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Unread 29th Jun 2009, 04:12 PM   #1
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How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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I live in Germany and would like to have a US bank account so I can get my amazon.com payments quicker and cheaper. (Amazon doesn't offer paypal or anything similar) I've done some googling and there's many services that offer to open one but I'm pretty wary of these sites.
http://www.google.com/search?q=open+...t+non-resident
I'd rather do it directly with a bank, even if its a little tedious.

So I would like to ask if there are any Warriors who live abroad and have succesfully opened a US account? Can anyone recommend a bank? Of course I'm looking for the easiest and most proficient application. What may come in handy for me is that I still have a valid US green card and even state ID (along with social security #). I could pretend that I'm still a resident and open a normal account but I don't want to lie. Besides, I'm sure the bank would need proof that I'm actually living in the states.

Thanks for any feebdack!

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Unread 29th Jun 2009, 04:15 PM   #2
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Can't you just open a US denominated account at your local bank? Most major banks offer accounts in other major currencies or they do in the UK.

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Unread 29th Jun 2009, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Go to Bank of America or Chase site. You should find help there.
Or just call them direct using your Skype.
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Unread 29th Jun 2009, 04:53 PM   #4
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by FlashDriveDT View Post

I live in Germany and would like to have a US bank account so I can get my amazon.com payments quicker and cheaper. (Amazon doesn't offer paypal or anything similar) I've done some googling and there's many services that offer to open one but I'm pretty wary of these sites.
http://www.google.com/search?q=open+...t+non-resident
I'd rather do it directly with a bank, even if its a little tedious.

So I would like to ask if there are any Warriors who live abroad and have succesfully opened a US account? Can anyone recommend a bank? Of course I'm looking for the easiest and most proficient application. What may come in handy for me is that I still have a valid US green card and even state ID (along with social security #). I could pretend that I'm still a resident and open a normal account but I don't want to lie. Besides, I'm sure the bank would need proof that I'm actually living in the states.

Thanks for any feebdack!
Since 9/11 it is almost impossible for a non-US national to get a US bank account.

In your case though with your credentials I am sure you could open an account if you could provide a US address even if a friend or relative.

You may need to travel to the US in person though.
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Unread 29th Jun 2009, 05:00 PM   #5
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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This is totally possible to make US bank account as a non-resident, I know at least four methods to make US Account. I and My Friends are using it from Months.

US VIRTUAL BANK ACCOUNT + US ADDRESS + VISA DEBIT CARD Available
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Unread 6th Jul 2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Hey Cyrus, could you let me know these methods. If you prefer, by PM. I just messaged you.

I inquired with my german bank and they say it could only be done with a major international bank. And maybe Western Union. I'll have to look into that. As far as cashing in a check from the US I was told it's not advisable. It could take up to 8 weeks to clear and there's at least $100 fees involved! Yikes.

From what I can tell opening/running a us bank account with a major international bank can be quite tricky - like a certain minimum transfer each month, plus monthly fees of at least $50. Oh well, I'm not giving up.

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Unread 6th Jul 2009, 04:37 PM   #7
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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If I am not mistaking all you need is a SS number and two forms of ID (one could be a DL and another a major credit card). When I came to the US on a student visa ten years ago I was able to get a SS card immediately; then I went to Bank of America and opened a bank account with no problems at all. Since then they've stopped issuing SS cards to students but I became a resident a long time ago. As long as you have a SS card, you can go and open an account and no one will ask if you live in the US permanently.

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Unread 6th Jul 2009, 06:31 PM   #8
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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You definetly need SSN(Social Security Number) to open an account with any decent bank in US. The rest can be compramised like address proof etc..passport copy would be fine. May be if u know someone here close..get him / her open the account and later make in a joint account. after all the rest is all online banking..
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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 05:32 AM   #9
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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If I am not mistaking all you need is a SS number and two forms of ID (one could be a DL and another a major credit card). When I came to the US on a student visa ten years ago I was able to get a SS card immediately; then I went to Bank of America and opened a bank account with no problems at all. Since then they've stopped issuing SS cards to students but I became a resident a long time ago. As long as you have a SS card, you can go and open an account and no one will ask if you live in the US permanently.
Do NOT pay any attention to the above. Whatever was possible 10 years ago, things are totally different in the U.S. since 9/11. My 20-ish nephew is an American citizen but never lived in the U.S., and when he came here and tried to open up a bank account, you wouldn't believe the hoops he had to jump through. It took him three months to go through all the steps.

Even to get a U.S. driver's license is much more difficult now.

Your best bet is to open an account in U.S. dollars at a branch of a U.S. bank in your own country.

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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 07:54 AM   #10
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by FlashDriveDT View Post

Hey Cyrus, could you let me know these methods. If you prefer, by PM. I just messaged you.
Just replied to Your PM

Originally Posted by activetrader View Post

If I am not mistaking all you need is a SS number and two forms of ID
OP Need a US Bank Account as NON US Resident, All you need is Documents of Your Country not SSN no of something.

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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 08:24 AM   #11
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Can you share with us what kinds of fees would be payable for opening a US Bank Account as a non-US resident?

And what about the options for withdrawing the money from the account? What's the easiest way to do it, and again what are the fees we can expect to pay per withdrawal?
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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 08:50 AM   #12
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Well, judging by my own experience, the key here is having a social security number. I'm not a U.S. resident, but I worked in the U.S. two years ago - I had no problems whatsoever opening a bank account there (I still have it, btw). I don't know if the procedure is that easy via internet, but it's possible IMO. Check what they have at bankofamerica.com (or the site of any other major bank), you might have a lot of your questions answered.

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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 08:59 AM   #13
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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How about starting a company and open a corporate bank account?

Tyrus

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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 10:55 AM   #14
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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I opened a US bank account as a Canadian through my bank. They just happened to own an American bank and our bank rep set it up for us on the spot.
Perhaps the bank you deal with doesn't have any American associate banks but there must be some who do.
I see Deutsche Bank has many American locations. Maybe they're worth talking to.
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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 11:02 AM   #15
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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I opened one using e-trade, I duno if they still offer that.
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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 11:10 AM   #16
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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As a EU citizen, I opened a US bank account with Citibank a few months ago. I had to open a Citibank in my home country, then have them email my contact at Citibank US confirming that my passport was OK, etc.

First of all you need to get in contact with the right agent in the US bank you want to open an account with, so call a few times until you find someone willing to help. And then simply find a way to have your passport confirmed. That's all there is to it.
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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 02:59 PM   #17
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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you can open a US acct but the fees are $$ sometimes to maintain it .. most people have has success with Citibank .. see if they have a German correspondant bank
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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 03:38 PM   #18
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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I will try to ask some "german-US" banks. But preferably because of the fees, I'm working on the option of having someone close in the US just open an account for me.

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Unread 7th Jul 2009, 04:22 PM   #19
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by pmlharry View Post

Can you share with us what kinds of fees would be payable for opening a US Bank Account as a non-US resident?

And what about the options for withdrawing the money from the account? What's the easiest way to do it, and again what are the fees we can expect to pay per withdrawal?
Well fee depend upon bank's policy.. but usually they are high :rolleyes:

Fee structure of one bank my friend used (First Bank of Delaware)

$1000 initial deposit
$200 account opening fee (this includes chequebook, debit card, account opening kit)
Account Maintenance fee
$500 Lawyer's fee who will every work for you from start to end.

well this is just an example, some banks have high initial deposit like $10,000 and they charge % of amount on every transaction like paypal does.

Second bank i used is probably a poor bank :p and approximately $500-$600 are more than enough to open a US bank account.

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Unread 13th Aug 2009, 04:52 PM   #20
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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So Cyrus, what should we do to open a US a/c as non-residents?
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Unread 13th Aug 2009, 05:32 PM   #21
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Hey, thanks Nathan

Have you any experience with any of them?
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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 01:10 AM   #22
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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I've done this before, but it wasn't cheap. I used a company called Nevada LLC or Wyoming LLC for $69 plus filing fees, Corp95 files your Nevada corporation or Wyoming Corporation for $69 plus filing fees. and they created a US corporation for me. Once I got that done, they went and spoke to Bank of America, who then let me open an account. I don't know how they did it, but it works fine. Might cost $1500 or so, but it can be done.

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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 01:59 AM   #23
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

As a EU citizen, I opened a US bank account with Citibank a few months ago. I had to open a Citibank in my home country, then have them email my contact at Citibank US confirming that my passport was OK, etc.

First of all you need to get in contact with the right agent in the US bank you want to open an account with, so call a few times until you find someone willing to help. And then simply find a way to have your passport confirmed. That's all there is to it.
I dont know who you are but you are correct. Citibank told me the same thing but my problem was that there is no Citibank in Brussels where I live (only corporate offices).

A site visit by the bank to your place may also be carried out.

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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 04:31 AM   #24
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Go try out Wachovia.Com, send them an email and explain what you will need the account for.

I've got a checking account with them and have been owning it for over a year now. I'm an non US resident or citizen. All my account opening transactions were done through secure mail. e.g DHL

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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 04:36 AM   #25
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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I looked into this a few months back and found that it's virtually impossible to open a US bank account if you're a non-US resident.

The only ones who would consider it need all kinds of things from you, including you taking a trip there with multiple forms of ID.

Can't you just have your PayPal payments sent to your current bank? It seems to work for most people, and shouldn't really slow down things too much.
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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 05:30 AM   #26
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Hey, thanks you guys. You think HSBC could do it for me?
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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 06:52 AM   #27
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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I am in the process of opening a US bank account with HSBC at the moment. Our local branch in Hong Kong refered our request to their US international banking offices directly. So far, one of their officers have e-mailed back but it seems that they will need to talk to you directly by phone before they can take things further.

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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 08:03 AM   #28
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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No problem, get an address in US (many ways to do so!) and open a bank account! I do this in many countries!


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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 08:37 AM   #29
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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This isn't the ideal solution you're looking for, but I have a Citibank account here in Japan and they cash my CPA network checks. They charge a $10 fee and it takes 15 days to clear. At other banks it's a big hassle, but Citi is pretty straightforward. It is technically a Japanese bank as Citibank Japan, but they are internationally minded because the parent company is American. You have Citibank in Germany. Maybe worth a shot.

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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 12:36 PM   #30
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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I just got off the Phone/Skype with Bank of America (their call center at any rate) and they need me to be physically present there with my passport and another form of ID [the man said credit card would do].

I think I better approach my local HSBC branch.

@Makabongwe Maseko - What documents did they require you to submit?
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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 12:54 PM   #31
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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I recommend Suntrust. As they are Florida based, they deal a LOT with foreign nationals.

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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 01:02 PM   #32
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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There are a couple of ways this can be done. I got it done recently by getting a company registered with a friend who is on a short visit to US( and who i partnered for this venture). With the company registered documents you can start a corporate bank account.

The other option is to find banks based in your country which also have branches in US. They will be able to help you set one up in US if you have an account with them in your country. Again, you need to check with the bank's policy.

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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 04:30 PM   #33
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Hmmm, I think WILL call up the local HSBC branch asap.
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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 04:53 PM   #34
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Some information you will find helpful.

(a) You do NOT need a Social-Security # to open a Non-Resident US Bank Account. Its an added benefit, but not required.
(b) You can open an account with any brokerage firm (E-trade, Charles Schwab, Ameritrade, Scott Trade, etc.) will all open a bank account for you also, the minimum investment for this is $5,000
(c) LLC route, register a company (cost about $200), Lawyer fees (depends - $100-$500-$1000), and cost of opening account $300-$1000 (that is the deposit), you will get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS instead of an SSN. Yearly fees about $300.
(d) If you have been an HSBC customer for over 12 months, you will qualify by HSBC for them to open an account where ever HSBC operates.
(e) Deutsche Bank will open an account for you in NY, provided you have been banking with them for over 24 months.
(f) and lastly as someone suggested Wachovia will open an account, however, it is a long and tedious process if you can convince them of why you need it - its all about KYC (Know Your Customer) regulation arrangement and verification between your current bank and Wachovia.
(g) Bank of America will open a corporate account for you.
(h) Citibank allows global deposits (you will need their corporate services for this, minimum balance of US$ 25,000 is allowed), deposits can be made into any Citibank branch worldwide, Fees of US$ 45 is applicable per deposit and mid-bank deduction fees may apply. You have to be a Citibank customer in good standing for over 12 months.
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Unread 14th Aug 2009, 06:48 PM   #35
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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@Babushka99 - Now that's some good info! What's a corporate account please?
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Unread 15th Aug 2009, 05:07 AM   #36
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by lostpoet View Post

@Babushka99 - Now that's some good info! What's a corporate account please?
One that is tied into a company and not to an individual's name.
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Unread 15th Aug 2009, 05:11 AM   #37
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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By the way all those websites out there on the Internet, that are citing/selling books to tell you how to open a US bank account for non-residents, it is the same LLC roue. They are simply providing you a list of accounts of Bank that allow via proxy account opening. Via proxy means, a registered LLC and attorney is representing your company's interests and opens an account for you.
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Unread 15th Aug 2009, 06:37 AM   #38
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by lostpoet View Post

I just got off the Phone/Skype with Bank of America (their call center at any rate) and they need me to be physically present there with my passport and another form of ID [the man said credit card would do].

I think I better approach my local HSBC branch.

@Makabongwe Maseko - What documents did they require you to submit?
They sent me the forms via DHL and I had to send them back via DHL as well.

All they wanted was what all banks want:

- copy of my ID and travel document, these had to be certified by the American Embassy.
- Prove my my current bank, that I've been banking with for over 1 year.
- And what I do for a leaving.

I sent it to them, my account was approved in 3 weeks. They then asked me to make a wire deposit of $100, which I did, then after 1 week they sent my debit card.

That's all.

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Unread 15th Aug 2009, 03:44 PM   #39
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by Makabongwe Maseko View Post

They sent me the forms via DHL and I had to send them back via DHL as well.

All they wanted was what all banks want:

- copy of my ID and travel document, these had to be certified by the American Embassy.
- Prove my my current bank, that I've been banking with for over 1 year.
- And what I do for a leaving.

I sent it to them, my account was approved in 3 weeks. They then asked me to make a wire deposit of $100, which I did, then after 1 week they sent my debit card.

That's all.

@Maseko,

That's great. Because to the best of my knowledge, Bank of America ( am assuming you're talking about BoA, otherwise this post is not applicable) will not open an account for anyone residing outside of US, until he/she/they meet the following criteria:

- Citizenship status: You must be a U.S. Citizen with a Social Security Number or a permanent resident with a Social Security Number
- Current address and previous address if you have lived at your current address for less than five years
- Driver license number
- Employer information, if applicable (for Corporate Account)
- E-mail address
- Account information of your financial institution, if funding your account from a non-Bank of America account
- Account information of your credit card or debit card, if funding your account from a credit or debit card
- Account numbers of existing Bank of America accounts, if linking your account to other Bank of America accounts.


I know so because I have very many friends who have tried this and ended up the Corporate route.

So consider yourself very lucky indeed.
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Unread 15th Aug 2009, 04:51 PM   #40
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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@ babushka99

This is Wachovia.

I first sent them an email explaining that I'm doing internet marketing and that I'd like to receive payments but its impossible because paypal can't send payments to my countries bank account.

I Told them all I wanted to do with this account and told them I will supply all details and documents they may need about me.

They then replied and told me to phone a customer representative. Phoned and the customer representative who is now my personal account representative opened a file for me and sent me the documents to fill-up and return to them.

No fax, only secure mail.

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Unread 9th Sep 2009, 02:14 AM   #41
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by Makabongwe Maseko View Post

@ babushka99

This is Wachovia.

I first sent them an email explaining that I'm doing internet marketing and that I'd like to receive payments but its impossible because paypal can't send payments to my countries bank account.

I Told them all I wanted to do with this account and told them I will supply all details and documents they may need about me.

They then replied and told me to phone a customer representative. Phoned and the customer representative who is now my personal account representative opened a file for me and sent me the documents to fill-up and return to them.

No fax, only secure mail.
@Maseko,

I'm an affiliate marketer (cpa, cps) and I'm in the middle of account opening process with wachovia as well. But for now I'm kinda stuck with them.

I have applied for their free checking account and the process is taking really long (almost a year now):confused:! They have lost my documents once so I had to send them back again! Also I was confused about what to write in the transaction profile where it states "why the account is needed" and I wrote "to receive payments, to save and to invest in my business" and they replied they cant open a personal account for business purpose therefore they need clarification:confused: (my bad I thought they would rather like the term 'business' then 'internet marketing!')

Now I'm kinda confused what to do! I have dropped them 3 emails explaining how am i going to use the account (receiving my cpa earnings via ACH, buying some gadgets online blah blah blah) but no reply from them yet! Any suggestions? Also what account did u apply for? And do u think your wachovia account rep can help me on this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
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Unread 16th Sep 2009, 10:31 PM   #42
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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hi, I have some need too, I want to open a US bank account ,but wherever you ask the bank custmer service online or phone, they ask SSN first, if not, then you have to pay a personal visit. someone tell that has open a account successfully, but I can not verify reality. still watching
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Unread 30th Sep 2009, 02:28 AM   #43
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by Makabongwe Maseko View Post

Go try out Wachovia.Com, send them an email and explain what you will need the account for.

I've got a checking account with them and have been owning it for over a year now. I'm an non US resident or citizen. All my account opening transactions were done through secure mail. e.g DHL
could you show some tips, I have contacted wachovia bank, but they tell me to visit local bank for more info, I want to know the wachovia brach address. thank you
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Unread 4th May 2010, 09:59 AM   #44
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Ok - this is being made way to complicated. You can open a U.S. Business account WITH a Tax ID (EIN ) number. One signer on the account needs a social. Any transfers over $10k are reported federally. You might want to check with the larger banks because all you need is a U.S. routing number for the transfers to occur quicker.
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Unread 4th May 2010, 10:10 AM   #45
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post

This is totally possible to make US bank account as a non-resident, I know at least four methods to make US Account. I and My Friends are using it from Months.
Yea - sure

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Unread 4th May 2010, 01:01 PM   #46
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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get a payoneer card and then upgrade to virtual us account and you can get ach payment from amazon or any other ach payment company.
you can get a payoneer from many sites, e.g. markethealth, copeac etc
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Unread 5th May 2010, 03:43 AM   #47
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by zorus View Post

get a payoneer card and then upgrade to virtual us account and you can get ach payment from amazon or any other ach payment company.
you can get a payoneer from many sites, e.g. markethealth, copeac etc
The Payoneer option is not an easy option at all.

Below is an email that I got from Payoneer when I asked them to upgrade my card.

"Dear xxxxx,

Thank you for contacting us.

This program is currently in pilot and available to selected card holders by invitation only.

Please note the criteria for receiving an invitation to register for the service?

1. You need to be a registered Payoneer card holder with one of our selected partners
2. You need to have previously received at least 3 payments from the partner
3. You need to complete a risk questionnaire and be approved by Payoneer

Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions. "

As you can see it is not an easy or automatic option.

You can still meet all the requirements above and still fail approval by Payoneer.

hope this clarification helps.

The Leading US Bank Account Opening Service for Non Residents
http://www.ewealthsuccess.com/us-bank.html
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Unread 5th May 2010, 03:56 AM   #48
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Originally Posted by zorus View Post

get a payoneer card and then upgrade to virtual us account and you can get ach payment from amazon or any other ach payment company.
you can get a payoneer from many sites, e.g. markethealth, copeac etc
The Payoneer option is not an easy option at all.

Below is an email that I got from Payoneer when I asked them to upgrade my card.

"Dear xxxxx,

Thank you for contacting us.

This program is currently in pilot and available to selected card holders by invitation only.

Please note the criteria for receiving an invitation to register for the service?

1. You need to be a registered Payoneer card holder with one of our selected partners
2. You need to have previously received at least 3 payments from the partner
3. You need to complete a risk questionnaire and be approved by Payoneer

Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions. "

As you can see it is not an easy or automatic option.

You can still meet all the requirements above and still fail approval by Payoneer.

hope this clarification helps.

The Leading US Bank Account Opening Service for Non Residents
http://www.ewealthsuccess.com/us-bank.html
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Unread 5th May 2010, 04:11 AM   #49
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How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Wow what a mess!!! Do you think having a Bank account in Mexico would help to gettting a USA account as I know paypal allow either to them or depositing of money!! Definitely a USA bank account would simplify things especially if you have US based customers...!! If it wasn't so damn difficult I would do it myself!! Have an Australian account but of course live there! HSBC are in Mexico they are in US too? In Australia but say neither asre associated!! As the HSBC in Mexico was formally Bital.
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Unread 5th May 2010, 05:01 AM   #50
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Re: How to open a US bank account as a non-resident?
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Try a Walmart Money Card
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