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Can H1B visa holder do Stock Trading in US? Tax, Day time trading ?

One of the commonly asked questions is Can I do stock trading in US, I just came to US on H1B visa ? Here are few of my thoughts and experiences.

H1B Stock Trading in USA

Can you do stock Trading on H1B visa – Any rules ?

Yes, you can do stock trading in US by creating an account on your name from one of the online stock brokers like Scott trade, Ameritrade, TradeKing, etc. It is perfectly legal to do stock trading. I personally have an account and it is very easy to sign up too. You will be asked for Social Security Number (SSN) and other details when you signup for the account.  You cannot trade on behalf of someone or for someone, it should be your personal account.

Paying taxes for Stocks trading on H1B visa

You should pay taxes for all your Stock earnings you make. No exceptions as it is a source of income and IRS taxes for all income. If you have made money or have done any transactions, it is a good idea to go to a tax consultant to get help with filing taxes. Personally, me and my friends, as we are on H1B visa we use tax consultants for filing taxes for stocks,  as it can get complicated.  Because, if you lose money, it is tax deductible and you can get some advantages. Do NOT mess with tax filing in US.

Day trading vs Delivery based trades on H1B visa ?

It is very common for most of the internationals to do delivery based trades, but some may have thoughts about day trading and having it as a full time job.  The reality is, you cannot do it as a full time job because you are sponsored H1B visa and should work full time for your primary job or company full time. Day trading may be done on and off, but it should not be done so much that it takes away time away from your primary job.  This is based on my knowledge and experience.

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5 comments… add one

  • Neeraj Jan 23, 2015 Reply

    Additional info : Although I am on h1 and trade on I was trying to open a trading account with Merrill Edge and came to know that Merrill Edge requires Green Card. I wish Merrill Edge would have allowed trading with H1, atleast they charge very reasonable commission . Till I don’t get gc, i guess i will have to stick to tradeking.

  • viktor Dec 14, 2014 Reply

    hi Kumar,
    Thanks for the info U provided in this webpage. I have a few Questions regarding trading on H1B Visa.
    1. SO the initial funding has to be 25000$, or U can trade with less initial Funding?
    2. I know I cant trade much on H1B visa as it can be misunderstood with interfering with my primary Job. But Can I hire some1 to daytrade my account as I know someone who r successful in Daytrading US markets and r willing to manage my account. If I take all responsibility of profit/loss.. then I guess I am not breaking any rules on daytrading for H1B visa holders ??
    Pls share ur Views.. thanks

  • ObjPython Feb 13, 2014 Reply

    This is probably related to the topic ,I opened an account with some online broker and they are requesting for visa with photo ID and all i have is approval notice with I-94 card attached to it , how do i explain this person that i don’t have a H1 B visa with Photo Id and it will be pasted into my passport when i travel outside of USA (at least that’s my understanding) , Any suggestions? I explained it to him but the guy says its listed as required doc ,what to do i am in pickle!

  • easwaran Sep 5, 2010 Reply

    greetings, and many thanks for the information
    but what about the category who is in US , like students, who is in F1 VISA
    can he trade, and what is the tax structure to pay in case you earn money.
    short term profit attracts taxes, if so
    what about long term profit
    by the by how is your experience as a trader
    or was
    care to shower us with information
    you are doing fantastic service Mr.Kumar
    keep coming and bless us
    love and gratitude

    • Kumar Sep 6, 2010 Reply

      Yes, students on F1 visa can do trading provided they have SSN. I am not an expert on the details of specifics of taxing, I usually go to tax consultant. I have not done enough trading in US. The best idea is to talk to customer service of a stock brokerage firm to get more specifics.

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