person.

How to open a bank account without an actual U.S. address As a Non-U.S. Citizen

1. Use the address of relatives or Family.
2. Use friend’s address
3. Use a registered proxy address/mail forwarding service: If all other methods fail, using a registered proxy address should be the last option you would choose. Some banks accept this, especially if the mail service provider is only small-scale and unlikely to be marked as a registered agent address.
4. Use the personal mailbox of a UPS store: A UPS store Mailbox is basically like a mail forwarding service + post office box combination-only it gives you a real street address instead of a post office box number. In addition, you can choose from any UPS store location.
It’s basically like a mail forwarding service plus a PO Box combination-it just gives you a real street address instead of a PO Box number. In addition, you can choose from any UPS store location.
If you plan to open a bank account and you declare your address as a registered agent address, your application will probably not be approved or rejected. As part of KYC (know your customer), the bank needs a legal physical address. Generally, you can choose from the four options mentioned above and open an account without informing the Bank of your real address.

How to open a US commercial bank account as a non-US citizen

Company / Enterprise account requirements:

  • Passport + auxiliary ID
  • Articles of Association / Organization
  • Proof of address (eg bill/utility bill)
  • Employer identification number
  • Legal business address
  • Initial margin
  • Expected cash flow data

Open a corporate account overseas:

As mentioned earlier, opening a bank account in person is basically the easiest way to get an account, especially if it is a company account. However, if traveling to the United States is not suitable for you, some banks can help you set up an account without flying to the states where Wells Fargo and Bank of America are located.

Notes on online applications at Wells Fargo and Bank of America-this work has proven to work for others in the past, but since this blog post, they have not allowed non-US citizens to apply for their banking solutions online.

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