How to Open a U.S. Bank Account As a Nonresident

Most non-residents can open a U.S. bank account.

Most non-residents can open a U.S. bank account.

There are many advantages to a U.S.-based bank account, including quick access to your funds when you are visiting the United States. Many banks offer accounts to non-residents. You might have to provide additional forms of identification and ensure your country is not on a list of hostile targets.

Check the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control to ensure your country is not on a list of hostile target countries. This list typically includes countries against which the U.S. has leveled economic sanctions. If your home country is on this list, you will be unable to open a U.S. bank account.

Select a U.S.-based international bank with offices in your home country if you are not currently in the United States. Certain banks maintain offices around the world, enabling non-residents to open bank accounts at banks in their home countries. If you are presently in the U.S., you can open a bank account at any U.S.-based bank that allows non-resident accounts.

Go into the bank to open the account. It is much easier to open a bank account in person, and some U.S.-based banks require that non-residents open accounts in person. Ask to open an account and fill out the account application in its entirety. You will need to provide at least two forms of identification, such as a non-resident alien card, passport, foreign driver's license or birth certificate.

Items you will need

  • Two or more forms of identification
 

About the Author

Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.

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