I would like to ask a question about banking/personal finance for undocumented immigrants living in the United States because my buddy's best friend parents are undocumented.

Would this be on topic here? If not, could I have a SE site recommendation?

I have looked at this question :Should questions about legal matters be on-topic?, but it is not clear.

  • 2
    What's the question? In particular, it's not clear to me how immigration status matters. If the question is legal in nature, then there is a Law.SE
    – Brythan
    Jul 29, 2016 at 15:37
  • When you open a bank account or any type of personal finance product you have a form of id, social security number, which most documented people do not have. Jul 29, 2016 at 16:18
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    If you're looking for a recommendation of which institution has the lowest identification bar such that an undocumented individual could open an account, that would be offtopic. Though I think the question is a good one to establish exactly what ID is necessary. I think a non-resident can obtain an ITIN and use a utility bill to establish identity and open an account. I'd go ahead and ask it...
    – quid
    Jul 29, 2016 at 17:39
  • @quid How is the first one off topic, does that not deal with personal finance? I understand that it is very specific. Please give a reason why it is off topic. Lol, I am aware of the answer to the second point you made, it varies by state. Jul 29, 2016 at 20:55
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    Because the first one is a product recommendation. "Which bank should I use?"
    – quid
    Jul 29, 2016 at 20:59
  • @quid How is that a product? Is this not a "product" then money.stackexchange.com/questions/22888/… What is a product to you and what is acceptable to ask in my question's setting? Jul 29, 2016 at 21:11
  • 1
    I've already said "I'd go ahead and ask it." The question you linked is asking what sort of documentation is needed for a kind of transaction. That's different than asking what bank to use.
    – quid
    Jul 29, 2016 at 22:09
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    @TedTaylorofLife A product/service recommendation question is one where the answers sought are the names of specific service provider companies/brands. Questions where the answers are the name of an organization offering a product or a service are magnets for spam. For instance, we see (and delete) a lot of spam/affiliate links/astroturfing for money transfer services, shady lenders, etc. Jul 30, 2016 at 18:55
  • 1
    Looking for a particular product is off topic. Looking for a process is on topic.
    – Joe
    Aug 1, 2016 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


Just to try to summarize the comments on the question:

This depends very much on the specific focus of the question.

If the question is seeking recommendations on which financial institutions will be least likely to be bothered by the fact that the person is an undocumented immigrant, that would very likely be considered off topic as a product recommendation ("which bank should I use?").

If the question is seeking facts about a process, then the fact that the person that would be going through that process is an undocumented immigrant would likely be, at most, peripheral. For example, asking how a person in a given situation in the United States could establish their identity to a financial institution sufficiently to be allowed to open an account, is likely to be on topic.

  • 1
    Marking this as community wiki because at least four people were involved in the discussion in the comments, and I wasn't one of them.
    – user
    Aug 18, 2016 at 17:12

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