Open A US Bank Account- How Foreigners Can Do It?
If you are planning to shift to the United States, opening a bank account there before you arrive can be a smarter move. When you open a US bank account, you get security for your funds and a reliable way to create a financial footprint in the country. However, opening a bank account may seem easier than it actually is.
While it only takes a couple of minutes for US citizens to open a business bank account in USA, for foreigners, it may take a lot longer. There are several things that you need to consider before you can open a US business bank account.
Here, we will talk about the various steps involved in opening a bank account in the US for foreigners.
Ways to Open a US Bank Account
Generally, there are three different ways to start a bank account in the US. These include:
1. Setting Up a Bank Account Online
For foreigners, setting up a US bank account online is the least favorable method. This is because it is a lengthy procedure and the chances of your application getting rejected due to inadequate identity verification are very high.
That said, every financial institution has its own set of guidelines when it comes to opening a bank account. So, it is best to directly contact the bank and find out their precise requirements.
To open a US bank account online, having Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a must. This number together with other important documents such as identity proof, passport, etc. can improve your chances of getting the application accepted.
2. Visiting the International Bank’s Branch
Some international banks such as Barclays and HSBC have branches outside the US as well. In this case, it is best to visit your local branch for opening the account. Your local branch will require you to verify your identity and shift the account to the US branch.
If the US branch does not approve this, visiting the US to open a business bank account in USA is the only option left.
3. Visiting the US
This is another popular way to open a bank account and obtain a USA debit card for foreigners. It is the easiest and most guaranteed way to get your application approved. If you can spare additional funds to travel to the US, going there is what you must do.
Documents to Open a US Bank Account
In the past few years, in a bid to reduce theft and money laundering, security measures by various banks have been reinforced. Thus, you need to verify your identity and other things to get the bank account application approved.
Here are some documents that you need to provide to open the bank account.
- Any two valid photo identity proofs: When it comes to photo IDs, providing your valid passport is a must. Along with that, you can submit any secondary ID, such as driver’s license, student ID, etc.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN): If you want to open a business bank account in USA, you must submit your EIN. This number is issued by the IRS and is primarily used to report employment taxes.
- Physical Address in US: Most of the banking institutions in the US require applicants to provide their physical address in US. As a foreigner, you need to look for banks that allow you to forgo this condition. Alternatively, you can get a virtual street address to fulfil this criterion.
- Immigration Documents: You need to submit all legal documents, including your work or visit visa.
- Initial Deposit: To open the account, you need to make an initial bank deposit. Different banks have varying regulations regarding the minimum deposit value. It can be as low as $5 or as high as $100.
Opening a bank account as a foreigner is a slightly more complex procedure as compared to being a US citizen. It is advisable to opt for an international bank that has a branch in your country as that can ease the process to open a US bank account.