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how to get a US bank account for non-us citizens/residents

good day,

does anyone have any information on how to secure a US Bank account?

given the ff:

1. a filipino, living in the Philippines
2. with no US Federal tax number or US Social Security number.

and can be 100% managed online.

thanks.

cereal killer

Comments

  • Very difficult, especially post-Sept.11.

    Walking into a retail branch in the states without a valid SSN (or other valid ID) and trying to open a bank account is just about impossible. It is well within an account officer's rights and duty to ask some probing questions from any account applicant.

    You may want to try inquiring from the international banking divisions of Chase or Citibank, who have offices in Makati. They can facilitate opening a US account but it will require a ton of documentation, subject to verification, (to meet US Fed and US Treasury requirements) and will cost you some hefty fees and balances.

    You can try a lawyer, specialing in tax law, who most probably can find a way but at an even higher price. Beware of on-line institutions who promise results.
  • so SSN pwede na? Or meron pa din sabit. I have an SSN secured back in 1990...
  • Rattling off a supposed SSN (which can be fake, as what Sept.11 hijackers did) to an account officer is not enough. You will be asked to produce the SSN card, which will be photocopied and filed.

    If opening an account in the U.S., you will have to provide proof you are a legal U.S. resident. In the old days, a valid driver's licence was enough. However since fake drivers licences can be easily be purchased off the street, stricter measures nowadays require more than a U.S. drivers license. Examples of other documents are telephone, utilities and credit card bills in your name matching the U.S. address you listed in the account forms.

    If you are not a U.S. citizen but are legal to live and work in the U.S. , you will have provide your passport with the valid visa stamp. This will be photocopied and also filed by the account officer.

    Opening a US bank account from abroad through the international banking division of a U.S. bank requires even more documentation.
  • thanks. I do have the card :) But I'm just curious, I'm not planning to open one (well not just yet)
  • thanks for the inputs TT_Boy,

    i am waiting for some documents from chase and also doing quite a research on them. but they require a $3000 maintaining balance. fall below that, charge is $9

    any information re this site?

    http://valisinternational.com/go.php?id=usbank7
    US Bank Accounts for non-US Residents
    Your Own Personal US Checking Account in a USA bank
    • US Checking Account with MasterCard debit card
    • Online banking
    • Works with your International PayPal account


    is this on your beware list?

    thanks.

    cereal
  • Yes, this is on my "Beware" list. They make it too easy too open an account.

    It might be legit but they are in the "grey" area at best. U.S. Treasury regulations stipulate banks must have a reasonable knowledge of their potential clients. The documents required by Valis do not meet those standards.

    In doing your banking (local or international), its always best to stick to well-known, reputable institutions.
  • Originally posted by TT_Boy
    Yes, this is on my "Beware" list. They make it too easy too open an account.

    It might be legit but they are in the "grey" area at best. U.S. Treasury regulations stipulate banks must have a reasonable knowledge of their potential clients. The documents required by Valis do not meet those standards.

    In doing your banking (local or international), its always best to stick to well-known, reputable institutions.


    thanks again

    cereal
  • tennisacetennisace PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    The so-called documentation "requirements" described in this thread is partially true if not a little bit overblown and exaggerated, and I won't make any further comments on it.

    This is what Citibank requires for all applicants:

    You must be a U.S. Citizen with a U.S. address and Social Security number to apply online. All other applicants should call 1-800-374-9700.

    A driver's license or state ID (applicants must be 18 years or older). Plus, a second form of ID — U.S. passport, military ID or major bank/credit card.

    Personal information including social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, and employment information.

    If applying for credit products, you'll need to itemize sources of income as well as information about outstanding liabilities/loans.


    Now, I have a question of my own:

    What purpose would a US bank account serve for someone in your situation?

    If your trying to shelter your ill-gotten wealth (he, he), might as well go with the offshore banks. I heard the Cayman Islands looks pretty good this time of year.
  • IraIra PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    I have a Bank of America account, and I'm not a US passport holder. BA allows you to manage your account online. If you don't have a US SSN (and credit history) in the US, I think the only account that you'll be eligible to open is basically a personal account (whether checking or savings) where you can keep your money in, complete with a debit (not credit) card. They allow foreigners to open an account--just have 2 current IDs ready, eg., passport and a PRC card. That's about the only thing they asked from me. The only thing is, I opened the account in the US, so I am not too sure how you'll be able to do that from Manila. Check with them if you can open one by proxy and letter of authorization.
  • KuyaDannyKuyaDanny Moderator PEx Moderator
    Originally posted by tennisace

    What purpose would a US bank account serve for someone in your situation?

    I, for one, find that I need to write US Dollar checks for miscellaneous payments from time to time. Philippine banks used to allow US Dollar checking accounts here, but the practice stopped when we were put on the money laundering watchlist. Now only Citibank offers USD checikng accounts out of Manila, but their interest rates are really awful.

    I could always open a US Dollar FCDU savings account and buy demand drafts every time I needed to make payment, but demand drafts are costly.

    BTW, in Ira's case, account opening was easy because she applied in person (in the US). Opening an account by remote control is a little tricky in any country. Any banker worth his salt should want to see his client anyway before he does any dealing eith him.
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