Looking to open a bank account in the US? Yes, you are – but you are confused as you are not an American, and you aren’t sure about fulfilling the documentation and other requirements. So, is it possible to open the account?
Yes, it is possible. Let’s show you how.
It is important as a newcomer or an international student to have a bank account in the US. It helps you to establish a financial footprint and also ensures the safety of your cash. It also saves you the discomfort of carrying currency everywhere you go.
There are large, multinational banks in the US; and then there are the smaller regional banks, state-specific banks, credit unions, investment banks, etc. However, if you are without a US address proof, then larger banks like Bank of America, Chase Bank, Citibank, etc. are safer bets for you as opening the account there will be comparatively hassle-free. The risk threshold for smaller banks is lower and they might not allow non-holders of US address proof to open accounts with them.
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Valid identity proof is a must to open an account in a US bank. US citizens need to submit their US Social Security Number (SSN) and proof of residence. However, for noncitizens, proof of residence will not be available yet. So, what do they have to provide?
- An unexpired passport
- Any government-issued ID card of a foreign country, such as a driver’s license
- A copy of their work visa/student ID
- Their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), if available
You could also find out if the bank in your home country where you have an account has a “correspondent banking relationship” with any bank in the US. If so, then your home country bank can facilitate opening your account with the partner bank in the US, even if you don’t have a US address proof.
Therefore, don’t despair if you don’t yet have an address proof in the US. Several banks, especially the larger ones, have provisions that allow you to open accounts without address proof. Contact their representatives beforehand and obtain full knowledge about such facilities, before you take the step.
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