This article answers the most frequently asked questions about the list of documents required for opening a personal account with a foreign financial institution.
Foreign financial institutions include banks, brokerage companies, payment systems, and other providers of payment and financial services.
The main document confirming the client’s identity is the valid passport or government-issued ID. If this document is executed in a language other than English or the language of the financial institution, you need to submit its scanned copy and a translated notarized copy.
The second document is the proof of your residence address. This can be a bank account statement indicating your full name and details of the utility bills. Ask your bank to issue it in English. This will save you some expenses and time associated with translation. You can also submit the latest utility bill in your name. Please note that most banks do not accept a copy of the passport page mentioning the client’s address as proof of one’s residence.
Please ensure the reliability and consistency of information mentioned in different documents. For example, the country of your residence mentioned by the bank in its transcript must be the country where you pay your taxes.
Major banks are particularly scrupulous about the application data accuracy. If you have several residence addresses (properties) in different countries, make sure that you provide the proof of the address in the country where you are a tax resident in the last reporting period, not where you were born or vacation occasionally. The bank/payment system needs to see that you reside and pay taxes in the same place. Otherwise, you will have to provide additional documents and answer extra questions. Who can afford this waste of time and money?
The third document is your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) issued in the country where you pay taxes as a natural person. Financial institutions will reject an application from a person with TIN and tax residency in different jurisdictions.
of personal bank accounts abroad for
persons depositing €5000+. Expert services
based on 7+ years of experience in banking.
of personal bank accounts abroad for persons depositing €5000+. Expert services based on 7+ years of experience in banking.
The fourth document is a financial statement or letter of recommendation from a financial institution in any country where you already have an active account.
The fifth document is some formal evidence of the legal origin of funds or assets and the relevant income tax paid. Such documents can be a tax declaration, a certificate of employment, a Board resolution on payment of dividends, real estate or property sale contracts, and other similar documents.
The above-mentioned list of documents for opening a foreign account. is standard yet not complete, as every financial institution maintains its own policy and requirements.
Some additional documents may include your CV featuring your achievements in education, work, business, academic activities, your personal qualities, etc. The bank may also accept a copy of your detailed LinkedIn profile.
The additional list of documents for opening a foreign account depends on the individual situation of each client. Likewise, every foreign financial institution sets its specific requirements for opening certain types of accounts. For example, the question whether to submit the notarized or the original copies needs to be checked with the bank or payment system.
Please note that all documents submitted for opening a personal account with a foreign organization need to be issued in English or have a notarized translation in English.
To sum up, you need to be aware of the specific requirements of your host financial institution. It is not enough to know the standard list of documents for opening a foreign account. You have to compile the right (most likely, extended) set of documents executed according to the rules. And only then you can expect success in your application for opening a foreign personal account.
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Free private expert sessions on the selection and set-up of your personal or corporate offshore/foreign bank accounts
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Please note that you can book an exceptional fee-based service that will save you time and money:
PRE-APPROVAL of your application for a non-resident account with a foreign financial institution.
This pre-approval service is fee-based, but can be offered to you for free if you book the account opening service available from our partner— the Offshore Pro Group company.
The pre-approval exercise is especially beneficial for clients who have already applied to foreign financial institutions but, for some reason, have been rejected. We will choose several banks to submit your documents to, just for their preliminary feedback. After their approval, you will be sure of their tentative interest in opening an account for you. This procedure allows you to open a personal account with a foreign financial institution without wasting time on dealing with uncooperative institutions. Under the proper professional guidance, you will succeed even in the most challenging cases.
If you would like us to help you, we will give you free advice on the collection and proper notarization of the necessary documents, impeccable filling out of the forms, and preparation for the interview with the foreign financial institutions.
Please send us your request for a free expert consultation. You can book it online, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us in messengers indicated at the top of this page.
We guarantee professionalism, speed, and confidentiality of your information shared with our experts during consultations.
How can I prove my residence address?
Foreign financial institutions request a utility bill with the name and surname of the applicant for opening a foreign account or a bank statement (with a breakdown of the relevant utility payments). You only need to make sure that these documents are not older than 3 months from the date of the application for opening an account.
To verify your identity, they request a copy of your passport.
Do I need to submit the proof of my income source?
It depends on the bank’s specific requirements for certain account holders. For example, if you would like to open an investment account for an amount exceeding the equivalent of $10,000, you will undoubtedly be asked to provide a document confirming the origin of this sum, such as a certificate from your place of work for the past year, a contract for the sale of real estate or property, a document of inheritance, etc.
In some cases, you may also be required to submit a copy of your tax return on your income.
But, in the case of opening current accounts with small deposits, these documents, as a rule, are not required.
Can I open a non-resident foreign bank account remotely?
Yes, absolutely. Today this method is quite common, though the practice of remote account opening with foreign banks was exceptional just a couple of years ago, Yet at the onset of the pandemic, many foreign banks have hastily introduced procedures allowing them to open accounts remotely – after detailed online interviews with clients.
However, this does not mean that foreign banks have eased the requirements of their compliance departments. Everything remains just as serious. You may be asked to submit an extended list of documents for opening a foreign account. All documents and data need to be executed in the right manner and thoroughly verified in advance.
Therefore, we recommend that you prepare your application thoroughly, in advance, and under supervision of our experienced advisors.