Immigration. Travel. Living.

USA: bank account opening

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You will learn how to open an account with a US bank in this article.

Benefits of opening a US bank account for a non-resident

For non-residents, having a bank account can be a very useful and valuable financial instrument. Here are just some of the benefits of having it:

  • ease of connection to inexpensive payment systems and EMI;
  • access to the American banking system without mandatory requirements to become a tax resident of the jurisdiction;
  • access to investment, brokerage, savings, and loan products;
  • the ability to use various bonus programs;
  • deposit insurance of USD 250,000;
  • high level of confidentiality.

Types of bank accounts in the USA

Today, American banks call non-residents the following bank accounts:

  • personal opens to an individual;
  • corporate opens for a company;
  • the investment provides for opening by both an individual and a legal entity.

Requirements for opening a private bank account in the USA

Not all US banks have the same requirements for opening a bank account. Sometimes they differ depending on which state you plan to live in or where you plan to move. However, below are the usual and most common requirements for USA banks. So, you will need the following documents to open a bank account in the USA:

  • International passport;
  • Proof of address (such as a paid utility bill);
  • Debit/credit card from your country;
  • Social security number SSN (it is possible to obtain this number for foreigners);
  • Initial deposit.


Besides, additional supporting documents may be required by a bank:

  • Secondary identification document (for example driver’s license, work visa, or student ID of one of the US universities);
  • Immigration documents;
  • Bank statement from your local bank;
  • Credit history report;
  • Proof of employment from your employer in the United States;
  • Registration form (if you are a student).


Ideally, it is best to contact the bank where you would like to open an account and what documents may be required in your case. In addition to all of the above, you will need to provide your address in the United States, where you can receive all correspondence from the bank. It is extremely important because it is the most often reason why foreigners are refused to open bank accounts in the United States.

The procedure of opening a bank account in the USA

You will need to do the following to open a bank account:

  1. Find a bank or payment system in the United States that is loyal to opening accounts for foreigners remotely (not everyone does it);
  2. Contact the selected bank or payment system to clarify the procedures and necessary documents to open an account for you. It must also be done because some banks do not allow the submission of documents online or by e-mail. They can require immediate personal submission of documents;
  3. Send or deliver personally all the necessary documents;
  4. Make an initial deposit to your account to activate it. Please note that for the use of these funds. It could be your account statement or certified tax returns from the previous several years.


You should also understand that even if you open an account remotely, sooner or later you will need to visit a bank in the United States. Otherwise, your account may be closed at any time under the laws of the USA. Therefore, it is better not to take risks but to do everything on time.

Requirements for opening a corporate account in the USA

To open an account for a company in the United States, you must provide the same documents as for opening a private bank account of shareholders and people who will manage this account (if they are not the same persons). Also, the following documents will be required:

  • Articles of Association of the company and its Articles of Association, if any;
  • Proof of address;
  • Employer identification number (EIN);
  • Legal business address. It is the address where the company’s office will be located and where any information from government agencies will be received;
  • Initial deposit;
  • Description of the type and amount of expected cash flows.


There are three simple tips for opening a US corporate account:

  1. Register your own company in the USA to open a corporate account with it. It will be easier and more correct from the point of view of American law than looking for a bank that will open an account for a foreign company and block it after the first inspection by the regulatory body.
  2. Open a full-fledged representative office in the United States for your existing overseas business. Your representative office will be a separate legal entity in that country. In this case, you will not have any difficulties with opening an account in one of the US banks.
  3. Consider opening a merchant account in one of the US payment systems. It will be easier, faster, and possibly more efficient, despite approximately the same requirements that American banks put forward to foreign applicants.

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