How to Open a Bank Account If You Recently Moved to the US

A bank account will help you establish a solid foundation for your financial growth. If you’re a U.S. citizen, opening a bank account is an easy process. However, an immigrant will require following different conditions to get approved for a bank account.

You will need to provide different identification to open a bank account. Under the Patriot Act, credit unions, banks, and other financial institutions must confirm the identity of a person who wants to open a bank account. This requirement was imposed by federal lawmakers in 2001 to deal with the funding of terrorist activities.

While applying for a checking account at a credit union or bank in the U.S., the institution will verify your date of birth, name, ID number, and address. For non-U.S. citizens, the requirements may not be identical to those of citizens. Keep in mind that while some institutions will allow a non-U.S. citizen to open a bank account, not all institutions will extend this ability to you.

Requirements for Opening a Bank Account

Before you can open a bank account, you must meet a few conditions. If you’re an immigrant and want to get started building yourself financially, ensure you meet these requirements:

  • Contact information like address, phone number, and name
  • Some forms of government-issued ID, like a passport or a valid driver’s license.
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Social Security number. For a non-resident without a Social Security number, you will need an ITIN.
  • A utility bill with your current address
  • A cash deposit (typically from $25 – $100)

These requirements are not constant throughout the U.S., as they vary from state to state. In any situation, you must be at least 18 years old to get a bank account. If you’re an immigrant with a legal right to be in the U.S., you need a few key requirements, including a U.S. address and ITIN.

In most cases, you cannot open an account online unless you’re a U.S. citizen. Instead, you must visit a branch for the bank to open the account.

When you get your bank account, the next step is establishing yourself financially. This means getting a job or starting a business. Despite being an immigrant, you can make money and build a portfolio. One of the options is embracing freelancing.

Before you begin your freelancing career, you should designate a workspace, determine the tools and software needed, and research the best way to find work. There are many job boards you can join to search for your next gigs. You can also use services like Employment Solutions to help you with job training and interview skills.

Alternatives for Identification

Credit unions and banks typically accept different forms of ID if you’re a non-US resident. For example, people who don’t have a Social Security Number can obtain ITINs, which they can use to open a bank account. The IRS offers the nine-digit ITINs, which are only available to some non-resident and resident aliens.

How to Apply for ITIN

To get an ITIN, you should follow a few steps:

  • Fill out the W-7 application form, which you should submit to the IRS with completed tax returns.
  • Submit documents to verify your identity and status as an immigrant. For this verification process, the IRS accepts 13 documents.

If you’re an immigrant and can’t qualify for a bank account in the U.S., you can try a bank in your home country. Some foreign banks have a relationship with banks in the U.S., so if your bank is one of these, it’s one of the options you can use while in the U.S.


Opening a bank account gives you the opportunity to establish yourself financially. You can manage your savings and also get approved for a loan. Financial institutions may use software with a loan API to verify details about you. These can provide details on various liabilities. As an immigrant, check if you have the right documentation to apply for a bank account. Follow these steps to get started.

This article is brought to you by Employment Solutions, home to a variety of programs providing education, hands on experience, opportunities for enrichment, health and fitness, arts, community inclusion and therapeutic services. Employment Solutions believes that all work is honorable and that work builds self-respect. In addition, Employment Solutions helps people who are disabled or otherwise disadvantaged live as independently as possible while also engaging in satisfying personal pursuits. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!