Saturday, June 4, 2016

Can a non-US alien resident open a bank account in the US? And if not, what is the easiest way to do that?
2 Answers

Lionel Iruk, Sr. Intl. Business, iGaming, Tax, and Immigration Attorney for Empire.Legal
546 Views • Lionel has 60+ answers in Banking
Yes, a non US resident alien can open a bank account.  The CIP rules require financial institutions to apply certain identity verification procedures when a customer opens a new account.

The Bank requires anyone opening a new account relationship, or anyone added as a signatory to an account, to provide, at a minimum, the following information and to form a “reasonable belief” that the true identity of a customer is obtained. Included in this list is the acceptable identification required on all new account relationships, and any added signatory to an account:

Individual Non Business Requirements:

Date and place of birth
Residence address and mailing address if different (PO Box alone will not be acceptable)
If the individual is a U.S. person, the individual’s social security number. If the individual is a non-U.S. person all of the following that the individual possesses (minimum of one required): a U.S. taxpayer identification number; a passport number and country of issuance’ and alien identification card number; number and country of issuance of any other government-issued document evidencing nationality or residence and bearing a photograph or similar safeguard.
Official issued identification number (e.g. Social Security Number, Employee Identification Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
Current Drivers License (photograph required)
Current Armed Forces Identification (photograph required)
Valid Passport (photograph required)
Current Alien Identification (current photograph required)
Valid Social Security Number
Valid Employee Identification Number
Each bank will have its own policies and procedures drafted to comply with the requirements above. Most institutions choose to draft policies and procedures more strenuous than those required by law.

The following is examples of additional information that might be required:

Secondary ID (photograph not required Credit or Debit Card)
Proof of Address (Title, Lease, or Utility Bill)
Account Opening Process be done in person and originals of documentation be viewed
If the account owner is a non-U.S person without a U.S. ITIN then an IRS Form W8-BEN will be required
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Written 21 Apr • View Upvotes
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Gary Yamamura
Gary Yamamura, I spent the better part of a decade working in bank branches
1.7k Views • Gary has 90+ answers in Banking
Yes, provided that the individual has at least a couple of different forms of  identification (with at least one issued by a government agency), has a valid travel or work visa or green card, is 18 years of age or older, can deposit the minimum amount required by the bank and, typically, can be present in person in the bank at the time the account is opened. It's actually a relatively simple process and shouldn't be any more difficult for a non-resident client than it is for a US citizen. That said, its always best to call or visit the bank branch where the account is to be opened and inquire about their requirements. You may have to make a couple of trips but you'll also avoid unnecessary frustration and headaches.
Written 18 Feb 2015
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