If you are not a United States citizen but you need to open a U.S. bank account, there are ways you can do that. Banking for non-citizens offers the same benefits of a bank account that citizens have:
• the security of knowing your money is safe and protected by federal insurance
• lower fees for financial transactions compared to a check cashing company or a debit card
• the convenience of a checking or savings account
• build a credit history
• earn interest on money in your savings account
To open a bank account in Illinois, newcomers need to have certain documents to prove who they are and to make sure no one else can access their bank account. The U.S. Patriot Act requires banks to verify the information people use to open a bank account in order to prevent criminal activity.
1. Proof of Identification
Identification can include documents with your photo such as a passport or a foreign driver’s license, a birth certificate
2. Proof of Residence
Documents that prove your place of residence can include a utility bill, mail from the government with your name and address on it, a tax return, a payroll stub, your apartment lease and other documents that list your name and address
3. Social Security Number or ITIN Number
You will need to provide a copy of your Social Security Number. If you are an undocumented immigrant, you can provide your individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN (taxpayer identification number) and taxpayer ID.
4. Money To Deposit
Depending on the bank, there may be a minimum deposit requirement. This could be as little as $25 or as much as $100, depending on which bank you want to open your account at.
Banking for non-citizens is a bit more complicated than opening a bank account is for citizens. Establishing a bank account is an important step for newcomers to America to protect your money and build your credit history. Non-citizens and undocumented immigrants can qualify to open a bank account in Illinois if they have the required documentation and the minimum deposit.
United States immigration laws can be extraordinarily complicated. The attorneys at Chicago’s Godoy Law Office fight for the rights of immigrants in Illinois and help immigrants navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and regulations. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 630-912-0322.