How to open an US Bank account without being an US citizen?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Daal, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Daal

    Daal

    I was planning on having a bank account in Jersey Islands but it will arise a suspicion on the goverment of my country (I dont want to live ilegally by not declaring it) so I'm going to avoid to use tax paradise countries.

    I'm planning on opening an US bank account because of banks here in brazil dont have wire transfers and doenst work as effectly as on US or england. Does anyone know which banks you can do that and what I will need(I'm not US citizen and dont have SSN)
    Thanks
     
  2. In the US they won't let you open an account without a social security number. In your case the solution would be to create a Delaware or Nevada corporation and use its tax ID number instead of the SSN.
    There are banks that will let you open an account without SSN or tax id number IF opening balance is 6 figures or more AND you open the account in person.
    If you really want to tell your govmt to f*off then get some 3rd world country passport with a different name ($5000) then open an account using that name and passport in the offshore jurisdiction of your choice.

    By the way, US banking is way behind the curve in electronic banking. Wire transfers are a pain in the arse, you have to phone/fax them, some even won't wire any money if you don't do it in person.

    Not to mention US banks give away your info easily to any govmt institution.

    What a difference when you open an offshore bank account.
     
  3. That's not true - yes they will. You just have to fill in a W8 or W8-BEN form as a foreigner which the bank will give you when you open the account. There is then no requirement to provide a social security number which a foreigner wouldn't be expected to have anyway.

    My retired British parents have savings accounts with Bank of America. They opened it in person while on vacation in the U.S.. No big deal at all. Maybe some banks are fussier than others (or just clueless) and maybe some wouldn't do it by mail. But if you are in the U.S. anyway, just open the account in person. If that bank won't do it, go to another one!

    That said, I agree that U.S. banking is totally antiquated compared to other countries. I used to be able to do wire transfers online in 30 seconds with UBS. With Bank of America, I once had to sit there in person for half an hour while the manager of the branch fumbled around filling in papers, making faxes and phone calls. It was ridiculous.

    If what the poster wants is the best online banking and flexibility and would anyway declare the account, then why not Switzerland? You cannot beat the banks there for stability, service, and cutting edge technology. I assume that in Brazil there is no law which prohibits you from owning an account abroad? As long as you declare the account, then who cares what anyone would "think"?
     
  4. <<<
    That's not true - yes they will. You just have to fill in a W8 or W8-BEN form as a foreigner which the bank will give you when you open the account. There is then no requirement to provide a social security number which a foreigner wouldn't be expected to have anyway
    >>><

    I am afraid, this is not correct anymore. I tried to open a US bank account (as a EU citizen living in switzerland) to clear between my various US broker accounts. Until now I have been unsuccessful to do so. This seems to be due to requirements and restrictions imposed on banks by the Patriots Act. Some banks told me, they try to close accounts of NRAs (non resident aliens).

    If you know of a willing bank - let me know!

    Hittfeld
     
  5. balda

    balda

    some of my friends have an account at Bank of America without Social Security #. Only with Russian passport. You will not get Debit card with MC or Visa logo, that is the only difference.
     
  6. The Patriot Act was passed a few years ago and my British parents opened their account with Bank of America only about six months ago, so clearly it is still possible.

    I suspect that it depends on the situation with each "applicant". If you are overseas and the U.S. bank doesn't know you from adam and you are trying to open the account by mail, maybe they will hold the Patriot Act against you because why take the risk you are a crazy? In my case, I know our local B of A banker on a first name basis, and me, my wife and kids all have accounts there. So when my retired British parents came over for vacation and wanted to be able to have a U.S. bank account to withdraw funds while on holiday here - it was really no big deal. They opened the accounts without any problem.

    Whether they would open one for you is another matter!!!
    Maybe you are French and that would explain it? :D