Attempting to get a bank account is probably the primary task to accomplish when getting set up in the US (along with setting up your SSN so you ‘exist’ – see post below) in order to deposit funds J
As you are starting from a ‘fresh financial canvas’ you have no credit score or financial history therefore some banks won’t even entertain you. I chose to bank with HSBC rather than the US based banking institutes (Bank of America, Chase etc) as you can wire funds free of charge over to a UK based HSBC account so this is very useful as they will not charge any associated costs like the other banks.
When I set up my meeting with my banking contact I needed to provide physical copies of the following:
§ My Passport (including Visa)
§ Driving Licence or other photo ID (this must include an active UK address, I have used my parents address)
§ Letter of Employment from your Company dated within 60 days (it helps if they include how long you have worked for the company and also how much your annual salary incl bonuses)
These all act as reassurances for the bank and allow you to get set up with a US bank account with ease. The process only lasts 30-40 minutes while they fill out the electronic forms and get you to sign the documents once complete.