What you need will vary by country and the type of account you are opening. However, some standard requirements include:
• Photo ID
• Proof of address
• Social security number, national identity card or similar
• Initial deposit to lodge into your account
You may also be asked for a phone number and possibly your email address.
To avail of an expat specific account, in addition to the items listed above, you may also need:
• Deposit: some accounts have a minimum deposit requirement
• Salary: you may only be eligible to open some expat bank accounts if your annual salary is in excess of a certain amount
1. Do your research:
Research the banks in your local market. Even those operating in the same country can vary in terms of:
• monthly fees
• ATM fees
• minimum balances
• interest rates
• availability of online banking
Research options using comparison tools, if they are available. It is also worth asking other expats in your company for advice on which bank account might be most suitable.
2. Know the criteria:
If you want to open an expat bank account, ensure you meet the criteria. If you don’t, it might be worth asking the bank if there is anything that might work as an alternative for you.
3. Know which countries the bank operates in:
If you want an offshore or expat account because you are likely to be moving to several countries over a period of time, it is worth checking that the bank provides services in each country. If you open a local account, ensure you can access your accounts if you return home on holiday.