U.S. banks may open bank accounts for non-U.S. citizens without a Social Security number by having the customer fill out a form W-8BEN and copying two forms of identification. There are three banks that will open an account without a Social Security number. They are:
- Bank of America - closest branch - 803 Lake Bradford Rd (close to the stadium)
- SunTrust Bank- closest branch - in the FSU Card Center (#70 on campus map)
- The Suntrust account requires that you have an FSU Card first. Paid employees who are not also admitted FSU students will not be able to obtain the FSU Card until their payroll appointment has been processed.
- Wells Fargo - closest branch - 1701 West Tharpe Street (on Garnet and Torch campus bus routes)
Other banks generally have an identity policy that requires a U.S. federally issued Social Security number or ITIN.
- Do not use any FSU-assigned identification number in place of an SSN to open a bank account, as this can be considered fraud.
- Students should wait to open a bank account until they have a permanent address, as the bank will send a debit card and PIN to the address used at the time of application.
- Banks require two forms of identification for opening the account, such as an FSU Card and passport or home country driver’s license and credit card.
- Checks deposited at the time of opening the account may be held for 5-7 days, meaning funds will not be available for that time.
- Students are not required to have a Suntrust account attached to their FSU Card, but may avoid some transaction costs when paying tuition and fees with a Suntrust account. Paying by check, drawn on any U.S. bank, also avoids these fees.
- Money can be wire-transferred from a bank abroad, but the home country bank will need the U.S. bank’s SWIFT code to conduct the transfer. This code is usually provided when an account is opened or it will be available on the U.S. bank’s website. Both banks usually charge fees for wire transfers.
- ATM’s may be used to withdraw money from a bank account in one’s home country. There are daily limits on the amount that may be withdrawn, and the PIN associated with the debit or credit card will be required. Both banks usually charge a fee for the withdrawal, unless both banks are part of the same ATM network.
- Credit and debit cards from a bank abroad that contain a VISA or Mastercard logo can usually be used to make purchases in the U.S. The bank or credit issuer will need to be alerted that transactions will be made in the U.S. and in which specific states of the U.S. in order to avoid the purchase being blocked for suspected fraudulent use. Transaction fees may apply.
- Safeguard all bank and credit card information in order to avoid identity theft and scams. No government agency, university office or employee, bank, or credit issuer will ask you to provide or verify your account numbers, PIN, or identifying information by email or phone. For more ways avoid scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission website.
- More information about banking can be found in the government’s Consumer Action Handbook.