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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    483

    Question Looking for US bank account for non US Citizen

    Hello,

    I'm from Slovakia (central of Europe), I looking for US Bank account (can be virtual - so I just need internet banking). It must allow these:

    1.) Send and receive money by wire transfer to and from my location (Slovakia).

    2.) I need ATM ability so I can widthdraw money from terminal here in Slovakia. The daily limit should be at least $500

    I read that thebancorp does not support US citizens anymore. Is there anything still available ? Thanx for all replies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Shimonoseki
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    This was asked many times before.
    To save time and efford, I'll go right to the point, the bitter reality

    "You cannot have any kind US bank accounts if you are not a resident"
    Period.

    You have a very tiny chance to open a basic personal account IF you actually go to US, and talk to a bank personally.

    This is because of STUPIDLY planned "Patriot Act".
    I am also a non-resident alien and I have a company registered in US.

    Uncle Sam is allowing me build my company and business in US, taking taxes from me, but not allowing me open a bank account for my company
    Total nonsense...
    Closed for winter...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Castle Pines, CO
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    Actually there are ways - but it is very expensive. A lot of them want between $1,000 to $10,000 for you to start.

    Coming to the United States though - you can easily open up your bank account because then that helps to satisfy the UKYC (you know your customer) regulation.

    Valis is still looking for a new bank to support them right now and we are hoping they will do this. Also a few other people have been able to open up a bank and I am talking to them in hopes they will post any suggestions

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Originally posted by Corey Bryant
    Actually there are ways - but it is very expensive. A lot of them want between $1,000 to $10,000 for you to start.
    Hi corey,

    may i know which bank that you are talking about that allow non-us citizen to open a US bank account with a deposit?
    Linux System admin (since 2001)
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  5. #5
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    The few banks that I have spoken to so what regard this say they have no problem really opening up a bank account. It i all about the money & how much it actually costs them to maintain an account for a person that is not in the United States.

    With you being in the UK, you might even speak to HSBC or a bank like that and see if they can help you open a bank account in the United States. There are some banks, even just small banks, that have partnerships with US banks. You might not even know it. It would take time going in & asking the correct questions, but it might be worth it

  6. #6
    Originally posted by Corey Bryant
    With you being in the UK, you might even speak to HSBC or a bank like that and see if they can help you open a bank account in the United States. There are some banks, even just small banks, that have partnerships with US banks. You might not even know it. It would take time going in & asking the correct questions, but it might be worth it
    How about Standard Chartered? Aren't they UK-based?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Yes it does seem they are UK based. But their meta description states:
    Standard Chartered is a London-based, international bank with significant operations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America
    They might have some operation in the United States, but the Patriot Act might have made those operations less than profitable.

  8. #8
    IF you can somehow finagle an account out of a US bank, be sure to ask about the restrictions on wire transfers. Many US banks no longer allow wire transfers via online interfaces or faxed signatures. They require a wet signature, or that you appear in person at the bank. Also, many US banks restrict wires to certain countries (I know of ones that will only wire to 5 or 6 countries).
    Dave
    PH: 800-761-7475
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  9. #9

    Opening a US bank acount from your non-US armchair?

    Almost impossible.

    Wells Fargo allows international applicants to open personal accounts by mail, without showing up in person at one of their branches. So did (in 2004) Pacific National Bank (PNB) Miami, but I don't know their plicy today.

    Opening through an intermediary - such as Valis (David Gendron) - is like a Russian roulette, because twice his banks (and consequently he also...) let their customers down. First Bancorp and later Mt. Morris.

    The Patriot Act has some very strict rules, and following these costs the banks a lot of money. Furthermore, for foreign customers without a Social security #, and with an address format that differs from the US format, the banks need to fiddle around with their computer systems. Also, mailing bankstatements abroad etc. require different logistical setups.

    When you add all this together, and also consider that many US businesses and citizens rarely venture out of the US (example: just look at eBay and see that most US sellers will only sell within the US and not internationally), you will not be surprised that US banks won't bother to even consider accepting foreign customers. For them it's not worth the hassle and...money.

    And money is what the U$A is all about, like it or not.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles,CA
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    789
    If you are able to travel to the US, I reccommend you do so.
    From what I have read on these boards, people that came over to open a bank account did not have much of a problem. All they require is your passport and some other form of photo identification like a drivers licence.

  11. #11
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    Another company is etrade - a few customers have had luck there as well opening up some accounts.

    Also check with your local banks. Some of them have banks in the United States that they partner with and might be able to help you out

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by BurakUeda
    This was asked many times before.
    To save time and efford, I'll go right to the point, the bitter reality

    "You cannot have any kind US bank accounts if you are not a resident"
    Period.

    Uncle Sam is allowing me build my company and business in US, taking taxes from me, but not allowing me open a bank account for my company
    Total nonsense...

    First, it is possible to get a US account opened. You say you have already filed a US company AND you are paying US taxes. That means you must already have the EIN assisgned from the IRS.

    There are companies that will work with you on this - but it is going to cost you.
    Read: nevada123.com/nominee.asp (nominee bank signatory service)

    For instance, you are going to pay a minimum bookkeeping charge of $100 per month plus year end fees; but if you are already paying US taxes, I'm guessing you are doing that already.

    They control the account; money is deposited into the account; you submit INVOICES from your foreign company to your US company for 99% of all the money deposited. The accounting company issues a payment to you per your invoice. At the end of the year, you have income of only 1% of your earnings in the US.

    This is really NOT an unfair deal. If you start a business in the US, paying $100 per month for bookkeeping services is NOT a bad price at all.


    Second, the Patriot Act does not PREVENT non-US person from opening an account. It is up to the bank and they are the ones being unwilling. Here is from my previous post.

    US Patriot Act:

    Because there is no uniform identification number that non-U.S. persons are able to provide to a bank, a bank has the option to obtain a variety of identification numbers from non-U.S. persons, including passport numbers and country of issuance and alien identification numbers. A bank must decide for itself, based upon appropriate risk factors, whether the information presented by the customer enables the bank to establish a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of the customer. (SRC: gcglaw.com)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    428
    Quote Originally Posted by Jehovah
    example: just look at eBay and see that most US sellers will only sell within the US and not internationally), you will not be surprised that US banks won't bother to even consider accepting foreign customers. For them it's not worth the hassle and...money.

    Your entire argument here is useless. The Unites States has a VERY large customer base for eBay items. This makes it purely optional for US-based sellers to sell items abroad. As almost any seller who has tried it before can tell you, selling outside the US is rarely worth it for the following reasons:

    1) Much higher risk of fraud
    2) Much higher shipping charges
    3) Shipping requires multiple forms and is a huge pain to do
    4) Shipping methods are slower, increasing buyer dissatisfaction
    5) International buyers are rarely from Europe where there is already a large enough customer base that makes it more expensive to import from the US than another European country. Most international buyers I have run across want shipping to either South America, Africa, or former Soviet States, the three areas with the most fraud.


    Banks are in something of a similar situation. It is so much more of a hassle to set up an account for a small foreign business that they will often lose money on the deal. The result of this is that most want you to have a larger amount of money in the account, meaning they might break even overall.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Europe
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    121
    Quote Originally Posted by Jehovah
    Almost impossible.

    Wells Fargo allows international applicants to open personal accounts by mail, without showing up in person at one of their branches. So did (in 2004) Pacific National Bank (PNB) Miami, but I don't know their plicy today.
    Did you save contact info of managers you spoke with when opened an acount back in 2004 ?

  15. #15
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  16. #16

    Opening a U.S. Bank Account is Possible

    One way to open a U.S. bank account is to open a U.S. company and then secure a taxpayer ID. If you use an attorney to do this and then have your attorney go to a bank with which he or she has a good relationship (preferably with you) you will almost always succeed in being able to open a bank account. Doing this will likely cost you between $5,000 to $10,000 but it virtually always will work.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    On Earth
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    27
    Quote Originally Posted by LawDude
    One way to open a U.S. bank account is to open a U.S. company and then secure a taxpayer ID. If you use an attorney to do this and then have your attorney go to a bank with which he or she has a good relationship (preferably with you) you will almost always succeed in being able to open a bank account. Doing this will likely cost you between $5,000 to $10,000 but it virtually always will work.


    Are you from law school. It's so funny with the Patriot Act rules, that such amount of money need to be deposited first. How much is the exact amount stated by the act, anyway?...

  18. #18

    Opening a US Bank Account

    I am actually an international lawyer who has done this many times for clients. The money I am talking about is basically just for legal and filing fees and does not include the deposit itself. Technically, there is no minimum or maximum for the deposit, but let's face reality: the banks will look more kindly upon you if they think you will be a good customerr.

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