Can I open a bank account if I am an immigrant in the United States?

You may not believe it, but if you have doubts about the possibility of opening a bank account as an immigrant in the United States, then pay attention to what you must do to achieve this important objective.

Some banks or cooperatives can open a savings or checking account for you even if you do not have US citizenship. But it is also true that others may reserve the right to deny the application if they consider that the information provided is not sufficient to verify the identity of the client.

After the attacks of September 11 in 2001, many banking institutions have developed more rigorous measures to evaluate and approve bank accounts in the country, however do not give up on your wishes. If you have documents that can prove your residence and identity, you can easily open an account. The information that banks and other organizations require to open a savings or checking account is the same.

The documents that banking institutions need are:

Name and date of birth

To verify your date of birth and name you will need to provide a valid government identification card such as: driver’s license or municipal ID ( IDNYC, Chicago City Key or LA City ID ). Other documents that you can present are: residence permit, passport or birth certificate. You must present at least two identification documents.


To open a bank account you will also need to have proof of your residential address. Some documents you can use are:

  • Electricity, water or telephone bills (which are in your name)
  • Driver’s license
  • ID municipal (IDNYC, Chicago City Key o LA City ID).
  • Rental agreement

Identification number

The documents that you can use to verify the identification number are:

  • Taxpayer Identification Number ( ITIN )
  • Social Security

Some banks and cooperatives may require other types of evidence to verify your identity and complete the application.

Banks you can apply to open a bank account

Amalgamated Bank and PNC Bank allow you to open a bank account without a social security number. With Amalgamated Bank you would only have to provide your ITIN and passport.

When you open a checking account with Chase you could get up to $200 dollars, if you add direct deposit to the account. The minimum to open the account is $25 dollars. If you maintain a balance of $1,500 dollars, you would not have to pay monthly fees.