Investing in the US || Your Guide to the Share Market in the USA
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Investing in the US || Your Guide to the Share Market in the USA

Pawan

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Making sound investments can stand you in good stead in the future. Also, investing can be an excellent way to augment your income and lay the foundation for passive returns in the future. If you are an H1B or L1 visa holder who wants to invest in US stocks, then you have come to the right place.

Everything That You Need to Know on How to Get the Top US Stocks:

Can H1B/L1 Visa holders invest in the US stock market?

Yes, H1B Visa holders can invest in the US stock market. Since investing in the stock market generates a passive income and does not violate the terms of the visa, a valid visa holder can participate in stock trading and invest in the US stock market to gain returns on their salary - like any other retail investor.

What is the requirement for H1B/L1 holders to invest in US stocks?

Before you begin investment planning and planning which US stocks to buy, make sure you have the following documents in order:

  • A Social Security Number (SSN)
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of the H1B Visa Stamp in your passport
  • A copy of the H1B approval notice
  • A copy of the I-94 Departure or Arrival card
  • A residential proof for a US based address (such as rental agreement, utility bill, etc.)
  • Details regarding your employment (optional)

Source

Additionally, certain brokers impose age restrictions that require the investor to be a legal adult (at least 18 years of age) to start investing in US stocks. And as applicable to every US citizen, you will be governed by the fact that you cannot trade on someone else's behalf, and the trade should only originate from you or your account.

How to invest in US Stocks?

Once you have all the documents mentioned above, you can sign-up on any online stockbroker platform such as Interactive Brokers, Scottrade, Robinhood, Ameritrade, ETrade, TradeKing, etc. where you will get the best US stocks to buy now.

Once registration is complete, you can do thorough financial planning and analysis as you kickstart your journey of buying and selling the best US stocks available.

Day Trading or Delivery Based Trades - which one is better for H1B/L1 visa holders?

If you invest in the US stocks via stock trading, you have two options that the share market in USA offers:

  • Day trading
  • Deliver based trades

As the name indicates, Day Trading involves the buying and selling of stock on the same day. In contrast, Deliver Based Trades require the investor to purchase and hold the stock for a duration that lasts significantly longer than a single day.

Since H1B/L1 visa holders have full-time jobs, they may not have the time or the resources to carry out informed financial planning and analysis. Typically, day trading is done by full-time stock traders and is highly time and attention-intensive, which may contradict and even violate the terms of the original employment against which the individual has received their H1B/L1 visa.

And so, even if there is no rule prescribing this segregation, H1B/L1 visa holders take part in delivery-based trades as it is more feasible.

What is the tax liability on H1B/L1 holders for stock trading?

This is an important aspect that all investors that are involved in the USA share market should be aware of. Even though the income generated through investments is passive, it is income nevertheless. As a result, you need to pay taxes on all your stock market earnings.

Since the IRS recognizes these earnings as income, various taxes are levied. These taxes are decided depending on the taxable component, the nature of the investment, and the holding period.

Some of the different taxes include:

  • Tax on dividends
  • Tax on capital gains
  • Tax on interest
  • Tax losses and wash sales

Understanding the tax system in the US can be tricky so it is best to involve a tax consultant to devise your tax liability and file the return on such gains without impacting your visa status.

Can you give up your full-time job if you wish to pursue trading full-time?

Sadly, not yet! You may think that you have done the homework and carried out all the financial planning and analysis or that you have enough corpus and make enough passive income to sustain yourself. Or, you just got lucky and ended up multiplying your investments manifold. You feel like you have an idea on the best US stocks to buy right now!

But, is it time to turn in that resignation and start enjoying the fruits of your labor?

Well, not yet.

While your investment planning may have raked in considerable profits and the USCIS may allow trading, you can only do it while maintaining the legal status of your H1B/L1 visa. Once you tender your resignation, you no longer work for the company that sponsored you, which effectively violates your visa and makes you ineligible for investing.

What are some non-stock investment options in the US?


In addition to trading and investing in the top US stocks, you can also consider parking your money in some non-stock options like:

  • Cryptocurrency
  • 401 and 401k matching
  • Real estate
  • Startups (through crowdfunding and angel investors)
  • Certificates of Deposit

Final Thoughts

If you wish to get solid returns on your salary, investing is one of the best options available. However, practice well-rounded financial planning and analysis while selecting the form of investment and the instrument. And uphold the terms and conditions attached to your visa so that you can continue drawing these benefits. With Zolve you can also register for a US bank account and US credit card before moving to the US while still being in your home country!