Opening a Bank Account
Can I open a bank account as an undocumented immigrant or without having a permanent immigration status?
Yes, if you do not have legal status you can open a bank account. Despite not having citizenship, a green card, or a social security number you can open a bank account in the United States.
Why should I open a bank account as an immigrant?
By opening a bank account, an immigrant can obtain better preparation for their immigration matter, it allows financial participation in our system, and provides you with financial stability. Many people in the migrant community only use cash, which is not the safest way to hold your savings due to the chances of your money being lost or stolen. You will also be able to access your account and deposit money at ATMs and to transfer cash and make payments. Opening an account will also provide a record of your time in the United States and paying taxes. Once you open an account, you can register a business, apply for a credit card, and start building up your credit score.
What will I need to open a bank account?
In order to open a bank account, you will need to provide:
-Name and Date of Birth: You will need to provide a valid government identification card such as a birth certificate, a valid passport, residence permit, consular ID, or a government-issued driver’s license. You will need to present two proofs of these identifications.
-Identification: A social security number is typically requested, but the requirements can be met with other documents such as foreigner identification card, a document that proves your nationality (such as a passport or a foreign driver’s license), or a taxpayer’s personal identification number (ITIN)
-Address: Proof of your current residential address in the United States can be shown through documents such as water, telephone, or electricity bills that are in your name, or a lease contract.
What is a Taxpayer’s Personal Identification Number (ITIN)?
An ITIN number is used to process taxes and is available to those working in the United States that are not eligible for a social security number or do not have immigration status.
How do I apply for an ITIN number?
You can receive this 9-digit tax processing number by completing a designated IRS form, submit required documents to verify your identity, and submit your application. If you have a tax return, you can submit it while you submit your application. If you are approved, you will receive your ITIN number in about 6 weeks.