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How To Open a US Bank Account Online Without a Social Security Number (Remotely)

Aug 8, 2022
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If you live in the United States without a social security number, then you may have found it frustrating to open a bank account with a traditional big bank, credit union, or even a small regional bank.

The good news is that there are several alternatives at your disposal. In this guide, we will explain why traditional banks cannot open accounts without a social security number and then provide you with some solutions on opening bank accounts online without SSN.

Have a look below at our list of 4 great virtual bank accounts that don't require SSN or ITIN. If you are an undocumented immigrant in need of online banking without SSN, or if you really need an ITIN, then we cover those topics too.

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Free Virtual Bank Accounts With No SSN 🇺🇸

  • With US residence: Open a Sable account to access US checking, debit and credit cards, cash back, and a highly-rated mobile app. | Read the full review.
  • Without US residence: Open a Wise Account, which gives you US checking details and a debit card to spend in 50+ currencies, including US dollars. | Read the full review.

Can I Open a Bank Account Without a Social Security Number?

Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash Chase Bank in New York City

Non-residents and undocumented immigrants often find it difficult to open a US bank account with a big bank because this options requires proof of US residency and requires a SSN or ITIN. That's why the best option for those without a social security number is to open an expensive account with an international US bank or open a current account with an online bank account provider.

Have a look at how this breaks down:

Big Banks in the US

  • This path requires residence in the US, and SSN or ITIN.
  • This includes Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank, US Bank, and others.

International US Banks

  • This path does not require residence in the US or a SSN or ITIN.
  • Typically has deposit minimums, high fees, and balance requirements.

Online Accounts

  • This low cost option does not require a SSN or ITIN.
  • Some accounts may ask for proof of US residency.
  • Ideal if you don't need debt services, like loans or credit cards.

Who Can Open a Bank Account Without SSN

A wide variety of people without a social security number can apply to open a bank account in the United States. Depending on your status, you will have access to different levels of financial services.

Who should consider opening a bank account with a big institutional US bank or an international US bank:

  • Offshore companies with no US ties;
  • Foreign companies with no US ties;
  • Foreign-owned US limited liability companies (LLCs).

Who should consider remotely opening an account with an online bank account provider:

  • Foreign individuals from most countries;
  • Non-residents living in most countries;

In other words, online bank account providers may not be able to legally open an account for you only if you are a citizen or resident of a select few sanctioned nations.

How To Open a US Bank Account Online Without a Social Security Number

Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Be aware that one major factor that will determine your eligibility for certain online bank accounts is proof of residency in the United States.

Some banks that we recommend in the next section do require proof of US residency. Others simply require a legal government ID from your home country.

With this in mind, follow these next steps on how to open a US bank account online without a social security number:

How To Open an Account With a US Bank Remotely

  • Step 01

    Find an Eligible Bank Account

    Monito's experts have compiled a list of the best online bank accounts that do not require SSNs or ITINs to open. Start your search there.

  • Step 02

    Compare Services and Fees

    Some charge a monthly fee but offer more services. Others are completely free, but only offer basic checking accounts. Compare what's best for you.

  • Step 03

    Gather Required Documents

    Typically, when you open an online bank account, you will need to have the following:

    • SSN/ITIN: no
    • Proof of US residency: depends
    • Legal government-issued ID: yes
    • Contact information: yes
  • Final step

    Fund Your Account

    1. Run a search on Monito.com's comparison engine;
    2. Find the cheapest international money transfer service;
    3. Sign up and enter your new bank information;
    4. Send money from your home country to your US account.

4 Online Banks That Don't Require SSN or ITIN

Scott Graham on Unsplash

Online accounts or "neobanks" in the US are an up-and-coming type of financial services provider trying to disrupt traditional brick-and-mortar banks by offering low-cost digital banking services. Most of the accounts below are not actually banks but are fintech companies that partner with regulated American banks. Together, they provide financial services to you directly through your desktop or mobile phone.

These following options offer online banking without a SSN:

1 — Majority

Because of its suite of migrant-friendly features (e.g. international calling, wires, exclusive deals, etc.) combined with low fees all around, Majority is a well suited online current account for new arrivals and migrants in the US with residence but not yet a SSN or ITIN.

Account name: Majority

Monthly fee: $5

Outgoing int'l wire cost: 0.2% - 2.5% (estimate depending on country)

Int'l card payment cost: 0%

US residence required: Yes

SSN/ITIN required: No

More info: See our full Majority review.

2 — Sable

Due to its low fees for everyday use and few registration requirements, we recommend Sable as a secondary bank account for US citizens or a primary account for newcomers and US Visa-holders who don't yet have a SSN. Similarly, we also recommend the Sable ONE credit card, which provides an excellent way to manage your credit score with lower risk.

Account name: Sable

Monthly fee: $0

Outgoing int'l wire cost: $5

Int'l card payment cost: 0.18%

US visa required: Yes

SSN/ITIN required: No

More info: See our full Sable review.

3 — Wise

Wise offers a Multi-Currency Account, a low-cost foreign currency spending account and a Visa debit card. It comes with an ACH routing number, Wire routing number, Account number, and SWIFT/BIC code.

For many people, this is the fastest and easiest way to open a US bank account as a non-resident, regardless of whether you want to hold money in US dollars, spend money on holidays abroad, shop online, or receive earnings from an American employer.

Account name: Wise Multi-Currency Account

Monthly fee: $0

Outgoing int'l wire cost: 0.35% - 2.85%

Int'l card payment cost: 0.35% - 2.85%

US residence required: No

SSN/ITIN required: No

More info: See our full Wise review.

4 — Zenus Bank

Zenus Bank is a licensed and regulated American bank that provides all-remote US bank accounts in almost every country in the world without the requirement to be a US citizen or resident. To open a US bank account from your home country, Zenus Bank will require four pieces of information from you:

  1. A valid government-issued passport.
  2. Proof of address in your home country.
  3. A completed Form W-8 BEN (this is for the IRS).
  4. Proof of employment (or pension or unemployment).

Zenus Bank

Account name: USD Personal Currency Account

Monthly fee: $50 (plus $50 one-time application fee)

Outgoing int'l wire cost: $25

Int'l card payment cost: See rates

US residence required: No

SSN/ITIN required: No

How Undocumented Immigrants Can Get Bank Accounts Online

Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash Yosemite National Park, United States

What Is an ITIN?

ITIN stands for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. It is a number that is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to keep track of individuals working, living, and doing business in the United States.

While only individuals eligible for social security (such as US citizens) can have SSNs, non-citizens who pay taxes or claim treaty benefits to the US government will be issued an ITIN. Undocumented immigrants can get an ITIN, and it is legal to do so.

While SSNs and ITINs are used by the IRS, banks also require them to confirm your identity and report your tax activity to the government.

What if I Have No Social Security Number or ITIN?

While most banks require this information to open an account with them, it is possible to request a basic current account. To confirm your identity without a SSN, banks in the US will likely ask for at least two forms of identification like a passport and US driver's license.

Still, you should expect them to ask you to apply for an ITIN first. If you would like to open a bank account without one, then have a look above at our list of the 4 no-SSN online bank accounts in this article.

Where to Apply for an ITIN

To apply for an ITIN, complete Form W-7 and attach it to your tax return. Mail the paperwork to this IRS address:

Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
ITIN Operation
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342

If you need an ITIN before tax day, you can visit an IRS-approved acceptance agent. You can submit form W-7 to any of the acceptance agents listed on the IRS website.

What You Need to Apply

Along with Form W-7, you must submit an original ID document (you cannot submit a copy). The original be returned once your application is accepted.

Valid forms of identification for an ITIN application include:

  • Passport
  • U.S. or foreign driver’s license
  • State ID card
  • USCIS ID card
  • Visa issued by the US Department of State
  • Birth certificate
  • Foreign voter’s registration card
  • Foreign national ID card (must include name, photo, address, date of birth, and expiration)

Which Banks Allow Customers To Open Accounts With an ITIN?

The good news is that almost all banks in the United States will open a bank account to customers with an ITIN, as long as you provide the proper additional identification documents. However, financial services may be limited, especially if you open an account with a big bank.

It is also important to note that ITINs do expire after three years of non-use though. If you do not file your taxes for three years, you will need to apply for a new ITIN again.

Recap: Best US Bank Accounts That Don't Require SSN

  • Wise Account: Best USD account for non-residents.
  • Sable: Best credit card account for residents without a SSN.
  • Majority: Best checking account for residents without a SSN.
  • Zenus Bank: Best USD deposit account for non-residents.

Send Money Cheaply to Your No SSN Bank Account:

Frequently Asked Questions About Opening a US Bank Account Without SSN

Non-Resident Bank Accounts in the US vs Other Countries

Many countries allow non-residents to open a bank account within their legal jurisdictions, but exactly what kind of requirements non-residents face can differ drastically from country to country and even bank to bank. See the list below to get a better idea of this:

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