Accounts for Non-U.S. Residents Etrade and Ally Invest

U.S. Brokers For Non-U.S. Residents

Etrade and Ally Invest do not accept applications from non-U.S. citizens. Fortunately, there are U.S. brokerage firms that welcome international investors - Firstrade and Interactive Brokers. If you are a citizen of one of the following countries - Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom (Great Britain) - then click here and read 2021 Firstrade Review.

Citizens of all other countries should check out Interactive Brokers. Learn more about the company in the 2021 Interactive Brokers Review.

Open Firstrade Account

Open Firstrade Account

Overview of Interactive Brokers

Although opening a brokerage account with a firm based in America is oftentimes impossible for non-Americans, Interactive Brokers provides an alternative. The broker-dealer offers accounts to residents of foreign countries, non-Americans, and both. Here’s how to get your account open no matter where you live or what your citizenship is:

How to Open an Account

To get started, click here, and then on the OPEN AN ACCOUNT button that appears in the middle of the page. The broker’s website is accessible from virtually any location on the planet, although a few nationalities are restricted from opening an account. For example, North Korea is not on the list of eligible countries; but there are over 200 that are on the list, so almost anyone can open an Interactive Brokers account ($2,500 is required to get started for any nationality).

After clicking on the green button, you’ll get the broker-dealer’s electronic application page. You simply need to provide your name, email address, and phone number, and you’ll immediately have an account number. To get the account up and running, you will need to provide further details. Besides the standard data points, Interactive Brokers' application will ask for:

Country of birth
Country of tax residency
Social Security Number (other national ID number can be used)

Thankfully, Interactive Brokers' online application is available in multiple languages. Look in the top-right corner of the screen and you should see your account number next to a language menu. Click on this language menu and you’ll get a drop-down list of several languages, including Spanish, English, and Japanese. Unfortunately, Interactive Brokers' regular website is in English only.

IBKR Lite Portal Review

Taxation of Accounts

Non-Americans (including both individuals and entities) who open an Interactive Brokers account are required to complete IRS Form W-8. This is the document that certifies the account holder’s country of tax residency. Accounts that fill out this form will not receive Form 1099 at the end of the tax year but may receive Form 1042-S, which is the document that reports dividends and other payments.

Foreign accounts at Interactive Brokers typically have a tax withholding of 30% on stock dividends. This rate may be reduced, possibly to 0%, if a tax treaty exists between the U.S. government and the country of tax residency of the account that receives the dividend.

Global Customer Service

If you’re living outside of North America, it may be inconvenient to reach customer service when you need it. Interactive Brokers does have a service email address (support@Interactive, which would be ideal for foreign clients. There is also an online chat button (check the lower right corner of the website), although this feature is only up during regular hours (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, EST).

IBKR Lite Stocks Trading Review

Fees on Foreign Accounts

Interactive Brokers does not charge any additional fees on accounts opened by non-Americans or Americans residing in foreign countries. This means there are no annual fees or inactivity charges. The broker does have the $2,500 initial deposit requirement mentioned above.

Interactive Brokers does charge for withdrawals after one free withdrawal per month. The exact charge varies by the currency being withdrawn and the method of withdrawal. A withdrawal by wire in U.S. dollars is $10. A withdrawal by wire in Euros costs €8; in rubles, the fee is 330₽.

Currency conversion is possible inside an Interactive Brokers account. The brokerage house charges between US$2 and US$2.50 for a conversion from U.S. dollars.

Margin and credit interest rates at Interactive Brokers vary by currency. For example, borrowing Danish krone costs 5%, while margin rates on the Mexican peso can be as high as 9%.

Available Exchanges

Opening an Interactive Brokers account is only the beginning. The brokerage firm provides trading on many exchanges around the world, with a variety of data packages, too. Here’s a sampling:

Vienna Stock Exchange:
Equity commission: 0.3% of trade value (€12 minimum)
Level II data: €51.50

Nasdaq Stockholm AB:
Equity commission: 1.0% of trade value (100 SEK minimum)
Level II data: €67.50

Toronto Stock Exchange:
Equity commission: CAD$0.02 per share (CAD$4.50 minimum)
Level II data: US$30

Open Interactive Brokers Account

Open IB Account

Countries Accepted

If you are an international investor from one of these countries - Belgium, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam - then go to Interactive Brokers »