If you work in US on H1B Visa, you may be thinking of options to invest in US stock market. Questions like “Can I do stock trading in US, I just came to US on H1B visa ?” or “How does Day trading work or Taxes work with Stock Trading.” In this article, we will explore all those details.
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 a stock brokerage account. You cannot trade on behalf of someone or for someone, it should be your personal account. You can always speak to these agencies to get more information on how trading works for internationals.
Day trading vs Delivery based trades on H1B visa ?
There are multiple options to do stock trading, either you buy it for the long term or buy and sell on the same day. 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 stock trading as a full time job because you are working on H1B visa and should work full time for your primary job with your employer. 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 can be slightly grey area, if you continue to a lot of day trading that constitutes full time job. You should check with immigration attorney, if you plan to do so.
Paying taxes for Stocks trading gains on H1B visa
You should pay all required taxes in US for all your Stock earnings. No exceptions as it is a source of income for you you are required to pay Taxes to IRS on your 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.
If you are not sure, it is always best to 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. You may miss some of these nuances, if you file on your own.
Does USCIS have any official references on stock trading ?
Well, actually No. USCIS only publishes information related to Status and Visa. They say that you should not violate your main status, when you do these side activities. What it means is that, if you are full time student on F1 visa, you need to be enrolled full time and maintain legal status and not work off camps, etc.
Similarly, if you are on H1B Visa, you are supposed to work full time for the companies that sponsor you H1B Visa, you cannot do stock trading on your own as full time job…If you are in doubt, you should always check with your attorney or your DSO, in case of F1 visa to get more clarity on specifics.
What has been your experience ? Share your experiences in comments
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