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139 Comments

  • JDN Says

    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!

  • Rodrigo Says

    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.

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Rodrigo

      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!

  • Stewart Says

    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.

    • Ashray Says

      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.

  • julie Says

    Hi!
    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 !!!

    • julie Says

      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??
      Thanks ;)

      • Ashray Says

        Hi Julie

        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.

  • Ram Says

    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.

  • Fer Says

    Hello Ashray,
    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?
    Thank you!!

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Fer

      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 :)

      • Fer Says

        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:

        https://www.capitalone.com/checking-accounts/?Log=1&EventType=Link&ComponentType=T&LOB=MTS%3A%3ALCTMNE8UU&SubLob=MTS%3A%3AKV0LVIE8Z&PageName=Fee-Free+Checking+Account-360+Checking&PortletLocation=3&ComponentName=utility_module&ContentElement=3%3B%3Cspan+itemprop%3D%22title%22%3EChecking&TargetLob=MTS%3A%3ALCTMNE8UU&TargetPageName=Checking+Accounts&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.capitalone.com%2Fchecking-accounts%2Fonline-checking-account

        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.

        Thank you!

        • Ashray Says

          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.

          • Fer Says

            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.
            Thank you!

          • Ashray Says

            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!

  • Brent Joseph Says

    Hello all,

    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

    • Ashray Says

      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.
        Thankyou!.

    • Fer Says

      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?
      Thank you

    • Mike Johnson Says

      Hi Brent,
      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.

    • Nestor Says

      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

  • Ankit Pandey Says

    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.

    • Ashray Says

      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.

      • Babla Says

        Hello Ashray,

        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?

        • Ashray Says

          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.

  • David Says

    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.
    David

    • Ashray Says

      Hi David

      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 :)

      • David Says

        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!

        • Ashray Says

          Hi David

          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.

          • David Says

            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!

          • Ashray Says

            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!

          • David Says

            Based on the 2 maps you gave, I guess it’s the one on 7th Ave. With brown building exterior.

  • Gabriel Says

    Thanks so much!!

    Also it’s nice to mention that this bank do not charge foreign transaction fees.

    Cheers!

  • Dilip Says

    Hi,

    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.

    Thank you.

  • Crjs Says

    Hi!
    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!!!!

    • Ashray Says

      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.

      • will Says

        Ashray,

        Did they open with an Indian address? I called that branch and they said needs to be a USA address.

        • Ashray Says

          Yes, I opened my account with an Indian address. Calling is not really effective, you need to go down to the bank yourself.

  • thomascyril2012@outlook.com Says

    Hi,
    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.

  • Fer Says

    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?

    Thank you!

    • Roman Says

      Fer, very valid question! I would love to know as well!

    • Ashray Says

      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.

  • Samer Says

    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.

  • Ahmad Says

    Hi,
    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?

    • Ashray Says

      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,
    Christian

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Christian

      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!

  • Sebastian Says

    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! :)

    • Ashray Says

      It’s a personal account but you could try to open a business account too. The process and required documents might be different though.

  • Benjie Says

    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.

    • Ashray Says

      You’ll have to ask the bank about that. For large amounts they will most likely require a lot of additional documentation.

  • benjie Says

    In addition to my query above BTW I wish to have under Personal US bank account. Thank you…

  • kevin Says

    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.

  • Siva Says

    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.

  • Jorge Says

    my comment was erased? im trying to help people.

  • John Says

    very nice post

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  • Larry Says

    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.

    • Ashray Says

      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.

  • Aser Paras Says

    Hello, can you top up your US account from a Revolut account as a bank transfer?

  • Mayank Says

    Hi

    Please tell how is wsfs bank in USA Delaware compare to the other banks of USA ?

    Pls help

  • Tony Says

    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.

  • AM Says

    Hi Ashram
    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.

    Thanks again.

  • paintdoggy Says

    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.

  • Dafna Elia Says

    Hi Ashram,
    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?
    Thanks,
    Dafna.

    • Ashray Says

      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.

  • Pingback: Booking a trip to US to open Bank accounts for US Paypal - eBay Suspension & Paypal Limited Forums

  • Dmitriy Says

    Hello.
    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 …..

    • Dmitriy Says

      just to clarify: I’m self-employed, but I do not work in USA (not physically, not in internet zone)

      • Ashray Says

        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.

  • JMcLean Says

    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.

  • Kn1f3h3x Says

    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”.

    • NellyB Says

      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.

    • Ashray Says

      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.

  • Pradeep Says

    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.

  • alycia Says

    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 ?

  • Karan Says

    Hi Ashray
    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

    • Ashray Says

      Sorry, I don’t know what tax implications exist for your personal situation. You should speak to an accountant about that.

  • David J. Says

    Hey Ashray,
    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

    • Osvaldo Says

      Ey David, could you open the account? I want to open one so your experience would help me a lot.

  • huma Says

    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.

  • Raj Kar Says

    Hi,

    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.

    Thank you

  • georgia Says

    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.

    Thank you!

    • Ashray Says

      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.

  • Kamion Says

    Hi Ashray,
    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:
    http://sendbybike.com/opening-a-bank-account-in-the-us-without-a-ssn/

    Cheers,
    Kamion

    • Ashray Says

      That’s awesome! Congrats on opening your account and great work on the writeup!

    • Tomas Says

      Hey buddy,
      I couldnt open your link address, im going to SFO in November, which bank could you open the US account and which address?

      Thanks

  • Fida Says

    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.

    Thanks

    • Ashray Says

      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.

  • Nahla Says

    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!

    • CBD Says

      Hi Nahla,
      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.

  • CBD Says

    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.

  • Fabian Says

    Hi Ashray,
    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.

    • F Says

      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!

  • PASTOR BT Says

    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?

  • ravi singh Says

    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?

  • Pat Johnson Says

    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.

  • Mario Manuel Says

    I want to know provedores to have a debit visa card as i live in angola

  • sean Says

    hi ashray
    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.

  • Venkat Says

    hi ashray,

    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..

  • Tommy Says

    Hi,

    @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.

    Thank you.

  • Vicks Says

    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?

  • Tomas Says

    Ashray,
    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.

    • Ashray Says

      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.

  • Komira Says

    Hello Guys,

    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!

  • Nelly B Says

    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.

  • James Says

    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.

  • nazrin aizat Says

    hi, can i apply credit card with this account?.

  • Mahadtwy Says

    How can I opened a bank account in the USA without visiting the USA?

  • Manos Says

    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.

  • Ther Says

    Hi Ashray,

    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

  • Numero13 Says

    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 ?

    • Ashray Says

      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 :)

  • Cas Says

    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.

    • Ashray Says

      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.

      • Cas Says

        Well, unfortunately, I am not planning to go to the US any time soon.

        So that basically means no amazon affiliating for me.

  • Ruth Says

    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!!

  • Ruth Says

    Thank you so much :)

  • Eva Says

    Hi!

    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…

  • nik970 Says

    Hello
    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
    https://www.tdbank.com/tdhelps/default.aspx/can-a-foreigner-non-us-or-canadian-citizen-open-and-operate-a-td-bank/v/39129370/
    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.

  • Fiona Says

    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.

    • Ashray Says

      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.

      • Fiona Says

        Wow, thanks a lot for the very fast and informative response! Really appreciate it. Wishing you all the best!

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