Most US banks require US citizenship or permanent residency to create an account. That implies you’ll need to provide your SSN, ITIN, and confirmation of US residency. You’ll also need to provide proof of identity, such as a passport, driver’s license, or government-issued photo ID, and immigration documentation.
Nevertheless, some banks allow you to open an international account. These include the US-based main banks listed below as well as HSBC. These are specialty accounts that you can open even if you don’t live in the US. They have various drawbacks including:
- Account maintenance fees and a significant initial deposit, often exceeding $100,000, are all potential requirements.
Hence, most people can’t afford these foreign accounts.
Can you open a US Bank Account Without SSN or ITIN?
Foreigners can open accounts in the US but, you must have an SSN or ITIN. Its impossible to open a US Bank account without both. Most small banks only accept US citizens and permanent residents. Non-citizens lack a social security number.
Banks like US Bank and Wells Fargo will let non-residents open a checking and savings account. They’ll ask for your ITIN and other documentation instead of your SSN. You can open an account with these banks if you meet the prerequisites.
Non-residents can open a personal account. Personal accounts include checking and savings. A checking account can be used for routine purchases like groceries and gas. This account type includes services including ATM withdrawals, debit cards, and account transfers.
A savings account, on the other hand, is for rainy-day reserves. They often pay more interest than checking accounts. That means you may save more money and earn more money.
Since creating a typical bank account can be difficult for non-residents, you can open a multi-currency, foreign, or correspondent account. These options may help you create an account from your country.
US International Banks
US Banks with global reach may provide international accounts. This is a good option for foreigners without a US address. You can open an account from Nigeria, saving you a trip to the US. Most banks offer online account opening services.
HSBC, Charles Schwab, and Citibank are among the top international banks. Citibank, with operations in over 30 countries, may have the most global reach. Common prerequisites for obtaining international bank accounts include:
- Government ID
- Residential proof
- Minimum initial deposit
The criteria vary by country and bank. Before attempting to open an account, confirm the requirements with your local bank.
The bottom line is, it’s possible to open a US bank account from outside the US if you have SSN, ITIN, or you reside in a country where an international US bank operates. Opening from Nigeria is very difficult and almost impossible if you don’t have these. The best options you have are money services and recommended ones include:
Payoneer is a free global payment service that lets you send and receive money from anywhere. With Payoneer, payments are received within 2 hours. If the payment doesn’t arrive after two hours, don’t worry, it’ll arrive within 48 hours. With Payoneer, you may open a bank account in any country, including the USA.
Payoneer also offers a $25 bonus when you sign up and activate your account. Afteryour account is activated, you get $25 free. Payoneer is so good that they don’t demand many paperwork to give you a free US bank account. For this, they only require your Nigerian National ID, Voters ID, or International passport.
You can open an American Bank account without leaving your home if you have a national ID, driver’s license, or passport. The whole thing is done online. Payoneer does not accept NIN alone because it is not an official ID.
If you don’t have an ID yourself, you can open a USA Bank account using your parents’ name and documentation until you get your own ID, Voters Card, Drivers License, or International passport. Your Payoneer account will be activated in about 3 working days after you upload the needed documentation. Your account will be activated through email.
Sending and receiving money into your USA bank account is free with Payoneer. For example, if you click on the Global Payment Service link in the menu, you will see your UK account, your Eurozone account, your Canadian and Australian accounts.
After opening your account, you can obtain a Payoneer Mastercard. A debit card from most Nigerian banks costs 1,100 and from US banks costs up to $35. The Payoneer Mastercard is free. You can order one and use it at any ATM worldwide. Isn’t it cool
All banks and ATMs accept Payoneer Mastercards. Your card will be sent to the address you used to register. Payoneer’s disadvantage is that only registered companies can send money to Payoneer bank accounts. However, this is to protect you from internet scammers.
TransferWise, which has now been rebranded Wise, is one of the most popular platforms for transmitting money internationally. Expats, digital nomads, frequent travelers, and freelancers will benefit from its multi-currency and borderless account.
You can send and receive money in a variety of currencies without needing to open bank accounts in those countries. You get a virtual credit card to spend your money if you open a TransferWise account and upgrade it to the Borderless account. The Borderless account lets you open a US bank account.
The borderless account is a virtual multi-currency account. It lets you use over 50 different currencies, as well as switch between them in a matter of seconds. Your TransferWise debit MasterCard can be linked to your borderless account. You can receive transfers from other accounts all over the world using your account number and bank data.
If you want to open a US bank account from Nigeria, the best option you have is to use Payoneer or TransferWise. Unless you have an SSN or ITIN then you can use a US International Bank.