Trading on H1-B / H4 visa

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by NYDreamer, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Contemplating a move to the US, on a H4 visa initially (i.e. spouse of H1-B visa holder) and hoping to land a H1-B myself too.

    I plan to actively trade my own account, but from what I understand there might be trouble with the USCIS. H4 visa means you're not allowed to have any sort of job (I suppose daytrading is). Alternatively, the H1-B visa sponsor should be the primary source of income, and trading too actively (too profitably?) on the side is supposedly not allowed.

    Any experiences with this sort of situation?
  2. Get a phd and you'll definitely get an h1b.
  3. I have one. But that's not my question.

    To clarify further: I plan to swing trade. Holding periods vary between a few days and a few weeks.
  4. Paddler


    Daytrading is a job?...... :D

    Tell me who would be your employer in your daytrading?

  5. Hello, i know some people back in dallas who were on h4 and traded. Now i dont know if they opened account on their name or their husband's name. My advise will be to ask directly to the broker. Most brokers have web chat feature and they shud be able to answer your question instantly. I emailed one person i knew. Hopefully she will reply soon and i will update you.

    I hope you are aware of the day trading rules as a retail investor. Its an expensive process. I dont trade stocks so i may not be up to date but from what i know it is usually 25K deposit and leverage is also dependent on credit lines etc. Just make sure you know all the rules and capital investment.
  6. abcd1234


    I m interested in this kind of issue.
    Although someone who has H1b from some employer, they can't work for another one, unless you have another H1b from the other one too.

    However, a prop trading is not an employment from my understanding. Some companies use their traders as their customers who only use their trading platform and spend trading fee and application fees. Even licensed prop firms don't pay salary but only give leverage based on traders' deposit.

    So, my question is if a prop trading is a type of job which we need an H1b? As long as we have SSN and report our taxes, we can trade as we do day trading on our own account, can we?
  7. degreed or not,

    what is regrettable is how these US based companies, whether foreign arms of large multi-nationals or just home grown domestic corporations (i.e. welfare companies that take tax breaks and incentives and disenfranchise local citizens)

    what is regrettable is how they create the notion that the US can not and has not produced sufficient skilled or educated workers as justification for needing to hire abroad through these visa programs.

    there used to be the notion of:
    1) corporate responsibility as a corporate citizen (of the US)
    2) investing in their workers and applicants and training (on the job)

    3) social responsibility towards repaying the IDB (industrial development banking loans and corporate welfare tax waivers) loans and tax waivers by hiring locally or domestic US

    4) realizing that without contributing with the US borders, and state and local municipality where their offices and factories are located shrinks the base of potential customers

    .... the accounting term is goodwill and the social term is "being a good corporate citizen"

    so frankly,

    excuse me, if I am having a hard time worrying about an import having the benefits and treasures of citizens, when the citizens themselves are being disenfranchised enmasse

    frankly, can't you engage in trading operations from your present location? and country?
  8. rwk


    As a USA citizen, I am not an expert of visa rules. But as a former computer programmer, I took an interest in the H1-B because many companies use it to displace citizens with cheaper foreign workers. The H1-B is only valid for a specific employer and is issued only for certain technical occupations, such as engineering and programming. I would be surprised to hear that prop trading qualifies. The visa has a cost in fees and paperwork, and I would also be surprised to hear that a prop shop is willing to pay that.

    It's my understanding that an applicant can only apply for an H1-B from his country of origin. If the OP is here now, he would have to return to the old country to apply for the H1-B. If a visa is not issued, he might not be able to get back in the USA.

    Trading gains are generally considered "unearned income", so an H4 visa holder could trade his own money with no problem. Whether a prop trader can trade on an H4 would likely depend on how the compensation is taxed (i.e. whether is is considered earned or unearned income). That may depend on the compensation scheme of the prop shop, and that varies from firm to firm. Some do provide a paycheck, and that would not work for an H4 visa holder.
  9. Yes, the visas are being abused on a large scale by using them for importing cheap labor (Indian outsourcing companies received over half of the available visas in 2012). It's unfair competition for US engineers, and it will hurt the US in the long run. A few simple additional conditions on the H-1B would make it do what it is supposed to do, and I find it unbelievable that policy makers haven't done so yet.

    BTW, the visa quota was met in less than a week this year. It shows how eager companies are to cut costs.

    I could, but I want to move to the US in order to grow as a person, and to advance my career. I'd argue that the US is better off with me, but given the position of US engineers/scientists, I understand your sentiment.
  10. zdreg


    frankly, can't you engage in trading operations from your present location? and country"

    i doubt very much that foreign traders displace american traders.
    #10     Apr 10, 2013