Banking in the US isn’t as easy as it used to be. The US has tightened its rules on financial regulations to stop the use of financial services for criminal activity. Although the Patriot Act has a wide range of effects, one of the biggest changes is increased verification requirements.
Now, you might be wondering, “Can a non-citizen open a bank account in the US?” Yes, you can. The process is a bit complicated for non-citizens, but it’s not impossible. Whether it’s for business, travel, or personal reasons, setting up a US bank account will be worth the trouble.
Read on to learn how to open a US bank account.
Why Open US Bank Account?
You can open a US bank account if you want to carry out transactions in the US. For example, you may want to send money to the US or to make transactions with a US-based business.
One of the biggest reasons to open a bank account in the US is for convenience. Doing so will help you perform transactions in the US without having to fly back and forth.
Unlike traditional banks, online banks don’t have physical branches. They’re more convenient for conducting international transactions. They have special programs for non-residents like the Global Account from Charles Schwab.
They offer a variety of other benefits too like mobile apps, online chat support, and 24/7 assistance. The best platforms will have high-quality, user-friendly apps and intuitive, easy-to-use websites.
Another reason to open a bank account in the US is security. Many countries don’t have strong anti-money laundering (AML) standards.
Many countries don’t have strong anti-money laundering (AML) standards. That makes them a haven for money laundering and terrorist financing.
Countries like the US that have strong AML standards help prevent this. Not only do they report suspicious transactions, but they also make it easier to set up bank accounts.
Opening Personal Bank Account Without Social Security Number or ITIN
Most Americans get their personal bank accounts, credit cards, and loans with a Social Security Number (SSN). However, non-residents and others can’t apply for them with an SSN.
This is where the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) comes in. ITINs are for foreign tax filers and others who have an ITIN-eligible application.
ITINs are for foreign tax filers and others who have an ITIN-eligible application. They’re not just limited to personal bank accounts and credit cards.
They’re not just limited to personal bank accounts and credit cards. The IRS also accepts ITINs for:
- Business applications
- Retirement accounts
- Estates and more
If you’re looking to open a business bank account, you’ll need to apply with an EIN.
ITIN vs. SSN
Although both ITINs and SSNs are used for tax purposes, there are some important differences between them.
ITINs are temporary numbers. They expire after nine years, meaning you have to renew them every few years.
SSNs, on the other hand, are permanent. Once you’re issued one, it’s valid as long as you’re living.
ITINs are temporary numbers. They expire after nine years, meaning you have to renew them every few years. SSNs, on the other hand, are permanent. Once you’re issued one, it’s valid as long as you’re living. You’re not allowed to have both an SSN and ITIN.
SSNs are issued by the SSN Security Central Database (SSNSCD). ITINs are issued by the ITIN Operation Team, which is part of the IRS.
Banking with an ITIN
If you have an ITIN and want to open a bank account in the US, you’ll need to use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Application (Form W-7).
This form is used to apply for ITINs, certain types of Resident Alien Tax (RAT) cards, and other tax-related documents.
Keep in mind that the IRS will charge you a fee for issuing an ITIN.
Looking to open a US bank account as a non-resident? Doola is here to help! With a non-resident LLC, you’ll be able to bank in the US with a friendly regulatory structure. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.