Sure! There is no U.S. law that forbids foreign nationals from trading securities in the U.S., including options. The decision open account with a broker/dealer is up to the individual firm themselves. Conditions, however, can be placed on the brokerage accounts of foreign nationals who are non-residents of the U.S. as well as certain additional requirements for the establishment of an account. This varies by broker.
If you have not resided in the U.S. for at least 183 days in the last three years, you will be deemed a non-resident for the purpose of establishing an account.You will complete form W8-BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status) for the purposes of tax withholding, which every U.S. brokerage account holder is subject to, regardless of where you reside. The question about margin accounts are under the control of individual broker/dealers who grant such extensions of credit under Reg. T, in accordance with the rules of respective securities exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The requirements for opening an account as a foreign national varies (thus no exhaustive list of which U.S. firms accept foreign retail customers exists); the best advice is to contact individual brokerage houses directly to inquire about their requirements for both opening an account and trading on margin as a foreign citizen.
OptionAutomator deals with providing technology to assist consumer level options trader in making better decisions when it comes to trading options. Our aim has always been to grant access to our software for all. As such, we’ve created a blog post that details more the requirements for opening a brokerage account as a non-resident foreigner.
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