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F1 student and bank account

F1 student and bank account

Old Jul 21st 2016, 3:47 am
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Default F1 student and bank account

How does an f1 student open a us bank account...no credit history..little money and no ssn?? I need to know how his mother (uk) or myself (usa) can get funds to him..thx
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Old Jul 21st 2016, 4:39 am
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Default Re: F1 student and bank account

The easiest way to fund a student is with a re-loadable debit card. These are available in VISA, MasterCard or Amex flavours and, if you have the number, you can easily add funds without the end user needing a bank account.

Details should be available at any bank or even at the customer service desk at Walmart!
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Old Jul 21st 2016, 3:36 pm
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Default Re: F1 student and bank account

The requirements vary by bank. In some, a passport with the F1 visa may be enough. Shop around; sometimes smaller community banks have looser rules:

Online Manual - BSA InfoBase - FFIEC
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Old Jul 21st 2016, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: F1 student and bank account

Originally Posted by jxv73 View Post
The requirements vary by bank. In some, a passport with the F1 visa may be enough. ....
The requirements are set down in the USA PATRIOT Act and are the same for all banks. Although some banks might operate their own additional restrictions, personally I believe a more likely explanation is that branch staff are unfamiliar with the rules and therefore turn potential customers away.

The requirements are proof of (i) name, (ii) address, (iii) date of birth, and (iv) a government-issued ID number. .... It is a common mistaken belief that (iv) means an SSN, but it doesn't, and a passport number is sufficient for most banks, and in fact if the first bank employee trys to turn you away, ask to speak to the superviser or manager, and mention the USA PATRIOT Act and quote the start of this paragraph at them, and you may find they change their tune.

The proof of address can be as simple as mailing yourself a post card (malarky with the USPS is a serious matter, so anything addressed to you and received through the mail, is often treated as proof of address in the US), or registering for a library card.

Wells Fargo has commonly been recommended on BE as a bank that understands the needs of recent immigrants and those on various classes of non-immigrant visa.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 21st 2016 at 4:10 pm.
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Old Jul 21st 2016, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: F1 student and bank account

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Although some banks might operate their own additional restrictions
This is what I meant to say.
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Old Jul 21st 2016, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: F1 student and bank account

Generally speaking, going into the branch and talking to a human is the way to go rather than trying to do it online. They can over ride things like credit checks, put in non-standard information etc.
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Old Jul 21st 2016, 5:42 pm
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Default Re: F1 student and bank account

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Generally speaking, going into the branch and talking to a human is the way to go rather than trying to do it online. They can over ride things like credit checks, put in non-standard information etc.
Agreed 100%.

If you try to do it on line the SSN is essential, and the bank can then use the SSN to access data files similar to, but separate from, credit records to verify your identifying data for accuracy and consistency.

However, when you go into a branch they can look at your identifying documents that don't fit the standard approach indexed against an SSN.
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Old Jul 22nd 2016, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: F1 student and bank account

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
... Wells Fargo has commonly been recommended on BE as a bank that understands the needs of recent immigrants and those on various classes of non-immigrant visa.
In my experience, Chase is also very good with immigrants/non-immigrants, and I was able to get a bank account set up without an SSN.
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Old Jul 22nd 2016, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: F1 student and bank account

I did the same thing with Bank of America and also with PNC Bank.

PNC was actually while I was here as an exchange student. They had a little branch on campus, so they knew how to deal with all the students without SSN.

Bank of America was close to my then employer, since they have a lot of employees coming over on E-Visa, this particular branch also had an employee, who took on the international customers (I still remember her name, Gretchen ).

In general, branches of any banks around campuses with international students or companies with a large base of visa-employees should have at least one employee who knows how to work the system.
(In the town where I work right now even the DMV is very, very well informed about the requirements/rights for visa holders in regards to driver's license or state ID, just too many internationals around here )
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