Can a green card holder open a Schwab investment account as a normal US citizen would, or most they open an International account? Funds to use would all be coming from a US bank and not overseas.


Your bank doesn't care about your immigration status, it cares about your tax status. You're a US tax resident and will open a US-resident account, not an international account (regardless of where the money comes from).

  • So long as i have a SSN and in the US, right? – Erik Dec 24 '15 at 4:43
  • @Erik probably. SSN is required to establish identity and tax reporting, retail banks don't always need it but brokerage firms will probably require. Residing in the US is not, to the best of my knowledge, a legal requirement although the PATRIOT act may have something to do with that. – littleadv Dec 24 '15 at 4:51
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    In the very early 1980s, I remember that many mutual fund companies (and presumably brokerage firms too; I didn't ask) refused to open investment accounts for (noncitizen) permanent residents of the US (I was one then). My first investment account was a money market fund with Scudder Investments, one of the few firms that accepted the "huddled masses" and "wretched refuse" that had arrived "tempest-tost" on these unteeming shores. – Dilip Sarwate Dec 24 '15 at 12:36
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    @DilipSarwate : As a more recent non-immigrant visa holder, I had no problems (2004 to 2009) in setting up an ETrade account. It's amazing what the thought of losing money from paying customers will do. :-) – Peter K. Dec 24 '15 at 16:08

As a relatively recent nonimmigrant visa holder (O1), I was able to open an ETrade brokerage account without problems. I have full tax residence in the USA so have an SSN, and a credit history so it was no problem.

Later, as a greencard holder, I opened IRA accounts with them, too. Again, there were no issues as I had all the information that the IRS paperwork required at hand.


As a permanent resident in the U.S. but not a citizen, I was told by a representative at Scottrade that I am not allowed to open a brokerage account.

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