Opening a bank account and other week 1 questions
Hello all. Ive read through this forum ("Cover to cover", so to speak) and the same goes for the Settler's Guide Book and I have a few questions about opening a bank account on STJ. Everything Ive read says you need two forms of ID (one photo) and a utility bill to prove residence. What about when I first arrive. I would imagine there will be a period of time (hopefully only a week or two) that I will not have a permanent address and then another month after that before I have a utility bill. Can I not have a bank account for the first month there? Is there a way around this? Anyone have recent experience with opening a bank account soon after arriving?
My next question is fairly well related to the first. In peoples experience of arriving on island. What are some of the first week tasks you have needed to complete and what order did you complete them in? Find an apt, find a job, find a car then open a bank account? What important items am I missing? Etc.
Any advice is much appreciated.
Hi Jeremy, and welcome!
I don't think you need an actual utility bill. After all, some people have utilites included in their rent or live with someone who has the bill in their name, etc. Why don't you call the actual bank you plan to use and ask what you need. Perhaps a rental lease will do. Where will you be staying the first week?
Don't close your stateside account yet. You will be able to use your ATM card until you can get set up with a bank here.
BTW, if you do set up a WAPA (utility co.) account, they will give you a receipt for the connect and deposit, so you don't have to wait for the first bill.
Be sure to have your social security card for everything!
Good luck, and enjoy!!
Suggest that you also bring your original Social Security Card.
A few years ago I tried to open a checking account at First Bank on STT. They refused to open the account unless I provided an "Original SS Card". I had a valid passport, driver's license, copy of my deed and HOA statement....still they insisted on the card.
As a result I didn't open an account...I still use my mainland checking account and do my banking on-line.
ATM cards work fine here.....and my mainland bank refunds the ATM fee.
I would suggest using Merchants Commercial Bank ... it is located near the Westin. However they have a atm at Connections for making deposits and free withdrawals. Since you will have to use Connections for your mail...it is very handy, and you won't have to deal with the abuse that the tellers at the Scotia Bank and First Abusive bank hand out. Also when you are in Cruz bay notice the sign on First Abusive about people not allowed in the bank to cash checks unless they have an account....they require them to use the walk up window outside..which closes early in the day...and if it is closed and the tellers inside have zero customers...you are still not allowed to go inside!!! Also, when I went to Merchants bank ....they let me open an account without my SS card...I was allowed to use my passport.
I would suggest Bank of St Croix if they have a branch on STJ. Scotia & First are based out of Canada & PR, respectively. Bank of STX out of Miami, so less of a hold on checks.
Also, mail something to yourself now, and you can prove residency quicker. On top of that, get yourself a voter's registration card asap, they don't check for the "90 days", and this will simplify all for you.