US: Not a citizen? Don’t panic, you can still open a bank account, here’s how
In our article yesterday, we talked about establishing a company in the US as a foreign national, and a large part of that was the necessity of opening a bank account within the United States. If you have not yet read that article, you will be able to find it on our blog, though for those of you that have, today we will go into a little more detail regarding the bank accounts and how exactly to open one as a foreign national living outside of the nation and hopefully clear up and confusion you may have surrounding the subject. You may be wondering, why would I need a bank account? The answer, it depends on your personal circumstances. For some, it will be crucial to paying employees in corporations established within the US, and for others, if you are to be relocating there soon, a bank account will be essential in day-to-day life.
We can now take a look at the requirements for non-US citizens, as the fine print is always important in this sort of process. This is because nobody wants to begin procedures to get underway only to hit an obstacle that requires you to start again. It is for this reason that below we will outline the key requirements and aim to provide you with a to-do list of documents to organise:
· Contact information, phone number, name and address
· Forms of ID, specifically, driving license and passport
· Non-citizens need an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
· Recently dated utility bill to your current place of residence
· Cash deposit (amount depends on your chosen bank)
· You may also need to have a proof of address within the United States
These requirements are rather standard and therefore should not be too difficult to comply with, perhaps aside from the ITIN, which we will talk a little more about in a moment. Another interesting point to echo from yesterday’s article is that for non-residents/citizens, physical presence in the bank you are looking to open an account within the United States is a requirement, something to bear in mind for this process.
Referring back to this idea of the ITIN, please find the steps involved in obtaining one here:
1. Fill in Form W-7, you will also need to sign it
2. The ID forms we mentioned above will need to be used in this instance as well, though they will need to be certified, a process which is easier to do within the US, however, if you are in your home nation it could be done at the US Embassy
3. Send your form from step one and the application for the ITIN to the IRS
4. Wait for response
This process, while having a seemingly short step-by-step sequence, is not that quick, and so patience is required when undertaking it. Once approved, you will be able to visit the US, go into the branch of your choice and make the application.
There are a number of reasons as to why opening an account in the US is beneficial for those of you moving there or establishing companies within their borders. Some of these include being able to use a debit card, pay bills and also gaining financial security. As well as this, for people wanting to establish a corporation, it will also facilitate payments to employees and make receiving payments online even easier.
If you want to open a bank account in the US and have any questions, please feel free to contact us today. At Creimerman, our team of global citizens provide a bespoke service to our clients, and we would love to explore your opportunities in the US and be by your side on your personal or professional journey.