If you are a non-US Citizen you might be wondering if you can open an investing account and invest in the US stock market. The answer is yes!
There is no citizenship requirement for investing in the US stock market. However, you will either qualify for a US investing account or an international investing account. This will depend on your US residency and tax status.
As long as you are a legal resident of the US and you have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Tax ID, you can open a US brokerage account to start investing.
It is a little more complicated for Non-US citizens that live outside the US but it can be done. You simply have to open an international account with a broker that gives you access to the US stock market. However, it is recommended that you consult with an investment firm or investment advisor to learn more about this process.
Which types of accounts
If you have a SSN or Tax ID then you can open an individual brokerage account. This is a taxable account and the most common type of investing account.
You can also open a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA account. These are both retirement accounts and have tax advantages.
If you are employed in the US, you can also invest for retirement through a 401(k) if your employer offers it. If your employer does offer 401(k) accounts, you should take advantage of that because you can invest for retirement on a pre-tax basis.
If you don’t have a SSN/Tax ID or live outside of the US, you can open an international investing account through a local broker in your home country. Again, this process is more complicated so consult with an investment firm in your area.
What happens if I move out of the US before retiring?
The answer to this question requires the help of a tax professional. However, you should know that you don’t have to cash out your retirement account upon leaving the US.
Check if your country has a tax treaty with the U.S. This treaty should allow you to continue tax-free growth on your 401(k) or IRA upon your return to your home country.
Once you’re eligible to withdraw funds in retirement, your home country may not treat this money as taxable income. Therefore, you’ll only pay U.S taxes on this income. Again, we encourage you to consult with a tax professional to learn more about your specific situation.
There is a misconception that non-US citizens aren’t able to invest in the US stock market. This is not true. The type of investing account you have access to will depend on whether you are a legal US resident or have a SSN or Tax ID.
Before opening an investing account make sure you think about whether you plan to live and retire in the US or return to your home country. This is an important discussion to have with your tax professional.
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