May 3, 2019

Proof of address – identity confirmation for banks and payment service providers

If you intend to open a non-resident account either for yourself or for your company, you definitely need to know that absolutely all the banks nowadays require a proof of address.

Each foreign bank has different requirements regarding the proof of address.

Most foreign banks will need a utility bill, other banks will require you to provide an internal passport and a residence permit. Some banks require a document issued by a municipal authority or they may even ask you to send a driver’s license with address listed (some drivers licenses do not contain the address information) or similar.

It is also important to clearly understand in what form the document should be submitted to the bank. Some banks suffice with just a simple scan, some require notarized originals, others require scanned notarized proof of address. Requirements on how the non-resident client proof of address should be presented significantly varies from bank to bank.

Clients often figure out that this task is not as simple as they though when they try to prepare a package with Due Diligence documentation themselves for several different banks. And it is important these days to have several bank accounts in various banks and payment systems worldwide mainly for the purpose of diversification and asset protection.

There might be several reasons for clients facing difficulty to present the proof of address of a required format to the bank of their choice:

You wish to open an account, but your utility bill comes with a different name – because you are not the owner of your apartment/house.


Discuss this with the landlord and explain that you need to open a bank account. In some countries you might be able to arrange to receive bills instead of the owner, at least temporary.

You may ask the bank or consult with our specialists and ask if alternative document might be accepted: a mobile phone bill or some other personal bill with your full name on it.

You are a citizen of one country, but live and work in another.

If you work abroad and pay taxes in this country, you need to provide a document confirming the address from this very country. In UK, a proof of address can be a simple letter sent to this address. But for example, in China, it gets more complicated.  Such document can be provided only by the police or tax authorities of the country where your employer is registered. Furthermore, it has to be translated into English.


You may select a bank that may require some other document as an alternative. Always keep in mind that requirements vary from bank to bank and that is one of many reasons of why to select a bank with a professional. Also, remember that there are banks that do not yet require even a tax number. There are also those that have more democratic approach in regards to the proof of address.

Banks can offer solutions for you themselves sometimes. In nearly every country utility bills are issued in pdf by email these days. Very few banks still request print and mail paper bills.

You may also present your bank statement from the bank in your home country.

What do you always need to consider regarding your proof of address?

  • Your proof of address may be: not older than 3 months, 1 months, six months. It depends. You need to check with each bank individually. Our consultants will provide you with the separate list of requirements for every bank. If you get rejected because of this, most of the time banks will not open an account for your if you re-apply. This is a strange and illogical approach of compliance departments in numerous banks and one of the reasons why payment systems become so popular.
  • Your first and last name. They have to be on your proof of address. Also, make sure they are spelled right in order to avoid additional expenses for translations, and, of course-additional time. The name in your proof of address document has to match the name in your passport to the letter.
  • Full address. Address, number, postal code, city.
  • Document name. Some banks will not accept any vouchers, invoices etc as a proof of residence. Very often a bank statement is just a perfect solution.

Please contact us at [email protected] for more information or foreign bank or PSP selection.