How a Non-US Citizen Can Open a Bank Account at Chase Bank

chase account for non-us citizens

Having an active bank account is an important step in making sure your finances are in order. Not only is the bank a safe place to keep your money, but it’s also great at allowing you to grab cash or deposit checks.

But opening and maintaining a bank account is not free and there are certain requirements that must be met. Can these requirements be met by non-US citizens?

In other words, can a non-US citizen open a bank account at Chase Bank? As a former banker at the blue behemoth of a bank, let me be the first to tell you yes. While it isn’t an easy process, and lots of paperwork is required, non-US citizens from most countries can open bank accounts at Chase Bank.

At Chase Bank, they place non-US citizens into two categories: US permanent residents, non-US citizens with a green card, and non-US permanent residents, non-US citizens without a green card.

How to Open a Bank Account at Chase Bank as a Non-US Citizen with a Green Card (Permanent Resident)

usa permanent resident

Anyone who wants to open an account at Chase Bank needs two forms of identification: a primary, and a secondary. At least one of those ID’s also needs your current address, or at least the address you plan on giving to the banker opening your account. 

Applicable Primary Forms of ID

To keep it simple, I’ll go ahead and give a list of each and every applicable primary ID a non-US citizen permanent resident can bring into Chase.

Birth Certificate (minors only)

As an ex-banker for Chase, this isn’t an ID I ran into too often. The most common account holders I helped were at least in their 20’s, so they weren’t allowed to use this form of ID. But, if you are a minor and have your birth certificate from your country of birth, this may be a good option for you.

US Driver’s License with a Photo

This is easily the most common form of ID any banker, myself included, will ever see. According to statista.com, over 228 million people had US driver’s licenses in 2020. The website shows a huge spike in new drivers around 2013, which is exactly when non-US citizens were allowed to apply for driver’s licenses. 

Nowadays, you don’t need to be a US citizen to get a driver’s license. In some states, you don’t even need to prove you’re a resident! For these reasons, driver’s licenses are some of the most common forms of ID you can bring into Chase.

Plus if it has your current address, you’ll be knocking out two requirements with one form of ID! Two birds, one stone.

Passport with a Photo

Bringing in a passport with a photo is another common form of ID.

Most non-US citizens use their passport to either return to their home countries or make their way to America, and it can also be used as a primary form of ID.

I’ve even seen some Mexican passports with US addresses on them, again knocking out two birds with one stone! 

If you do choose to bring in your passport as a form of primary ID, make sure it has a photo of you as well. If it doesn’t, your Chase banker may have to turn you away, or ask for another ID instead.

Permanent Resident Card with Photo (also known as the Green Card or Resident Alien)

If you’re a Permanent Resident of the United States, chances are you have this card.

It’s quite literally a green card, about the size of a credit card, that says “Permanent Resident” right up top.

The card should have the non-US citizen’s name, photo, and an expiration date. As always, make sure your Permanent Resident card isn’t expired before bringing it in. 

Social Security Card (minors, seniors, or disabled non-US citizens)

This is another form of primary ID I didn’t see too often during my time at Chase. If I did, it was usually as a secondary piece of ID.

Nonetheless, if you’re a minor, senior, or if you’re disabled, this is an applicable form of primary ID that will help you open a bank account at Chase Bank.

State Issued ID w/ photo

These cards are usually identical to the driver’s license from the same state. The key difference is up top, where it says “State Issued ID” instead of “Driver’s License”.

You probably have this ID if you need a form of identification but don’t want to drive or don’t want to take the time to take the driver’s test.

More often than not, state issued ID’s have the cardholders current address on there! A benefit for bankers and customers alike. 

Tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs with Photo

In the interest of being transparent, I only saw a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) card once in my years at Chase.

It isn’t common, but it is a valid form of primary ID for non-US citizens who are Permanent Residents.

The BIA serves 574 different federally recognized tribes, so maybe I was just in the wrong area! If you have this card, feel free to bring it in as a primary ID. 

US Employment Authorization Card with Photo

This card is identical to a Green Card, except it isn’t green (or for permanent residents, for that matter).

It has some of the same features as a green card, including the cardholder’s name, date of birth, country of birth, and its own expiration date.

I saw this card pretty frequently both behind the teller line and when opening checking accounts.

US Military or Veterans ID with a Photo

Not only will a military ID count as an applicable form of primary ID, it will also get you into Chase’s military account!

Chase offers their second tier checking account, the Premier Plus Checking, to any active or former member of the military free of charge. It’s a great account too, coming with free checks and waived ATM fees. It’s also the account they give to employees.

Applicable Secondary Forms of ID

secondary forms of id

As I mentioned above Chase requires two forms of ID from each of their customers, including non-US citizens. The list of secondary IDs you can bring in is extensive, let’s go over it below:

Additional Primary IDs

This is exactly what it sounds like.

While there is a list of secondary only IDs, feel free to bring in any two pieces of primary ID to open an account at Chase. Just make sure your current address is on at least one of them.

Bank Statement Less Than 60 Days Old

If you already have an account at another bank, feel free to bring in your recent statement as a secondary form of ID.

All federally regulated banks have to follow the same rules, so Chase knows if you were able to open an account somewhere else, you qualify to open an account with them.

Just make sure your statement is less than 60 days old, Chase won’t accept anything past it.

Trust me, as a banker nothing felt worse than turning someone away because their statement was a week or two older than what we’d accept. 

DS-2019

The DS-2019, otherwise known as the J-1 Visa, is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States specifically related to education.

The US issues it to professors, scholars, and exchange visitors coming to the United States to promote cultural exchange. They most often give this visa to students studying for either medical or business purposes within the States.

This wasn’t a super common ID I ever saw, but if you have one, it’s acceptable! 

Employer ID with Photo

If you work somewhere where they issue work badges or work IDs, they can be acceptable for secondary identification.

Most hospitals issue their employees work badges with a photo.

Sadly, Chase Bank won’t just accept any old employer ID.

It must have your name and photo along with the name of the company you work for/who issued it. I had to turn away many customers simply because their work badges didn’t have their pictures on it.

Employer Pay Stub or Pay Check or Letter with Your Name and Address

This is the most common secondary form of ID I saw opening accounts for non-US citizen Permanent Residents.

It has been some time since I’ve worked for the big blue bank, but if I remember correctly, this form of ID has to be less than 60 days old as well.

As it says, you can either bring in your check, the stub it was attached to, or a custom letter from your employer with your name and address on it, stating you are currently employed under them. If you bring in a check, you can use it for your initial deposit as well!

Foreign National ID

If you have a nationally issued ID from your country of birth, Chase will accept it as a secondary form of ID.

Believe it or not, the most common foreign national ID I saw was from Cuba, and that was when I was working in Colorado!

That was after the embargo on the island country ended, and to my knowledge Chase is not allowed to use certain foreign national IDs from countries the United States has sanctions against.

If you’re unsure if your country is being sanctioned by the US, call your local branch before heading in.

Matricula Consular Card

The Matricula Consular card is another extremely common form of secondary ID.

It’s an ID card issued by the government of Mexico to its citizens residing outside of its borders, in the United States.

The Mexican consulate has issued this card since as early as 1871 and it’s more popular now than ever. 

Other US or State Issued ID with or without Photo

As this is a secondary form of ID, the photo element isn’t necessary.

Chase Bank requires the primary ID to have a photo instead.

If you used a driver’s license as a primary form of ID, you can use any other US or State issued ID as your secondary form.

Social Security Card

While you can only use your Social Security Card as a primary form of ID if you’re a minor, senior, or if you’re disabled, anyone can bring their Social Security Card as a secondary form of ID.

I always liked when people brought in their Socials because Chase requires bankers to input their customer’s Social Security number or ITIN into the system before account opening. 

Student ID with Photo

This form of ID is exactly what it sounds like, if you’re a student studying in the United States, Chase will accept your ID from the school you’re attending. Just make sure it has your photo on it.

Also, if I remember correctly, the student ID must be for the current school year. For example, the only student IDs Chase will accept at the time of writing are IDs for the 2022-23 school year. This form of ID will work for high school as well as college.

Student INS I-20 or ICE I-20

Full transparency: I had never seen this form during my years at Chase. But, I know they’ll accept it!

The form has many names: Student INS I-20, ICE I-20, and finally the Certificate of Eligibility For Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status For Academic and Language Students (what a mouthful!).

No matter what you refer to it as, Chase Bank will accept it as a secondary form of ID for non-US citizen Permanent Residents. 

Utility Bill with Name and Address, less than 60 Days Old

Finally, the last form of secondary ID I’ll be covering for non-US citizen Permanent Residents.

From my memory, Chase only accepts certain utility companies: cable, electric, garbage and sewer, and internet utilities.

If you’re unsure if your utility bill will be accepted, call your local branch before heading in.

Also, make sure the bill has your name, current address (the same address your banker will put in the system), and is less than 60 days old. 

How to Open a Bank Account at Chase Bank as a Non-US Citizen without a Green Card (Non-Permanent Resident)

foreign passport

Like I said earlier, Chase has two separate lists of acceptable IDs for non-US citizens, dividing the group into Permanent Residents and Non-Permanent Residents.

Primary Forms of ID

Luckily, while the categories between primary and secondary may be different, the IDs themselves are not. I’ll be going over the three primary forms of ID you can bring in to Chase Bank as a non-US citizen non-Permanent Resident:

Matricula Consular Card

For non-US citizen non-Permanent Residents, this was the most common primary ID I saw during my time at Chase Bank.

Most of the customers I helped were from Mexico, so it makes sense the Matricula is the most popular.

Matricula Consular cards will have a photo of the cardholder, their name, and usually an American address. It also has an expiration date, so make sure your Matricula Consular card is still valid before heading into the bank.

Passport with Photo

Passports aren’t just for getting into the US, they can also be used to open bank accounts!

So long as your passport has your picture, bankers at Chase will be able to use it for your primary form of ID. If it has your current US address, even better!

US Employment Authorization Card with Photo

Another re-entry on our list, if you’re a non-US citizen non-Permanent Resident, the US Employment Authorization Card can be an acceptable form of primary ID.

Make sure it has your wonderful photo and that it hasn’t expired before heading into the branch. 

Secondary Forms of ID

Chase Bank accepts the exact same forms of secondary ID for non-Permanent Residents as they do for Permanent Residents with two exceptions: the Matricula Consular card and Social Security card.

If you’re using your Matricula Card as a primary form of ID, you obviously can’t use it as a secondary. If you have a matricula card, Chase actually requires it to be your primary form, regardless if you have another. 

Other than those two forms, you can check the other secondary list above and use any of those forms of ID to open an account at Chase Bank.

Can a Non-US Citizen from an OFAC Sanctioned Country Open a Bank Account at Chase Bank?

As I alluded to earlier, not every non-US citizen can open a bank account at Chase Bank. There is a list of countries sanctioned by OFAC, the Office of Foreign Asset Control, that Chase Bank cannot do business with. Citizens from those countries also have a harder time opening accounts at the blue bank, if they can open them at all. 

OFAC not only monitors and sanctions foreign countries, but they also keep lists of important individuals. They have two lists, one for Blocked Persons and another for what they call SDNs, or Specially Designated Nationals. If you’re on one of their lists, Chase Bank will most likely not be able to open an account for you. 

The list of countries OFAC has sanctions against is numerous:

  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Russia
  • Syria
  • Certain Russian-Controlled areas of the Ukraine

Those are the most highly sanctioned countries OFAC is monitoring. You will most likely be declined from opening a bank account with Chase Bank if you’re a citizen of one of these countries. 

The Bottom Line

Most non-US Citizens can open bank accounts at Chase Bank, if they have the right information with them. If you’re unsure if you have the right IDs with you, check our list again, call your local branch, or check out Chase’s list online. 

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