Can a non-American open an American bank account?

I am not US citizen, i do not have SSN, but i have bank account at 4 different banks in US.


I’m a Canadian resident with no ties to the US. I have a couple of US chequing accounts. I have one at Wells Fargo ( I had to drive to the US and apply in person. Fortunately, it was only a 3 hour drive. They needed my driver’s license and my Social Insurance Number which is Canada’s taxpayer ID number similar to a Social Security Number. Transferring on the internet between banks is impossible and I think you’ll find the same. The routing codes on the cheques are different so I mail US $ cheques from my Canadian bank to my bank(s) in the US.

My other account I opened completely by mail. I sent a photocopy of my driver’s license and one other piece of ID, Birth Certificate, Social INsurance # etc. I had to have my signature notarized by a public notary (lawyer etc.) This account was with Grand Marais State Bank (Minnesota). Again I can’t transfer funds on the internet between countries, that is a big problem I don’'t think you’ll be able to get around.

It’s getting tougher to open a US account post 9/11. As part of Patriot Act I think they may soon start to require passports just to open a bank account. You must want to open the account by mail or on the internet as you can’t open it in person as your friend is in Europe and you are in Australia. Good Luck, keep asking around. Bye

I’m not a US Resident and I have applied for a Checking account at Wells Fargo and mail them all required documents and they have rejected my application without giving me a clear explanation. Are there any other bank offering US Bank account for NON-US Resident?

in spain for example if you have an account with citibank in spain for more than 3 months (I think) you can ask for a US account without beeing physically in US.

If in your country there is a US bank established, just go there and ask them. They should tell you a solution for non residents.

Selection of banks is very important, but it really takes time and requires a lot of works to do so… I’ve got clients and partners all around the world, but most of Japanese banks are very slow at managing international transactions, so I’ve been looking for international banks like HSBC and Citibank. But as you know, it’s very complicated.

Do you have any recoomendation?

Hi everybody.

I was able to open a US bank account for my delaware company after months and months of search. I was desesperated

Of course I had to pay a company $600 (www. get- your-company .com) for that. It was really worth it.
I do not regreat it at all. It was fast and easy. The initial deposit was only $100 and I have received checks, visa debit card and internat loggin access.

You should really contact them if you need to open a US bank account if you do not have any SSN or ITIN.
They are very nice people and professional.

which bank did you open it with if i may ask?

Alright - I’m REALLY late to this party - but in this case I’ve got to ask whatever happened to PayPal sending out checks? Depositing PayPal funds in your bank account is their preferred way of giving you money, but if you’ve got money in your PayPal account and no longer have a bank account, they should certainly be able to cut you a check!


well from my point of view my case is that i would like to benefit from the auto deposit that many american based offer as an option and withdraw the funds via a debit visa card and/or connect the account directly to paypal and thus save a huge ammount of time cashing the cheque (its get min 20 days) and money ( min.10 USD fee)

Not true. A bank cannot require an SSN to open an account, even with the Patriot Act. The bank reps may not be familiar with the rules, because almost everyone has an SSN. Still, it’s legally not a requirement.

Cant you just setup a US dollar account with your bank instead of actually using a bank in the US?

Any idea why on this? other than the signature issue? Online Banking facilities in the UK all provide facilities for interbank transfers (and I regularily use it)… can’t remember the last time I physically visited a bank branch, even paying in is done at ATMs now…

Can I ask a friend of mine who lives in US to open an account under his own name with ATM and Online Banking and then apply for Paypal and verify his Paypal account giving the US bank account he has just opened? Then if he sends the ATM card to me, can I get the money easily? I mean, I get money to my Paypal account, I will transfer it to my friend’s account, and from his Paypal to his bank account, and then from wherever I am in the world, to get the money using an ATM. Would it be against Paypal TOS or would it arise any legal issue? I wrote to Paypal asking help about the issue few days ago but have not got any response.

Any help would be highly appreciable.

I am looking to set up a merchant account in Spain that is capable of setting up sub accounts too, does anyone know what bank I contact?


I live in Australia and want to transfer funds to OptionsXpress in the states, but I don’t want to pay $30+ every time I want to do it.
If I manage to set up a US account, can anyone see any problems using PayPal to transfer funds from a bank in Aus to PayPal then to a US account and then ACH from that US account to OptionsXpress?

My Citibank (US) account allows me to wire transfer to other people’s accounts (and I assume my own if I wanted to to pay the wire fee), internationally or domestically without writing a letter or going in. I’ve sent money internationally from my desk several times.

Most banks require you to take a letter or their form, into the branch, but I specifically looked for ones that allowed me to sit at my desk. They get around the signature issue since you need to request a transaction code and they send that to the e-mail address of record. Then you use that code at their website to complete the transaction. They do charge $30 per wire, which is more than my other banks charge. But it is time consuming to run in with a letter. You can also make templates so that you can send to the same recipient over again without retyping all the info.

Bank One and Chase say they allow internet wires on their websites. There were a couple other banks who did this, but I can’t remember which ones as they were not local to me.

Still seems a bit strange - here, ‘wiring’ money is free and theres no authorisation code or anything like that required, just enter the other persons account number/sort code and its sent

Crazy USness I guess :slight_smile:

That’s quite possible I guess… I’ve tried something similar a couple of times and it worked out. What I tried wasn’t a bank account, but a account (to send money internationally). But now I’m looking for a more straightforward way. Your friend will be responsible for tax and other legalities though if I’m right. And I’m not sure if it’s against Paypal TOS, sorry.