5 FAQ’s About Investing in Stock Market in F1 and H1B Visa

Investing in stocks, mutual funds has its own risks. But, if you are seriously interested to make money from stock market as an F-1 Visa student or other non-immigrant visa,  then spend time to lean the tricks of the trade.

In this post we will explore some of the frequently asked questions about stock trading and investments.

Can I invest in stock markets in F1 Visa and attending university in USA?

Yes, you are allowed to invest in stock markets, since it is considered as passive income.

How about H-1B, Visa, H-4, L1 Visa?

Answer is Yes.

How much money do I need to invest in stocks?

If you don’t have experience in stock market investing and trading, then get few books and learn about trading.

If not today, when you get a job, you will have to jump into investing (through 401k or employer provided plans).

You can also read from Investopedia and start following sites like Bloomberg and other financial sites.

If you are planning to invest for the first time, don’t invest all your money.

Start small and learn slowly as you go. ( I lost about $3,000 dollars when I invested the first time without experience).

If you are not being careful, you can lose lot of money in the stock markets.

Even if you don’t plan to invest lot of money, but just curious to learn, then plan to invest $100 or $200 to learn how stock trading works.

How to trade stocks and options? Is there any cheap online stock brokers/websites?

Stocks trading commissions can put huge dent in your profits, when you are investing in small amounts. Try to find the cheapest online stock brokers. Here are few online stock brokers with less fees

  1. Tradeking ($4.95 per trade). I have account here at TradeKing.com
  2. Zecco
  3. OptionsHosue
  4. Scottrade
  5. ThinkorSiwm

Do I have to pay taxes on earnings and dividends from stock tradings?

Of course, you earn money from stock trading, you have to pay taxes on the earnings.

Refer to IRS or other tax websites to learn about long term and short term capital gains.

If you loss money from trading, you can claim the losses too to certain extent.

Bonus Resource : Check out TimothySykes.com, I’m huge fan of his business model and courses. I have seen 3 video interviews. Check his site and learn from him.

Over to You

  • Do you invest in stocks in India or USA
  • Do you plan to jump into stock trading?
  • Which stock brokers do you use?


  1. Keval on October 6, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    Hi HSB,

    Can I invest in stock and bitcoins on OPT? Does it affects when I am planning to apply for H1-B?


  2. Tushar on March 25, 2017 at 12:03 AM

    Hi HSB,

    Can I invest in bitcoins/ethereum and other forms of digital money?
    I have been told that investing in stocks/bonds is risky and can lead to VISA problems whereas your post suggests otherwise. Any updates to your post as of today?

  3. Vijayakumar on November 16, 2016 at 11:43 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    Thanks for the article and I have invested in few stocks and I am on H1B visa. I am not sure is there USCIS info where it says to invest in stocks and mutual funds while in h1B visa. I would appreciate if you can share the info. As I google I donโ€™t see any positive lead exact your article.


  4. Vijayakumar on November 16, 2016 at 11:43 PM

    Hi Raghu,

    Thanks for the article and i have invested in fee stocks and I am on H1B visa. I am not sure is there USCIS info where it says to invest in stocks and mutual funds while in h1B visa. I would appreciate if you can share the info. As I google I don’t see any positive lead exact your article.


  5. Sree Ram on April 26, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    never used trade king before … do you know diff between etrade and trade king? one thing is ,transact fee. any thing else?

  6. Sirish Chandraa on January 23, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I invest in the stock market online with India Infoline (in India, of course!!). Great to know that we can invest in stocks in the US on an F1 visa. But the brokerage commission per trade looks very costly from your blog! Any good books on stock investing specifically written for the US??

    • HSB on January 23, 2011 at 3:08 PM

      While in US, you have to think in terms of spending in $ not in Rs. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Mayank on January 24, 2011 at 1:46 AM

        The brokerage structure should work very well when
        investing large amounts but for just $100 it’s 5%—well, that’s a
        lot whether it’s in Rs. or US$

  7. Mohammed Inayath Ur on January 23, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    I do trade. My broker's Sharekhan.com.

  8. Syed Akbar Hussaini on January 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Hey, HSB. Can you tell me any advantageous firm in INDIA to
    start with stock business?

  9. Tamil Kadir Rajavel on January 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Firstly, a big thanks to you, for all the articles which
    has helped me a lot in my admission process last Fall. I have done
    some trading in India, and even earned a bit. I have never traded
    here though. The brokerages in US seems so costly! How tough/easy
    is it to make some net profit after paying the brokerage? Say, if
    we invest 100$ initially. . . And, is trading commission the only
    factor which we need to look into while choosing a broker? Or are
    there other factors too?

  10. kiran on January 23, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    Hi HSB,,

    I'm an active follower of this blog,from quite some time… Thanks for all the useful info. published here ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am planning for my masters in USA for FALL 2011, i hav applied for univ's. but recently i have been hearing some strange things about obtaining a bank loan to fund my studies abroad-as Govt. banks would issue an education loan to only those students having above 60% in undergraduate. This worries me a lot as i have only 58% in my undergraduate(B-Tech), Is this TRUE?? if so, is der any other alternative for me to obtain an education loan??

    Waiting eagerly for some reply for this problem..

    • HSB on January 23, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      This post is about stock investing. You have posted question about your loan and %.

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