Bank account in the USA withour being a US resident?
Thread poster: nettranslatorde

nettranslatorde
Russian to German
+ ...
Nov 11, 2005

Dear all,

Due to the increased number of job offers I receive from US companies and due to several other reasons, I would like to open a bank account in the USA. Is this possible without being a US resident?
Would online banking be possible?
All suggestions are welcome.

Thanks ans best regards,
Kerstin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:52
German to English
+ ...
US account not possible Nov 11, 2005

Kerstin Mouhannaya wrote:

Dear all,

Due to the increased number of job offers I receive from US companies and due to several other reasons, I would like to open a bank account in the USA. Is this possible without being a US resident?
Would online banking be possible?
All suggestions are welcome.

Thanks ans best regards,
Kerstin


Hello, Kerstin,

I think I can answer this because I am a US citizen myself, but long a resident (more than 20 years) outside of the US. The answer is: No. Even I, a US citizen am having trouble opening an account there because I can't prove residency. I wanted to do this on my last visit for the same reasons. You must have a valid US driver's license, which can only be obtained there, and after you have some proof of residence. At least this was the case in Maryland, but I understand it's now law throughout the US since 9/11. I suppose the reason is to stop potential money-laundering and terrorist financing.

You might try opening an account with a US bank branch in your country, but I have no idea how or if this will help.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:52
German to English
+ ...
Why don't you do a Google search Nov 11, 2005

on American banks; internet (or online) banks, in particular. Then send an e-mail to the ones you're interested in and see what they have to say.

That's what I did when I opened an account in Germany.

Good luck.

Trudy
USA

P.S. You might want to start with US-banks that have subsidiaries in Germany (or the other way around), since the hitch is that some banks will only let you open an account if you're there in person.

[Edited at 2005-11-11 13:12]

What I meant by "there in person" is that you have to apply for the account in person, physically standing in front of the bank employee, not necessarily living in the country.

Another option may be to open a US$-account at your bank in Germany - and convince your American clients to make a wire transfer to that account But even a $-check should be o.k. And then only convert the dollars to euros when you have accumulated a larger amount (say, $2000) to save on conversion fees.

[Edited at 2005-11-12 03:39]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:52
English to German
+ ...
Difficult Nov 11, 2005

It is indeed very difficult to gather some information on this subject on the internet.

Most of the information looks doubtful, except for this one from Google Answers:
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=587472

HTH.

Sonja


Direct link Reply with quote
 

nettranslatorde
Russian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Why I posted this topic... Nov 11, 2005

Thank you Sonja.

Trudy, I did a Goggle search but as I have absolutely no experience with American banks, quite some of the offers seen there looked suspicious to me ...

That's why I thought someone out there might have done this before and would like to share his/her experiences.

Thanks,
Kerstin



[Edited at 2005-11-11 13:54]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 19:52
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Interesting topic Nov 11, 2005

Last week there was a similar question in the French forum and the poster didn't receive any satisfactory answer.

In South America there are some banks that allow you to have an account in the US and I thought that the European laws might be a problem, I didn't think that US laws didn't allow it.
My Bank (a Chilean one) has a local bank with the same name and allows me to have an account in the US (and I don't mean an account in US$ which would be located in Chile).

What about asking US banks in Europe, like the Citibank?

Claudia


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:52
English to Dutch
+ ...
When I first tried to open a US bank account Nov 11, 2005

I couldn't because I didn't have an American "social security" number. Luckily I found a bank near the United Nations building in New York where they had experience with foreigners and I could open an account after I signed a piece of paper officially declaring that I didn't have a social security number because I didn't have a social security number (ah, US bureaucracy, never ever underestimate the need for forms filled out in triplicate, with stamps and official looking signatures!)

Once I had my first bank account (and a social security number) the rest went smoothly.

The suggestion to approach a bank in Germany that is part of a US bank is probably the best. When my wallet was stolen in Germany, a local branch of Citibank allowed me to call New York and cancle my bank card, a much smoother transaction than to try to do it through a regular telephone.

I know some American investment companies allow foreigners to hold accounts, provided they fill out a W-8 form (I think it's W-8, ask for a form that certifies that foreigners are not supposed to have US taxes withheld from their accounts).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:52
Member (2002)
English to German
Nope Nov 11, 2005

I used to be a resident of the USA while I was studying there. So I also had a bank account of course (at Bank of America) and kept it when I moved back to Germany. I used it from time to time for my US-clients.
That wasn't a problem because I let my clients send their checks directly to the bank. There was a nice lady who took care of them and I could check the status with online banking.

The nice lady left the company and the Patriot Act was established.

From then on they neither allowed me to send checks anymore nor to get my own money. I know, it is ridiculous because there weren't any huge fortunes, my translations weren't terrorist activities and you should have the right to get your own money. But they basically said: "If you want your money you have to show up in our branch with your passport."
This wasn't only one person who didn't know what she was doing. I escalated this issue a few levels and all managers said the same.

So I can only recommend to continue using the bank account in your own country. It's way easier and there won't be as many surprises (because you might want to spend your money at some point of time, right?).

Andy
www.interlations.com


[Edited at 2005-11-11 15:39]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

arksevost
United States
Local time: 17:52
English to Russian
+ ...
It will be problematic to open a bank account in the US if you are not a resident Nov 11, 2005

I work part-time as a teller in a bank in the US. I consulted and they said it is going to be hard, you know why for Tax purposes primarily. I know that you probably need it for merely transfering or depositing or investing funds, however they will always ask for your SSN 9Scoail Security Number). But personally I think there's a way to do it, if you need to do it. If you have a friend or an acquaintance who you trust or who is reliable you can be a co-signer on his/her account and that way have the access to the account. And in such a way even located oversees, you can check the status of your account online. Many banks offer these solutions now and it is very helpful, at least you will see which deposits and withdrawals were made.

Hope I helped a little to clarify


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 00:52
English to German
+ ...
Bank account in the US Nov 12, 2005

I had a Master card thru more than 2 decades with Manufacturers Hanover Trust, which later became Chemical Bank and later became Chase Manhattan... well.

The account was in the US and I could deposit checks. While it was fairly easy to have sent checks from my US customers for deposit with my account straight to the organization and to withdraw funds thru using the credit card function, it was a classical drama if I wanted to replenish the account with a bankers check from Germany.
More than once checks from unknown 3rd parties were credited to my account, and it took forever to convince them, I didn't want such payments. In 2 instances they refused to take back the money, unless I could proof....

I think Moneybookers or PayPal are easy to handle instruments for me.

By the way, German subsidiaries of US-Banks (and vice versa) are no big help really -


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dina Abdo  Identity Verified
Palestine
Local time: 01:52
Member (2005)
Arabic
+ ...
Please let me know too! Nov 12, 2005

I've been searching for that in the last few months as well. And the only trusted option I found was citibank, it offers you a bank account as a non-us along with online banking. The problem was that I couldn't apply for that account but through any of citibank branches, which none are availble here in Gaza

If you're to find a way to solve this problem, then please let me know too


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:52
I am sure there must be a way! Nov 12, 2005

I am really surprised to see all the answers indicating that it is very difficult for a non resident to open a bank account in the US, since I know a bunch of Mexicans, Venezuelans, Argentineans, etc. who have bank accounts in the US, without being residents. The question is WHAT type of bank account?

Now my own experience: Before I became a US resident, I lived in Mexico City; I had some savings and did not want to risk loosing their value to another devaluation, so I opened an INVESTMENT account with a Merrill Lynch branch in Texas. The perk of such an account was that it came with a credit card and a checking book. My clients were able to make deposits or send cheques to that account, without a problem. Of course, the account had more money in it than what one would normally have in a regular checking account.

The funny thing is that when I became resident of the US (living in Maryland), I was not able to keep my Texas account because I was resident of another state, and I was forced to change my money to an organization doing business in the state of Maryland.

In Short, I believe there must be a way; you just have to find the right bank, and the right kind of account.

I agree with Claudia that contacting CitiBank might be a good idea. Also, consider that you might have to travel to the US at least once to open the account. And yes, me and the people I know probably opened our accounts before 9/11, and nowadays must be more difficult, but certainly not impossible.

[Edited at 2005-11-12 16:23]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

nettranslatorde
Russian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for all your comments. Nov 13, 2005

I'll not give up so quickly as (unfortunately) not all of my US clients have a Paypal account yet, and cashing US checks with German banks is a real loss. So I hope there will be a viable solution.

Have a great Sunday!
Best regards,
Kerstin


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Bank account in the USA withour being a US resident?

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search