You have just arrived in France and need a bank account for your daily life? No problem! Even with a foreign passport, you can have a French bank account. However, certain conditions are required. Who can open a bank account with a foreign passport? With which documents? Let’s see it in detail.
Who can open a bank account with a foreign passport ?
Any adult with a valid passport can open a bank account in France as long as he/she resides there. So, if you are a foreigner and you have just settled in France temporarily or permanently, you can benefit from it. It is essential to have a bank account in France in order to receive your income or social benefits. You will also have much less fees or commissions to use payment systems in France rather than those of your bank abroad. This way, even if you are a student and you stay less than a year in France, it will be more interesting to open a French bank account.
Where to open a bank account with a foreign passport?
In France, there are several possibilities to open a bank account with a foreign passport. Which ones?
Traditional physical banks offer bank accounts for foreigners. You just have to go to one of them and ask for information about their terms and rates. In fact, there are as many different proposals as there are banking institutions. Once you have made your choice, you can make an appointment to open your account.
Very practical, online banks facilitate remote management. Another important advantage: they are not expensive or even free. In fact, most of them offer services that are accessible free of charge. However, be careful to read the terms, which are often stricter than those of traditional banks, particularly in terms of income and services offered.
Rechargeable account system
The rechargeable account systems with payment cards allow easy access to an account. It is not a bank account in the strict sense of the word, but you can have a French IBAN with your name on it, allowing you to receive your transfers (salaries, social benefits) and a payment card only with your valid identity card (foreign passport accepted).
What documents are required to open a bank account in France for a foreigner?
Depending on whether you are going to a physical bank or an online bank, the documents may vary. In all cases, you will need to present your valid foreign passport and proof of residence in France. In parallel and in order to orientate the solutions to be proposed to you, certain establishments may ask for additional documents:
- Proof of student status, if applicable (this entitles you to special rates);
- Tax notice;
In short, if you have a foreign passport and you live in France, it is quite simple to open a bank account here.
Is it possible to open a bank account with a foreign passport without living in France?
Opening a bank account in France with a foreign passport, but without living in France, is another matter. You then have the status of a non-resident. Banks (physical and online) are not very fond of this. Indeed, the interest of having an account in France without living there can always seem suspicious. In this case, banks are reluctant to do so. However, it is not impossible. We advise you to go to the traditional physical banks which will be able to study your request on a case by case basis and follow your file more precisely.
What about the Americans?
It should be noted that for Americans, the task is more difficult. American laws, in particular the FATCA regulation, considerably restrict access to foreign banks for its nationals. Thus, many banks refuse access to their establishment to Americans. 90% of online banks refuse categorically. It would therefore be better to inquire at a physical bank. The services will be quite limited, especially in terms of investment proposals. French banks must inform the United States of all income and financial assets held by an American in their establishment.
What types of accounts can I have with a foreign passport?
As a French resident, opening a bank account with a foreign passport gives you access to the same proposals as a French customer. Rest assured, you will not have less services and will benefit from all the advantages that the establishment offers to its clients. And if you want to wait to make your choice, set up a rechargeable payment card that will open the doors to a large number of services for your daily life.
Opening a bank account with a foreign passport is accessible to everyone according to the terms mentioned. All you have to do is get started.