Does Firstrade accept applications from international residents?

Yes, Firstrade handles international accounts. However, we are unable to open accounts of certain countries due to geographic location and/or risk profile.

  Can international customers enjoy the same low commission rates posted on your website?

Firstrade is an international online broker. Our commission structure is the same for all Firstrade customers, regardless of where you live.

  What types of documents do you require to open an account?
  • Brokerage Account Application
  • W-8BEN
  • Valid Passport photocopy
  • Proof of foreign residency (if the mailing address differs from the permanent address)
  I currently do not have a passport, or my passport is expired. Can you accept other documentation instead?

A copy of your valid passport (photo and signature pages) is required for all international accounts. No other forms of identification are accepted.

  I am a U.S. Citizen living abroad permanently. What type of account should I open?

Firstrade does not accept new applications from U.S. citizens or permanent residents living abroad.

  Can international accounts file a beneficiary form?

At this time, you will not be able to file a beneficiary form.

  I do not have a bank in the United States. How can I deposit funds?

Many of our international customers prefer the Wire Transfer method because it is safer, faster and more secure. Wire funds can be sent to almost any bank around the world. Please download the Wire Instructions Form and provide this information along with your Firstrade account number to your local bank. It is highly recommended that you convert your local currency to U.S. Dollars before initiating the wire.

  Can my friend or relative in the United States deposit a check on my behalf?

No, we do not accept third party checks for deposit.

  What types of securities can I trade with my international account?

You may trade stocks listed on the U.S. Exchanges/U.S. Markets with Firstrade. Some mutual funds may be traded also, but please consult with the fund's prospectus for any restrictions. In general, most fixed income securities are open to international investors.

  What is the minimum deposit?

We do not have a minimum deposit requirement. Therefore, you are welcome to deposit as much or as little as you wish.

  Do I need to report taxes to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service?

If a valid W-8BEN is filed for the account, the U.S. IRS only withholds a small amount of tax on dividends received. The rate varies from country to country but it does not exceed 30%. Investors are responsible to report any capital gains or capital losses to your local tax authorities. However, a separate tax return is not required to be filed in the United States. A Form 1042 is mailed in April.

  Can I set up ACH electronic transfers with my local bank in my country?

In most cases, we will not be able to set up an ACH profile for bank accounts outside of the United States. This is because we require a 9-digit ABA number to set up the profile. If your bank utilizes a SWIFT code, please initiate a wire transfer request instead.

  How can I contact Firstrade?

You may contact Firstrade in one of many ways:

  What methods can I submit my documents?

All documents are accepted by fax (718-961-3919), by e-mail as scanned attachments (service@firstrade.com) or by regular mail:

Firstrade Securities Inc.
30-50 Whitestone Expwy.
Ste. A301
Flushing, NY 11354

You can also upload your documents via our "Upload Form" feature under Customer Service - Form Center.

   What if I am traveling? How can I manage my account?

As long as you have internet connection, you will be able to access your account from anywhere in the world.

   I have an account with a broker in my country. Can I transfer my U.S. securities to Firstrade?

Please ask your current broker if they participate in the ACAT, DTC or DWAC transfer system. Many international brokerage firms may have affiliations with a domestic U.S. transfer agent. If that is the case, we can accept the securities transfer.

   Can I trade on international exchanges such as the Toronto Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange etc?

No, not at this time. We currently handle securities listed on the U.S. Markets/U.S. Exchanges only.

   I mailed in my documents already. How can I check if they were received and successfully processed?

Please give us a call or send us an e-mail. Our representatives will gladly assist you.

   How do I withdraw funds?

The preferred method for international customers is by wire transfer. There is a fee of $30.00/domestic or $35.00/international wire request.

   Due to the time zone differences, I do not always have time to stay up in the evening to watch the markets. Can I place an order for consideration for the following day?

Yes. You can enter the order during closed market hours. When regular trading hours resume the following day, your order will be submitted to the market for consideration.

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