OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT IN NYC
Retail banks in New York City fall into two categories; the larger full service banks and the smaller regional banks. The larger banks tend to cater to those with more complex financial needs; in addition to checking and savings accounts they offer brokerage accounts, mortgages, wealth management, etc. The smaller regional banks cater to people whose financial dealings involve basic checking, savings, and brokerage. They usually offer no-fee checking and expanded hours.
To open an account you will need to go to a branch office, bringing with you proof of address in the states, at least two (2) forms of identification, and sufficient means to fund the account. One piece of identification must have your picture and signature on it. Acceptable forms of identification include:
How you prove your address in the US will depend on whether or not you have found permanent housing. If you are in temporary housing, you must bring some sort of documentation attesting to that fact. This documentation could be a letter from your company verifying that you are being provided temporary housing. If you have secured permanent housing, the best proof of addresses are as follows, provided that they have your name and new address on them:
It is not necessary, though strongly advised, to have your social security number before opening an account. Once you have funded your new account, the bank will issue a temporary ATM/debit card, usually the same day. The bank will mail your permanent card about a week after the account is opened. Most banks offer credit cards as well, but allow for the application process to take about a month.
Though there are many different banks in New York City, the documentation they all require to open an account is fairly similar. If you gather everything listed above, you should have no trouble opening an account at the bank of your choosing.
The banks listed below are the ones we are most familiar with but by no means exclusively endorse. There are other banks around town and we encourage our customers to shop around to find the institution that best fits their needs.