Can a non-American open an American bank account?

Hi all,

As the title says, can a non-American (as in not living in the USA, open a bank account in America?

If so, which banks allow this? Ideally the bank has Internet Banking facilities that allows the non_US person to transfer money from that account to a bank account in the person’s home country.

Does anyone have any idea if this can be done?

i think wachovia bank allows it

where r u right now?

I’m in Australia but I’m actually inquiring for a friend who is in a European country.

Wachovia’s internet banking only allows for transfers between your Wachovia accounts (for example, if I wanted to transfer some money from my Wachovia savings account to my Wachovia checking account). It won’t let you transfer between banks, and I’m pretty sure that most American banks are like that (at least the ones I’ve had accounts with, like Washington Mutual and Bank of America). To do something like that would probably require your signature in a few places, and it’s definitely not something you can do online.

A few of our merchants have been successful in opening a merchant account with Valis international.

The reason for asking is paypal have removed acceptance of this person’s home country. They have money sitting in a paypal account they can only get if they can open a US bank account to deposit the money into.

Corey do you have a URL for Valis International?

I believe it is:

i dont think that you can open an account with a us bank withouth being physically present in the usa. Almost always they require you to sign stuff, and if you are not a us citizen you have to do some extra paperwork. Wire transfers from an European Bank to any Us Bank account are expensive! You will get charged at both banks, and its usually around 30 euro for the european institution and about the same dollar amount in the us (depends on the bank and amount)

ohh sorry, u/ ur friend need to present in US in order to open a bank acc
from wachovia or other banks (make sure u have letter of reccomendation
by ur bank from ur native country).

Your friend could have you withdraw the money from Paypal and then you could wire it to him.

Thank you all for the info. It seems the Valis option is viable.

I’ll let you know how it works, as I’m sure other people may be interested in this.

Thanks again

Good luck with it NathanAUS! I have not heard of anything negative about them from the clients. They are a little difficult to work with from time to time and I only think it is because we are setting up the merchant accounts for the person and Valis would like to have that business as well.

if you visit US you can open bank account at almost any bank, got to Chase, Citi, Bank of America, WellsFargo, etc, you need to have two different IDs and they open an account for you. To open the account by mail, it is different story, but it is possible.

Have a nice day.

Offshore companies and bank accounts

With Homeland Security, it is no longer that easy to open up a bank account in the US. Most US banks require a Social Security number in order to open an account.

True, but there is actually an old law on the books that actually prevents banks from asking you your social security number. If they do demand it, they are supposed publicly post it prior to you going into the bank. The Social Security Administration was not invented for every other organization to use that number.

Sadly, it seems that Homeland Security trumps a lot of the laws on the books.

SSN is not needed if you are not US citizen.

I’m guessing that you’re not terribly familiar with the US banking system anymore since Homeland Security and the Patriot Act were enacted.

I’ve only looked at Bank of America & Citibank requirements so far and both require a SSN, US address and two forms of id.

I have actually opened up a checking account at Bank of America without my SSN this past year. It is possibl. You just need to know the exact laws of the SSA

Our branch of Bank of America requires SSN.