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I am a mozambican citizen and would like to know whether I can open a bank account in the USA. I don't live in the US but am planning to buy a house and put it on rent. What requirements should I meet in order to do so?

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Yes, you can. You need to come to the bank with 2 different types of ID (one of them will be your passport, some banks accept an existing credit/debit card as a second ID) and fill the form W8-BEN.

If you're going to have a property manager company managing the house for you, they'll similarly need your id information and form W8-ECI.

Check if there's a tax treaty with your country, and if there is - if there are provisions relevant for you and your future income. If so - specify the article, section and the specific terms on the W8 forms.

Make sure not to sign on a form W9 (if by mistake it is given to you by an ignorant bank employee or realtor).

W8 forms require you to have a tax ID. If you don't have a US SSN and is not eligible for one - you can apply for a tax id (called ITIN) with the IRS, using form W7.

  • Dear Sir/Madam, what is the advantage of apply for a tax id, because in the next few years i am planing to move. – cinita Jan 13 '13 at 13:21
  • can you elaborate what W9 is or why it is important to not sign it? – Swizzler Jun 4 '17 at 10:34
  • The Tax ID number is because interest and capital gains may be subject to USA tax, regardless of citizenship or residence. The W9 is simply the wrong form for someone who is neither a citizen nor a resident. – Andrew Lazarus Jan 21 '18 at 4:52

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