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New Member

Opening stock account while on J1 visa

Hi, I am a J1 physician Alien in the US since June 2016. I am trying to open a stock (brokerage) account. What form should I use: the W -8/W-8ben form or the W-9 form?

Thank you,


2 Replies
Expert Alumni

Opening stock account while on J1 visa

Unless you are a permanent resident (green card holder) you must use W-8BEN.  The regulation under which the financial institutions operate adheres to a more strict definition of U.S. resident than the IRS rules for filing tax returns.  In other words, being a U.S. resident for income tax purposes does not make you a "permanent resident" for purposes of the banking regulation.


If you are a green card holder, use the Form W-9.


See this IRS link form more information on form W-8BEN.

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New Member

Opening stock account while on J1 visa

Thank you for your reply.

I am a little bit confused. On the W-8BEN form they say you should not use the form if you are a resident alien. You should use a W9 form instead.

This also appears in the link you sent.

Can you please clarify?

Thanks a lot.



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