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first a little bit of background about me. I'm a phd student on an F1 visa. I have been in the US for a little over 2.5 years and I expect to stay here for about the same length of time. Because I've only been here 2.5 years, the IRS counts me as a non-resident alien.

Now back to my problem. I have a little bit of money saved up and I'd like to invest this in a Vanguard mutual fund. However Vanguard has told me that only a "lawful permanent resident of the United States" can invest in the funds. Does this mean I am not allowed to invest in any mutual funds in the US?

I ask because this post seems to suggest that there might be some confusion in terminology between the IRS and Vanguard and that I am indeed allowed to invest in the mutual funds.

Any suggestions or pointers to further information will be appreciated. Thanks!

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However Vanguard has told me that only a "lawful permanent resident of the United States" can invest in the funds. Does this mean I am not allowed to invest in any mutual funds in the US?

No, it means that you cannot invest through Vanguard directly. Open a brokerage account and invest in publicly available funds. The answer on the site you linked answers your question quite clearly.

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I was also on F1-visa, and later got converted into H1B visa. I spoke with Vanguard customer care regaridng my situation, and came to a conclusion that once I am a Resident Alien for tax purposes (via Substantial Presence Test), I will be eligible to open a brokerage account.

I became a Resident Alien in June 2018, and hence I was able to open an account with Vanguard. Hope this helps.

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