How to Open a USA Bank Account
If you are moving to the United States for a job, pursue your higher studies, or for any other reason, you may feel overwhelmed with everything at first. But at this time, one of the first things that you must do is open a USA bank account.
Having a bank account is important for several reasons. Right from paying your bills to sending and receiving money and even depositing paychecks, you need to have a bank account in place.
Fortunately, opening a bank account in the USA is a relatively simple procedure. In this guide, we will help you understand all aspects of opening a bank account, including choosing a suitable bank and applying for an account.
Documents Required to Apply for a USA Bank Account
The exact documents needed to apply for a bank account may vary. This is because it depends on the bank guidelines as well as the US state. However, it is advisable to have the following papers in hand to expedite the process:
- Your passport or driver’s license
- Postal address for delivering your credit card and for other communications
- Your name and permanent address as on your passport
- Your immigration documents, i.e. a Green card or a valid visa
- Cash amount for the initial deposit
Apart from this, one important document that will almost always require is your Social Security Number (SSN). Because an SSN is for US residents, it may sometimes make it difficult to get a USA bank account for non-residents. However, there are some banks that will accept applications from non-residents who are not eligible for an SSN.
Alternatively, many banks accept an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) that can enable foreigners to apply for a USA bank account and comply with the tax laws.
Is It Possible to Open A USA Bank Account Online?
In the past, several USA banks permitted the candidates to open an online bank account USA. However now, pretty much all banks require at least one in-person visit to open the account. It is a standard procedure that enables bank representatives to verify your identity.
So, even if you are able to start the process of opening the bank account online, you will still require an in-person visit to operationalize it. But foreigners can get in touch with the bank authorities to discuss their options and see if they can get a USA bank account for non-residents online.
How to Open a Bank Account in the USA?
Opening a USA bank account is a fairly simple process that involves the following general steps:
Gathering Your Documents
You need to collect all the aforementioned documents before you proceed with your bank account application. This will ensure a quick and smooth process as you fill out the application form.
Select a USA Bank
With so many banks in your vicinity, choosing a good bank may seem daunting. Ideally, you want a bank that comprehends the needs of newcomers or international students.
Select a bank that offers services that suit your requirements. Also, look for an institution that has minimum monthly charges or no foreign transaction fees while opening USA bank account. It is a good idea to select a bank that has ATMs near your residence or your place of work as that can come in handy.
Decide on the Type of Bank Account
When opening an account, you can choose from two main types of bank accounts:
Checking Account: This is a basic type in which the bank issues you a debit card and a checkbook. You can easily deposit or withdraw money as you want.
Savings Account: This account offers a higher interest rate, enabling you to earn some money on your deposits. The yearly interest amount gets added to the principal every year or quarter.
Open Account and Make the Initial Deposit
Once you have decided on the bank account type and confirm that you can meet the bank’s requirements, it is time to open the account. If the bank allows you to open an online bank account USA, you can go for that. Otherwise, you need to head to the nearest branch.
Once you open the account, you need to make a deposit either in cash or via a check or bank transfer.