Open a bank account on a tourist visa?

Is it possible to open a bank account only on a tourist visa with a passport? I’ve heard rumors of a few banks that would allow it? I am coming in two weeks and will be staying for at least three months. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

probably not.

YMMV, but probably No.

As urodacus said, most banks will say no. This is because they do not know the regulations.

I am not a huge fan of Megabank or Taishin Bank, but these two seem to be a little more foreigner knowledgable for opening accounts. Go to the immigration NIA office and ask them for a record of ID for tax purposes. Then take that and your passport to the bank to open an account. If either of the people at the two banks I recommended say they need an ARC ID card, tell them to call their head office for clarification.

Another option is to open a post office bank account, they are familiar with the record of ID paper from the immigration office and will not give you any hassle.

China trust and Cathay are both fine too. But you do need that NIA tax number.

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Any bank should be fine as long as you have the NIA registration paper.
What in my experience and what I heard from friends can happen is that they ask what purpose the account serves. Since checking accounts are generally free in Taiwan, banks would obviously prefer you using the account for salary deposits. An account with a median balance of a few thousand NT$ is not worth their effort and hence a few people might be refused if a few thousand NT$ is in fact all they ever wish to deposit.

I guess it’s similar to Germany then… in Germany all you need to open a bank account is a passport and a proof of address, which you get from the Buergeramt by registering your address… you typically need the tenant/landlord’s permission so hotels and hostels won’t work. Once you have that you can open bank accounts. However the difference in Taiwan is people panic when they see foreigners…

Rightfully so. I mean… If there wasn’t anything wrong with these people they wouldn’t be foreigners.

What could one answer when he’s told he needs a proof of address to open a bank account? The NIA Office paper doesn’t mention which address is registered?
Is a lease legally considered as a proof of address in Taiwan?

[quote=“double-g”]What could one answer when he’s told he needs a proof of address to open a bank account? The NIA Office paper doesn’t mention which address is registered?
Is a lease legally considered as a proof of address in Taiwan?[/quote]

The NIA might be able to give you a printout of the address they have on file for you or you could show your lease contract assuming it shows the address on it.

But them saying there is a requirement to see your address on paper is BS. Ask them to call Taipei head office to clarify or cross the street to another bank.

Bottom line all they need is your passport and NIA number

Great, thanks for the clarification!

I might just try another branch but I need an account in that precise bank anyway, and I just moderately appreciate they declined me on something that should make no problem…

I’m getting back there tomorrow first thing in the morning. I have the feeling they are not gonna be so relieved to see me again after the sort of emergency situation from this afternoon. :smiley:

Rightfully so. I mean… If there wasn’t anything wrong with these people they wouldn’t be foreigners.[/quote]
So there’s something wrong with the millions of Chinese who moved to the West?

Even if you have an APRC they want your passport!

Responses to dumb posts were sent from my Nexus 7, I hate Apple BTW, with Tapatalk 8

Hi ended up going to another China Trust branch where they were willing to stick their fingers out, and do the paperwork.

I also had to open an account at SinoPac and I highly recommend their Neihu branch on Ruiguang road, where they were very “foreigner-friendly”.
It worth mentioning though that SinoPac cannot issue debit cards, and of course do not deliver credit cards to foreigner who don’t have an ARC, so the account might not be very useful depending on what you’re planning for it. They however told me to come back when I’ll have the ARC, so I’m curious to see if they’ll really be willing to deliver me one at that time?

[quote=“double-g”]Hi ended up going to another China Trust branch where they were willing to stick their fingers out, and do the paperwork.

I also had to open an account at SinoPac and I highly recommend their Neihu branch on Ruiguang road, where they were very “foreigner-friendly”.
It worth mentioning though that SinoPac cannot issue debit cards, and of course do not deliver credit cards to foreigner who don’t have an ARC, so the account might not be very useful depending on what you’re planning for it. They however told me to come back when I’ll have the ARC, so I’m curious to see if they’ll really be willing to deliver me one at that time?[/quote]

I’m glad to hear another branch sorted everything out for you.

Sinopac told me in the past that they do not have visa/MasterCard debit cards, just a regular ol’ ATM card for withdrawing money.
Did they say they can issue you a credit card once you have your ARC? The other thing you need to be aware of is that Sinopac will likely disable your overseas access of money on your ATM card by default, or at least this is what I was told. You better check that before you go overseas and try to w/d money.

All banks issue credit cards to ARC holders. In principle that is: usually they add rather high regular income or deposit requirements to it. In their risk assessment ARC < ROC ID. And it sort of makes sense: the xiaojie earning 25,000 NT$ a month and drags credit card debt of a few hundred thousand NT$ will most likely eventually pay the debt off and generate profit from the interest rate - most foreigners on a regular ARC come and go and outstanding debt in some unrecognised island is not really a hassle once back in the United States.

Banks should make it easier for JFRV and APRC holders though or at least assess them in the sake way as ROC ID holders.

They made no promises, and they simply said: “maybe you could come back when you’ll have your ARC” (they might just hope I won’t…). The reason they said that in the first place is because I made clear how much of a pain you-know-where it was to me not to be able to pay for anything online, and that as I am travelling quite often, it was mandatory I had a Mastercard or Visa card.

I’m quite confused about what credit card are here. Are they called credit because you can get an overdraft with them, or is it that they give you the option to pay on the spot or using a credit line when using them?

I couldn’t care less about credit, but I have a rather high interest in all the services and insurances you get with those cards. Not sure debit card has any?