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Open a US Bank Account as a Non-US Resident: How and Why?

May 27, 20249 minute read
US Bank Account as Non-US Resident
US Bank Account as Non-US Resident
US Bank Account as Non-US Resident

Having a US Bank account as a non-US resident can uplift your financial stability globally and streamline your business. As the United States is one of the most potential holding countries in the world for business purposes, people tend to start their business in the US for which they require a US bank account for smooth and hassle-free financial transactions.

Well, the major question is, can a non-US resident open a bank account in the United States? Well, yes, fortunately, a non-US citizen can open and use a US bank account from any other country.

However, the process to open a US bank account for non-US residents is quite different for those who are US citizens. The identification verification and bank requirements are different for non-US citizens.

Likewise, the terrorist activity carried out during the 9/11 attack’s fund was used through US bank accounts from foreign terrorists which had made the law and process more complicated and strict.

Moreover, although it is possible to open a US bank account for a non-US resident, not all the banks in the United States provide the service.

Here are the top 5 banks that will lead you to open a bank account in the United States.

1. Mercury Bank

Mercury Bank is an online bank that offers services to non-resident US-owned companies. The bank offers an easy-to-use online platform, making it easy to handle transactions. This bank has some of the lowest fees in the market, making it an ideal option for startups. Mercury Bank offers free ACH bank transfers, unlimited transactions, and no monthly fees.

2. Brex

Brex is a business bank that offers financial services to startups. This bank provides services specifically tailored for non-resident US-owned companies, making it a top choice in the market. With no credit checks required, Brex is an ideal option for international clients. By offering access to both unlimited virtual and physical cards, it facilitates seamless transactions. However, it’s important to note that their onboarding requirements are quite stringent, necessitating careful fulfillment of their criteria in order to gain approval.

3. Wise

Wise is a digital bank that offers financial services to non-resident US-owned firms. This bank specializes in low-cost money transfers, making it an ideal option for international clients. The bank also offers a corporate card allowing international clients to make easy transactions.

4. Novel Bank

Novel Bank is an innovative banking platform, is revolutionizing the way you manage your finances, with a special focus on global founders. It offers a seamless and user-friendly experience, providing access to accounts, transactions, and spending tracking. While they offer free ACH transfers, there are charges for wire transfers, and they offer different plans ranging from the standard starting plan to a premium subscription for your banking needs.

5. Relay Fi

Relay Fi offers services to non-resident US-owned firms. Relay Fi is a great bank for international clients since it has no monthly fees and doesn’t require a minimum deposit. The bank offers a virtual card making it easy to handle transactions. Relay Fi’s online platform and mobile app are easy to handle transactions, making it great for startups and international clients.

Before jumping into the process of how to open a US bank account as a non-US resident, let us discuss why is it important and beneficial to open a US bank account.

Why Open a US Bank Account?

Opening a US bank account benefits you in smooth financial transactions between many other countries having different currencies. Also, it supports you in investments in multiple countries.

Here are a few benefits you can gain after opening a US bank account:

  • Access to Robust Banking Services
  • Global Acceptance and Convenience
  • Enhanced Security and Protection
  • Building Credit History
  • Access to Diverse Investment Options

Requirements to Open a US bank account as a Non-US Resident

The requirements might vary depending on the states or financial institutions of the United States. 

Likewise, the requirements for US citizens and non-US citizens also vary as per the US federal law.

Here are the lists of requirements for non-US residents.

  • Contact information such as name, address, and phone number
  • Two government-issued IDs, a valid driver’s license or passport, and a citizenship.
  • Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) (especially for the non-US resident)
  • Current address and utility bill of the US
  • Cash deposit (from $25 to $100)

How to open a US bank account as a Non-US resident

1. Choose the Right Bank

Select a bank that offers international business accounts and has a good reputation for working with non-resident entrepreneurs. Some banks that may accommodate international clients include:

  • Mercury: Mercury offers banking solutions tailored for startups and tech companies.
  • Brex: Brex provides innovative financial services designed to help businesses grow and scale.
  • Wise: Wise specializes in low-cost international money transfers and multi-currency accounts.
  • Airwallex: Airwallex delivers global financial infrastructure to modern businesses for seamless transactions.

2. Incorporate Your Business in the U.S.

Ensure your business is legally registered in the U.S. You need:

U.S. Business Entity: Typically, this means forming an LLC or Corporation in a state like Delaware or Wyoming.

Why Delaware?

  • Known for its business-friendly laws and well-established Chancery Court 
  • Offers strong legal protections for business owners and investors 
  • Transparent and predictable legal environment 
  • Higher annual fees and franchise taxes 
  • Ideal for large corporations with complex structures 

Why Wyoming?

  • Lower formation and maintenance costs 
  • No state income tax and low annual fees 
  • Enhanced privacy protections with minimal disclosure requirements 
  • Less established legal system compared to 
  • Delaware is suitable for small to medium-sized businesses seeking affordability and privacy

EIN (Employer Identification Number): Obtain an EIN from the IRS. This is essential for opening a business bank account.

How to apply for an EIN?

  • Apply online through the IRS website where you need to fill up an Internet EIN application (Only Support If you have SSN or ITIN ) 
  • Apply by Fax filling up the Form SS-4. A Fax will be sent back with the EIN within four business days. 
  • Apply by Mail filling up the Form SS-4. The processing time via mail will take around four weeks. 
  • Apply by Telephone, international applicants can make a call on 267-941-1099 from (6 am to 11 pm).

3. Gather Required Documents

Prepare all necessary documents, which usually include:

  • Certificate of Incorporation: Proof that your business is incorporated in the U.S.
  • EIN Confirmation Letter: Document from the IRS showing your business’s EIN.
  • Operating Agreement or Bylaws: Documentation outlining the management structure of your business.
  • Passport Copies: For all owners and signatories.
  • Proof of Address: For your business address in the U.S., you have the option of using a registered agent’s address, a virtual office, or your residential address, especially if most business activities are conducted there. However, it’s important to note that some banks may require proof of a U.S. address to approve your account. Therefore, it’s advisable to obtain and use a U.S. address. For more information on acquiring a U.S. address, you can explore further here.

4. Leverage Professional Services

Engage a professional service provider to assist with the process:

Registered Agents: They can provide a business address and assist with the incorporation process. Registered agents can be your friends or family members living in the US states. 

However, a professional agent ensures your legal documents are registered with the state and federal government.

Accounting and Legal Firms: Firms like EasyFiling can help incorporate your business, obtain an EIN, and assist in opening a bank account.

5. Apply Online

Many U.S. banks and fintech companies allow you to start the application process online. This usually involves:

  • Fill out an online application form.
  • Uploading required documents.
  • Video verification calls (if required).

6. Consider Money Transfer Agents

Some transfer agents offer banking solutions for non-U.S. residents:

Payoneer: Provides business accounts that can receive U.S. ACH payments and offer global payment solutions.

Wise Business: Offers multi-currency business accounts and U.S. account details for receiving payments.

Airwallex: Airwallex delivers global financial infrastructure to modern businesses for seamless transactions.

The above-mentioned are not actual banks, instead, they are financial technology companies that partner with financial institutions to provide banking services.

7. Stay Compliant

Ensure compliance with all legal and tax requirements:

  • U.S. Tax Obligations: Be aware of U.S. tax obligations for foreign-owned businesses.
  • International Regulations: Comply with foreign accounts and income reporting.

Also read, How to Open a US Bank Account Without Visiting the US and Visa>>

US Bank Account as a non-US resident
US Bank Account as a non-US resident

Conclusion

Opening a US bank account can open several doors to your business opportunities that had been held by financial restrictions. Well, following the above-mentioned points and connecting with Easyfiling ensures having your US bank account as a non-resident.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need a US address to open a bank account? 

Many banks require a US address for account-related correspondence. However, some banks may accept a foreign address or a mailing address service within the US. It’s important to verify the address requirements with the bank you plan to use.

Can I open a US bank account online from outside the US? 

While some banks offer online account openings for non-residents, the process can be complex due to regulatory requirements. Many banks require you to visit a branch in person to verify your identity and complete the application process. It’s advisable to check with specific banks regarding their policies for non-resident account openings.

Can I get a debit or credit card with my US bank account?

Yes, most US bank accounts come with a debit card that allows you to make purchases and withdraw cash from ATMs. Obtaining a credit card may be more challenging for non-residents, as it typically requires a US credit history. Some banks offer secured credit cards, which can help you build credit in the US.

How long does it take to open a US bank account?

Opening a US bank account typically takes a few days to a week. The process involves providing identification, proof of address, and sometimes an initial deposit. Some banks may offer online applications, speeding up the process, while others require in-person visits. The exact time frame can vary depending on the bank’s policies and the completeness of your documentation.

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