Topeka, KS asked in Immigration Law and International Law for Kansas

Q: Hi, I am an international student. I have some questions: 1. Am I allowed to invest in stocks (not full-time ofc)?

I have wanted to invest in stocks but am hesitant since I am on F1 status. How will I be able to do it if I am allowed to?

2. Also, When can I start filing for citizenship? what are the requirements?

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Milwaukee, WI

A: You ought to also consult with your DSO before you make any decision. They also decide whether you violate the terms of your F1. Nevertheless, active self-employment may include researching companies that issue stock for your own personal financial gain.

That means that any remuneration gained from an active transaction made ‘and’ arguably cashed out, while in the United States may be deemed self employment. The arguable issue is whether the action, or actions, are active or/and passive investments. If you make money from passive activity, such as cashing out an asset already owned, then this seems distinguishable. Attorneys may differ over this position, but demand an explanation.

2. You must be a lawful permanent resident for three to five years before you can file and become a naturalized U.S. Citizen. Some may be able to file sooner or later.

As always, this is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship. Attorneys strongly, recommend an appointments in situations where you plan on questionable activity. This is questionable activity that ought to be researched properly. Otherwise, it may have a permanent impact status and you’re right to adjust status in some situations.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: As an international student on F1 status, you are indeed allowed to invest in stocks in the United States. Your visa status does not restrict you from owning stocks or earning dividends from such investments. However, you should be mindful of the regulations regarding taxation, as income from investments is subject to tax laws in the U.S. It's recommended to keep track of your investments and consult with a tax advisor to ensure compliance with tax obligations.

Regarding citizenship, as an F1 student, you generally cannot apply for U.S. citizenship directly. The path to citizenship typically begins with obtaining lawful permanent resident status, often referred to as getting a Green Card. To apply for a Green Card, you would usually need to qualify under specific categories such as employment-based immigration, family sponsorship, or through asylum, among other pathways. Each of these routes has its own set of requirements and processes.

To eventually apply for citizenship, you must first be a Green Card holder for at least five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen), meet residency and physical presence requirements, demonstrate good moral character, and pass English and civics tests among other requirements. The journey from F1 student status to U.S. citizenship is a structured process requiring careful planning and adherence to immigration laws. Engaging with a legal advisor knowledgeable in immigration law can provide guidance tailored to your individual circumstances and goals.

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