Documents Required to Open a Bank Account

To open a
bank account, you will need to have in hand some documents. Most of the banks
requires the follow:

  1. A valid passport,
    an ID or other form of identification (other than the passport) with a photo. (e.g.
    The driver’s license, University I-Card, etc.)
  2. I-94 card and
    your I-20 or DS-2019 (or I-797 approval notice which is issued to an individual
    as a replacement Form I-94)
  3. Proof of
    residency in the United States (e.g. Lease, Contract, Utility bills, Credit
    Card Statements) PO Box is not accepted.
  4. Home country
  5. U.S. Phone
    number (e.g. cell phone, phone number of your office on campus)
  6. Email Address
  7. Driver
    license (if you have already applied for one)
  8. Social
    Security Number (if you have already applied for one)
  9. Proof of your
    enrollment at the university or host institution (letter of acceptance,
    enrolment letter)
  10. *Employment
    Authorization Card (I-688A, I-688B or I-766 if you have a social security
    number) or green card (if applicable)

PS: It is a good
idea to have with you other documents such as birth certificate, the drive
license from your country (just in case you need it).

Debit/Credit card might take up to 10 business day to arrive to your local

When opening
an account, you may sign a W-8 form for tax withholding purposes


If you are in
the U.S. as a tourist, it might be very hard to open a bank account. Mainly
because you might need a SSN (social security number and proof of residency).
In that case, we suggest you bring an international Card from your country that
can be used internationally. 

requirements might be different in different banks. For example, according to
PNC bank, you do not need a social security number (SSN) to open a bank
account, but you need a SSN to apply for credit in the bank.


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