I need a non-US bank that a US citizen can open online, as a non-resident, and without visiting the country

Awesome! Can I do it online as well? Do you have a link or bank recommendation?

I need some information.i can help you that

But I need some information as well

Thank you

Hello… when you say “this option is the winner” which option did you choose? Thank you!

Unfortunately, none of the options here work for something online for a US American, so I’m still searching. An open to other ideas you may discover though!

Are you just trying to have an offshore account or do you need one for GV?

Why do you say that? I went through all of the paperwork and they accepted my application just fine. They rejected me because I said I wasn’t offshore yet, but being a US citizen wasn’t a problem at all.

I’m just looking for something offshore—to the US and to the country of my residence. A fallback in case the US and my country of residence take their conflicts out financially or if one bank gets sanctioned by the other country. Would like a third option, but it has to be online without a residency requirement. Any ideas?

That’s good news, I might have missed something. What bank was it? And when they rejected you because you weren’t offshore yet, do you mean you were in there country yet? That may be why it didn’t work for me—I can’t travel currently during COVID to visit another country, so I have to be able to open it 100% online

jb4422 was talking of HSBC Expat, but at Open An Account | International Banking - HSBC Expat they don’t mention the need of being an expat; in fact, the range of permitted countries of residence is pretty wide:
Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey (including Alderney and Sark), Hong Kong SAR, India, Isle of Man, Israel, Japan, Jersey, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macau SAR, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (British).

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Anyway, I’m not sure that you may shield yourself from doomsday scenarios (such as the cutoff from the SWIFT network) by relying on large international banks, which are subject to pressures from major governments (look at the FATCA and CRS requirements). On the other hand, small banks in rogue-ish countries may disappear or at least freeze your account and you won’t have much recourse on that. If you are really concerned, I’d rather suggest you to divide your assets in two parts, one located in your country of residence and one in your country of origin. And also keep with you a small amount of physical gold (a few krugerrands or similar coins) that you may always sell to pay for food, emergency travel etc.

HSBC expat wants you to be an expat, e.g. you are not a resident in your country of citizenship. That’s just the customer profile they want for that bank. Why? Who knows.

you do have to send them physical paper. they do not ask you to travel to them.

Thanks for both your posts. HSBC might be a good option for later, though I was looking for something with lower balance requirements as a “just in case.” But your other advice is excellent–I’ve kept a fair amount of cash in my country of residence to give me a buffer in case things go bad, but I hadn’t considered gold. That’s a good suggestion. Thanks!

Anyway, remember that physical gold has its costs: apart from the safe custody, there is a spread of a few percent between buying and selling retail prices, which is obviously larger if the sale is made under distress (and smaller if the gold is held in custody by a trusted third party, thus reducing the risk of fakery for the buyer). Still, it may be a lifesaver in emergency situations: a friend of mine told me that during WWII his father managed to escape to safety from a Nazi-occupied Sarajevo thanks to gold coins he kept in a belt wallet.

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Yeah, I’m sorry, but “lower balance requirements” is probably not going to happen. HSBC Expat is probably the lowest I’ve seen - they seemed fine with 10-20k IIRC. The problem is that you are a cost and a bother, you need to be worth it. DeFi and disintermediation only goes so far; you’ll note that how it’s being done so far is still leaning very hard on existing mechanisms to avoid regulatory as far as it can (ex. TW still ties you to your home jurisdiction) because the cost of hopping regulatory boundaries is really high… but what you want is that explicit break of regulatory (you want to hop jurisdictions). No one is going to do that for free. Breathe hard and pay up.

I’d never thought of it in those terms, but that makes a lot of sense of why there are higher balance requirements for what I’m trying to do than just a local bank. Total sense. Thanks for that explainer

Another update… not so much fun!

To good news, our contact received the documents, did his processing and has passed them to Accounting… so the process of opening the account seems to be going well.

We did check with the consulate, there is no minimum balance needed in the account.

Now to the stressful news. If you remember, we had until Friday the 26th to provide the bank account information to the consulate. WELL… :open_mouth: The winter storm in the mid US delayed our paperwork by 5 business days. We shipped them on Thursday, they were expected to arrive on Monday and the account easily opened by the end of the week. :-)… Instead, the package was held up and didn’t move for 4 days! :frowning: It finally arrived on Thursday morning! :frowning: The bank was just not able to process the account in 2 days - which is reasonable - though our contact was very helpful!

SO… the consulate contact requested a letter explaining the circumstance… we wrote it and submitted it.

It is now up to the consulate if they will grant the Visa or have us start over. We are expecting an answer from the consulate in the next few days… I am not optimisitc… I will update everyone when we hear.

Thanks to everyone here who has helped on the account! You guys are awesome!

Update… It is confirmed! Our bank account is open with Millennium in Portugal. :slight_smile:

Although the consulate did not require a deposit, the bank requested that we deposit 500 euro.

General process

  1. Acquire NIF - We used “All Finance Matters”

  2. Provide to the bank
    a)copy of Passports w/signature page
    b)Proof of Address (Tax bill, utility bill, etc.)
    c)NIF Document
    d)SSN (they call TIN)
    e)Proof of profession (check stub)
    f)Marriage status & number of children
    g)Phone numbers

  3. The bank provides application forms. Fill them out :smiley:
    Your signature must be Notarized and then the documents must be “hague apostilled” - in GA, we sent them to the State Clerk in Atlanta. It was a small fee. (Note, if you look for a private Apostille, they are expensive). We assume this is available in every state. You will need to Google it.

  4. The official documents are returned to the bank in Portugal - we used DHL - Fedex would work as well.

  5. The bank took about 5 business days to open the account.

  6. We funded the account online through World Remit support - they have 3 free transfers.

Best of luck to anyone going down this path and thanks for your help above!!! I hope this reply makes the process clear! :slight_smile:


Hi Richard, would you mind sharing the contact details for Millennium bcp, please? (It says ‘cannot send a pm to this user’) Many thanks, Lana