More and more banks allow non-residents without Social Security Numbers (SSNs) to open accounts. Being able to do that is ideal for those who don’t have a SSN but still need access to a bank account in the United States. Some reasons you may not have an SSN include being an international student, a foreign investor, or someone working in the US on a visa.
Each bank has its requirements for non-residents to open bank accounts without a SSN. Depending on the bank, you may need to provide a valid passport or other government-issued ID, proof of address, and a certified bank letter from your home country. You may also need to make an initial deposit or pay an annual fee.
Read all the terms and conditions before opening an account with any bank. Make sure the bank you choose offers the features and services that best suit your needs. Be sure to compare fees, services, features, and other bank policies before making your decision. Also, remember that you’ll need to keep your bank informed of any changes in your circumstances so they can continue providing you with access to their services.
Here are a few steps to open a USA bank account as a non-resident without SSN:
- Choose the right bank: Look for banks that specialize in services for non-residents and foreign nationals, such as Citibank or Bank of America.
- Prepare all your documents: You’ll need to provide a valid passport, proof of address, and other documents that may be required.
- Open the account: Visit the bank with all your documents in hand and open an account.
- Verify your identity: Banks will typically verify your identity by asking questions about your background or sending you a verification code.
- Activate your account: You’ll need to activate the account by providing a phone number, email address, and other information.
After you’ve followed these steps, you can enjoy the benefits of having a US bank account. Below we will explain what a Social Security Number is, what an ITIN is, and what banks offer services to non-residents without an SSN.
What is a Social Security Number?
A Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued by the US government to help track and manage individuals’ earnings throughout their lifetime. It is used primarily for taxation purposes but can also be used as identification when applying for a bank account in the United States. Non-residents without an SSN are not eligible to open specific types of accounts, such as those with access to certain government benefits.
What is an ITIN?
Some banks may not require an SSN but instead, ask for an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). An ITIN is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who need to file taxes or receive certain types of benefits in the United States but don’t have an SSN. Applying for an ITIN can be done online on the IRS site here and requires submitting various documents, such as a passport or other government-issued ID and proof of address.
Traditional banking is a popular option for non-residents seeking bank accounts without a SSN. Many conventional banks offer bank accounts without a SSN, but for many of them, you will need to attend an in-person bank branch to open an account.
To open a bank account with Bank of America without a SSN, you must be a non-resident and meet specific criteria. You will need two forms of ID and a foreign tax identification number. You’ll also need to schedule an in-person appointment at one of their financial centers. Once your bank account is open, you can enjoy conveniences such as the mobile banking app, debit card, and digital wallets. These services will help you manage your finances and make payments easily.
Customers can open a Clear Access Banking℠ account without providing a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Non-U.S. citizens who don’t have a U.S.-issued taxpayer identification number will need to show extra documents, such as proof of residency, before being able to open a bank account without an SSN. Customers must still provide valid government-issued identification when opening an account. Wells Fargo also requires customers to deposit at least $25 when setting up a bank account.
Chase offers a basic checking account with no monthly fees or extra requirements if you’re an international college student studying in the US or a non-resident. You must provide two valid government-issued identification forms, such as a passport or driver’s license, and you must be at least 18 years old. Other than that, there are no special requirements for students and non-residents to open a bank account without a SSN. Chase also offers various bank accounts and services such as savings, credit cards, loans, and investments, but there may be limitations without having a SSN.
Online banking is an excellent option for those that don’t want to go through the hassle of visiting a bank branch. Most online banks will allow you to open bank accounts without an SSN, though there may be extra requirements such as proof of address and government-issued ID.
With Sable, you can bank online with no monthly fees, free cash deposits, free withdrawals, and free bank transfers. You don’t need an SSN to open a bank account with Sable, though you will need to provide proof of identity and residency. This makes it an ideal bank for immigrants, students, and others who may not have a SSN or cannot get one. With Sable, you can add funds directly to your debit card at select retailers, including CVS, Walmart, RiteAid, and more.
Wise is ideal for those who want to open a bank account without needing a SSN. It is the bank of choice for many ex-pats, frequent travelers, and digital nomads. With its simple sign-up process and minimal paperwork requirements, you can open a bank account with Wise in less than 10 minutes. No hidden fees or charges are associated with using Wise, and there’s no minimum balance requirement to keep your account open. You can also access bank account services from over 80 countries, with Wise offering bank accounts in 10 countries. You can instantly withdraw cash from ATMs worldwide, send money to different countries and currencies, and access a multi-currency bank card wherever you go.
What Are Other Alternatives for Non-Residents?
If a non-resident cannot open a bank account without an SSN or ITIN in the United States, other alternatives are available. Some of these alternatives include:
- Prepaid debit cards: You can use prepaid debit cards to make purchases and access cash without having a bank account.
- Money transfer services: You can send money domestically or internationally using various payment methods such as credit cards, e-wallets, etc.
- Global payments networks: Services like PayPal and Alipay allow you to send and receive payments electronically.
No matter what alternative you choose, it’s essential to research and find a banking provider that works best for you. With the right banking services and tools, you can manage your finances without needing an SSN or ITIN — and still take advantage of all the security, convenience, and features of traditional banking.
Whether you’re an immigrant, a student, or on another visa, researching and finding the right banking provider can help you get the most out of your money. You can open a bank account without an SSN and enjoy all banking benefits with the right bank.