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Can F1 Students Invest in Stocks

Can F1 Students Invest in Stocks

Can F1 Students Invest in Stocks

Students are no exception when everyone in this world wants financial solvency. Many students nowadays in America with F1 visa show interest in the financial market and wants to invest in stocks. The question is can F1 students actually invest in stocks?


Can F-1 visa holders invest in US stock markets? 

Yes. F1-visa holders or international students can invest in US stock markets. Please read article to full article to get more information on Can F1 Students Invest in Stocks?

How Can I Buy Stock from the USA?

You can install apps like

But before getting started who is an F1 student?

An F1 student is an international student who studies in the USA with an F1 student visa. They enroll themselves as full-time students in U.S. accredited colleges or universities that must be approved by the U.S government to allow international students to complete their course of study resulting in them in earning degrees.

An f1 student should have the following criteria:

  1. Enrolling in an academic educational program a student is a must. It could also be language training or a vocational program.
  2. In the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement must approve the school where the student is enrolled.
  3. Enrolling as a full-time student at the institution is a must.
  4. English proficiency is a must for the student.
  5. The student must be able to fund themselves throughout their entire course of study.
  6. The student must have a place to reside abroad.
  7. They should not work full time until their completion of studies.

Below are the 7 important things you should know to get started:

  1. Stock trading by F1 students should not be a full-time job.
  2. Students are allowed in day-to-day stock trading.
  3. Social Security Number is required for stock trading.
  4. In case you don’t have SSN, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number can be used to open a brokerage account.
  5. F1 student needs to pay taxes of 30%.
  6. F1 students should not be permanent citizens nor have permanent residents in U.S.
  7. F1 student visa status should not be violated.

Now let’s get in a brief description of stock trading.

Some Questions About Can F1 Students Invest in Stocks

Are F1 students allowed to invest in stock?

F1 visa international students can buy, sell and invest in the stock market. Given that as long as it is a part-time job and not a full-time job like a day trader F1 students can invest in stock. Investment this type is called passive income and nothing can stop F1 students from investing in stock market.

When a student is on an F1 visa he/she is still enrolled in the educational institution as a full-time student. So, proper F1 student status is needed to be maintained with a good academic record. Therefore, trading in stock should be a secondary objective and not the primary one. Students should apply for an H-1B visa after their studies are completed. Once they get their H-1B visa they can trade in the stock market as a full-time job.


Is day trading allowed for F1 students?

As buying and selling of stocks can be done by F1 students so they can definitely do day trading. Applications like Robinhood allow you to buy and sell stocks and also allow you to do day trading. If your account has less than $25000 then Robinhood allows you to do a maximum of 4 times a week for day-to-day trading.


In order for stock trading as an F1 student, what do I need to have?

Social Security Number (SSN) is typically required by most stock brokerage firms for stock trading. The IRS requires it for the purpose of tax and to calculate your capital gains. SSN can be got by working on campus combined with the job application process. At Social Security Administration (SSA) Office, you can apply for SSN with the offer letter that you got from the on-campus job. Documents like Passport, I-20, I-94 will also be required to obtain SSN. Typically, SSN is used for tax purposes that employers use to report jobs or to check eligibility of benefits to the IRS/Government.


Can I still do stock trading as an F1 student if I do not have an SSN?

Though SSN is required by a lot of stock brokerage firms you can still open a stock brokerage account by using an ITIN number (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). But be mindful that the ITIN number is not accepted by all stockbroking firms and for the one that you are interested in, you need to check with them to confirm.


If as an F1 student, I want to do stock trading in the US, what do I need to know about the tax part?

Every F1 students need to file for taxes if they want to do stock trading just like American citizens or permanent residents. Required taxes are needed to be paid on the gains after the declaration of your investment and gains of your stock.

Once the year comes to an end, you will be provided form 1099 by your broker. Along with your 1040NR, you should also file form 1099.  In case you are unable to do, you can take help from online tools regarding it or inquire if your school or public libraries provide free or voluntary help on tax services. If you are unsure regarding its filing or payment it is better to take help from tax consultant.  


How much tax do I need to pay as an F1 student on my dividends?

Tax on the dividends or any of the stock-related capital gains is currently subjected to 30% for foreign students. The same applies to F1 students or H1B holders. So, while investing keep in mind the percentage. Another document that needs to be submitted to your stockbroker for IRS tax purposes is W-8BEN.


Can F1 students open a brokerage account? If so, who are some of the popular stockbrokers that offer the same?

Yes, with SSN an F1 student can open a brokerage account. It might depend on the online brokers. Proper identification can be enough to open a brokerage account in the USA in case you are not a U.S citizen but reside in the U.S.

One of the most popular stock brokerage services is TradeKing. Other companies like Scottrade and TD Ameritrade also offer F1 students to open a brokerage account. Still, you need to check with the firm as some companies do not accept international students on F1 visas or they may have some limitations for trading.

Invest in Stocks

Is SSN required for stock trading?

Most of the exchanges required SSN some allow you to trade stock using ITIN. (How to get an SSN as an international student?)


How much am I need to pay tax?

If you keep your stock for more than 1 year you will probably pay lower capital gain but if you sell before 1 year you might need to pay more taxes on your capital gain.


What is a retirement account?

 Learn more. about Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, and 401k, talk to your CPA/accountant and get advice.


Can f1 students buy and sell stock on the same day?

If you buy and sell stock on the same day it is called day trading. Apps like Robinhood allow you day to day trading a maximum of 4 times a week if your account has less than $25000. Read your broker policy different brokers have different policy


So above were some of the important information that F1 students need to know about stock trading.

Therefore F1 students can definitely do stock trading as long as they do it passively and pay the tax. It is important that F1 students while they are still on their visa follow employment rules and keep an eye on any changes or news regarding international students. Violation of any rules could lead to deportation.

Hope you got your answer Can F1 Students Invest in Stocks ?




N.B: It is not legal advice, if you have confusion ask your lawyer, CPA, or your school-designated officer.


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