As a South African citizen or resident, you can easily open a US bank account at any of the banks that allow non-residents to open accounts. Whether you want to start an online business, do freelancing, visiting the US a tourist or just want to utilise the services of a foreign bank that your local bank may not offer, this article will show you how.
Can a South African open a US bank account?
Yes. American banks are open to applicants from most countries in the world. There are thousands of living in the US and in South Africa who own bank accounts in the top US banks.
Can open a bank account in the US if they are not residents?
Yes, You do not need to be a resident to open a bank account. US residents are given a social security number that banks may ask for when opening an account. However, if you do not have one, many banks will still open an account for you as a non-resident or citizen.
Many of these banks only require two forms of government photo IDs and a US address to open a bank account. Unfortunately, for security purposes, most banks will require you to show up at their branch in person before you can open an account.
How to open a US bank account if you are a South African resident?
are able to go into any of the banks listed in our foreigner-friendly banks and apply for a bank account with a South African passport and driver's licence or a national ID.
I'm South African and was told I could not open a US bank account as a foreigner without SSN or ITIN; what now?
Even though the policy from the Social Security Administration and even the top-level policy of the banks in our foreigner-friendly banks allow for account creation without an SSN. Some branches are either ignorant of the policy or choose not to allow foreigners. I have had a personal experience where I was denied an account at one branch but was accepted at another branch of the same bank in the same city.
Opt for banks located in areas with high immigration; these branches usually have policies to support the local population.
Can I open a US bank account from outside the USA as a foreigner?
Yes, you can! You can sit on your couch in South Africa and create either a personal or a business account without travelling to the US. Check out our list of Banks that you can apply to online.
Because of the large number of applications these banks receive, they have a high standard for the type of applications that they approve. We have a guideline on how to get approved by these online banks. Check these out before applying so you do not lose your opportunity to obtain a bank account.
Can you open a US bank account online as a non resident alien?
Yes! Applying for a bank account online as a non resident is possible through select banks. You will be allowed to submit your scanned documents online for authentication such as your South African passport. Most of these banks also require face verification using your smart phone or computer's camera.
How do you open a US bank account without us address
Most banks require some a US address when creating a bank account, see the full list of documents that may be required here.
However, thee are a few banks that allow you to create a US bank account with only your local address in South Africa.
Documents Needed to open a US bank account
Generally, you will need two forms of South African government photo IDs and a US address. If you don't have a US address, you can purchase one from a virtual address provider. If you are opening a business account, check out the documents required to open a business account for the full list. These include your registration documents and Employer Identification Number, EIN. An EIN can be requested from the IRS once you have a registered US company.
Hundreds of have created US companies, opened US bank accounts and own US credit cards while living in South Africa. You can too if you follow the tips shared in this article.