information for global expats

Money Transfers for Expats in the United States Of America

Submitted: July 2013

The US Government imposes no general restrictions on money transfers to and from the United States.

The easiest way is transfer money to the US is to have a US bank account opened, and then to proceed with an international bank transfer. Alternatively, you can withdraw money from an ATM in the US.

It is also possible to ask your bank to issue a cheque (or banker’s draft), which can then be cleared in an overseas bank account (from the US to your home country, or from your home country to the US). This process is quite lengthy though, and it may be expensive.

In any case, it is advisable to check if your financial intermediary is reliable enough, be it in terms of quality of service or value for money.


Your bank is likely to charge you for international bank transfers and banker’s drafts, although fees may vary greatly. You might wish to check the applicable charges and restrictions at your bank.

Alternatively, you can use the services of a money transfer company. To save money, you can also use a price comparison website specialised in money transfers. Typically, your charges are largely passed on to the applicable foreign exchange rate. See Foreign Exchange for Expats in the US.

The fees charged by a company specialised in money transfers are without prejudice to the fees that your bank may charge on transfers to the money transfer company.

Cash control rules

You are free to hold as much cash as you like when you cross the US border. However, you must make a declaration to the customs authority if the amount exceeds $10,000.

Cash control rules cover hard currency and negotiable instruments, but not international wire transfers.



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