USA Account for a non resident - non citizen.

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Pogacha, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Pogacha

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    0
    The cost of the wires plus the complication in the payments makes me wonder if it would be better to open a Bank Account in the states. The idea is to cumulate the money there and make a single wire from time to time.

    But I have no idea if this is actually possible, how much work will be involved on opening it, which costs we are talking about and the legal implications.

    I have searched around the net but only found sites very suspicious, some of them promotes something like "get your anonymous bank account!" which makes me think they are for illegal activities.

    What do you know about?
    Is it possible? (legal for sure it is but maybe the requirements are too high).
    Have you done this?
    To which bank should I approach to ask?
     
  2. MFS

    MFS New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you are going to find it to be a major hassle. Even for my brother in-law, a legal resident on a work visa, there were many hoops for him to jump through, mostly due to the fact he had no social security number at the time. Technically, a social security number isn't required to open a bank account in the US, but without one the process goes from simple to difficult.

    Further, I believe you'd have to make the trip up here to open an account, as I do not know of any bank that will allow you to open an account without coming in person and signing the papers. Many US banks also have strange anti-terror/money-laundering policies on new accounts (such as holding deposited checks for up to 6 weeks) and I could only imagine that it would be worse for a non-resident/non-citizen. As far as which Bank, I'd with one of the major national banks with good online support: Bank of America, Chase, Citi, US Bank, HSBC, etc.

    If for whatever reason you could not open up a personal account in the US, you could always create a foreign owned US company that would have banking privileges -- but that totally defeats the point as your hassle level goes from annoying to insane (filing US taxes, etc.)

    Your easiest path would be to have a trust-worthy friend/relative/business partner in the US receive your payments and forward them on as you desire. If you don't have someone like that whom you trust, well, good luck on all of the above :)

    Edit: Just as an FYI; I'm a US citizen who spends a large deal of time living in Mexico -- and keep my US bank accounts. For the most part, I have no problems and ATM withdrawal fees are much cheaper than the wire fees to Mexican banks and the exchange rate is also very good. Many issues can be resolved online/over the phone, but there are some major issues that can't resolved without going to a bank in person (on my trips back to the States.) You might keep that in mind.
     
    #2 MFS, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  3. Pogacha

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the advice.

    Yeah, I have a virtual account which works great, but the amount of money is more than what I can handle with ATM (I have employees to pay each month ;) ).

    I guess a trip to open the account was something that was going to be needed ... one visit to the states is something I can consider.

    I have read that some people had open their account as a conjunct account with someone else there (a familiar or someone they trust in) and then the other one leave the account leaving the account just for the one outside.

    Anyway I think I will forget about this for a time, my bank makes me go once in a while for little problems so I should expect this there as well.

    Also I'm now thinking that it would be really probably that for doing a wire there won't be an online banking way of doing it ... so my plan is almost dead.

    If someone has a successful story I would love to hear it.
     
  4. MFS

    MFS New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    0
    My local bank will allow you to set up 'transfer accounts' from external banks that you can make online transfers to, so I would assume the major banks would allow this as well. That is effectively 'wiring' money over the internet. I did have to fill out some paperwork in person for that, however.

    And yeah, I wouldn't suggest simply using an ATM to withdraw large sums of money, although you can get daily limits at $3000+ on premium accounts (whether local ATMs could handle this, I have no idea.) Anyway, I think it is probably going to be more hassle than what it's worth for you, unfortunately :( If you find some better solution I'd be happy to hear it!
     
  5. papillon

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    2,193
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a US citizen who lives abroad, it was possible though a bit of a headache to get a new account opened without being there in person. One bank I talked to had a procedure for it, but it involved reams of paperwork that I eventually decided not to deal with. ING Direct in the US turned out to be a lot less of a pain.

    However, this is as a citizen and passport holder. And on the flip side, I had one bank that wouldn't open an account for me even though I was there in person. You may have to shop around a bit to find someone who'll work with you.

    As for wires, it IS possible to do it online with some services. XE Trade will do international wires online without extra fees for supported banks/countries. It takes a number of verification steps for them to be reassured that you're not a money launderer but once your account is fully active it runs pretty smoothly.
     
  6. Pogacha

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will call a couple of banks and I will ask them what they think ...

    Thanks so much for the help :)
     
    #6 Pogacha, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer