Can I Apply & Be Approved For A Barclays Credit Card If I Am Not A Permanent Resident?

In the comments section of my Sallie Mae Mastercard Review. I’d originally posted that you wouldn’t be approved for this card unless you were a permanent resident in the United States.  I did this because a number of people were denied for this card and the official reason they were given is that they are not a permanent resident of the United States.

A number of people let me know that they were approved for the card even though they were not permanent residents. I thought this deserved a bit more exploration and research. The fine print on all Barclayscard applications states (emphasis mine):

By pressing APPLY I certify that:

  1. I am at least 18 years old and a permanent resident of the United States;
  2. I understand that Barclays may call me in connection with this application and for other matters relating to this account;
  3. I have reviewed and accept the Terms and Conditions that were provided before I applied for each account; and
  4. I have truthfully and completely provided the information on this application.

So technically you’re not even supposed to apply for any Barclayscard cards unless your a permanent resident of the United States. In some cases you’ll be approved even if you’re not a permanent resident and in other cases you’ll be denied.

I wouldn’t advocate lying on your credit card applications, I’m not a lawyer so I can’t give you any advice on how illegal or legal this is but it doesn’t strike me as a great idea.


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FYI, the current fine print on applications dropped the “permanent” word: “This offer is available only to applicants who are residents of the United States, with the exception of Puerto Rico and the US territories”.

Mark Zhang
Mark Zhang

The reason I got declined was that I had too many new accounts in the past 12 months. I felt the representative was almost close to approving me. I called the recon line and he was satisfied with all my answers: payment habits, income source, job length, starting date of payment record. But after he put me on hold, he came back with a no because of new accounts. No mentioning of HP numbers at all. I applied for the Upromise card and I don’t recall seeing such residency certification requirements.


My partner was able to get a Barclaycard before becoming a permanent resident (she had her SS card). We didn’t know they had that in the fine print, but she was instantly approved. It may have helped that she had some several year old cards of mine on her report before applying.


It would be great to get an official answer. What the CSRs probably can’t be taken as the official stance.

Christina_xyt from ficoforums had called in and was told SSN and a US address is all you need:


I called them before applying. The folks at the application hotline had no idea about the differences between a permanent resident and a resident alien and said that as long as I have a SSN, I should just go along… (*sigh*)