Many immigrants who have no legal status and are residing in the U.S. are reluctant to open bank accounts, mostly out of fear that the information on their accounts will be used to deport them. Aside from having a secure place to save your money, opening a bank account has other benefits. For example, if you have no financial history because you have never opened a bank account or held a credit card, services such as phone companies and utilities may require you to pay a hefty deposit. Check-cashing and bill payment services also will charge your fees that having a bank account would help you avoid altogether. Opening a bank account also helps you access other financial services by building a credit history. For instance, you typically must have a bank account or some level of financial history in order to get a home mortgage, get a small business loan, or open a credit card. You don’t need to be a U.S. citizen in order to open a bank account at many banks and credit unions. In many cases, a bank will allow you to open a bank account so long as you have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If you don’t already have an ITIN, you can get one from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You typically almost must provide some form of identification in order to open a bank account. If you live in California and have a driver’s license through the AB-60 program, you can use your driver’s license as a form of identification. You also can use an unexpired passport, consular ID card, or birth certificate. Some larger cities, such as San Francisco, also issue municipal identification cards that can serve as a form of identification. Finally, you often must give proof of your address in order to open a bank account. You can bring in a bill that was sent to you or otherwise shows your address, such as a utility bill or lease agreement, in order to satisfy this requirement. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., knows federal immigration law and has the experience to guide you and advocate on your behalf throughout any type of deportation proceeding, no matter what the allegations may be. We are familiar with the wide range of defenses that are available to individuals facing deportation, and how to build the strongest defense that is available to you, based on the evidence relevant to your case. Contact your California deportation defense lawyers today, and discover what we can do for you.
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