It is important that you understand the rules and regulations regarding foreign accounts, but the account opening process can be quite simple and can be done online or at a local branch of a bank operating in your country of interest. Many banks will not allow you to complete the overseas account opening process without being in person, so make sure you understand your bank’s requirements and be prepared to travel if necessary. The downside to this is that in almost all cases you will have to travel to Europe to go to a bank and open an account yourself.
I highly recommend contacting your bank before you travel to make sure everything is set up to open your account before you arrive in the European country where you want to open an account. Once you have collected the required information (check with your designated foreign bank to make sure you meet their identification requirements), you can begin the account opening process. Before opening an account, the bank must provide you with a document stating the most important services offered by the account and the related fees you may have to pay.
If you meet the necessary requirements, you will be able to open an account with these banks. You will need to open an account with the issuing bank, which will be your home bank. The procedure also varies by country, bank, and branch, so you will need to check with your local bank for specific procedures and requirements.
As with personal accounts, requirements may vary by bank and branch. Each offshore bank and foreign jurisdiction has its own requirements, so you will need to do some research to find the specifics that apply to your situation. In order to open an offshore bank account, you will need to provide ID and other documents to prove your identity.
Since you are not a citizen of the country, banks can be quite choosy when they allow you to open an account. Banks can’t just refuse you a master account because you don’t live in the country. Banks cannot refuse to open a main payment account for you just because you are not a resident of an EU country. When you run a bank at home, any bureaucrat can freeze your accounts without any evidence or criminal charges.
Some countries outside the EU will also allow you to open a bank account easily, but some countries do not have some of the important advantages that EU banking has. Foreigners living in European countries can often easily open a bank account there and often have a choice of banks and products. Banks in other European countries (eg Liechtenstein, Portugal) also offer online non-resident account opening services.
In countries such as Georgia, it’s literally as easy as walking in with your passport and then walking out with a newly-minted account! Seriously… Whether or not you walk out with a card you can start using depends if you want it personalised with your name or not.