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Banking in the U.S.

Opening an Account

To open a bank account, you will need to apply in person at a local bank and bring with you the following items:

  • Passport, I-20 or DS-2019 (for F-1 and J-1 students and scholars), and I-94 card
  • W&M ID card
  • Evidence of your local address (e.g. apartment lease, housing contract, etc.)
    • If you live on campus, submit an Enrollment Verification Request to get a letter with your address.  Under Additional Information in Section C of the form, write that you would like your current physical address to be included.
  • Some banks require a Social Security Number (SSN) to open a bank account.
    • This is a bank policy and not a federal regulation. Federal regulations allow one to open a bank account without a SSN provided that the customer completes a form W-8BEN. This form is available at the bank.

Most international students and scholars bank at the following banks:

Bank of America
1310 Jamestown Rd (757-258-1700); 3.2km from W&M
4620 Monticello Ave (757-220-3250); 5 km from W&M

Wells Fargo Bank (1-800-825-8667)
1006 Richmond Rd (757-220-6200); 1500m from W&M
455 Merrimac Trail (757-220-6210); 3km from W&M

SunTrust Bank
202 North Henry St  (757-564-1040); 150m from W&M
1186 Jamestown Rd (757-253-9135); 3km from W&M

Other banks in the area may allow you to open an account with the Form W-8BEN—just ask at the bank's customer service desk. Most banks are open Monday through Friday, 9:00am—5:00pm, and some banks are open Saturdays from 9:00am—12:00 noon.