Can Undocumented Immigrants Own A Bank Account In More Than One Country?


Over the past decades, there has been unending debates over account opening by undocumented immigrants. Back then, many people believed that immigrants cannot own bank accounts for many reasons including lack of identification numbers. However, there have been amendments on immigration laws, and if you are an undocumented immigrant, you can comfortably own a bank account in different countries.

According to immigration and Banks for Salefinancial experts, undocumented immigrants are financially active in the US. They also play a significant role in making up the rich fabric of the US. Immigrants send a lot of remittances to their loved ones in their home countries, where they also have bank accounts.

Financial Rights

All immigrants have their own financial rights. They can have access to a formal and reputed financial system. Therefore, if you lack an immigration status, this doesn’t deter you from;

  • Owning a bank account.
  • Obtaining a credit.
  • Starting a business.
  • Operating an account in your home country or where you operate your business.

At present, undocumented immigrants can easily access different bank accounts and credit unions. This means that you can have an account with a financial institution of choice. There are different forms of identifications that banks consider including

  • A consular identification card.
  • An attainable IDNYC card.
  • Unexpired passport.

Even with prevailing political temperatures, you can be sure that your money will be safe in your bank. In the event where you are deported, you will not lose your money, and you can access it from your home country. Remember, banks and other financial institutions insure money as per federal regulations. Therefore, the money in your account will remain safe.

What you need to open an account if you are undocumented

There are different documents you will need to open an account regardless of your immigration status. They include;

  • Unexpired passport.
  • Government-issued driver’s license as well as a foreign license.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Consular ID.

There are also cities including Milwaukee, New York, and Greater Chicago among others that issue municipal ID cards to help undocumented immigrants open a bank account.

A financial institution may also ask for your address as part of the proof that you live in the state. In this light, you can always use a current driver’s license, municipal ID, or a utility bill to meet this requirement.

Financial institutions to Consider

There are many banks you can consider as an undocumented immigrant. They include mainstream banks such as; Chase Bank, TD Bank and Bank of America. These banks require two pieces of identification that you live in the country, and you can use a valid U.S street address or an individual taxpayer identification number. Most importantly, you will be expected to open the bank in person.

Additionally, you can consider Latino credit onions. Such institutions have gone an extra mile to ensure the process of owning bank accounts in different countries is smoother for undocumented immigrants. The institution accepts:

  • A valid Individual Tax Identification Number.
  • Proof of current address.
  • Government issued ID from any country.

There are also self-help federal credit unions that have branches in different states including Florida, California, Milwaukee and Greater Chicago area that allows you to own an account. Such institutions require a;

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Residency card.
  • Matricula consular.
  • A passport.
  • An ITIN as it is particularly important in opening an interest-earning account.

Such financial institutions have the undocumented community in mind. However, it is imperative to note that identification requirements vary from bank to bank, and from one credit union to the other. In this light, it is your duty to find out what documents are needed by the bank you wish to have an account with. This will make the whole processing of getting an account easier.

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