My brokerage gives me a few commission free trades per month. Non-citizen, non-permanent residents cannot open an account. Are there any brokerages that offer commission-free trades and are open to people that don't have a green card?

  • 1
    Non-citizen, non-resident... Where? I'm guessing the US, since you mentioned green card? And which brokerage is it?
    – littleadv
    Mar 30, 2014 at 0:40
  • Yes United States. Sorry about that.
    – mushroom
    Mar 30, 2014 at 0:42
  • This question seems to be asking for a product recommendation. Dec 19, 2014 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


Generally, US banks/brokerages treat US tax residents the same as they treat US citizens/permanent residents, for deposit/investment accounts purposes. You may be not a permanent resident (green card holder), but you may definitely open accounts as resident if you're a tax resident.

Usually, the distinction is in the form of your identification: as a non-resident you use form W8-BEN, as a resident (even if you don't have a green card, but are in H1B or L1 status, for example) you use W9. That is all they generally care about.

I have yet to see a bank that doesn't open accounts to non-citizens and non-permanent residents, but I have seen banks that do not open accounts to non-residents for tax purposes. I think that is the source of your confusion.

  • From what I can tell, Merrill Lynch does not allow non-permanent residents to open an investment account. I just called them and asked.
    – mushroom
    Mar 30, 2014 at 4:01
  • Also can't open an account with Fidelity or Charles Schwab.
    – mushroom
    Mar 30, 2014 at 4:05
  • The person attempting to open the account has an H1B.
    – mushroom
    Mar 30, 2014 at 4:07
  • What about E*Trade and such?
    – littleadv
    Mar 30, 2014 at 4:33

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