Monito.com

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

Jan 25, 2024
Advertiser disclosure

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 many 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 checking accounts, including Wise and Majority, 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.

recommendation icon

Free Virtual Bank Account With No SSN 🇺🇸

The Wise Multi-Currency Account remains one of the fastest ways to get access to your personal US checking account details for free and without an SSN or proof of US residency.

In addition, you can get access to nine other foreign account details (GBP, EUR, etc), meaning that you can get paid and send money like a local in 10 countries.

Without further ado, let's go through how to open a US bank account without a social security number (SSN) —

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 either open an expensive account with an international US bank, or open an account with an online checking 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 opening deposits, high fees, and minimum 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 checking account provider:

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

In other words, online account providers should be able to legally open an account for you — except for citizens or residents of a select few sanctioned nations.

How To Open a US Bank Account Without SSN Online

Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

Be aware of two major factors that will determine your eligibility for certain online bank accounts are:

  1. identity verification;
  2. proof of residency in the United States.

Every provider listed in this article will need to verify your identity to open an account. Know Your Customer (KYC) laws in the US require banks, fintech companies, and other finance platforms to confirm the identity of their customers to help prevent fraud, terrorist financing, and other crimes. When you apply, make sure to never use fake IDs, social security numbers associated with multiple dates of birth, or VoIP phone numbers.

You will likely need proof of an American residential address to open an account. Forms of proof may include utility bills, paychecks from your employer, or your rental lease agreement.

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 a Virtual 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:

  • 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 Accounts and Debit Cards That Don't Require SSN or ITIN

Scott Graham on Unsplash

Up-and-coming fintech companies are offering low-cost and accessible digital checking account services. Most of the accounts below are not 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 US checking accounts without a SSN:

1 — Majority

Because of its suite of migrant-friendly features (e.g. international calling, international money transfers, exclusive deals, etc.) combined with low fees all around, Majority is a well-suited online checking account and debit card for new arrivals and migrants in the US with residence but not yet an SSN or ITIN. You’ll need to show proof of US address, but you can use your home country’s government-issued ID when you apply!

In addition to an FDIC-insured checking account in the United States, Majority comes with several useful features to communicate with and support your family back in your home country. This includes free international calling, sending airtime top-ups, international money transfers, and a debit card with no foreign transaction fees.

Account name: Majority

Monthly fee: $5.99

Foreign transaction fee: 0%

US residence required: Yes

SSN/ITIN required: No

More info: See our full Majority review.

2 - Revolut

Revolut is a powerful personal finance platform that offers cheap international money transfers, a multi-currency account to hold over 30 foreign currencies, and a debit card to spend abroad like a local. If you're not a citizen of the US, then Revolut will need to ask for proof of your right to reside in the country (this may include a visa along with national passport or a residence permit).

Without a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), you won't be able to access some of Revolut's features. Revolut is not a licensed bank in the United States.

Account name: Standard Plan

Monthly fee: $0

Outgoing int'l wire cost: No fee for first $1,000 per month

Int'l card payment cost: 0% to ~1% markup (depending on currency)

US residence required: Yes

SSN/ITIN required: No

More info: See our full Revolut review.

3 — 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

4 — 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.

How Undocumented Immigrants Can Get Bank Accounts Online

Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash Yosemite National Park, United States

While signing up for a Wise Account will be the easiest and fastest way to get a US account number as an undocumented immigrant, there are other pathways to getting access to the American financial system. If you want to open an account with an institutional American bank, then you will need to apply for an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and present it to you bank of choice.

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 to receive tax payments and distribute benefits, banks also require them to confirm your identity and report your tax activity to the IRS.

What if I Have No Social Security Number or ITIN?

While most banks require this information to open an account, 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-issued 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.

recommendation icon

Read our in-depth guide and list of the best US banks that accept ITIN.

Recap: Best Online Checking Accounts That Don't Require SSN

  • Wise Account: Best USD account for non-residents without an SSN.
  • Majority: Best checking account for residents without an SSN.
  • Zenus Bank: Best USD deposit account for non-residents.
  • Revolut: Best multi-currency account with proof of US residency.

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:

Country

Which non-residents can open an account?

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Parties with close ties, expats, immigrants, investors, students

🇮🇪 Ireland

Any interested party

🇩🇪 Germany

Parties with close ties

🇫🇷 France

Parties with close ties, investors, students

🇮🇹 Italy

Parties with close ties, Investors

🇨🇭 Switzerland

Investors only

🇪🇸 Spain

Parties with close ties, investors, students

🇵🇹 Portugal

Parties with close ties, investors, expats, students

🇳🇱 Netherlands

Parties with close ties, investors

🇩🇰 Denmark

Parties with close ties, investors

🇳🇴 Norway

Parties with close ties, investors

🇸🇪 Sweden

Parties with close ties, investors

🇦🇹 Austria

Parties with close ties, investors

🇬🇷 Greece

Parties with close ties, investors

🇭🇺 Hungary

Any interested party

🇱🇺 Luxembourg

Parties with close ties, investors

🇱🇮 Liechtenstein

Investors only

🇬🇮 Gibraltar

Investors only

🇮🇲 Isle of Man

Parties with close ties, investors, expats

🇯🇪 Jersey

Parties with close ties, investors, expats

Last updated: 23/2/2022

Other Banking Guides for Non-Residents

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

Monito.com

Global Impact Finance Ltd
Rue du Pont 22
1003 Lausanne
Switzerland

Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.