A Comprehensive Guide: Steps for Non-Residents to Open a Bank Account in the US


Opening a bank account as a non-resident in the US can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right knowledge and preparation, it can be a relatively straightforward process. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps involved in opening a bank account in the US as a non-resident.

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before you begin the process of opening a bank account, you need to ensure that you are eligible. Generally, non-residents can open a bank account in the US if they have a valid passport, visa, and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Social Security Number (SSN). It is advisable to check with different banks about their specific requirements.

Step 2: Choose the Right Bank

Not all banks in the US cater to non-residents, so it’s essential to research and find the right bank that offers accounts to non-residents. Look for banks that have experience dealing with international customers and offer services suited to your needs.

Step 3: Gather the Required Documents

To open a bank account in the US, you will generally need to provide the following documents:

a) Valid Identification

Ensure you have a valid passport and visa that allows you to stay in the US.

b) Proof of Address

Banks may require proof of your US address, such as a rental agreement or utility bill.

c) Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Obtaining an SSN or ITIN is crucial for non-residents to open a bank account in the US. You can apply for an ITIN by submitting Form W-7 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

d) Additional Documentation

Certain banks may request additional documents, such as a reference letter from your current bank or a letter from your employer.

Step 4: Visit the Bank

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, schedule a visit to the bank of your choice. It is advisable to call ahead and make an appointment to ensure a smooth process. During your visit, the bank representative will guide you through the account opening procedure and assist with any additional requirements.


Q1. Can I open a bank account online as a non-resident in the US?

A1. Yes, some banks offer online account opening services for non-residents. However, it is important to note that certain banks may require you to visit a branch in person.

Q2. What are the fees associated with opening a bank account as a non-resident?

A2. Bank fees can vary, so it’s crucial to research and compare different banks. Common fees include monthly maintenance fees, transaction fees, and wire transfer fees.

Q3. Can I use my non-US address as my mailing address for the bank account?

A3. Some banks may allow you to use your non-US address as your mailing address, while others may require a US address. It’s important to check with your chosen bank regarding their specific requirements.

Q4. Will opening a bank account in the US affect my US visa status?

A4. Opening a bank account in the US should not affect your visa status. However, it is always advisable to consult an immigration attorney or your visa sponsor to ensure compliance with visa regulations.


Opening a bank account as a non-resident in the US may seem overwhelming at first, but with the right information and preparation, it can be a smooth process. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide and choosing the right bank, you’ll be on your way to accessing banking services in the US as a non-resident. Remember to gather all the necessary documents and consult with the bank of your choice for any specific requirements.

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