Can a Non-Us Citizen Open a Bank Account in the US?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Can a Non-Us Citizen Open a Bank Account in the Us?


Are you someone who often travels to the US and carries a lot of money with you and wishing to open a bank account? Are you someone who deals with many US clients and have to send or receive USD now and then? Are you someone who wants to invest in the US stock market or keep your money in a foreign bank account? 

Suppose your answer to any one of the above questions is YES! Then, this article is just right for you. The idea of opening a bank account in the US must have popped in your mind once, and you might be wondering whether a non-US citizen can open a bank account in the US

The answer is YES! It does not matter whether you are a citizen or a non-US citizen; as long as you fulfill the requirements, you can open your account in US banks. It is also not illegal for banking or other financial institutions in the US to open accounts for a noncitizen or non-resident foreign-born. However, after the USA Patriot Act, which was passed after the terrorist attack in the US on September 11, 2001, the banking and financial institutions have to follow stricter guidelines in the identification process of noncitizens. The more stringent guidelines prevent identity misuse and add a layer of protection against terrorism fundings. 

How can an individual who is a noncitizen can open a bank account in the US? 

There are several ways a person can apply to open his account in the US. For example, he can apply online, walk into the branch, or apply to open a bank account in any international branch of a US bank. However, the most prevalent and successful method is by walking to the bank physically because banks need to verify your documents and identity.  

Documents Required by a citizen and noncitizen to open a bank account.

It is common practice in the US for banks to ask for the documents before opening an account to verify your name, date of birth, address, and verification number, irrespective that you are a citizen or a non-US citizen. A person can use utility bills or lease agreements to verify his residence/physical address. Mind you, document requirements may vary from bank to bank. Just call the bank to verify the requirements.

Individuals need to deposit between $25 to $100 as an initial deposit to open a savings or checking account. Further, they may be required to keep a minimum balance in the account to save themselves from maintenance charges by the bank. These will vary from bank to bank. Some banks may require a more minimum balance and initial deposits, while others require less. Make sure to check their policies before deciding to open an account in the bank. 

Is Social Security Number(SSN) required for opening a bank account? 

It is possible to open a bank account without the requirement to submit an SSN. Generally, banks may require SSN from individuals who are citizens for verification. However, individuals who do not have SSN may have other options available to get their identity verified. So a noncitizen may be required to submit one or more of the following forms of identifications: 

Can a Non-Us Citizen Open a Bank Account in the Us?
  1. A passport number or foreign-born identification card number
  2. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  3. Foreign government-issued ID

It will depend on banks what other documentation they require for opening an account. So it is ideal for a person to call the bank first before visiting the bank and take all the required documents along with him. 

Online Bank Accounts 

An individual can apply online to open a bank account remotely. However, the success rate would be marginal. This is because he still needs to go physically to the bank to verify his identity and documents if he does not have SSN. This is to prevent illegal financing by properly verifying the person’s identity and leaving no gaps behind. So ideally, if you do not want your application to be rejected, just go in person with all relevant documents and open your account. 

You might also read
Form Ar-11; Alien’s Change of Address Card

Are you a non-US citizen and changing your address in the US? Bear in mind to file the AR-11 form within ten days of that change of address. In this article, we will provide you insights into Form AR-11, who needs to file the form, and the consequences of non-filing.

Married a US Citizen
Married a US Citizen

In the US there are a few different ways a person can become a permanent resident or citizen. Those who have married a person who is a US citizen have the option of becoming permanent residents and, potentially, US citizens. This article will provide a brief overview of the Green Card and naturalization process.

Naturalization Test
Naturalization Test

The process of becoming a US citizen can be arduous for many. Among the requirements is passing a naturalization test. The test contains two parts – one for assessing the applicant’s English competency and another for their knowledge of the US government and history. This article will provide a brief overview of what to expect in the test and any exemptions to the test.

Let us work on your case

Or simply fill out the form and one of our attorneys will get back to you pretty shortly.

Sethi Footer

We're Here

To Assist You

Subscribe to Sethi & Mazaheri’s monthly newsletter and receive important immigration-related  updates.

Skip to content