Reliable banks in non-CRS countries that allow remote opening for foreign citizens

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WinterSun

New member
Which of the following non-CRS countries would be the best choice to open a bank account-Armenia, Belarus, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mongolia, North Macedonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay?

And which reliable banks in these countries allow remote opening for foreign citizens without residence?

Please also share your personal experiences with the banks recommended.
 

Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
It depends on who you are and what you bring to the table. It's a very different story if you've got a few thousand EUR/USD worth of untaxed money that you want to hide vs. a six–seven figure amount of clean or clean enough money. Why do you want an account? Why should the bank open one for you? As a non-resident foreigner, you pose a significant risk to them. Risk costs money.

Armenia: there are some banks you can try but the trend in the country is towards not allowing non-resident foreigners as easily anymore. SMS is still popular for 2FA with many banks and they only send to local phone numbers.

Belarus: sanctions making banking a big pain if you transact to/from western nations. Bank accounts can be opened by non-residents but almost never remotely.

Cambodia: can be opened in person relatively easily, but almost never remotely.

Dominican Republic: possible to open as non-resident, but banks rarely do it for non-residents.

Guatemala: same as Dominican Republic, but more difficult.

Mongolia: IIRC, there are a few banks there where you can open personal saving accounts in MNT for long-term deposits. Otherwise, not much going on there.

North Macedonia: Silk Road Bank and Halkbank sometimes open accounts for non-residents. Not sure about remote.

Palau: no.

Papua New Guinea: no.

Paraguay: very rare for non-residents.

In many cases, forming a local company with 1-2 local directors will be enough to increase your chances of opening a corporate and a personal account. Some of the countries above are quite attractive for business due to tax or cost of labor.

Honestly, just get your affairs in order and stop chasing non-CRS banks. Most of these countries are going to be engaged in CRS in the next few years anyway. There is no long-term stability in secrecy.

If you don't want to pay tax, move to a place that doesn't have any tax.
 

pesto

Offshore Agent
Entrepreneur
Mentor Group Light (Private use!)
That's some nice places you found there. I already assume it is not clean money
 

WinterSun

New member
I am working on getting my affairs in order which takes time. Now I need a quick fix.

I am a Serbian resident and a Chinese citizen. For now, the account will only be used to receive payment in pounds from one UK company for my occasional freelancing work, most likely only a few thousand pounds a year. Is there a risk of Serbia and/or China finding out I am working as a freelancer?

The work is legit but under the radar so no tax paid and no tax return documents. Since Serbia is a non-CRS country, would the bank still report the account to Serbia or even China, or ask for TIN and tax return when opening the account or later on??

Also, would receiving payments from companies be a problem? Would the bank ask questions or ask for documents?
 

Forester

Mentor Group Light (Private use!)
It depends on who you are and what you bring to the table. It's a very different story if you've got a few thousand EUR/USD worth of untaxed money that you want to hide vs. a six–seven figure amount of clean or clean enough money. Why do you want an account? Why should the bank open one for you? As a non-resident foreigner, you pose a significant risk to them. Risk costs money.

Armenia: there are some banks you can try but the trend in the country is towards not allowing non-resident foreigners as easily anymore. SMS is still popular for 2FA with many banks and they only send to local phone numbers.

Belarus: sanctions making banking a big pain if you transact to/from western nations. Bank accounts can be opened by non-residents but almost never remotely.

Cambodia: can be opened in person relatively easily, but almost never remotely.

Dominican Republic: possible to open as non-resident, but banks rarely do it for non-residents.

Guatemala: same as Dominican Republic, but more difficult.

Mongolia: IIRC, there are a few banks there where you can open personal saving accounts in MNT for long-term deposits. Otherwise, not much going on there.

North Macedonia: Silk Road Bank and Halkbank sometimes open accounts for non-residents. Not sure about remote.

Palau: no.

Papua New Guinea: no.

Paraguay: very rare for non-residents.

In many cases, forming a local company with 1-2 local directors will be enough to increase your chances of opening a corporate and a personal account. Some of the countries above are quite attractive for business due to tax or cost of labor.

Honestly, just get your affairs in order and stop chasing non-CRS banks. Most of these countries are going to be engaged in CRS in the next few years anyway. There is no long-term stability in secrecy.

If you don't want to pay tax, move to a place that doesn't have any tax.
Very nicely elaborated.
Perhaps I would say “Almost any of these countries is possible to be engaged in CRS in the next few years anyway” but maybe I lack some information – and this is not a crucial difference.

@Sols, having read the presented information about some countries. may I ask you about your opinion re: Serbia, Montenegro and Philippines?

I am a Serbian resident and a Chinese citizen. For now, the account will only be used to receive payment in pounds from one UK company for my occasional freelancing work, most likely only a few thousand pounds a year. Is there a risk of Serbia and/or China finding out I am working as a freelancer?
Re: Serbia – if you will bank outside Serbia, very probably no. Re: China – if you will bank outside CRS (to be exact, AEOI) country, very probably no; otherwise it is possible. A question: what is the problem with someone knowing that working as a freelancer, if the business itself is not illegal?

Serbia is a non-CRS country, would the bank still report the account to Serbia or even China,
To Serbia – no; to China – yes (China is engaged in CRS).

or ask for TIN and tax return when opening the account or later on??
It has no relationship with a CRS/AEOI status. Documents asked for when opening the account depend on the security policy of a bank.
Also, would receiving payments from companies be a problem?
Why?
Would the bank ask questions or ask for documents?
Maybe yes, maybe no – depending on how they evaluate the character/ the risk of the particular transaction. Again, it is not CRS/AEOI related.
 
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WinterSun

New member
Thank you all for your reply. The business itself is not illegal but this problem is that I am claiming unemployed and taxes are not paid for this freelancing work.

It depends on who you are and what you bring to the table. It's a very different story if you've got a few thousand EUR/USD worth of untaxed money that you want to hide vs. a six–seven figure amount of clean or clean enough money. Why do you want an account? Why should the bank open one for you? As a non-resident foreigner, you pose a significant risk to them. Risk costs money.

Armenia: there are some banks you can try but the trend in the country is towards not allowing non-resident foreigners as easily anymore. SMS is still popular for 2FA with many banks and they only send to local phone numbers.

Belarus: sanctions making banking a big pain if you transact to/from western nations. Bank accounts can be opened by non-residents but almost never remotely.

Cambodia: can be opened in person relatively easily, but almost never remotely.

Dominican Republic: possible to open as non-resident, but banks rarely do it for non-residents.

Guatemala: same as Dominican Republic, but more difficult.

Mongolia: IIRC, there are a few banks there where you can open personal saving accounts in MNT for long-term deposits. Otherwise, not much going on there.

North Macedonia: Silk Road Bank and Halkbank sometimes open accounts for non-residents. Not sure about remote.

Palau: no.

Papua New Guinea: no.

Paraguay: very rare for non-residents.

In many cases, forming a local company with 1-2 local directors will be enough to increase your chances of opening a corporate and a personal account. Some of the countries above are quite attractive for business due to tax or cost of labor.

Honestly, just get your affairs in order and stop chasing non-CRS banks. Most of these countries are going to be engaged in CRS in the next few years anyway. There is no long-term stability in secrecy.

If you don't want to pay tax, move to a place that doesn't have any tax.
Great information. I will try Armenia and North Macedonia. Do you know any reliable georgian banks that allow remote opening for foreign citizens without residence?
 

Forester

Mentor Group Light (Private use!)
The business itself is not illegal but this problem is that I am claiming unemployed and taxes are not paid for this freelancing work.
:) Oh well. But in such a case, the ultimate solution is not so difficult, is it? Or the support for unemployed is so comfortable and/or taxation is so horrible in Serbia? ;)
Great information. I will try Armenia and North Macedonia.
You did not mention Serbia and Montenegro – also a non-CRS/AEOI countries – in your previous post. Re: Serbia – OK, I understand :) ; but any background for omitting Montenegro, a very close country to Serbia?

Do you know any reliable georgian banks that allow remote opening for foreign citizens without residence?
There is a game over in Georgia, apparently. See for example here Question - Problems with Georgia because of Russia or here Georgia Business Account BoG. BTW, Georgia will start with AEOI/CRS at 2023.

P.S.
Sorry for horrible mistakes in the paragraph “Re: Serbia – if you will bank... is not illegal?” above; I was writing really in the hurry :(
 

WinterSun

New member
I am not claiming support for unemployed and never will. The taxation in Serbia for freelancer is indeed horrible but that's not the main reason for not disclosing the freelancing work since the amount earned is insignificant. Montenegro is joining CRS by 2023 so it seems pointless.
 

Forester

Mentor Group Light (Private use!)
I am not claiming support for unemployed and never will. The taxation in Serbia for freelancer is indeed horrible but that's not the main reason for not disclosing the freelancing work since the amount earned is insignificant.
OK...
Montenegro is joining CRS by 2023 so it seems pointless.
Oh, yes. I have just checked – true; it seems to me like a relatively new information. Thanks for pointing at it.
 

Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
I am a Serbian resident and a Chinese citizen. For now, the account will only be used to receive payment in pounds from one UK company for my occasional freelancing work, most likely only a few thousand pounds a year. Is there a risk of Serbia and/or China finding out I am working as a freelancer?
No one can say the risk is zero. But it doesn't seem likely in your case.

The work is legit but under the radar so no tax paid and no tax return documents.
The house isn't burning but it's on fire and there are flames coming out the window.

It can't be both legit and untaxed. Something that is illegal cannot be legal.

Since Serbia is a non-CRS country, would the bank still report the account to Serbia or even China, or ask for TIN and tax return when opening the account or later on??

Also, would receiving payments from companies be a problem? Would the bank ask questions or ask for documents?
Of course, any bank will eventually, at some point want to see invoices and agreement to explain your income and explain the transactions. This is especially the case for banks that don't have direct access to your preferred currency and rely on a correspondent bank. For example, banks in Armenia can only transact in AMD on their own. They use other banks for EUR.

@Sols, having read the presented information about some countries. may I ask you about your opinion re: Serbia, Montenegro and Philippines?
Serbia: you can open bank accounts as a non-resident but I wouldn't recommend it. It's always teetering on the edge of EU gray/blacklistings for its weak AML laws and lackluster enforcement. Expect a lot of questions for moving money in and out of Serbia.

Montenegro: better than Serbia, but difficult to open a personal account as a non-resident other than with Zapad Banka. And their fee structure is clearly aimed towards desperate people.

Philippines: possible to open accounts as a non-resident but you must appear in person.
 

Forester

Mentor Group Light (Private use!)
Serbia: you can open bank accounts as a non-resident but I wouldn't recommend it. It's always teetering on the edge of EU gray/blacklistings for its weak AML laws and lackluster enforcement. Expect a lot of questions for moving money in and out of Serbia.

Montenegro: better than Serbia, but difficult to open a personal account as a non-resident other than with Zapad Banka. And their fee structure is clearly aimed towards desperate people.

Philippines: possible to open accounts as a non-resident but you must appear in person.
Many thanks. I really appreciate, how you are informed.
 

backpacker

Entrepreneur
Georgia will start with AEOI/CRS at 2023.
No. Read -> https://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/commitment-and-monitoring-process/AEOI-commitments.pdf
Philippines: possible to open accounts as a non-resident but you must appear in person.
No, this is no longer possible for a non-resident alien! It is against BSP regulation. Minimum requirement to open an account is a ACR-I card and even then many banks will not want to do that.
Things have changed significantly since the "Bangladesh Bank Heist" of 2016.
 

Forester

Mentor Group Light (Private use!)
Really interesting – and strange. Because if I check Tax co-operation | Compare your country (also OECD-powered site) for Georgia, I still see “Commitment to AEOI (CRS) – 2023”, as it was announced in the past. I am rather to believe that it have been really postponed to 2024 – but such an information should definitely be rock solid... :( :(
In any case, thanks for pointing at it – for me it makes no difference but there are very probably persons for whom it makes a lot...
 

backpacker

Entrepreneur
Really interesting – and strange. Because if I check Tax co-operation | Compare your country (also OECD-powered site) for Georgia, I still see “Commitment to AEOI (CRS) – 2023”, as it was announced in the past. I am rather to believe that it have been really postponed to 2024 – but such an information should definitely be rock solid... :( :(
In any case, thanks for pointing at it – for me it makes no difference but there are very probably persons for whom it makes a lot...
There was some sort of confusion at the end of 2021 and this list got updated twice within just three weeks over the turn of the year. Read -> The list of non CRS countries 2019 - 2021 (post #177) and The list of non CRS countries 2019 - 2021 (post #178).
These delays are quite common: The same happened to the Maldives when participation of pushed from 2021 to 2022. Read -> The list of non CRS countries 2019 - 2021 (post #186).
 

Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
No, this is no longer possible for a non-resident alien! It is against BSP regulation. Minimum requirement to open an account is a ACR-I card and even then many banks will not want to do that.
Things have changed significantly since the "Bangladesh Bank Heist" of 2016.
AFAIK, you can get ACR-I as a tourist. It's supposed to be after staying for 60 days, which is a long time but there are always shortcuts.

Certainly not as easy as it used to be.
 

backpacker

Entrepreneur
AFAIK, you can get ACR-I as a tourist. It's supposed to be after staying for 60 days, which is a long time but there are always shortcuts.

Certainly not as easy as it used to be.
The type of ACR-I card you are referring to is called "Tourist ACR-I card". A person who intends to stay in the Philippines for more than 60 days in PH needs to apply for a so-called "extension of stay" one week before the first 60 days of his uninterrupted stay expires. Once extension of stay has been granted the person will receive a "Tourist ACR-I card" about 3 weeks later (waiting period for printing) at the local Bureau of Immigration (BI) office. So, after 81 days of uninterrupted stay this person would be in possession of this plastic card.
The only problem: This specific type of card is called "Tourist ACR-I card". Most banks refuse to open accounts on this type of card.

Even if you find a small bank who is opening you an account you will have a hard time maintaining it: They will not open a foreign currency account on the basis of a tourist ACR card, the will not even give you a debit card on a Peso-account anymore!
Then comes annual physical reporting with BI https://immigration.gov.ph/services/alien-registration/annual-report-a-r at the turn of each year, annual renewal of the card and the bank asking you to every year present the newly issued card.
All in all very much impractical procedure for somebody who does not live in the country. And for most people it is useless anyway because on this card even the tiniest bank will refuse to open a separate FX (i.e. USD) account.

Even local electronic wallets like PayMaya and G-Cash have in the last couple of months become stricter and do not allow easy opening solely on the basis of this obscure "Tourist ACR-I-card". They demand a second Philippine ID now.

See the different types of ACR-I-cards who quite clearly show for what purpose they have been issued ->
1654323708571.png


Quite frankly, it is very good that Philippine banks have become strict and that BSP is now having a tight grip on the entire financial industry. After the Bangladesh Bank Heist BSP they put a lot of effort in cleaning up the banking system and it really shows positive results.
 
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WinterSun

New member
It depends on who you are and what you bring to the table. It's a very different story if you've got a few thousand EUR/USD worth of untaxed money that you want to hide vs. a six–seven figure amount of clean or clean enough money. Why do you want an account? Why should the bank open one for you? As a non-resident foreigner, you pose a significant risk to them. Risk costs money.

Armenia: there are some banks you can try but the trend in the country is towards not allowing non-resident foreigners as easily anymore. SMS is still popular for 2FA with many banks and they only send to local phone numbers.

Belarus: sanctions making banking a big pain if you transact to/from western nations. Bank accounts can be opened by non-residents but almost never remotely.

Cambodia: can be opened in person relatively easily, but almost never remotely.

Dominican Republic: possible to open as non-resident, but banks rarely do it for non-residents.

Guatemala: same as Dominican Republic, but more difficult.

Mongolia: IIRC, there are a few banks there where you can open personal saving accounts in MNT for long-term deposits. Otherwise, not much going on there.

North Macedonia: Silk Road Bank and Halkbank sometimes open accounts for non-residents. Not sure about remote.

Palau: no.

Papua New Guinea: no.

Paraguay: very rare for non-residents.

In many cases, forming a local company with 1-2 local directors will be enough to increase your chances of opening a corporate and a personal account. Some of the countries above are quite attractive for business due to tax or cost of labor.

Honestly, just get your affairs in order and stop chasing non-CRS banks. Most of these countries are going to be engaged in CRS in the next few years anyway. There is no long-term stability in secrecy.

If you don't want to pay tax, move to a place that doesn't have any tax.
Many thanks. Would banks in Puerto Rico work in my case?
 

csp dubai

Active Member
i not see any realy good alternatives, i personally find trnc the best and more easy way, i use i local trust company the ubo of the position is only known to the local lawyer , and is imposssible to emforce any international exchange of information
 

Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
Many thanks. Would banks in Puerto Rico work in my case?
I don't know about practically because of how difficult many of them find it to maintain correspondent accounts. But in terms of reporting, yes, Puerto Rico is currently highly secretive as it's not in scope for CRS or FATCA.
 

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