Opening a bank account in the USA

Hi all,

is it difficult for expats to open a bank account in the USA ?

Which documents are required to open a bank account in the USA ?

How long does it take to open it ?

Is there any restriction for expats regarding the services (loans for instance)  ?

Which bank would you recommend ?

Thanks in advance for your participation,


i would be share with you some simple information about USA life and other general things in state.

I however stay away from big or national banks. The complexity of U.S. financial regulations and plain greed make them loan sharks. Bank customers have to pay fees to deposit their hard earned money at these banks! Why do you have to pay the bank a huge fee to keep your money for you? I never pay a cent to put my money there. Instead I bank at smaller, local banks that pay me handsome interest rates because they have no overhead administrative and operating costs like those large network banks. But I won't name my banks. Reasons are at the end of this post.

It's sad that the poor or people with bad credit history have to use these banks, payday lenders or cash service stores, and similar cash-your-check centers. The poor just gets poorer this way. But don't stay that way.

Learn to be financially savvy. Borrow books on family budgeting or personal finance from your local libraries.

Questions to Julien, I replied in a another forum on a different subject but the same philosophy about our human bias and perception. I understand that Expat-Blog doesn't allow individuals to promote their businesses in the forum, but Expat-Blog's Business Directory is a channel to advertise. I see that they both would serve the same purpose. Why bothering moderating and deleting individuals from mentioning their businesses in the forum? Because they could do that in the Business Directory anyway? What's your rational behind this? To better organize?

Then, you asked us to recommend banks under this topic. What if I worked at a particular bank and earned a commission for bringing in new customers? That''d undercut other banks and is unethical professionally.

So you have to decide where you want your Expat-Blog members to do. To recommend businesses in this forum or in the Business Directory?


My friend is a service manager at a large bank that has branches all over the world and she gave me some of the following requirements to open an account at any bank:

2)Credit Card
3)Drivers License-form of identification that shows your legal residence in the U.S. (must be in English)
4)Also, it must be noted that all new acounts will undergo a much more extensive background check since 911 and the possibility of money laundering to terrorists.


I failed to answer the other questions:

1) It is not difficult to open an account if you have the proper documentation.
2)In order to have the proper documentation you will need a permanent address and a place of employment.
3)So it will probably be awhile before expats will be able to open an account, probably at least 6-8 weeks because that is how long it takes for the Department of Motor vehicles to send a drivers license to an individual.
4) Once an expact has the required documentation it only takes about 30 minutes to open an account at any bank.
5)You must have an Occupation for at least (1) year and collateral to back any type of loan.
5)Credit unions are the best; then there are the big banks such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase Bank.


Prajna, you are 100% right.

Prajna wrote:

So you have to decide where you want your Expat-Blog members to do. To recommend businesses in this forum or in the Business Directory?

Preferably in the business directory, as we've specifically designed it for this purpose.