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Opening a Bank Account


Most international students open a bank account when they arrive in the U.S. When choosing a bank, consider convenience and whether or not the bank has a student account option. To open a bank account, you will need your passport, student ID and a proof of enrollment at Centre College provided by the Registrar. We will help you open a bank account during your first days at Centre.

When you open an account, the bank will likely ask you for your passport, I-20, and Social Security Number (SSN). If you do not have an SSN, you can tell the bank that international students are not allowed to have SSNs unless they are employed. If the bank refuses to open an account for you, ISSS can write a letter for you to give to the bank. It is not safe to carry large amounts of cash with you. When first coming to the U.S., it is safest to bring your money in the form of traveler’s checks. If you deposit checks or traveler’s
checks into your account, the money can take up to three weeks to be cleared for withdrawal. Once you have opened a U.S. bank account, your parents can deposit money into this account from overseas by wire transfer.

When opening your account, be sure to ask the bank official to give you the necessary information your parents would need in order to make such a transfer. 

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