We become obese in the USA: what to carry to the bank and how to make certificates
Anyone who comes to the United States can - and even needs to - do a few basic documents: get bank cards, social security number, and American ID. These procedures are often confusing and intimidating to newbies. Many people do not even know that even a person who came on a tourist visa can get a credit card and identity card of a city or state resident.
The minimum set of documents available to non-residents makes it possible to feel at home in a new country, having the rights and responsibilities of “real” Americans.
ForumDaily researched how to arrange everything with a minimum investment of time and nerves. We also collected useful advice and experience of real people who, for example, made a credit history for themselves from almost nothing.
Open accounts and bank cards
- Duration: up to 2 weeks;
- Cost: almost free;
- Where: in any branch of a large bank with an extensive network, for example, Citibank, Chase, Bank of America, TD Bank, CapitalOne;
- What gives: the right to send and / or receive money, pay for purchases and not carry cash with you, and make purchases on the Internet.
1. Foreign passport (the type of visa does not matter).
2. $ 25-30, which must be immediately deposited into the account.
3. A document confirming the address of residence and your ability to pay. It should be understood that there is no clear list of documents that correspond to the last item. You just need something to convince the bank that they can do business with you. For example:
- gas bill. The invoice must include your name and address;
- apartment / room rental contract (Lease agreement). In practice, most often such a document is drawn up if the landlord rents the entire apartment to one person;
- a letter from the employer or from the place of study, for example, a university or language course.
Credit card and credit history
A credit history in the United States is the financial reputation that every American citizen has. Based on the credit history, financial institutions of the country - banks, shops, credit organizations, government agencies - decide whether to give a credit card or not, whether to rent a house or a car, or whether to sell air tickets.
- Duration: up to 2 weeks;
- Cost: is free;
- Where: in any branch of Citibank, Chase, Bank of America, TD Bank, CapitalOne or another bank;
- What gives: the ability to live on credit and build your credit history.
- social security number SSN (if any) or a certificate that it is not required;
- any document confirming income in the United States (Income Statement);
- a statement from another bank or a gas / electricity receipt to confirm the address.
With the correct use of a credit card, the credit rating grows every year, and this makes it possible not only to buy more on credit, but also to learn from the credit funds.
You can find out your credit rating six months after you start using your credit card. If used correctly, in a year and a half, banks themselves will send credit cards with a limit of $ 3500-5000 to the address you specified.
Social Security Number (SSN)
SSN is a nine-digit social security number, which is the de facto taxpayer identification number. SSN is needed by everyone who is going to work in the USA. It is required to pay taxes, obtain an American driver's license, bank loans, and own property.
- Duration: up to two weeks;
- Cost: is free;
- Where: at any Social Security office;
- What gives: You can pay taxes on wages.
Only those who have a work permit can get an SSN. The most popular applicants are those who came in the following categories:
- Work & Travel program participants who arrived on a J-1 visa and have a DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status) form;
- students who arrived on F-1 or M-1 student visas and have an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) form;
- have received an H1-B work visa;
- who applied for political asylum, but only after receiving a work permit, that is, Form I-766 (takes about six to seven months after applying for asylum);
- spouses of Americans, but only after obtaining a work permit, that is, Form I-766 (usually it is received three to five months after applying for a green card).
Those who do not have a work permit can request a certificate stating that they are not eligible for an SSN. Issued at the same office of the Social Security Service.
- Form I-94, which can be printed with Site US Customs and Border Protection;
for students arriving on an F-1 student visa:
- a letter from the educational institution that confirms their identity, student status, identifies the employer and the type of work to be performed;
- an extract from the payroll for the issuance of salaries (issued by the employer) or a letter from the employer, which indicates: position and responsibilities, date of start of work, number of hours per week, name and telephone number of the supervisor. If the student is a participant in the program OPT (Optional Practical Training) or CPT (Сurricular Practical Training), he needs a form I-20 (issued by the school);
for interns or students on a J-1 student visa:
- letter from the sponsoring organization on a signed letterhead (not the employer, but the organization that issued the form DS-2019);
- form DS-2019.
Identity card of a resident of a city or state
Identity card of a resident of New York (New York City ID)
- Duration: up to two weeks;
- Cost: is free;
- Where: at any ID NYC representative office;
- What gives: NYC ID is an identity document, so you can, for example, open bank accounts with it. And also - visit dozens of New York museums for free, buy movie tickets with big discounts and much more.
It is required to collect several documents, which in aggregate are estimated at four points, of which at least three points are given for an identity card, and at least one point - for confirming the place of permanent residence.
The most commonly used are: a foreign passport (two points), a valid visa (two points), a receipt for gas or electricity (one point), an extract from the bank (one point), on which there is a name and address.
Identity card in other states (on the example of Illinois, Florida, California)
ID Card Process for Most States the same, minor differences, mainly prices and terms.
To be eligible to apply for an Illinois State ID, you must set a date and time well in advance. Online.
- document confirming the signature (credit card, driving license);
- document confirming the date of birth (passport);
- social security number or certificate that it is not required;
- document confirming residence in the state (electricity or gas bill, bank statement, etc.).
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