How to open us bank account as a foreigner (India) in 2023

Opening a bank account in the U.S. can provide you with a secure space for your funds and help establish your financial history in the country.

However, the process is not as straightforward as it may seem. An American may be able to open a bank account within a few minutes, but foreign applicants have to comply with additional legal and administrative requirements.

It may take a longer time for non-US citizens. If you are a non-US citizen and intend to save in US dollars, there are various hurdles you may need to overcome.

Banking in the US has become increasingly complicated. In the aftermath of 9/11, the US government passed the Patriot Act to prevent criminals from using the financial system for illegal activities. While the act has brought far-reaching consequences, one of its biggest impacts has been the tightening of verification requirements. As a result, banking has become less straightforward and more burdensome for the average person.

If you’re new to the USA and need a secure place to deposit your cash and start saving, look no further. This article will guide you on how to open a US bank account online from India. You’ll learn why having a US bank account is important and the challenges you may encounter while opening one.

What’s Ahead

  1. Why would you need t -open us bank account as a foreigner(India) ?
  2. Why it is not easy to open a US bank account for a foreigner?
  3. What are the requirements to open a US bank account online from India?
  4. How to open a US bank account from India?
  5. Can I open a-U.S bank account from India without living there ?

open us bank account as a foreigner
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As a foreigner from India, what might be the reasons for opening a US bank account?

Opening a US business account for entrepreneurs and owners can work wonders, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses abroad, aiming to expand their foothold. Maintaining a business bank account in the US can dramatically save you from incurring expensive international transaction fees.

Many US entrepreneurs favour local payment methods, such as Automated Clearing House or check transactions, which offer a comfortable and speedy option.

1. For Immigration & Foreign Study

A US bank account can present an advantageous option for incoming immigrants and international students seeking quick and convenient transactions. As a result, both time and money can be saved.

2. For travel & online shopping in the U.S

Obtaining a US bank account can greatly benefit frequent travelers and online shoppers, providing a convenient and cost-effective means to manage finances with ease. With more time and money at your disposal, you can fully relish your experiences while exploring new places or indulging in hassle-free shopping.

Why is it hard for a foreigner to open a US bank account?

The Patriot Act amended banking regulations following 9/11 to deter money laundering by foreign nations and decrease the likelihood of related criminal activities. Banks are required to verify the applicant’s identification documents.

Non-citizens without a Social Security number must present an identification document, usually a passport.

Non-US individuals are eligible to obtain an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), which serves as a widely used form of identification. To procure an ITIN, an application must be submitted to the IRS.

Nonresidents mostly have to visit a bank branch to open an account. Even if you start the bank account opening procedure, you would still need to be there in person to complete it.

What are the prerequisites for opening a US bank account online while residing in India?

1. Two forms of valid photo identification documents

To verify identity, two forms of identification are required- a passport for ascertaining nationality and either a driving licensee or student ID to confirm profession. For immigrants, immigration documents such as work, or student visas are mandatory.

2. Employer Identification Number (EIN)

When conducting business in the US, foreign businesses are assigned an IRS number and required to comply with various regulations. To establish a business or bank account, the assigned number must be provided.

3. Initial Deposit

Most banks mandate an initial deposit into your account, usually anywhere from $10-$100, although the amount may differ from bank to bank.

How to open a US bank account from India?

There are several ways for Indian citizens to open a US bank account. One such method requires documentation including an SSN, passport, and proof of residency. For more information on this method, please see the following details.

1. Set up a bank account online

While banking services have been made available by banks such as Chase, Citibank, Silicon Valley Bank & Bank of America, it’s worth noting that the account application process can be lengthy. it’s important to ensure all identity verification requirements are met to avoid the risk of rejection.

Every bank has its own criteria that must be met before a loan can be granted, which typically includes satisfying certain conditions. To learn what documents are required, it’s best to contact the bank directly.

Before setting up a bank account online, it is important to have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This is a crucial detail to consider.

Furthermore, possessing identification documents such as passports and proof of residency would significantly increase the likelihood of acceptance.

While none of the aforementioned banks can guarantee opening a bank account for you in the US, it’s certainly worth a try. If the branch is available in your home country, consider visiting it to expedite the account opening process.

2. Go to an international bank’s branch

HSBC and Barclays are among the many banks that operate branches in multiple countries. The recommended approach is to visit a local branch and inquire about the account opening process and required documents for that specific bank.

To proceed, you’ll need to verify your identification and funds at the local branch, provided the US branch approves. Otherwise, a visit to the US may be required.

While some entrepreneurs may prefer the convenience of opening their accounts before coming to the US, it is ultimately best to set up your bank account in-person. This allows for a more streamlined process and ensures that any potential issues can be promptly resolved.

3. Travel to the US

The third option is the most widely used practice to obtain a US bank account. It is a recommended approach to enhance the quality and readability of the content.

The reason why it’s so common is because of its simplicity and ease of use. It’s the most reliable way to get approved and up and running. If you have U.S.-based clients and the funds to travel, the best course of action is to relocate to the United States.

Some banks, including Wells Fargo and Citibank, offer efficient and seamless account opening services, and are recognized for their foreign policies.

In order for banks to trust their customers, heightened security measures are in place. As a result, some institutions require a background check before approving new accounts.

Before opening a bank account for your business, ensure that you have all the necessary documents. You are usually required to verify your identity, reliability, residency, and business status. Preparing the documents in advance will make it easier for entrepreneurs to create a bank account.

Can I open a U.S bank account from India without living there ?

Ys. You can open a US bank account online from India without visiting the US. Here’s how to open a bank account without an SSN.

  1. Through Aeldra US bank Account
  2. Through Zolve USA bank account

Here us the details of both the account.

#1. Aeldra USA bank Account Review

Aeldra Bank, a digital neo bank based in Silicon Valley, teams up with Mastercard Global Debit Card to provide a one-of-a-kind US bank account that can be opened and managed from India, even before students obtain their study visa.

Before departing to the US, students can independently fund their accounts and receive a debit card to obtain a fully functional US bank account.

With our no-fee account, customers can save up to $500 on bank fees, foreign transactions and exchange mark-ups, while letting go of cash-carrying hassles. Join thousands of satisfied customers today.

Benefits of Aeldra bank account

  • It gives you the ability to transfer funds to a US account from India to protect against exchange rate depreciation.
  • It also offers you multi-layered security for information, fraud protection, and protection from unauthorized transactions.
  • In-app 24×7 services through calls or secure messages, from customer service representatives who understand India to US cross-border banking.
  • Safety of FDIC-insured bank up to $250,000 in deposits through Blue Ridge Bank, which is a 128-year-old US bank.
  • Access to AeldraPay real-time free peer-to-peer payments for splitting bills or renting with friends on the go.
  • Warranty Extension on purchases made using Aeldra Credit Card & Debit Card.

What are the features of Aeldra bank account?

Simplified application procedure- using the website, you can open a bank account within 5 minutes.

  1. Zero Account Opening Fees
  2. Zero Monthly Fees
  3. Zero Foreign Transaction Fees
  4. Zero Overdraft Fees
  5. Zero Card Replacement Fees

How to open U.S. bank account with Aeldra

US residents and Indian citizens can apply for a US bank account through the Aeldra App. The application process is digital and accessible from anywhere in the world, without the need to visit a branch or provide physical documents.

As an Indian citizen, there is no need for a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) when applying for this account. Your passport is sufficient as a supporting identification document.

Is it safe to have an Aeldra bank account?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) guarantees the safety of all funds deposited in an Aeldra bank account. As an independent institution of the US government, the FDIC protects insured deposits in the event of a bank failure. Aeldra is a sister concern of Blue Ridge Bank, a member of the FDIC. Therefore, all funds up to $250,000 in an Aeldra bank account are secure and protected.

What is aeldra bank Minimum Balance ?

Aeldra Bank offers a Zero Balance account that does not require maintenance of a minimum balance to avoid bank charges. Additionally, the bank does not charge overdraft fees and provides free incoming international wire transfers, as well as zero foreign currency markup. Moreover, there are no account opening charges or card replacement fees.

Is Aeldra legal in India?

Aeldra Bank complies with all Reserve Bank of India regulations. Any payments made within India are subject to RBI’s Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) guidelines. The bank also performs due diligence for Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML), as mandated by the RBI. As a result, Aeldra Bank is fully legitimate in India.

Eligibility to open Aeldra Bank account ?

Below are the Eligibility to U.S. Aeldra Bank account .

  • U.S. residents with a U.S. Social Security Number or an Indian Passport
  • Indian residents with an Indian passport and Aadhaar Number.

What is aeldra bank debit card ?

Aeldra Bank offers the Aeldra Debit Mastercard, available to all customers on the Mastercard platform. However, Indian residents cannot obtain a physical debit card at this time, as they are only available to residents of the United States. Rest assured, all Aeldra customers can still enjoy the convenience of a virtual card.

2. You can Open a full American bank account online through Zolve.

Solve is a global bank headquartered in San Francisco and Bangalore, with the goal of facilitating seamless cross-border financial transactions. If you’re an international student headed to the US, Zolve can help address your financial needs by offering an array of benefits and advantages.

Key advantages of this service include: no annual fees, FDIC-insured bank accounts, and a simplified account opening procedure.

Benefits of Zolve US Bank account

  • No Annual Fees
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Introductory APR of 0% valid for 6 months
  • First late payment fees is waived off
  • Membership Rewards at major global fashion brands (like H&M), retail stores (like Amazon), and wholesale clubs (like Costco).
  • FDIC insured bank accounts.
  • If you are an immigrant, you do not require Credit History to apply for it. Hence, it can be instrumental for you to increase your credit score, thereby making you more creditworthy.

Features of Zolve US Bank account

FDIC insured bank account- that covers your account for a sum of $250,000.

  • Simplified procedure of bank account opening. You can open a bank account within 10 minutes.
  • Credit Limit of $5,000, which increases to $10,000 as you reach the US.
  • No Joining Fees
  • No Annual Fees
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • First late payment waived off
  • 0% introductory APR for first 6 months
  • Regular APR of 14.99% (11.74%+WSJ Prime Rate)
  • Zero Card Replacement Fees.

Do you have any questions? Please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below.

About Author

Dhiraj Jha
Dhiraj Jha
As a personal finance and credit cards expert, I provide valuable insights and advice on budgeting, saving, investing, and debt management. I am also an expert on credit card rewards programs and help readers make informed decisions about which cards are right for them. My goal is to help people improve their financial literacy and make better financial choices.