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You do not have to be us citizen to have a US bank account. Thousands (millions?) of foreigners keep money here. Yes you can open bank accounts in USA without a SSN. You may need to get a TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) from bank or IRS. This was recently an issue in trying to get illegal aliens to use bank services. The USA is (believe it or not) a "Tax haven" (for foreigners). But there are still tax and reporting requirements (I can't give you any more details -- sorry). Probably a big issue would be do you need a USA address? Maybe you can use the friend that lives in USA. If you get a checking account with debit card, you should be able to access the atm network internationally. Probably your checks will not be good outside the USA however.
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