A lot of business happens in the USA. As the largest economy in the world, this comes as no surprise. If you work with US businesses, chances are, they would want to pay you through local methods. Some businesses might be setup to use Paypal or International Wire Transfers, but the former is a pain to deal with and the latter can be expensive.
I work with some US businesses that pay through checks or ACH transfers (eg. Amazon Associates). ACH only works for banks within the US. Checks can be cashed internationally through your bank but the speed and reliability is notoriously poor. Sometimes it takes over 60 days and costs anywhere between $15 to $50. Then there is the risk that your check gets lost in the mail.
In these types of situations, it makes a lot of sense to have a US bank account for receiving payments. Unfortunately, post 9/11, due to a huge increase in anti-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering laws, it has become very difficult to open bank accounts in countries where you are non-resident. This includes the US.
Although it is possible to remotely open a bank account in the US through a strong banking relationship (example: you already bank with HSBC or Citibank elsewhere and are willing to place a $50,000 deposit with them in the US), this is mostly out of reach for small businesses or people who want a bank account there for smaller transactions.
The only way to open a US bank account in this situation is to do it in person while visiting the US. And even then, several banks will refuse and the ones which do agree, will be a little hit or miss.
You could potentially open a bank account remotely by incorporating a company in the US and then opening a business bank account but this would be very complicated in terms of tax filing requirements, legal fees, renewals, etc.
All these restrictions are mostly because of legal reasons but being able to verify a person face-to-face makes opening a bank account much easier. Still, opening a bank account without a valid Social Security Number (SSN) can be quite a challenge.
I had spoken to Citibank earlier about opening an account with them but they said I would need to have an average balance of $50,000 with them! Well, that ain’t happening!!
I visited Chase, Santander, Popular Community Bank, and Capital One on my last trip to New York City. Santander and Capital One agreed to open a bank account for me whereas Chase and Popular Community Bank flatly refused. They said that it is impossible for them to open an account without an SSN. It is fully legal to open a bank account without an SSN, but policies vary from bank to bank.
Eventually, I decided to go with Capital One because they said that they would give me a temporary debit card (Mastercard) immediately so that I would have access to my initial deposit and also the balance maintenance requirements were lower. Santander needed a $750 average daily balance whereas Capital One needed just $300.
So, armed with my passport and a copy of my address proof (a telephone bill from India), I went to Capital One. The initial deposit required was $50. At this point, it is important to mention that their software system is really not setup to accept foreign addresses. Even though the rep chose “Foreign Individual” as the account category, the system would not accept a foreign address. (it wanted a US address) I also filled a W8-BEN form with my foreign address details to let the US IRS know that I do not live in the US.
Eventually, she ended up typing in my foreign address with Brooklyn and a New York zip code at the end of it. Then, she sent an email to the back office asking them to fix the address on their end. At this point I was worried that this would never happen and she’ll eventually tell me that they could not open an account for me.
But the back office updated the address and it was all good! Finally it was time to activate my online banking access so that I could monitor the account from overseas. When the rep tried to register me, the activation system would not work without an SSN. She informed me that I would not be able to use online banking and I would need to do everything over the phone. She also confirmed this with the back office. I was dismayed!
I later found out through a friend that there is apparently a work around to this. The gist of it is that if you do not have an SSN, you can still register for Capital One online banking by entering 9 9′s. So: 999999999 will help you get registered for online banking! I decided to try it on their website and sure enough, it worked perfectly! I suppose the software developers put this in for people who do not have an SSN (there are many such people, including many US residents, new international students for example) but they forgot to document this “feature”.
I was finally fully setup with my new US bank account, all in the space of a Friday afternoon in New York City. Here is what I got:
- A welcome pack with details of charges, terms, etc.
- 3 free checks to use if I want to pay someone
- A temporary Mastercard debit card which I can use immediately (the permanent one will be mailed out to my foreign address)
- Online banking access
- $50 that I deposited were available in my bank account (I tried using my debit card later and it worked)
All I needed to open the account was:
- A visit to the US (this is perhaps the hardest part for most people)
- My original passport and visa (they will take copies at the bank)
- Copy of my address proof from back home (any one of these: utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement)
- $50 in cash to place a deposit
- A US telephone number (this is not absolutely necessary but I use Google Voice to forward calls and I believe it will make things easier in case the bank needs to contact me)
I now have two months to bring my account balance up to the $300 minimum otherwise I will get charged maintenance fees on my account.
The permanent debit card took a while to show up. I believe they had mailed it to the incorrect ‘Brooklyn’ address that the rep had entered while creating my account. I waited for a month, and then, when the card didn’t show up, I had to call them up and request for another debit card. It took another month but two months after opening my account, the permanent debit card was finally delivered at my address in New Delhi. This wasn’t super important because all this while, I could flawlessly use my temporary debit card (which had been issued on the spot). The only reason I needed a permanent debit card was because the temp one didn’t have my name on it (It just said Capital One Customer) and it also didn’t have a cute golden retriever motif that I got to choose!
Finally I can work with US companies that aren’t necessarily setup to do business internationally! I can ask them to pay me via check or ACH. ACH payments clear within two business days so it’s great to see the money safely in my bank account. I can also withdraw the money via my debit card or just swipe it at establishments when buying stuff.
How to get a US billing address on your debit card
After a few months, while traveling in the US, I wanted to use my debit card online. Unfortunately, my debit card was associated with my foreign address and a lot of US websites (Hulu, T-mobile, etc.) would not accept my debit card with a foreign address. The solution was pretty simple. I got in touch with Capital One through their online chat (you get this after you are logged into your online banking) and asked them if I could attach a US address to my debit card but keep my physical mailing address the same. The agent told me that they could attach a ‘temporary US address’ to my debit card for up to one year. All I needed to do was provide them with the address through the online chat. It took five minutes and my debit card now has a temporary US address (I gave a close friend’s address) attached to it. My mailing/physical address did not change and I can now use my debit card online with a US billing address for one year. The agent said that if I want to renew the ‘temporary address’ after a year, I just had to call them or talk to them online and update it once more. Pretty simple! Time for some Hulu!
How to withdraw internationally from your US bank account
The easiest way to do international withdrawals is to use your debit card. But there are fees associated with this. Capital One will usually charge $2 plus almost a 3% currency conversion fee. That’s convenient, but expensive. The Capital One account does not let me carry out international wires through the online banking system. It also won’t let me do outbound ACH transfers to another US account. This is presumably because I haven’t provided a US SSN.
There is a way around this and one that actually results in significant savings! TransferWise is a service that you can use to transfer money internationally at better exchange rates than what banks offer. Their exchange fees are about 0.9% which is a lot less than most banks will charge you. TransferWise can do an ACH Pull from your account and they support a large number of currencies I’ve tried transfers to EUR and INR and both were credited in one business day to the destination bank account and with a fair mid market exchange rate!
Using this method, you save around $35 on a USD 1000 transfer and almost $300 on a USD 10,000 transfer.
If you have questions, please feel free to ask in the comments!
I got mine with BofA in Silicon Valley. Same story/work arounds with SSNs, Zip code. Fortunately, for me, it was the first bank I approached. I believe in the end of the day, it all boils down to the financial advisor assisting you. If he/she has the enough patience, and the will, it can happen!
Btw, I came across your blog researching for a Sudamerica trip that I am planing starting with the Rio Carnaval. You guys have an done an amazing job here. Kudos!
Hey! I was trying to open an account online but it was requesting to be a citizen or permanent resident, I am in the usa as a tourist, I used to live here with a J1 visa, I have SSN, I used to have a chase account but had to close when returned back home. Now I really want to open an US bank account, the thing is I don’t have a proof of address from Brazil here, I would have to ask my mom to scan to me, or I can use my temporary address which is my boyfriends house? I have taken my drive license and have gotten some bills on my name to this address… Anyways I am going to a bank branch (Capital One) of course, since reading your experience I will try going there!! Thank you very useful post.
Hi! Good post it is so hard to found information of this, I think with all the globalization is to shame have this problems or pay for few persons involved in 9/11, however… i am from Bolivia (south America) and I came to USA for visit family and try to open a check account with capital one 360 because the count feature is no maintenance fee and minimum balance amount, but I don’t have the proof of my country address well maybe I can tell to the bank taking advantage of mi uncles address because their are a USA citizens… It I succes I am gonna post so wish my luck. One question you already try to link your debit card with PayPal?, your debit card have the Cvc code?, and thank you for your time and pardon me if I make language mistakes, my native language is Spanish so , sorry. Best regards.
The debit card DOES have a CVV code. I haven’t linked it to Paypal but I’m sure it’ll work easily with Paypal. The account can also directly be linked to Paypal if required (since it’s a US account).
Let me know how it goes with Capital One 360! Good luck!
Did you have to apply for TIN #
No, it wasn’t required.
Hey Rodrigo. Pudiste abrir una cuenta en USA? Yo estoy viajando en una semana y quiero hacer lo mismo. Abrir una cuenta allá y así poder hacer compras por internet sin necesidad de gastar tanto en una tarjeta de crédito.
Carlos como estás! En unos meses viajo a miami con intenciones de abrir una cuenta allá y manejarme via home banking. Como te fue? pudiste abrir tu cuenta?
Por favor contestame, es difícil encontrar buena data sobre esto.
Carlos comentame algo de tu experiencia por favor. Pudiste abrirla?
I was just about to give up when I read this. Too many citizens believe the world doesn’t exist outside of their shores. I have just been on Twitter with both BofA and Capital One and you can guess their ansa. No.
Conversations in person are better because they can check with their superiors if unsure. Since opening an account for a non resident alien is perfectly legal, there is no reason for the bank to turn away business. Of course, you need to be a little persistent with the employees but it’s easier to ask ‘Are you sure?’ multiple times across a table in a bank branch.
Very interesting post! I was dreaming when reading it, Capital One would be great for my needs…
But, I just called one of their branches in NY city, they were very nice but told me I would need an address proof in NY city… ??? How did you overcome this? Did it came on the table at some point?
I just want to be sure I’ll be able to open an account before going all the way to NY… I am not as far as India, but still!
Thanks a lot !!!
Oh, and sorry, but a crucial question:
when banking online, for funds transfer, most banks send a security code to validate the transfer by text message. How is it going for you? Do they send it on your indian number??
I use a Google Voice number which forwards into my Gmail. So if I get an SMS it lands in my gmail and also if I get a call it’ll ring in my google voice account. However, they do not actually send any security codes since online transfers do not work for my account – I think it’s because of a lack of an SSN. The only way for me to withdraw money is via debit card so I can either: use it online, swipe it somewhere, or use it at an ATM (even abroad) to get cash (there is a $2 fee for the cash).
Regarding your other question, when I went to the bank branch the first representative that I spoke to did say that I would need a local address proof. Then she had to call the back office and confirm that this was not required if the account was opened as a “Foreign Resident”. You will definitely be able to open a bank account at one bank or another. Capital One is a good choice and you could also ask around in other banks like I did. Just make sure you have an ID proof and address proof on you.
This is really very helpful post and i am going to try this in Arlington, Virginia. Thanks very much for the valuable information.
Great and very useful postings !
I returned to India recently after working in the US for around 6 years. I guess Wells Fargo has the provision to accept foreign residence addresses since I am getting postal mails here too.
May i know which account type you opened? I guess it is the Essential Checking one. Now Capital One offers a Checking Account called 360 Checking which does not have monthly minimum or manteinance fees, was it because that account was not yet available when you went there?
I am planning to open one when i go to the US, so would you say that with my passport, national ID, my foreign address proof and a forwarding calls service number will be enough to open one?
The documents you mention should be enough. Capital One 360 and Capital One are separate banks. I believe the 360 product is from a different bank that used to be called ING Direct USA before. Apparently it’s an even better bank but I don’t know if you as a foreigner will be able to open an account there. Still, it’s worth a shot. All you have to do is walk in and ask. If you do manage, do please post back here so that others can follow your lead :)
Ashray, after reading that they were separate banks i decided to check again, i can confirm that the bank i was talking about is the same as yours (Capital One). ING Direct was acquired by Capital One, that´s why.
I would like to give a shot opening the only checking account available right now in Capital One called “360 Checking”, here´s the link:
It says that this account has no monthly minimums nor maintenance fees and no minimum opening balance, and i would like to ask you if this means that i can have this account open forever until i decide to close it.
They were not run as the same bank, at least that was the case when I visited back in June ’15. Even the customer support team, etc. is different for the 360 accounts. Things may have changed now. You should direct your account opening questions to the bank since I don’t have a 360 account. It’s just a regular checking account. The article I have written and my own experience are only related to a regular Capital One Checking Account that does unfortunately have a minimum balance requirement. If you manage to open a 360 account please post back so that other readers can go for that option since it certainly sounds better.
Hello Ashray! I managed to call Capital One, and they confirmed me that “360 Checking” is a new type of checking that is destined to be used within the US, that means, that it does not allow international wire transfers nor foreign ATM uses (which means that the debit card cannot be used overseas). With that said, i can conclude that the normal checking account Capital One offers (and available for non-us residents) is the “Essential Checking”, although it allows us to use the card overseas, the fees are quite high.
I will open one when i go to the US, and post back to tell you my experience.
The fees are not high for international ATM use. They charge $2 per withdrawal and the usual 2.5 to 3% currency conversion charge that a lot of international banks charge. Furthermore, you are charged just the currency conversion fee if you simply use it as a debit card for purchases – even abroad. If you are able to use a USD ATM (some countries like Turkey, Singapore, etc. have these) then you will not be charged the conversion fee.
Good luck with opening the account and once you are through the entire process it should be worth it!
I opened an account with TDbank in upstate NY as a visiting national of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. I spent all of 20 mins to open a convenience checking account. Need a minimum of 100$ to prevent monthly fees. Only needed passport and a completed W8BEN(did it while opening acc). I took my phone bill from Trinidad and Tobago and they used it to enter my home address. I put my legal address as my miami freight forwarders address. They generated a debit card immediately. This US address is tied to my debit card so I can order from all online shops that require Us address. I signed up for online banking and subsequently linked account to paypal(bank account and debit card separately. I had set up the appointment to open account months before by calling them and telling which branch I would prefer because of proximity. I took my 11yr old son and we even got sweets and pens form the assistant manager who open the account. This branch did have a lot of people traffic so I guess they were glad to get people in there. So far I have had no issues using the account and transfer funds in and out mostly using paypal. I even was able to link with my online brokerage account with Td ameritrade and sogotrade. So you folks can try tdbank, they were very accommodating, maybe because of the banks’s Canadian origin
Thanks a lot for posting your experience Brent! Looks like TD Bank is a great option for foreigners trying to open US accounts as well!
Hello ashrey! I live in pakistan I’m going to visit US in december for 2 months and I need a mastercard there for shop online and of course I need a bank account for that. I’ve read all the blogs here and I see there are several banks who provide this opportunity to open bank account for foreigners. I have some questions its that can I use my pakistan address as proof and if it not work then I’ll stay in hotel there when I go so do my hotel address would be enough for that? And and second question is recommend me the best bank for this with all things what I need.
its even easier for people outside the USA to create a non resident bank account with first century. just follow the link bellow and you are all set. http://www.payoneer.com/USPService.aspx
DEAR THANKS SO MUCH DEAR I WOULD LIKE TO OPEN ACCOUNT NOW I DO LIVE IN INDIA AND I DO HAVE WIFE LIVE IN USA AND I USED TO LIVE IN USA 30 YEARS AND I HAVE BEEN DEPORTED SO MY 10 YEARS WILL BE DONE IN 2020 SO DEAR I USED TO HAVE ACCOUNT UNABLE TO MAINTENANCE SO ACCOUNT BEEN CLOSE DEAR CAN YOU HELP ME CAN I OPEN SEVING BANK ACCOUNT 0 BALANCE ACCOUNT DEAR I DO HAVE IN USA ADDRESS AND INDIA ADDRESS ALL AND I DO HAVE SSI PLUS DRIVING LICENCE SO PLEASE HELP ME THANKS
Hello Brent Joseph, may i know if the bank will at any time send you any invoice or statements to the address linked to your card or they ship them directly to your home address? Does it have any cost to obtain a US address like for example through a freight forwarding service?
thanks for the information. Question… are you able to trade on your TDameritrade brokerage account now? I heard that they stopped Trinidadians from trading due to anti money laundering laws.
Which branch you did it? Today I went to someone in Broadway & 109th and they told me it’s not possible to open a new account because I don’t have a US address
Hi I want to open a US Bank Account with my website’s name with the Indian address. I cant afford to go to US for now. Do you have any idea about this.
It’s not possible unless you incorporate a business in the US. You should speak to an agency about that but it’s still very difficult/impossible without going there in person.
Amazing content, thank you for writing all of this for us, you rock. I have a question, I want to register a company in Delaware and I live outside the US but I have a US address. I want to open an account with the name of my website, that will be registered in Delaware. Will I still need the same papers, or less papers? And if I use a virtual office service like Regus.com would you think they would help me open a bank account for me or I have to do it myself?
You would need the EIN of your company and your ID. An address proof should not be required in this case but it’s best to carry it along in any case. I don’t think anyone can help you get a US bank account these days. You need to walk into the bank yourself and try to set it up.
Hello Ashray, I’ll be in NY in Dec. and I’d like to open a bank account to which I can withdraw my Paypal earnings (when I withdraw to my home country, I’m forced to convert at bad rates).
May I as what branch of Capital One you went to? Cheers.
It was the one at 858 Fulton Street. This is in Brooklyn although I’m sure you can go to any branch. Avoiding Paypal’s horrible exchange rates are definitely a good reason to open a US Bank account! Good luck! I hope you post back with your experience here too :)
Hi Ashray, I just came back from NYC and here’s an update. It is extremely EASY to open a bank account as a non-resident foreigner and no Social Security number and no US address… at CITI bank; *including* online banking with complete online transfers, etc. Even better, if you have a CITI bank account in your home country or anywhere else, they told me I can transfer money to/from my CITI USA account for at no transfer fee as long as it comes from another Citi account of the same currency. The account opening was efficient and painless! Only requirement “harder” than other banks is that the minimum deposit is USD 1,500… not much if you consider the amount you can save via international transfers when needed (note that the 1,500 is not a cost, but a deposit). Cheers!
That’s awesome! Glad it went so smooth for you. Could you also please share the name of the bank branch you went to? That would definitely make it easier for others who are trying to get this done.
I agree, USD 1500 isn’t all that much and Citi definitely has great customer service.
LOL! I can’t remember the exact branch (I found it randomly walking in, and I even got lost going back 3 days later), but it’s either the one on the corner of 7th and 51st St., or the one at the corner of Ave. of the Americas and 45th St. The helpful manager was similar ethnicity as you I think; South Asian, and very helpful. Name was Deepra or Deepak or something like that (female). Hope it helps!
Oh, that’s great. So I’d guess it’s this one: https://goo.gl/maps/tDPD1gdeHjH2
787 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019, United States
Or this one: https://goo.gl/maps/d7kyrLaWFAF2
1166 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, United States
I think that’ll help people who want to open an account there.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Based on the 2 maps you gave, I guess it’s the one on 7th Ave. With brown building exterior.
Thanks so much!!
Also it’s nice to mention that this bank do not charge foreign transaction fees.
Thanks for all your guidance. I am going to Miami for couple of days next week.
If I am not wrong, did you suggest that, one can’t wire transfer from the non-resident accounts?
I work in Bahamas, and bank charges to wire transfer them to India or anywhere are horrendous. They charge as good as my Return Miami ticket for transferring 10k.
One thing I didn’t really understand…
I do not live in the US but my boyfriend is American and I could use his address when opening the account. I would still need to proof my foreign adress?
If he is there with me when opening the account would make a difference?
Awesome website, man!!!!
If you live with your boyfriend I suppose that address would work. You should probably ask the bank though because the address I had to give proof of, was the address that I live at. I don’t know if you can provide someone else’s address since they need to know where you live.
Did they open with an Indian address? I called that branch and they said needs to be a USA address.
Yes, I opened my account with an Indian address. Calling is not really effective, you need to go down to the bank yourself.
You didn’t state that the online/mobile banking access cannot be done within the first 24 hours. This may seem like a no brainer to some but not everyone is privy to this piece of vital information unless they go through the terms and conditions and other documentation thoroughly.
I appreciate your sharing this information. I was asked to provide my passport with the valid visa, a utility bill and a credit/debit card with my name written on it. In the event that anyone visiting the US doesn’t have a utility bill with one’s name on it, concession would be given if I provided valid ID of the person whose name is written on the unility bill. Unfortunately, this requirement would vary from branch to branch; it flew in Houston but not in Dallas (I called a branch in Dallas).
Thanks once again.
Hey Ashray, may i ask if the address linked to your account is your home address or a US address? Because someone said that he could set the Freight Forwarding address to link to their account in order to make purchases in certain US stores and i would like to know if that´s possible with Capital One. Also, may i know if we don´t want any design on the card, how would the basic debit card look like?
Fer, very valid question! I would love to know as well!
I have my home address linked to the account. I don’t know if you can do a freight forwarding address since you’re supposed to have some bills and stuff linked to your address. Also, the basic debit card probably is just like the temporary one they give you. Google the Capital One debit card and it’s the blue one.
Hello Ashray. Am Sam from Malaysia & I would like to ask you something. May I have your email address or phone number please? Its a long story difficult to explain in public. Appreciated.
I just sent you an email.
Hi Ashray. Powerfull info here!
Can U tell me your email pls?
I need clarify some questions.
Thanks in advance!
Great article thanks for all the info. I just have one concern about Taxes, would you have to pay taxes in any way or declare your income to IRC ? Or maybe there is a certain limit for that?
You would, if you are liable to taxes in the US. You would need to speak to an accountant to know about that or check the IRS rules yourself.
Hi Ashray, you star! Thanks for getting all the info out there. I’ll be in the US next month and confident I’ll be able to open an account more or less like you, but I have one last questions: did they at Capital One not ask you “why do you want to open a US account?” and what was your answer or what would be a satisfactory answer? I guess: convenience during my travels could be a valid one. Please let me know! Many thanks in advance and good luck,
I just explained to them that I often get payments from US companies like amazon that will either pay with check or ACH. Checks mailed internationally are ridiculously slow and unreliable. So I’d rather have a US account and get ACH. That was enough for them. They just want to know that the funds are legitimate for the most part so it’s not really a problem.
Hope this helps!
Hey – great article! Thank you! The account you opened, was that a personal or business account? I need one for business but I wonder if things will get more easy if I just ask for a personal account…
Thanks for you help! :)
It’s a personal account but you could try to open a business account too. The process and required documents might be different though.
I am a non US resident. Can I open a US bank account easily without an SSN say if my initial opening deposit is about USD 750,000.00? My US mailing address to use will be my brother who is a US resident. Thank you for any comments.
You’ll have to ask the bank about that. For large amounts they will most likely require a lot of additional documentation.
In addition to my query above BTW I wish to have under Personal US bank account. Thank you…
Is Capital One BANK CARD a credit card ? or a debit card ? because according to AMAZON new rules In order to sell on Amazon.com, you need to provide an internationally chargeable credit card with a valid billing address located in a Country Accepted for Seller Registration.
It’s a debit card. I haven’t used Amazon as a selling platform.
This is awesome website, I almost got all the information i required. Let me tell you my requirement and then I will ask my question.
I would like to work for a company in US, but from India. My question is:
If I open account as you mentioned above, US company should be able to tranfer salary to US account, right?
Coming to Tax, do I have to pay tax in India or US? Please clarify.
You should consult an accountant regarding your tax questions. Every situation is unique.
my comment was erased? im trying to help people.
We don’t allow business solicitations through our comments section.
very nice post
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May I know validity dates of debit card that Capital One issued to you? Is it good for 5 or 10 year? Thanks for your highly informative blog. I’m flying to the US before end of March this year on US tourist visa.
The validity is until the end of 2019 so it’s something like 4.5 years. It will come to your foreign mailing address so getting another one should not be an issue.
Hello, can you top up your US account from a Revolut account as a bank transfer?
Yes, you can send money from Revolut to Capital One Essential Checking. You just need the routing number and account number, it takes a few days to arrive.
There is no free way to get it back to revolut though, that I’m aware of.
Please tell how is wsfs bank in USA Delaware compare to the other banks of USA ?
Thanks for the tip on foreign exchange. I am used to sending USD money order by mail to my US bank to deposit but had no way of transferring anything back (to Canada).
I opened my checking account with NBT Bank in-person (a northeastern bank in upstate NY and VT). It looks like NBT is used to Canadians coming there to open bank accounts. There is no minimum balance, no fee and gives a free VISA debit card and 3 starter checks. Billpay not included though.
Thanks for this useful information. My situation is different from all the above, so thought I would ask the question.
I live and work in India.
I don’t earn money in the US and don’t have people paying me in the US. I would like to yet have an account only for convenience reasons.
I understood the documentation needed to open the account. I wanted to understand better the following:
1. if I can transfer funds from an Indian bank account to this Capital One account? Will I be charged anything?
2. If I can transfer money into my Indian bank account from the Capital One account and what the charges will be?
3. So I guess I can use this debit card to shop online, at shops in India and in shops in the US? What are the rough charges for each.
I am an American citizen living in Romania. I have residence here and do not plan to return to America. I want to pay my US taxes but must have a bank in US. The advice on this site is rubbish…I had an account now debit card and all I can tell you if you use one to bank, you will be very sorry.
So here I am…trying to pay my taxes…I can’t spend 2000$ to visit the US just to open a bank account and will never use a debit card again.
This advice isn’t for US citizens.
Thank you very much for your blog post.
Do you know if this process still work? Did you hear from non US residents that opened a US account lately, because your article is from August 2015 – 7 month ago…
And one more question, what is the advantage of this account compared to a payoneer account?
Yes, it still works. If you are fine using a Payoneer account then there is no particular advantage. Some people will not pay into Payoneer.
Payoneer has a whole bunch of shitty fees. They’re more expensive to use than Paypal.
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Thank you for your post. But I have an urgent question:
I am not resident of the USA (I’m from Europe). I opened bank account in one of the US banks. I signed up for a DEFAULT PayPal (not business) and linked it to my US bank account.
now I’m selling online codes/subscriptions (for Software products) on the website in Asia region, and then they send me my payments to my PayPal account, which I then withdraw to my bank account. Does this counts as my ‘business income’ and I should pay taxes in USA or is it just ‘my personal funds’ which I just want to store in US bank account?
for 2015 I transferred there ~$30,000 and I wonder if I’ll be charged up with tax evading upon my next visit to USA …..
just to clarify: I’m self-employed, but I do not work in USA (not physically, not in internet zone)
You need to speak to a tax specialist. It might be classed as US income by the IRS. This will depend on your exact setup. Spend a little money and find out for sure, if you have expenses the tax shouldn’t be too much.
I am a non-resident visiting soon next month. I called CapitalOne to verify this, and they said it cannot be done without a SSN.
People, don’t be fooled by success stories as they’re rare and rather the exception than the norm.
They just cannot do that, it’s a risk they do not want to take. Why not just open your company/web business in your country? After trying to get a LLC up and running legitimately, you’ll be very surprised on how much easier it is when you’re “at home”.
What on earth makes you think people can’t want a US bank account for “legitimate” reasons?!
My company is based in the UK, my clients are in the UK and the US. It’s a lot easier for me to serve the US ones if I have a US bank account.
It worked! Thank you 1000 times. I went to Capital One in Howard Beach (20 mins from JFK on the airtran) and opened my account in 90 minutes. I live in the UK and took a UK bank statement, $50, my passport and my driver’s licence. Like you, I had a US Skypein telephone number to use.
After 3 years of searching and trying, I finally have a US bank account. I’m so grateful for this article.
Thanks for posting your experience, helps shut down some of the naysayers we’ve got here in the comments section now. Congrats on opening your bank account :) Make sure you bring it up to the $300 minimum in about 3 months because they start charging $8.95 per month after that.
Worked for me. Went to Capital One Bank in Austin located at 1801 E 51st St and they opened it within 30 mins. Thanks a lot for this.
i’m trying to open an account in Us with my husband till now every bank denied me to join with his account cuz i don’t have ssn number or a permanent residence … with this bank can we join this bank account together? he will open (he is us citizenship) and i will be on his account even i’m doing right now the adjustment status …. for ur info do u know if they can ?
Yes, they can. We added my wife to my account just using her passport as identification.
This is really awesome information !
I am an Indian, I work for an international company and I visit the US 4-5 times in a year for short business trips and having an account here will really be helpful for small needs.
My question : is there any tax implication on opening a account in the US as a non-resident
Sorry, I don’t know what tax implications exist for your personal situation. You should speak to an accountant about that.
Great stuff! I’m going to the US next friday and will it a try. It would really help my small biz. Appreciate your patience in answering the snowball of questions from everyone, that gave me all the details and answers I need. I’ll post my results here. You’re da man!!
-David from Nicaragua
Ey David, could you open the account? I want to open one so your experience would help me a lot.
Dear Ashray, AWESOME!!! You are doing great. After reading this I will open an account on my next visit to the US. May chew your brain more then.
This is my case.
Passport : Indian normal,
Residence visa : Qatar due to Employment,
USA visa : B1/B2 till year 2020
Quite often I visit USA but for transit only even though every time they give me 6 months stay. I would like to open a saving account or any other account in USA but I have no reference there. I just need to transfer US $ 75000 from Qatar to USA for my future travels.
I do have NRI account with Citibank in India. In such regard can Citibank open account for me ? Or HSBC or any bank in USA ? I can visit USA if required.
Hi! It is a very useful article. I want to make a question about the needed document of the address proof (In your case about the telephone bill from India). Was it translated in English? I am a Greek citizen and i don’t know if is needed to translate the document from Greek to English language.
It’s difficult to say. I would imagine that if the person at the bank cannot read the address on the document (since Greek script is different) it would need to be translated. They might not require it though, sometimes they just need you to fill out a W8-BEN form. The good thing is that if you need it translated you can pretty much get anything translated in most major american cities so it should not be a problem although it might cost you a bit.
Thanks for your useful post. I have successfully opened a bank account in San Francisco. There isn’t a Capital One branch in SF, so I had to try my luck with a few different banks out here. I blogged the experience on:
That’s awesome! Congrats on opening your account and great work on the writeup!
I couldnt open your link address, im going to SFO in November, which bank could you open the US account and which address?
Thanks Ashray for such an amazing blog, i was wondering if you or any one in this blog can help opening a US bank account with out a personal visit to US. We i have an LLN registered in state of delaware and i have an EIN # as well.
It’s going to be almost impossible without a personal visit to the US. However, since you have a company in the US, you might be able to do it through a contracted lawyer. Still, I wouldn’t bet on it and many banks will turn you down. Silicon Valley bank tends to work with remote companies represented by lawyers but they are quite picky and would at least like to see US investors in your company.
Very useful post! I was just wandering if I opened the us account successfully, can I link it to PayPal and then link my foreign card ‘Egyptian’ to PayPal too so that I can transfer money from my card to the us one? I need the us card to shop stores online that don’t accept international cards.. I don’t have a ssn, and I ll use my friend’s address in us for the card, hope this will work!
You can link your us debit card with PayPal, but you can’t change billing address to USA address.
In that case all us shop will ship items purchased to your PayPal registered address. And if it is non USA address
Your card will be rejected.
Recently I visited USA and open checking account with Wells Fargo Bank. Minimum balance required Is $1500.
I don’t have SSN but have permanent address in usa(close relatives)
This bank have international wire transfer inward and outward remittance .So I can transfer funds from my Indian bank to my account with Wells Fargo online and also transfer funds from USA bank to Indian bank. No need to visit bank.
Yearly you can transfer $2,50,000 as per RBI policy.
I have debit card of Wells Fargo can be used any ware in the world.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
I can see that you mention about fund transfer from IND to USA and visa versa.
I am very excited for opening US bank account after reading abundance of possibilities.
thank you very much for your writeup. I just came back from New York and can confirm: Capital One opens bank accounts for foreigners without SSN and address in US.
I brought my passport, my ID, and two different utility bills.
When I walked in the Grand Central Station branch, I was told: “This is not possible”
Then I walked into the branch at 46th and 3rd, and they said: “yes no problem at all!”
Indeed the computer system did not accept my address and phone, but the banker directly told me that they will fix that afterwards for me. We needed a shipping address for the credit card (I chose the kitten one, because kittens!) in the US, so I was a bit scared it it would work, but I got it delivered to my hotel 2 days later.
Temporary and final credit card (valid 4.5 years) worked immediately. I went back to the branch for the activation of the card and thanked the manager again. Excellent service.
it is confusing that one branch says no, while the one next door says yes, but keep on trying. Their system is fully prepared for that (it directly prints out a W8-BEN form for IRS).
I directly activated online banking.
Last step for me is to get a US phone number to fully use online banking. I guess a prepaid sim card would have done it but I forgot about that, so I will set up google voice.
Thanks a lot! This worked. Also got declined at Capital One Grand Central branch. Thanks to your comment, was able to open an account at Capital One 46th St. Thanks again!
Fabian, Thanks for sharing your experience.
But was it a credit card or debit card?
I am a staff of a religious organization in South America where I reside. Our organization is also registered in the USA. I am currently in Texas to attend a convention and I desire to open a bank account that will give me a visa or MasterCard and also allow me to transfer in and out of my account here in the states. How do I go about that please?
hie we got our company registerd in usa as llc but we are facing problem in opening bussiness bank account and we have one of our indian member added in llc who lives in us .so is it possible to open bank account there in usa and how?
I a resident of the USA but my cousin isn’t and he wanted to open a US account. I called several banks who said it can’t be done without a SSN #. I found 2 banks that did PNC and Well Fargo. I took him to PNC and it seems as though it was the first time it was been done. We will have to wait 7 days to get the debit card. At Wells Fargo it was done in 10 minutes, got an instant debit card which he used the same day and he was able to link his paypal account and do money transfer. You have to deposit $50 for checking account and $25 for savings. Wells Fargo was the best and the rep was very friendly and knows what he was dong.
I want to know provedores to have a debit visa card as i live in angola
may i know what type of account you opened with capital one bank? is it “360 checking” account? I am in LA but there is no capital bank here but they do have capital one cafe that can do banking stuffs (http://www.capitalone360.com/cafes/losangeles-westwood/) , I am going to give it a try.
sean, try Wells Fargo on the west coast. I just opened an account in San Francisco last month while visiting the US: http://sendbybike.com/opening-a-bank-account-in-the-us-without-a-ssn/
what is the minimum balance required by well fargo to maintain the account so there is no monthly account maintanance charge here? Captial one is USD 300 which is acceptable to me but i heard well fargo is USD 1500 to maintain the account which is high to me :-(
I am planning to go Texas next month to open a bank account for my company, I am on B1/B2 visa. I just wanted to know what should I inform at port of entry (immigration counter), I visited US only one time and my previous company gave me letter to show them up. Since its not official trip, I can fly directly? If i plan my travel to visit bank, just wondering what kind of questions will they ask? what to inform at port of entry to enter Texas, USA. please advise me any one on this. greatly appreciated your help..
@Keith with your content, will I still need to be there physically.
Is there a possible solution to being there physically?
@Ashray What a wonderful masterpiece Ashray. Very valuable information.
Hi Ashray. Well appreciated for sharing the information. You are amazing. Thanks a lot.
I have few questions below. Could you please guide me on this?
1.What is personal account Vs Business account? Is there any advantage to open Business account.
2.I have a valid SSN. But I dont want to show it. As I have not shown SSN here, do I need to pay tax to India or to U.S by any chance.
3.Which one wold be a good choice TDBank, CapitalONe, City bank. I read in your post that they wont charge anything for transferring money from “U.S CITY Bank” account to India “CITY Bank” account? How come it is possible. Is that true?. If so, then it is called hawala right?
Can you transfer transfer money from overseas to Capital one bank? You said that the reverse option is not possible.
I’m planning to open an US bank to avoid some credit card taxes in my country when i travel overseas.
Yes, international transfers to the bank do work. Moving money out is harder but can be done either by doing a debit card cash withdrawal abroad or by using ACH pull through a service like Transferwise.
I cannot thank you enough for the amount of very helpful information you provided in this post, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
I have one question please, I’m visiting the US next week for a few days, there is no “Capital one” nor “TD Bank” in the city i’m going to, all i could find is one “Wells Fargo” branch and few “PNC Bank” branches, when i spoke to them over the phone/live chat they told me that a US address is required, i don’t live in the US, and i don’t know any one there to use his address, so what do you guys think? what’s the solution to this case? have you had any experience with the US address requirement?
Thank you once again!
Will wait for your reply impatiently!
I have a similar question to the above poster. Has anyone had any luck on the west coast, particularly Seattle? Most of the banks discussed above are only around the NE. I’ll try Wells Fargo and BoA, but I’d really like some other options, if anyone has any suggestions.
Sorry if this double posts, the commenting system is playing up for me.
You just need to try a few different banks if the first one says No. One of our readers wrote an article about how he managed to open an account with Wells Fargo on the West Coast.
I’m sure you’ll manage as long as you have your passport, proof of address (might not be required) and some persistence :)
Without a Social Security Number (SSN) and physical presence in the United States, hardly you can get account open in any bank in the United States if you are not a resident, though some banks will require you to fill out a W-8 form to complete the account opening process. If you are not a US citizen, you will not be required to have a US physical address, but you will need to present your foreign Passport along with 2 forms of identification: driver’s license, State ID, or US Passport depends on the bank. Recently I was able to open MetaBank® account with the assistance and some information I got. You can also get account open with The Bancorp Bank using the same information.
hi, can i apply credit card with this account?.
How can I opened a bank account in the USA without visiting the USA?
Thank you for your guidelines!
I managed to open a checking account today in Wells Fargo (Orlando, FL). I have no SSN, they told me this is not a problem at all. They needed:
1. My passport
2. A US phone number (I got that through Skype)
3. A US based address in order to send me the debit card (I got that through shipito)
Minimum deposit is 50 USD.
I already have online access.
Many thanks for your post!
I will be in Orlando in November. Which branch did you use to open your account?
I visited the store at West Winter Park but perhaps you could try any other one in the area.
If you maintain at least USD 1,500 in the account, you are not charged for maintenance fees!
Did they require evidence of the US ShipitTo Address? Or you told them it was a forwarding service?
No evidence for the US address was required.
That is the thing I was searching for. Many thanks Manos.
You needed just your passport? What about a second id or your visa, do I have to take that with me too? Thank u
I also had my national ID with me but I don’t recall being asked for that. I believe it would be a good thing to have it with you also just in any case.
I wish you my best,
Your Article is very helpful!
I have a question :are the procedure the same for opening a saving account in the USA?
thanks in advance
Yes, the procedure should be the same regardless of the type of bank account you wish to open.
Hey guys! I went today to try a bank account at Capital One in Brooklyn (356 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201). and I was unable to get it done. I’m from France, I had everything with me (Two ID : Passeport and French ID Card, a US prepaid Phone number, 3 foreign proof of address : phone bill and two bank statement). they told me that it’s impossible to open a bank account without a SSN or an apartment lease in the USA.
Any advice or similar experience ?
I’d recommend trying a different branch. Some people have had success with Wells Fargo and I personally got a positive response from Santander. Just walk into a few different banks on the same day and one of them should work out. Please come back and let us know how it goes. Good luck :)
I wanted to get into amazon affiliate too, but they can only pay me with checks, or amazon.com gift cards. Checks are useless in my country, and amazon gift cards can only be spent at the .com site. Which means: a lot of shipping costs when buying something.
You’d think that a company such as Amazon would be more facilitating to non Americans.
I can’t describe how much this sucks.
Amazon affiliates do pay via ACH bank transfer so if you open a US bank account, you can work with them. Yes, checks are super last century.
Well, unfortunately, I am not planning to go to the US any time soon.
So that basically means no amazon affiliating for me.
You could try using a Payoneer card. They do have a system to accept ACH deposits from the US.
Ashray or anybody else who found success does your debit card have a visa or MasterCard logo on it. This is important for Amazon to validate a seller account. Bank account and credit card that is internationally chargeable or debit card with visa or MasterCard logo. Thanks for this great article by the way. Very Helpful!!
Yes, the debit card has a Mastercard logo.
Thank you so much :)
I love your article, I will try opening an account as a tourist this week. I want to start at US Bank and, thanks to you, I know to avoid Chase. I wonder what else there is in a small town. I have the advantage of a local address, but no driving license on hand to make the chances square…
i ve read your article and found it very helpful.
Idid some search as well regarding non resident accounts and i did found the TD BANK lve chat where clearly mentions non residents are able to open an acoount without SSIN although their accounts have bigh monthly charges
Regarding the guy from France few weeks ago i could only guess that branch he visited suffer either a typical lack of knowledge of low level bank employee or tupical dont care / dont want to spend my time attitude.
I am visiing later this year NY and i will visit Capital One to open an account.
Hi Ashray, thanks a lot for your very useful blog post and responses.
Are there any withholding taxes on your interest income? Did you have to fill in a W-8 Form to avoid such taxes as a non-resident?
Also, since you live outside of the United States, does your card work abroad? Did you have to put some kind of permanent travel notice on it?
I was able to open an account with Capital One too but haven’t gotten clear info on those. Thought I’d ask someone in the same situation as me.
Thanks again for all the info you’ve been sharing here! It’s much appreciated.
I honestly don’t know about withholding taxes on interest income, I don’t have that much money in the account for this to be a significant factor. I usually withdraw money from the account and maintain a low balance so interest income is .. not of interest :P I did however fill in a W8-BEN form so perhaps there’s no withholding.
Yes, the card does work abroad. If your transactions get denied for any reason (usually because you are abroad in what they might think is an unusual country) you can log into capital one’s online banking and chat with them during US working hours. They will help you place a travel notice on your card. This is not necessary always but only in case you get a declined transaction (happens sometimes, randomly). I had to do this for some online transactions.
Wow, thanks a lot for the very fast and informative response! Really appreciate it. Wishing you all the best!
I’ll Be visiting Washington DC in 2 weeks and I need to open a bank account to receive incomes from Google Play where I have some apps I’ve developed.
Thanks alot for this article I’ll be sure to spare a whole day to try out Capital One, TD and Wells Fargo, there are plenty of them near where I’ll be staying.
I’ll be sure to come back and tell you my experience.
Paul be aware that Capital One has got branches in only 6 o 7 States. I am an Italian national and live mostly in EU or happened to travel in other States, My local rep is great, on line is great, card is great, — don’t know about wiring money abroad, never tried. BUT as soon as I called their customer service they froze my account. They call it Hold.. If they are not sure it’s you, you’re a That’s because I had no SSN, and mistaken my cousin’s land line number an identification process. Plus they never bother to notify the ‘real customer’ (me) by any means, email, letter, phone, nothing!. Seven week later my account is still on hold. Called a bunch of times. Sent a 10 page fax. No reply, Called with my cousin on a conference call. No way! They want another fax. IT’S A NIGHTMARE!!
Wow, Thanks, your comment made me do some digging into the top 10 biggest banks….. I assume the bigger the bank the safer you’ll because maybe the chances of a takeover are less???
So I’ll try to hit them in this order Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One and Finally TD Bank which will be my last hope if all the above fails…. I’ll go with this webpage bookmarked on my phone from their own website where they say it’s possible
I may actually consider opening an account in 2 separate banks and maintain them to be safe from things like that Francesco….. Thanks for the heads up.
Francesco, thank you. these are the things that people must know
I succeed in opening a Bank Account with Wells Fargo Georgia Avenue Branch in Washington DC.
I was asked to provide a US Address but wasn’t asked for any proof of it. I wasn’t asked for proof of my home address in Uganda either, but they did put it in the system. They also required a telephone number and I provided my Google Voice number.
I even set up Internet and Mobile Banking and was given a temporary debit card. The permanent one arrived at the US address i had listed within a week.
There is a $10 per month fee if I don’t use the debit card at least 10 times in a month or have a minimum balance of $1500. But this pricing plan comes into effect after 60 days.
I actually opened a Savings account as well alongside the checking account.
The Internet Banking platform allows me to input travel Plans, so I guess this will ensure my card isn’t rejected at the ATMs back home.
I was also told I could initiate a wire transfer to any account in the world but the fee is $40, I guess I won’t do that for any transfers below $2000.
From my experience, when you call the branches to ask about opening accounts keep in mind that the phone call is usually recorded so the representative won’t be at liberty to tell you what they aren’t sure about and most probably tel you it’s impossible to open the account. But when physically present at the branch you’ll most likely be assisted, you know these Bankers are pressured to open as many accounts as possible.
Thanks for the update Paul! How is it working? I am still looking for an alternative. My account is now back in operation but I discover I cannot make wire transfers from their web banking. Completely nonsense if you live abroad or travel as I do. Compered to Well Fargo, minimum at Capital One is much lesser: $300.
All is well, I’m able to transact at the local VISA enabled ATMs, get all my alerts for transactions through the mobile app and emails. No complaints. I don’t think I’ll need to wire money, the fee to wire money from WF is $40, i’d have to wire over $12,000 to make the fee of $40 less than what i’d be charged in currency conversion over the ATM + $5 Non WF ATM fee.
But i’d say WF is crap when it comes to phone customer service when you call the branches but is OK when you call directly to the help line
hello , i need one help i am going to visit usa with family as a tourist , i think its not safe to carry cash money , it is posible to open a bank account in usa, can you help me and guide me which bank is good and which account is good if open i need to open for just 25 days ,and please guide me how to open .
Hello, just a quick message to thank you for your advice about opening bank accounts! I am a citizen of the UK, and I flew to the US yesterday to open two bank accounts. I succeeded in doing so at the Capital One bank next to Pennsylvania Station and a Citibank at the corner of W 112th Street and Broadway.
Citi seems to be the best option by far, and I will be using this for business, and using the capital one account as an account for spending personal money when in the US. The citigold account offers free incoming wires and discounted outgoing wires. You can also access the whole thing online and also do free wires between citi accounts anywhere in the world. Plus the fact you have a citi account in the US will make it much easier to open a citi account in other countries.
It’s also worth pointing out that I spoke to citi on the phone before I came to the US and they said this was impossible. They are wrong. Just use this blog, make sure to bring two personal IDs and a bank statement with your home address with you, make sure you have a US mailing address and phone number, and you should be absolutely fine.
Thanks for stopping by and posting your experience Dan. I’m sure it’ll help a lot of the readers here.
Am a kenyan and living here in kenya,can I be able to open and use a PayPal account?
Hi, thank you for the detailed post! It helps a lot! I have a question here, since I’m holding two passports of two different nations. Passport A has a USA visa, while passport B doesn’t. I’d like to open an account using passport B, is that possible? Does the bank require a valid visa to open an account? Thanks!
Yes they need a valid visa or ESTA. In may case the cantacted me after opening the account and asked for a copy.
I just want to thank you for the valuable information provided with this article for opening an account.
In October i managed to open an account with CapitalOne Penn plaza next to Madison square garden without issues.
We used our passport our id,s shown our names in english and a proof of address cooy of bank statement in english and a US skype telephone number.
The person was very helpful and new about ssn issue and solution.
The same day we received the temporary debit card and 3days later the debit card with our names at our hotel address.
Immediately had access at their web banking (using your tip for adding 9 9,s for ssn). Although debit check with photo was not possible as system reads ip and we are not in Usa, i guess by changing google account and or vpn we may be able to come through but not an issue for us.
Few days later though our bank contact called us requesting to provide copy of our visa and since we were travelling with ESTA we have emailed copy of them and everything was set.
If you have 500 to open and 5000 average every month you may open a high yield checking account which offers interest 0,4% first year and then 0,2% after first year. Also no account fees and they even offer 15$ per month return for other banks atm fees.
That’s very interesting Nick970. Happy for you. Did you check if you can receive or send wire transfer from your online banking? I am in you’re same position but not allowed to do. Thank you. Francesco
Fransesco idoes not allow wire transfer. Anyhow it says that i ahould contact their customer service. I dont need to wire transfer any amount for the moment hence i will check in the future
Thanks Nick. Please keep me posted if you find the way with them to wire transfer. I understand the customer service thing. My advise, if you have no ssn – make sure you have all you need to be identified when you call them. I had a terrible experience with them (sorry to say that). Also be aware they have branches in very few States. Ciao!
Thanks a lot for posting your experience here! Glad you were able to get setup in the US :)
So What’s The Deal With A DV Lottery Winner (New Commer To USA But Still Not Received Green Card Or SSN Yet)- So Is That Possible To Open a US Bank Account (At Capital One Or Bank Of America)- Please Advise
,Thanks In Advance.
You should be able to open an account at Capital One. However, you might need to show proof of legal status like an entry stamp or some other paperwork.
Thank You Sir That Helped Me Much
they also now say that they need proof of were you are presently staying in the US. what documents can one have of that if they are a tourist visiting
You might want to try a different branch.
Thank you very much for your info. I successfully opened an account with Capital One in less than 30 minutes in Houston Texas.
I went to capital one and was told that I would have to have a residence adress from the US or a official letter confirming the address that I reside at in the US (ny) presently. If I am a tourist how would I have that. All other documents I have.
Hi there. Thanks for the post. Is this the account that gives you really good rewards.
Not really. I don’t think it has any rewards as such.
If the bank wants a US ad address could i give them the address of a friend that im staying with. Capital One.
Yes, you can. It’s usually just to mail your debit card to.
Thanks.Going to capital one grand central station and madison garden tomorrow.will let you know how it went
I don’t have a US visa so cant travel there. Recently, Paypal stopped and removed bank accounts that were linked via payoneer (said they were virtual). I have funds in my account and cannot withdraw without a bank account. Is there any way I can open a bank account online?
No, you can’t open an account online due to bank regulations. It has to be in person. If you have any American friend you could ask them to help you by withdrawing through their account.
I’m just confused avout all the things that have been written here. Because I called like 50 banks and everyone declined me. The problem is always the same – no US pyshicall address. So I really don’t know, how you succeed.
Anyway, did you open a personal account, or bussiness checking account? Maybe that’s the difference, because i need a business account, for my company and maybe for this kind of accounts, regulations are tougher. But you said you needed an account for doing business, so you had to open business account, right?
I just went to Wells Fargo and it was easy and fast to make my account. They just asked me for my passpirt and driver’s licence and an inicial deposit of U$50. They charge you 3% on purchases made abroad and U$5 on ATM cash taken when it’s made abroad.
Could you tell me the minimum balance to get free montly fee?
Thanks in advance!
Are you a foreginer? Did you not need to give them an US residental address?
Interesting article. I will apply it when I visit US in next month. Thanks for sharing
I dont have a drivers license, is it possible to open a account?
I am hoping that someone here can help me. I will be traveling to the USA next year (2017) in August on a student scholarship. The scholarship providers will only pay my scholarship funds into an American bank account. I will not be able to travel to the US before I arrive there to commence my studies I am currently in South Africa. Is there a way I can open an American bank account prior to visiting the USA? can anyone assist? Thanks in advance :)
Can confirm Wells fargo opened a account for me with little issue with a EU address. Problem for me is without a USA phone number not many of the transfer options are available via online banking. Seems google voice and other virtual numbers are no help as they send via short code numbers which only work with USA carriers AT@T, sprint etc.
If anyone has found a workaround for this i would be interested in hearing about it.
go: Wells Fargo, Capitol One, Citi Bank, TD Bank, Bank of America.
no-go: Chase, US Bank.
As for US phone number: sonetel.com (not free, they will mail txt to you and/or you can use their app.)
As for US mailing address: many mailforwarders.
Ashray, fantastic post. Thanks a ton. For those of you who need a USA telephone number, I would recommend going to CallCentric.com for as little as $1.95 a month you can have a permanent USA telephone number in the US State of your choice, or for that matter, anywhere in the world. Some options may cost a little more. You could also get vanity numbers, if you are so inclined. You can really also use that facility to make inexpensive calls anywhere in the world. I am based in Bogota, Colombia and work with several USA companies. An hour’s call to Georgia may cost me just about $0.65.
I can confirm that bank of america will open an account for you no hassle. Just need two photo IDs (passport, driver’s license, etc). An american address to mail your card to and an american phone number. If you’re a student younger than 23 you won’t have to pay the $12 monthly maintenance fee. You also won’t have to pay this fee if you maintain a daily balance of $1500. The deposit needed to open the account is $25.
There is yet another way to receive payments these days. Besides, by contacting Payoneer, you can set up a way to have PayPal funds transferred to a Bank Account. Try this link: https://www.payoneer.com/main
You might consider open an account on a Credit Union. They seldom charge monthly fees, and they always have the best interesting rate for credit. I’ve just open an account at Alliant Credit Union (alliantcreditunion.org). It takes no more than 15 minutes without ssn, nor local phone number. A final remark, it also gives me a 5 USD as a gift for opening with them.
I forgot to mention, there was no minimum balance nor initial deposit.
did you open it in person or online?
If you opened online, how did you do it? I asks for a SSN and EIN.
how did u do it
they need ssn / US ID
I am a US citizen who is retired. I currently live in Vietnam, my formmer home land. I used to live in US for a long time, about 20 years.
I would like the US Social Security Administration deposit directly me retirement benefit to my Citibank Account which I opened in this bank in HCM city instead of sending me the check.
However, The Social Security Administration said that It can not deposit directly to my above acount because this account is not opened in US.
Now, can I open an account at a citibank in US without having to go back to US (because it is expensive for me right now)?
The bank I need is Citibank, because it has its branch in HCM city, Vietnam.
I don’t know anything about bank accounts for US citizens. I do believe that you can open a Capital One 360 account online.
Beware Capital One doesn’t allow you to wire transfer online. Only at a branch, which they have in just half dozen States, Plus if you are abroad you’re f***ed up!
Hi, I actually do have a Capital One 360 account which I managed to open over the phone using a relative’s address. I do have a SSN because I have worked in the US previously. It was very stressful but I managed to do it. Now, this account is quite basic, and has limits for deposits (max 5,000) and since things are going well I need an account with less limits (or no limits). I will be in the US in the following months, does your Capital One account have these limits? Should I try maybe with a different bank in case they close my current account because I used a US address?
Catalina, if you asking me, yes my account has got those deposit limits of $5,000 — I guess by month. I did not go further with details as I was pissed off enough. My account was put on hold — and stayed frozen for two months, just because they did not believe I was their customer on the phone. Since I do not have a SSN. Proving I was the man was a nightmare. You might not have that issue as you have a SSN. I am looking for an alternative and will close CO account as soon as I go the States. I assume I can’t do it long distance..
Ciao Francesco, I think I will try with other bank then. I don’t know if I will be able a business account as I’m only a sole trader? I was reading into their business accounts info(there isn’t much) and they mention “Included Monthly Currency Deposits” and it says $10,000 for the most basic one. I have no idea what that means??? If I get more than 10,000 deposited (transferred from my clients) I will be charged a fee?
Ciao Catalina, I think they mean you cannot deposit more than $10,000 a month and more than $5,000 as a single deposit. Don’t know what to say, if you are supposed to pay a fee in the case. Everything ok with the guy who opened the account. My american cousin endorsed me and I used his address. Other than that their service is nonsense for a foreigner! What nationality are you?
Francesco, you can use transferwise to withdraw internationally from your Capital One account. Also, it does accept deposits through wire transfer so that should not be an issue.
I also use Transferwise and it’s really the best rate I’ve been able to find, even after enquiring specialist services. Ashray, can you please comment on what I was asking before? Thank you.
Sono peruviana, ma adesso abito a Inghilterra.
Good luck Catalina! If I find a good option I’ll let you know. Please update me about you, if you find better banking.. Suerte!
Hi Catalina and Francesco. You can also work with a Payoneer Card. It is owned and operated by the First Century Bank in the USA. You can use the Card facilities to invoice a client anywhere in the world. The Bank will provide you with a MasterCard Debit Card. Their Admin charges per month is only $2.00 You can use the Card with any organisation/supplier that accepts a MasterCard or use the Card in any ATM machine that accepts a MasterCard. You can apply for the Card from anywhere in the world. I also recently found out that you can link your PayPal account to the Card and transfer funds from PayPal to the Card at no extra cost. If you send me your Email Address, I can arrange for an invitation to the Card services. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Check your email
Hi Mano, I used to have a Payoneer account until three years ago when I closed it. I don’t trust that company. My card somehow got cloned and all my money was taken from another country apparently (it didn’t have a chip back then, although chips were already in place. I don’t know about now). I called Payoneer, cancelled the card and filled out all the required forms to get a refund (it’s a Mastercard card and it’s covered by their policies). After waiting for like a month, they replied saying they could offer me 1/4 of the amount taken as “a good will gesture”. I told them about Mastercard’s policies and they just didn’t care. I googled about it and found people who had had the same bad experience and I contacted someone who had got the issue solved by making a complain to the BBB. So I followed his advice and did it as well. Payoneer paid up the full amount shortly after that and I closed my account as soon as I was able to open another one in the UK. I’d said beware of that company.
Ashray – I’ll check Transferwise as well. Thanks for the tips. F
Hi Catalina. Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Payoneer. I work part time as a photographer, and I opted to use the Card with iStock by Getty, with whom I am an Exclusive Contributor. As you may know iStock is owned by Getty Images. I trust they will not use fly-by-night operators. I get monthly payments from iStock through the Card. I have also been paid by Alamy.com and FineArtAmerica.com through the Card, either through PayPal or through the Bank Account linked to the Card. I have been using the Card regularly for 4 years now and have had absolutely no bad experience either with the Card or the Bank.
Please do note that I am not an agent of Payoneer, or the Bank. I am just sharing information on the excellent experience I have had with the Card Programme.
Hi Mano, I’m sure that like you there are many other satisfied Payoneer customers, and I just wish that you never get to experience what happened to me. Just Google “Payoneer cloned card” and you’ll find different stories, some from 2016. Payoneer is not a bank, it’s a money service business.
Hi Catalina. Thank you for the information. Payoneer is not a Bank; but it is owned by the First Century Bank in the USA. When you have a Payoneer Card, it is possible to receive payments through three Bank Accounts that will be linked to the Card. Payoneer sets up the Accounts through First Century Bank, Bank of America, or Community Federal Savings Bank – all USA Banks. I have had PayPal payments moved to my Card Account with no additional charges, from either PayPal or the Card Account. Everyone knows how notoriously expensive PayPal transactions generally are. Again, I am only sharing my own pleasant experience.
Just wanted to say thank you Ashray ! This article is so useful. I will try all of this from tomorrow and I will keep you posted.
Hi Ashray, thank you for the article and the community for sharing your experiences. I live in Venezuela and I want to sell in etsy the things that I elaborate, I understand that I can receive the payments via paypal, create the account there but I do not have and account in the USA, how can I withdraw that money?
I am from Ghana. I want to be in Ghana and bank with you. can I do business with you?. and is there any challenges or risks involve when saving abroad?.
How to withdraw from Paypal to my bank account in USD ? (without being taxed)
All my client are online, and they all pay me in USD to my Paypal account.
My current Paypal account is Australian and my bank account is Australian. Paypal forces me to withdraw currency in AUD at their market rate which is always 2.5% at least, i only need currency in USD so i am then forced to AGAIN exchange the AUD back to USD and lose even more money. What i need is whatever setup is required to not lose money on this conversion. For example if i could find a country where i can open a bank account and paypal account, earn in USD, withdraw that money still in USD to that bank, then wire transfer that money to Lebanon also in USD then i wouldn’t lose any money on the conversion. I need to also make sure whatever country i open in doesn’t charge me tax since i dont live or work there.
I am Australian but I’m currently living in Lebanon. I dont mind traveling to any country and making whatever arrangements, i just need something that work, find me a solution please. How can i withdraw USD funds from my paypal account to to a bank account and still keep them in USD?
Note:i deal with $10,000+ monthly volumes
Hi Alex. Try this…
You could go to the US and setup a US bank account. Any Paypal account can withdraw in USD to a US bank account. Then, you could either use this account or use Transferwise to withdraw from it to your own country at a much more favourable exchange rate using ACH Pull.
thanks for responding! Wouldn’t i be liable with the IRS for US tax? Or am i not tax liable since I’m not from the USA nor is my company? A lot of my client are from the USA though, what do you think?
I dont mind flying there.
if a forieghner could open an account in a usa bank,how could he or she get new debit card (after the first debit card expiration) outside usa.
best regard Esfandyar
The card is mailed to your address so you’ll get it by regular post.
Similar to your experience: I was in the US as a tourist, with my Dutch passport/ESTA visa. While there I wanted to open a US account since my parents live there and I do some expenses for them while abroad, and they wish to pay me back. We figured a US account would be the best option. We went to CItizens bank in PA (near my parents address) and they said that without a SSN it would be impossible. As we walked out of the bank the teller called me back to say he found a way around the SSN but it would not allow me to have online banking. I was skeptical but placing a little faith in the bank whent along. And surely I have a US bank account but cannot access online banking because it requires a SSN or TIN. I will try the 9-9s next time I can and let you know if this worked. Unfortunatly, I know live in PEru and have tried to use the debit card, which has been blocked. I am not sure why that is but hopefully a phone call could fix the problem. Has anyone else tried the 9-9s as a SSN?? any luck?
Just got a checking account opened at Capitol One, Park Ave, NYC. It was effortless. and took all of 20 minutes. They took copies of my Indian passport, bank statement of my Indian bank account and credit card statement. Didn’t get a temporary debit card though, they said they’ll mail the permanent one to the US mailing address that I provided. Also was asked to set up internet banking 24 hours later.
Thanks for this post! Helped a great deal.
For all those that can not be in in the USA, the best alternative is the Payonneer card / Account. I have used this card for 4 years without any problem. So sad about those that their cards were cloned. This is not exclusive to Payoneer. Any card can be cloned and money stolen. Just be careful where and how you use your card.
you can also get a u.s number from callcentric if you dont have any u.s number. no verification codes necesary.
URGENT Please help me. I’ve just arrived in New York (for one more working day tomorrow Friday 10.3.2017) and successfully opened a Capital One checking and savings account but I can’t register for Capital One on-line banking using nine “9″s as my Social Security number. (the guy at the bank did warn me I wouldn’t until I had a s.s.number, I didn’t discuss the nine “9″s with him of course)
I am using a laptop and tried both Chrome and I.E. (also tried after clearing history,cache and cookies) but it still gives me the following error, “We’re sorry, but we could not find you. Please check your information and try again.”
Does anyone know the work-around for this please this URGENTLY (I leave the USA this weekend).
I don’t really know what you can do in this case. I would suggest that you try opening a bank account at a different bank if you need online banking services. Capital one online banking is mostly good for viewing your balance and recent transactions and not much else (if you don’t have an SSN). You could potentially do this over the phone or by looking at ATM statements.
Hi Gregory! What happened with your 9 – 9´s problem?? Could you make it work?? All this information is great but will be useless for me if I cannot access to my account online. Thank you!
Thank You for this detailed information, i am going to give it a go at Capital One in New York on my next trip. I am from the UK but I travel all over the USA at least 10 days a month with my work and would love to have access to a USA account for my us spending and also do a bit of online shopping as i am really having major issues with my UK cards getting declined. I will let you know how i get on, at least there are a few branches i can try in New York. Really hope the work around for online banking still works but not a major issue if not. Thanks again, i really do appreciate the time and details that you have put into this.
First of all a big ‘thank you’ to Ashray and everybody else here who’s advice has helped me get a US bank a/c.
Earlier this month I walked into a Wells Fargo in Phoenix armed with all the paperwork this blog recommends and opened a standard checking account with very little hassle.
All they really wanted to see was my passport and one proof of my UK address. Earlier in the day I had opened a mailbox at a UPS shop for them to send my debit card to. On the day they gave me a temporary card that I could use until the permanent one arrived (took about a week). Once I had the permanent card I tried to sign up for online banking but had some problems. However I went to a local WF branch and they helped me set it up really quickly and there was no need for a social security number either.
So I now have the account, online banking and even a phone app!
Had a similar experience to you and ended up closing the account a year later fwiw.
With a foreign address you can’t send wires and without a usa phone number you can’t make use of surepay or similar money transfer options. People will say you can get cheap USA numbers to obtain the verification codes but they are short codes and don’t work with any sort of USA phone number outsourcing service such as telzio. The number has to be a on a USA carrier such as AT&T otherwise the verification codes get blocked.
I can recommend getting a magic jack phone. I got it delivered to my sister’s house in the USA and she set it up for me. Then you can just use the app from wherever you are and works as a mobile so you can get and send sms from the app. I don’t mind paying the annual fee as i use the phone to keep in touch with my family at no additional cost for calls to the USA and Canada.
Perhaps I just got lucky but verification shortcodes from Capital One work fine with my Google Voice number. Just another data point to add. A lot of verification codes (even Uber) don’t work with virtual numbers so it’ll depend on the bank and the system they use. Wires are a hassle (I haven’t done any) but payments via ACH pull or just using the debit card online work fine.
Just to add; the person I dealt with didn’t ask for a W-8BEN form and, in fact, when I offered it seemed a little confused as to what it was :-)
Hello! Thanks for the post! I have tried to read all the comments, I could not find an answer to the question in my mind. So here I go! I used to live in USA and I have an SSN. I have a visit coming up next month and I want to open a bank account in San Francisco, just to have a debit card with US billing address. I have encountered some online shopping problems with my foreign credit cards. I want to put money when I need, WF to require 1500$ is huge for me. As I recall, such an amount is not required from people who lives in USA, right? So can I open a bank account with my SSN and use an US address will they still consider me as a foreign resident?
In the case of Wells Fargo the minimum deposit to avoid the $10 per month charge wasn’t based on nationality or country of residence. Everybody pays it it if they don’t maintain an average $1500 balance or use the debit card 10 times per month (ATM transactions not included).
Hi, maybe you should try with Capital One instead. They don’t have a monthly payment to keep the account. I also have a SSN and used my sister’s US address, but I did it while I wasn’t in the US (online / on the phone) so they asked me A LOT of questions, like what’s the closest university to my house and what’s the closest hospital and what street intersects in the corner of the house, etc. So I was extremely nervous, but got it in the end. Oh, they also asked for a bill on my name, and I presented a rental agreement between my sister and me. I don’t know if you go to the branch and try to sign up with a US address maybe they’ll also ask for utility bills on your name under that address.
Hey Ashray, like several others here, I stumbled upon your website when I was looking to open a bank account in the US. I read this post very many times, meticulously and took inspiration from it to visit 5 banks. Finally, TD Bank near University Place in NYC helped me open an account yesterday! Hakeem Qasim, the manager at TD Bank was tremendously helpful.
I’m thankful to you for writing this post. I enjoyed reading some of your other posts as well. Happy journeys and stays to you and your wife!
I was able to just open an account today at Wells Fargo (Wilson Ave, Glendale). Annabel was very helpful! She just needed my passport and a credit card with my name with a VISA stamp. It was very fast.
There is a monthly service fee of $10. It can be avoided if:
- maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500
- qualifying direct deposits totaling of $500 or more
- 10 or more posted debit card purchases or posted debit card payments. Transactions at ATM are not included
I forgot to mention a big plus for Wells Fargo is to be able to wire to/from my home country bank.
Did you give a US address for the account that you will change or you own foreign address? I went through the same process giving a temp US address then changing to my EU home address. If your address is not in the states you can not send wires of any kind confirmed that with them. Can receive and send surepay but need a US phone number on a US carrier not one of those digital numbers.
Hope you have a better experience than me ended up closing it in frustration a year later.
I just applied for Express Send / remittance service of Wells Fargo. This is limited to some countries. I also got a tourist SIM prepaid plan (3 weeks expiry) from T-mobile to validate my adding of Wells Fargo checking account to Paypal.
I just discovered that Groove IP (Android only) can receive SMS from Wells Fargo shortcode. You need to buy credits (~2USD) to enable the feature.
The application right now is pending because for some reason the beneficiary name (my name) is incorrect (maybe add the middle name). :)
I am also using Abra to withdraw / deposit from / to Wells Fargo / my bank account in the Philippines.
CORRECTION: I just discovered that ABRA does not support Wells Fargo even if they claim to! They also have very BAD SERVICE!
Hi there, I have been reading all the questions and answers with interest here and think a non-resident US account would suit my own purposes as well, so many thanks for the helpful info. Is it possible to pay taxes in the US as a non-resident as well?
You’d only be required to pay taxes in the US if you were to be tax resident there. Otherwise, please continue to pay taxes wherever you are normally resident. Hope this helps!
I can confirm that this method still works with Capital One on 750 Third Ave. (46th St.). The process took about 20 minutes. I installed the Capital One app immediately when the Rep asked me if I wanted internet banking. On trying both the iOS and Android versions of the app, the iOS version is more polished.
You are given a Essential Checking account, which has various fees.
I also visited a TD Bank branch on 910 8th Ave in an attempt to open an account, but they told me that I needed proof of address, even after showing them the link that was posted in this thread. The receptionist stressed that the non-US person must be a resident, and recommended that I try Santander T_T.
Maybe someone is interested in opening bank account for business. I found one good company Confidus Solutions (http://www.confiduss.com/en/jurisdictions/the-united-states/business/bank-account-opening/). I would like to mention that people have to be careful with building their bank credit history.
i had ssn while i was temporarily working in US, i a non resident, and had left US back to my home country about ten years ago, is it lawful to use that SSN for opening a non-resident account US. I currently have no US address, is it ok to use my friend’s own.Thank so much for the info on your site.
I need advice from you i have registered my company in florida agency and i also have EIN no but i operate my business from India and till now i have not shown my company address in us it is still in India. Is it possible for me to open a USA bank account without going to USA. if there is online business account facilty is also available then also it will work. please let me know your Advice.
There might be a way through Stripe Atlas or something like that but I don’t know if any bank can open an account remotely. Do you have a personal bank account in the US, already? There are some lawyers who can get this type of stuff done but I don’t know them.
urgent please I just arrived the states would it be possible to walk into a bank to get an account for a wire transfer without having to open an account myself and as soon as the money reflects I would be given the cash
No, you’re better off using Western Union for that kind of thing.
How can I open a current account in any of the Banks in US without my physical presence in the branch. I am from India but will not be able to travel to US, but want to open a current account. I can visit the MNC Bank branches that are in India currently, submit whatever documents are required and do all the formalities here. Kindly advise which bank can give me this facility.
It might not be possible without visiting the US. There are options for corporate accounts (Stripe Atlas) but none for personal accounts that I know of.
I wanted to open a Current / Business Banking Account in a US Bank.
Although, I have my business registered in US but unable to complete all the verification process physically as I am in India.
Kindly share the procedure, documents required and the other relevant details for opening a Current / Business Banking Account.
Please, let me know if I can visit any of the Bank branches in India and go ahead with the procedure.
Hi! Next week i ll be in NYC to open a bank account.. which branch you suggest? I have an EIN for my LLC but not SSN neither ITIN.. thanks
Just walk into a few different banks and see which one works for you. Banks are present in high densities in Manhattan so you’ll find a number of banks within a single block or two.
Hi Ashray! thanks for your prompt reply! I ve been told i need also an Itin number and an address in US in order to open an account? is it correct? thanks
No, that’s not correct. You may need an address to receive mail so a friend’s address would do. An ITIN is not a requirement.
I don’t know if everyone will have this option available, but have you checked the Transferwise Borderless account? I was able to open an USD account on my name through them. You can also open EUR and GBP accounts and receive payments. You can then send the money to your local bank account.
Just some updated info:
Last year I tried to open an account at Capital One but they told me it wasn’t possible.
Then I went to the Citi bank near Pen Station Manhattan and they let me open a checking account there.
The bad part is that I have to keep at least U$D1500 parked so they don’t charge me monthly fees.
And I never got the definitive credit card, (Not that I need it, I use home banking) I asked for a new one by chat from homebanking and they told me that they would send a new one and the PIN code as SMS to the phone number I used the day I opened the account. Since it was a temporary phone number (T-Mobile for tourists) I lost it after a month.
So I still don’t have the definitive card, I’m going to NY again so I will ask it there again.
do need tax for open account bank in u.s for foreign people Without presence in the United States
Hi I need some information. I live in India and I work here as a freelancer. I want to open US bank account. Is it possible to get a US bank account if I visit there as a tourist visa? I can provide USA address also of my friend. Will any of US bank allow me to open account over there. If so how many days it will take and what are the procedures?
Any tips on banks in Miami Beach?
Just spoken to Everbank. If you have an ITIN they open you any account online in 48 hours, no need to go to US. Capital One 360 told me they want an SSN, so no go for non residents.Capital One standard said yes but you must go there.
Do you have a website for Capital One standard? I’m trying to figure what accounts they have for non residents
I visited various banks in the US, but not Capital One. Many require a US address. Those with a minimum balance of $1500 to avoid fees will easily open an account with passport and foreign debit/credit card, but noone will give you a debit card, only an ATM card if you don’t provide a US address proof with your name.
I chose Citibank Access Account which does not give you checks but can emit them when you pay bills online. To waive monthly fees you can leave $1500, or have a direct deposit or a bill payment per month. I should be able to do either of these two (though it is not really clear what is considered direct deposit).
HI, since you are a non resident, are they charging you with a monthly fee if you don’t have some balance on your account? what about the debit card, are they charging you a fee if you uses a different currency than USD?
For a different currency you get charged a currency conversion markup so that can be around 2-3%. They told me I needed to have $300 in the account otherwise they’ll charge me $15 per month as a maintenance fee. So far that’s been alright for me since I didn’t go below $300.
I opened account on Friday in SunTrust bank in Miami Beach.
I had to come twice, since guy did not know to make it the first time (Thursday) and was close to closing time. We registered with out address in Slovakia. No proofs were needed
Monthly fee is $7 and can be waived if u have $500 on account, or $500 monthly incoming or 10 payments with account.
Card can be only delivered to US address in 2-3 weeks or expedited fro $25 in 2-3days.
Only drawback is $15 for incoming wire and need to send somebody to bank once a year to deposit money to keep the account active.
We did NOT check other banks, since we knew this one will work.
I used to have a Bank of America account back in the days but close it down when I moved back to NZ.
I thought I had to go physically in the US to open a new one but discovered Capital One 360 everything online.
Thanks to my SSN back when I worked as Teaching Assistant, I filled in the form to open an account but got blocked and needed to call a US office number of Capital One. Oh man, I had to give out personal information for the lady to check my identity, where I live, etc She checked from IRS that my SSN record matches my last and first name… Fortunately, I did some preparation beforehand, using my US relatives address, a VPN and paid for a US phone number via Skype.
In the end, I will soon have a US debit card. Good luck to all !
and THANK you Ashray for your useful post !
my message is : even if you are a non resident living out of the US, you can still open a US bank account online or over the phone
I think you were able to get one online due to you already having a SSN, it’s not easy for everyone else.
I am very glad to have found this page! I will be saving this for the future, I plan to live to the US in a year after I finish my PhD in Berlin. In the past when I traveled there I didn’t think I could open a bank account without proof of residency or SSN, but it will be easier if I get a work Visa. Speaking of Visas (haha) I for now am purchasing gift cards form giftcards2u for my visits until then. I also am looking into starting a business account, Ive read its much easier than as an individual.
Hello, I got a check from Wells Fargo and I live in Indonesia also if I am Italian. I tried to cash it in Indonesia as well in Italy but it seams impossible. I do have Social Security Number (I previously worked in US) but if I have to come to us I spend 50% of the check amount.
Anyone can give me suggestion as to face this problem.
I am so excited to read your blog. Thank you so much for sharing to the world. I was in New York last month and I went to up to 10 Banks in Manhattan, they all turned me down because I don’t have a Social Security Number.
May I know what is the bank address of your Capital One Brooklyn that you get to register the US Bank Account to?
May I get the rep’s name and the location of the bank? I’m hoping to see a rep who’s familiar with the same situation. and, THANKS x 10000 for sharing the information.
Will you be eligible to apply for a credit card as well once you have opened a savings account with any bank in the US?
After reading almost entire blog for an hour,I
I was able to open account in SunTrust, Miami Beach. They dont need SS# and not even address in US (it’s good to have one for Debit Cards though)
There is also option to get ‘US account’ with Revolut or Transferwise, u’d most likely need address in Europe though.
I am very excited for opening US bank account after reading abundance of possibilities.
Ashray, you gave me hope after searching for lots of hours.I really acknowledge your effort.
I want a US bank account with funds transfer from Indian bank, online shopping, CC/DC payment, and minimum deposit requirement not limited to this but also includes transfer to local account of relatives, online banking if possible.
Which bank should I visit?
Can you make a easy and quick illustrative table or chart? So that it can save time of reading a whole comments
Thanks for the valuable content which helped me successfully open an account in New York last November.
I’ll summarise what worked for me & what should work for you:
Apologies in advance if ive missed something, I did my best to recall everything that was needed.
Bank: Capital One.
Branch: New York, 320 Park Avenue in Manhattan.
Account Type to open: Essential Checking.
Your passport + 1 more photographic form of ID such as a Driver’s License.
2 proofs of foreign address. Such as a Bank statement + utility bill from your home country.
Wedding certificate if opening a joint account like I did with my wife.
1 Bank Statement from your home country.
You will need to provide a ‘Correspondence Address’ which is in the US. This can be a friend/relative. A hotel address is not acceptable.
- This correspondence address can be changed to your overseas address but only after the account is opened.
You will need to provide a US Telephone number also which should be from the same contact as above.
$300 opening deposit cash.
1. Visit the bank early in the morning and as soon as possible after your arrival day. Don’t plan any other commitments for this day-It took us a few hours to get the account opened. It might be quicker for you as they may be more familiar.
2. Bring all required items, explain that you are a non US. resident and ask for an Essential Checking account to be opened. They might direct you to their website, in which case just say that you are aware that this type of account can only be opened in person.
3. They will need some time going through the process as its uncommon & may need the managers intervention etc. They’ll check & take photocopies of your documents.
4. Make sure that towards the end, you ask for Debit Card(s). The address for the Debit Cards will probably be matched to the US correspondence address. But this can also be changed afterwards.
5. Ask for Online Banking to be setup. It’s easy & works regardless of your residency. Just choose your email address as the main contact method so it doesn’t try to send text messages to your US friend/relatives telephone.
6. Ask for a temporary Debit Card and test it on the spot so you can enjoy the convenience right away for the rest of your stay.
After returning to your home country:
1. Login to online banking and start a chat help session & ask for the correspondence & Debit Card addresses to be changed to match the main account address (your overseas address). – You might need to request this by telephone if they won’t do it via online chat.
2. Ask your friend to forward the Debit cards received in the post or ask Capital One to send you another one to your new correspondence address which is now matching your foreign address.
3. Enjoy, consider leaving positive feedback for the bank clerk and happy US Banking.
Capital One IOS App: I cant install this as my Icloud account is not registered to the US. No big deal for me I just use web/mobile web banking.
Apple Pay: This apparently works but I didn’t test it yet.
Great summary Bob.
I opened an essential chequing account with Capital One this week, and had a similar experience.
Also, I was told there is a 3-month grace period to get the balance above $300 in order to waive the $8 monthly account fee.
And there needs to be a transaction at least once every 6 months to stop the account becoming dormant.
If an account becomes dormant I was told you need to visit a branch to get it active again.
Finally, thank you very much for the article Ashray!
So theres no chance for non residents to open a 360 checking or savings there? there are some place where we can see all the fees for this account? thanks
Hi everyone, i noticed that a lot of people are looking forward to opening a bank account in the US, but to do that, you gonna have to travel to the US and that can be very expensive. I did my research to find someone who can do it remotely for me, but i was really disappointed in the results like many other people have. Either the price is high or they tell you that it is completely impossible, until i found a company who takes in charge the opening of my bank account both legally and for a reasonable price. Well, here is the website if some of you are interested https://fileyourfile.com/
So I visit Us often and I opened an account with BOFA joint ac with a US resident as the primary Ac holder.
I used their address and received debit card.
I work in Carribean and transfer limited funds to use while I visit US.
Question here is is the balance taxable on this account?
I will start working as a consultant for a couple of customers on the US. I have a few questions, they are more regarding the VISA. I would be doing visits for 3 to 6 weeks maximum, between trips I am considering staying 1 week at home. I have a B1/B2 visa. Do you guys know if this is OK? Also, for the bank account, they need this VISA copy, right??
Thank you very much, the article was very helpful.
Yeah that should be fine on a B1/B2 visa but be careful to follow all the rules of the visa. They didn’t take my visa copy for the bank account but this could vary from bank to bank or even depend on the person you are meeting.
Hello… I am a Mexican citizen, I have my B1/B2 tourist visa to travel to the US. I legally worked before maybe a couple years ago in TX so they provided me with a social security number back then. Haven’t used it anymore. However, years later i tried to open a bank account at a Bank of America in Florida and they denied me the possibility because i was no US citizen and didn’t have the proper documentation as a result. I just want a card to make purchases online you know? And feel safer carrying my money around in a card and not just all my bills falling out of my pocket lol. Well.. I’m reading here in your blog that some banks are making it possible in 2019 —which would work great for me— since I keep coming back to the US to visit my boyfriend and stay for about six months. My boyfriend is a US.Citizen and he was right next to me when tried to open the bank account but they wouldn’t allow me anyways… however, I hadn’t thought about the fact that you fill out a form —which would be for the IRS— and I have no idea about how that would work, so that means I would pay taxes for the money I run through my bank account? I’m just trying to be really careful before going forward on this process and going to look for a capital one or TD bank branch in Florida. If you could please give me an idea about how that has worked for you would be awesome as I honestly have no clue and it’s kinda scary to me. Just talk to me a little bit about it please. Thank you very much I would really appreciate it. It is worth mentioning that I tried with a couple of prepaid cards online as well but didn’t work either. There is no way for me to provide an state-ID card or my driver license since that one is from MX. Thank you again. Very nice blog by the way!
Hey Man, i want your help on this. is there any way i can call you? actually, right now i’m in the US and i have wanted this to setup asap. please help me.
Wouldn’t touch Capital One with a 10 foot pole. Have had an account with them for 18 years, but my account was blocked this week as I’m on vacation in Spain (I’m a U.S. citizen). ZERO help from their abysmal customer service department, and thousands of people on their Facebook page complaining of similar problems. I’m closing my account with them as soon as I’m back in the U.S.
please could you help guide me through how to have a working payment gateway for my online business.
will the easiest way be opening a US bank account like you did as mentioned in your story.
or which way will you recommend?
and please if you have a trusted friend or someone you know who had experience in dropshiping or who owns an online store please connect me with him or her so that I can gain from their experience.
Thank you so much
BTW I am from Nigeria, I love what you do here.
Thanks for your Assistance
I am italian and I live in Indonesia. Till now has been impossible for me to cash a chek in Asia and Europe, too complicated and so on. I have SS number, I was working time ago in US. At this point after what you wrote I really need to visit us and see with this bank how to do, may be in Honolulu that is closer. The problem would also I do not have friend to use the address there. Any suggestion. Thanks
HELLO, I AM CLAUDIO, I DO HAVE SSN (WORK LONG TIME AGO THERE) BUT IN ASIA WHERE I LIVE AND EUROPE WHERE I CAME FROM I CAN NOT CASH A CHECK FROM US. READING YOUR EXPERIENCE I HAVE TO COME TO US MAY BE HONOLULU AND TRY TO GO THE THE BANK YOU WENT. THE PROBLEM I DO NOT HAVE FRIEND TO GIVE US ADDRESS. ANY SUGGESTION.
Claudio non se posso aiutarti, scrivimi in privato se vuoi, email@example.com
It’s 2020 and there are ways of getting personal bank accounts in the US remotely. First of there are basic things that all banks require, An ID ( passport) SSN / ITIN ( you can get your ITIN online, there are several agencies that take care of it for you), a valid US address ( which can also be handled by mail forwarding agencies in the us ) then a us Number which can also be paygo ultra mobile sim or similar services). With all these you’re still not in the clear , now you need an agency/individual to assist you open the account and they usually charge with 2000-3000$ varies. Remember pay only when your account is opened and you’ve been able to deposit into and it bears your details.
There are also free ways and I’m sure some of you already know of it. Like Payoneer, TransferWise. There are new ones coming up like Passbook by Remitly and others.
It was so easy to open a bank account with a foreign passport at Capital One Bank, Crystal City branch in Arlington, Virginia.
I was preparing myself to explain so many things and giving references but surprisingly nothing was needed. When I gave my status that I am a foreigner without having a SSN he said Yes you can get a account without SSN with your foreign passport !
Mr. Pedro was so spontaneously explaining everything about account, I am impressed.
Account Type: Essential Checking
Opening amount needed: 50 USD
Documents I gave:
3.International Credit card from my home country
4.local address proof (gas bill)
However, if you keep USD.300 minimum balance everyday then all the monthly and yearly charge waives. So this was great for me.
I was thinking to open an account at CapitalOne when being in Florida next month, but they don’t allow this in their branches all around Florida, unfortunately…
“(…) while non-resident aliens can sometimes visit one of our full service branches to open an account, all of our locations in Florida are Cafés which won’t have this service available.”
I will try with other banks in Florida then.
I think you better visit a branch with all the required documents I mentioned instead of trying online. Thank you.
I understand – I didn’t try anything online, I just wrote them (CapitalOne) about the possilibity to open a bank as a foreigner in Florida. I quoted their answer. They say, in the branches in Florida, this is not possible.
Which really sucks, I was already anxious since people got through it at CapitalOne, but seems that this is not possible in Florida :/
Wells Fargo works. At least it did back in 2016. Took about 40 minutes to open an account.
Hi, i’m a resident in The Netherlands and have a Dutch passport. I want to open an American bank account with online banking option. Because of the Covid situation i’m currently unable to travel to the USA. How can i best open the US bank account from abroad? Thanks in advance!
Since EU resident, how about TransferWise or Revolut?
TW has US account details in your name, so all is good…
Hello, may I ask how you managed to work with some US businesses that pay through checks or ACH transfers? I do have a US bank account but still not sure how to accept ACH transfers from my clients. Thank you.
open business/personal account with TransferWise, they give u ACH account #
Hi, my name is daman. I live in India. if I earn money online in the US, can you plz let me know how to open an account in us later shift the payment to an Indian local bank?
so informative. Thanks