I worked in the US for 4 month as an exchange student in 2017 and just received my State Tax Return as a check. Since I live in Romania, cashing a US check is complicated, taking up to 45 days because the bank has to send the check back to the US to verify it.

Is there another method to cash a US check as a foreigner?

My roommate still has his Wells Fargo account active, even though he doesn't live in the US anymore. I thought about cashing the check in his account, as a third party one. But, after further research, I found that Wells Fargo has pretty strict rules regarding third party checks, even more strict when it comes to my only available deposit option, the mobile one.

I tried using PayPal, but I cannot see the Cash a Check option in the app, probably because of the region I'm accessing it. The same for Ingo Money - the app is not availble in my region. I tried side-loading it, but it won't connect to the network for the same reason - the region.

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    Unless your bank is particularly good, you're also likely to get hit with various fees and a pretty bad exchange rate... I'm not aware of a good solution if you don't have a US account and are not planning on visiting the US any time soon. :-/ – David Jun 20 '18 at 14:20
  • A US Treasury check (Federal income tax refund) cannot be cashed; it must be deposited into a US bank account in the name of the payee(s) and not to a third party. A State income tax refund check might not have the same restrictions but is likely to have some restrictions. – Dilip Sarwate Jun 20 '18 at 16:20
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    @DilipSarwate: can you give support for that? Most Federal refunds (last I looked about 90%) are paid by electronic transfer (ACH) and those are supposed to be to an account in taxpayer name though apparently they aren't fully successful in enforcing that. However the last time I got a paper check, admittedly 7 years ago, it said 'Pay to the order of [my name]' just like other checks, which should allow me to endorse it over if I wanted to (which I didn't). – dave_thompson_085 Jun 21 '18 at 3:00
  • @dave_thompson_085 You can endorse a paper US Treasury check to whomsoever you want but the recipient's bank will refuse to accept the check for deposit. "But, what if the person uses mobile deposit?" you say. well, just let the person try; it is likely to be bounced back when someone looks at the transaction, or the Treasury refuses to pay it. – Dilip Sarwate Jun 21 '18 at 15:15
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    @Jay+ I read it the same. And in addition to Walmart, pocketsense.com/cash-tax-refund-bank-account-6483854.html suggests Kroger and check cashing stores. 'Kroger' seems to actually be a subsidiary moneyservices.com/about-money-services and the check-cashing page lists Types of Checks We Can Cash which includes Income Tax Refund checks. The check-cashing stores are bottom-feeders and I won't go through their websites, but I'm quite sure if they were getting stiffed by Treasury they would stop fast. – dave_thompson_085 Jun 24 '18 at 6:35

I tried using the advice provided in the comments, but ended up cashing it through someone's Bank of America account. Curiously, it didn't need an extra endorsement except my signature.

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