It is very easy to open a bank account in the US if you are a resident. However, if you are a non-resident, it can be a bit challenging to open a bank account in the US. This is because one of the requirements of opening a US bank account is the Social Security Number. That said, you can still open US bank account as a non-resident online with Wise, Revolut, Payoneer, Zenus or any other multi-currency account that is available with your citizenship.
Open Bank Account US Non Resident
- Opening US bank account can be challenging for a non residents. You need documents like the Social Security Number and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
- However, it is still possible to open US bank account online with virtual banks like Wise Multi currency, Revolut and Payoneer.
- If you wish to trade in the US stocks, you can open a US brokerage account as a non resident using TD Ameritrade US Bank Account.
Can You Open a US Bank Account as a Non Resident?
Unlike US residents, non-residents require more identification. You need to have a social security number or an individual taxpayer identification number to open a US bank account. Most banks will also require non-residents to visit a branch to open a bank account. Although many banks have online account openings, non-residents will be required to visit a branch to complete the application.
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, the USA Patriot Act was passed that made it difficult for foreigners to open a bank account or engage in monetary transactions in the US.
Requirements of Opening a Bank Account in the US
You need the following documents to open a US bank account as a foreigner
- Valid passport
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- Government-issued ID
- Immigration documents
Can a Foreigner Open a US Bank Account?
You will need to meet the above requirements to open a US bank account as a non resident. If you don’t have these documents, then these are the options you have to open a bank account in the US.
- Use a “correspondent” bank. You can use a bank in your home country that has a relationship with a US bank to help you open an account.
- Open Wise Multi-Currency Account. You can use Wise to open a virtual bank account with US banking details. You can use it to transact like a local.
A US dollar bank account does not necessarily has to be a bank account in the United States. Some have more luck just looking for the option of having a US dollar bank account outside of the United States as a way to hold dollars.
Wise Multi Currency Account
You can open a US bank account as a non-resident using Wise multi-currency. You can use Wise to open a US bank account with US banking details without residency requirements. You can also open a US bank account with Wise while abroad. The account comes with a US routing number that you can use to exchange money between different currencies.
You will be issued with a Wise debit card and Wise virtual credit card. You can use the cards to spend anywhere in the World. Wise Multicurrency account does not have hidden fees and uses real exchange rates. It is so far the cheapest means to send money abroad.
Apart from the United States, the Wise Multicurrency account is supported in the following countries Europe, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Why Use Transferwise Borderless
So if you are looking for a Free US bank account for non US citizens, this is a good way forward. There are a number of reasons to use this service:
- It is easy to set up the account
- Low international money transfer fees
- Get local bank details for a number of currencies like pound, euro, and Australian dollar
- Free to open the account and the process is done online
- Switch between accounts for a low fee>
- Always be sure of currency exchange rates
Revolut US Bank Account
You can also open a US bank account with Revolut as a non resident. Revolut offers banking services in the US through its relationship with FDIC-insured Metropolitan Commercial Bank. Revolut offers multicurrency accounts like USD, EUR, GBP, NZD and AUD that support 28 currencies. You can access Revolut bank services through a mobile app and comes with a payment card.
Apart from the US, Revolut bank is supported in the following countries: Switzerland, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
You can use it to open an IBAN account, personal account, business account and virtual cards. If you have a business that is involved in cross-border transactions, you can open a Revolut Business Account.
Payoneer US Bank Account
You can open a US bank account online as a non resident using Payoneer. You can use the account to receive payments from your clients and to pay suppliers. You can apply for a Payoneer account online and your account will be account in a few minutes. Payoneer is supported in over 200 countries and supports many currencies.
Payoneer allows you to open a US bank account with local receiving numbers that function just like bank account numbers. You can get a local receiving account from Payoneer in the US, EU, UK, Japan and Mexico. You can get paid while in these countries like a local. You can withdraw funds from your Payoneer account through your local bank.
The following are benefits of having a Payoneer account:
- Easy to set up the account
- Receive and send money from around the world
- No hidden fees
- Low fees
Zenus is a US virtual bank that allows you to open personal and business bank account in the United States without proof of residency. It is a borderless multi-currency for non residents to send, receive and store money in the US from over 180 countries in the world.
Benefits of Zenus bank include:
- A full US bank account with no need to be a US citizen or resident
- Zenus bank account comes with Zenus virtual card and physical card (Visa)
- International and domestic transfers to other Zenus account holders are free
- Zenus is a full reserve bank
Supported countries are those that are not sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury or Office of Foreign Assets Control “OFAC”. Zenus bank does not support the following countries: Burundi, Belarus, Bosnia, Central African Republic, Cuba, Darfur, Democratic Country of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela. Yemen, Zimbabwe.
TD Ameritrade Non US Resident
You can use TD Ameritrade to open a brokerage bank account as a US non-resident. International investors and traders can open an account with TD Ameritrade. Before opening an account, check if there are additional tax documents that you may require to open a foreign stock brokerage account. Supported countries include Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Barbados, St. Lucia, Ghana, and Rwanda.
TD Ameritrade was acquired by Charles Schwab in 2019. You can open three types of bank accounts as a non resident using TD Ameritrade. They include retirement, foreign and domestic accounts. The retirement accounts include IRAs and 401(k)s.
If you are a non resident of the US and you want to invest in American stocks, you can open an international brokerage account. Alternatively, you can open a brokerage account for non-US residents with a US-based broker.
As a foreigner, you will be subjected to a Chapter 3 withholding tax, which is often 30%. You can see on this table if your country has a withholding tax treaty with the US government. You will also be required to provide the IRS with a W-8BEN to certify your tax compliance. Without this file, you will be charged a 24% tax on all interest and dividends.
However, remember that TD Ameritrade is not a bank and your funds are not insured by FDIC. Still, it provides you with an opportunity to have your funds in the United States.
US Bank Account for Non Residents
Apart from the above banks, the following banks provide US bank account for foreigners. You can open a checking account as a non resident with US Bank, TD Bank, Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo.
While it is incredibly difficult to get a US bank account for non-residents, services like Revolut, Payoneer, Zenus and Wise have made it possible for anyone to do transactions in the country. The biggest challenge of these platforms is that the funds in the accounts do not earn interest. However, since they help you do US transactions, you should consider using them.