To open account with IBKR, do we have to submit passport as a foreigner living in CH?

  1. Their website says passport or ID, so I have submitted the Swiss C permit, but they keep telling me things like “the pending task of proof of identity as the submitted residence card is not acceptable.” or "we do not accept residence permit for proof of identity. we require copy of a valid and signed passport, identity card ". I don’t get it as for us foreigners in CH, the only ID the Swiss governmet gives us are the permits (B permit, C permit etc)

  2. I also received an Email saying “Welcome to IB, Your account UXXXXXXX is approved” in the middle of the above-mentioned Emails, as I have sent 10 CHF to my account and I can see the balance. so is this over? can I ignore their “Outstanding Item” Email and I can transfer more fund and start trading?

when I connect to my IB account, here is what I see

That answers the question in the title.

It’s a residence permit or confirmation thereof - not an internationally recognised ID or travel document and (often) doesn’t satisfy the security requirements for one.

Even though it often serves as a de facto form of ID domestically (post office, etc.). Then again, so does my SBB-issued SwissPass, which I‘m using all the time as proof of ID for my COVID certificates, which has never been refused (not even abroad).

If you’re asking for trouble later, maybe.

If you feel uneasy providing your (proper) ID, don‘t give them your money.
If you feel uneasy providing your ID but give them your money nonetheless, prepare for problems.

They‘ll restrict your account sooner or later due to lack of proper ID.


Just send them a copy of your passport. I think with ID they mean ID issued to nationals of this country.

1 Like

Thanks for your detailed reply, I only uploaded the C permit because the instructions on their website is to upload EITHER passport, “Alien ID”, “National ID” OR Driver’s license, and I thought the C permit qualifies for “Alien ID” as I don’t have any other Swiss ID, if they just wanted the passport at the start, I would have already given to them. as I thought I provided what they asked so I get confused and annoyed when they tell me that it isn’t enough without giving me further details.

Thanks, you got my confusion. I only uploaded the C permit because the instructions on their website is to upload EITHER passport, “Alien ID”, “National ID” OR Driver’s license, and I thought the C permit qualifies for “Alien ID”. so I don’t know what is their problem now :sweat_smile:

A residence permit is not (usually) accepted as a form of ID (there’s an exception for 3rd party national within Schengen where the biometric residence permit may be used iirc, but I don’t think IB will care about that :slight_smile: )


Oh, I’m not saying your logic was wrong and the instruction weren’t confusing. :wink: I can see why they are.

Their “Alien ID” wording gives it away though: they must have been written by IBKR in the U.S - with U.S. resident applicants in mind. I suppose they would have accepted your U.S.-issued Alien ID (or even driver license) if you lived in the U.S. and applied with your U.S. address.

Because to them it would have been local documents that they’re familiar with and whose authenticity they’d be able to verify rather easily. Also, IBKR may be stricter for openings of non-residents than residents, since, again, they can more easily run you through databases etc.

It’s basically this…

…but in reverse, from a U.S. perspective.

If you think about it: Swiss authorities, maybe even banks, may accept your Swiss residence permit as appropriate ID. Do you think they’d accept your South African, Bulgarian or Japanese residence permit in the same way, if you lived in one of those countries?


thanks guys for your patient explanation, I have uploaded my passport now :slight_smile: