I-bonds for a non US citizen

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aceoperations
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I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by aceoperations » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:13 am

I was considering purchasing I-bonds by the end of the year, but I am not a US citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder). Is there any regulation that prevents me from buying I-bonds? I intend to hold these bonds for at least 5 years in which time I should be able to get a green card. Thanks.

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HueyLD
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by HueyLD » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:32 am

When I opened an account at the TD, it asked for my SSN. I don't recall any question related to either citizenship or permanent residency.

So, I assume that you can open a TD account with your SSN. Do you have a SSN?

Sam I Am
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by Sam I Am » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:37 am

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sscritic
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by sscritic » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:46 am

You asked about the regs.
Only an individual or an entity is eligible to open a TreasuryDirect account. In order to open a TreasuryDirect account, an individual or entity account manager must have a valid social security number (SSN), be 18 years of age or over, and be legally competent.
...
The account owner must have a United States address of record and have an account at a United States depository financial institution that will accept debits and credits using the Automated Clearing House method of payment.
...
You must establish a TreasuryDirect account online before you purchase a Treasury security to be held in your account.
..
When you have completed the application, you will create a password to access your account. We will verify your identity and send your account number to you by e-mail when your account application is approved. In addition to your password, we may require you to use any other form(s) of authentication that we consider necessary for the protection of your account.
...
(a) Individual. When you establish an account, we may use a verification service to verify your identity using information you provide about yourself on the online application. At our option, we may require offline verification.
...
In the event we require offline verification, we will provide a printable verification form for the individual account owner or entity account manager to sign. The signature on the form must be certified or guaranteed as provided at §363.43, and the form must be mailed to us at the address provided in §363.5.
P.S. Sam's link is wrong. Try here:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/res ... s_ibuy.htm

P.P.S. The website is allowed to give false information (or perhaps it is talking about paper bonds). The regs are what count, as I understand the meaning of the word regs.

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tfb
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by tfb » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:55 pm

TreasuryDirect wrote:United States resident
"resident" just means having an address and maybe living in the country for 183 days or more in a year. It has nothing to do with citizenship or immigration status.
Last edited by tfb on Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sam I Am
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by Sam I Am » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:26 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

random user 320
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by random user 320 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:55 pm

Sam I Am wrote:Hey, I'm not defining who is or isn't a resident, I simply posted the info I found at the Treasury Dirrect site. But thanks anyway.Sheesh!
The problem is that it matters a great deal to the OP what exactly is meant by "resident". S/He seems to qualify for the IRS definition that tfb mentions but not the USCIS definition. The clarification was likely meant to be helpful, not pedantic.
Last edited by random user 320 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ThinkingRunner
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by ThinkingRunner » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:53 pm

Yes, you can purchase I-bonds -- I bought paper I-bonds when on H-1B visa. As long as you have a SSN and are a "resident alien for tax purposes" (meaning you file taxes as a U.S. resident and pass either the green card test or the substantial presence test). Since you won't pass the green card test, you should check whether you pass the substantial presence test. More details in IRS form 1040NR instructions.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nr.pdf

ETA: I also opened and operated bank, brokerage and Vanguard accounts (including Roth IRAs) before I became a permanent resident.

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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by tfb » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:10 pm

Sam I Am wrote:Hey, I'm not defining who is or isn't a resident, I simply posted the info I found at the Treasury Dirrect site. But thanks anyway.Sheesh!

Sam I Am
Sorry, I should've attributed the quote to TreasuryDirect, not you. I will edit my post.
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aceoperations
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by aceoperations » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:43 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone. Looking at "US resident" made me think it was permanent residency, while it only meant being a "resident alien for tax purposes." Since I pass the substantial presence test, I guess I can go ahead and setup my account with TreasuryDirect.

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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by Spirit Rider » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:24 pm

Years ago I advised a couple of H1-B software engineers at our company to open treasury direct accounts and purchase I-bonds. The H1-B work visa only applies to the holder and not the spouse. The spouse is not eligible to work and thus cannot apply for a SSN. However, for bank accounts and spousal IRA's, the spouses applied for and received Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN).

They contacted Treasury Direct and were told as long as they had valid Taxpayer Identification Numbers that would allow the proper reporting of IRS tax forms, they could open an account. They applied for Treasury Direct accounts and purchased I-bonds for years. Once they applied for and received their permanent resident status the spouses could now work and recevied SSNs, which have replaced their ITINs on all their accounts.

I am guessing that you are currently here on some kind of work visa. I added the above information in case you are married and could take advantage of the additional opportunites for your spouse to also purchase I-bonds. Also, I don't know if this is still true, but it is worth a try if circumstances allow.

aceoperations
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by aceoperations » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:27 pm

The H1-B work visa only applies to the holder and not the spouse. The spouse is not eligible to work and thus cannot apply for a SSN.
Good point Spirit Rider. I do have a H1-B visa and my wife has a dependent H4 visa. She was working earlier and had a H1-B visa. As a result she does have an SSN. I have spousal Roth IRA set up along my Roth IRA. So, as I understand it, we should both be able to purchase $10k worth of electronic I-bonds each before the end of the year. Please let me know if I'm missing anything.

aceoperations
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by aceoperations » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:42 pm

I just wanted to follow up on this post so that it may be useful for others in the same situation.

Apart from all the useful information provided by others on this forum regarding this topic, I used the "contact us" link on the treasurydirect website to ask whether an SSN alone is sufficient to purchase I-bonds.

Here is my question (sent on a Saturday morning)
Hi, I currently live in the US on a H1B work visa. I am not a US citizen or a permanent resident. My spouse is on a H4 dependent visa having held a H1B work visa earlier. She is also not a US citizen or a permanent resident. However, we both have SSNs. Am I allowed to open a treasurydirect account and purchase I-series savings bonds up to the maximum limit of $10k for each of our SSNs? Thanks
Here is the response I received from treasury direct (received response on Tuesday morning):
Hello,

Who is eligible to open a TreasuryDirect account, states:

"Only an individual or an entity is eligible to open a TreasuryDirect account. In order to open a TreasuryDirect account, an individual or entity account manager must have a valid social security number (SSN), be 18 years of age or over, and be legally competent. An entity must have a valid SSN or employer identification number (EIN). The account owner must have a United States address of record and have an account at a United States depository financial institution that will accept debits and credits using the Automated Clearing House method of payment"

If you meet these requirements then you can open a TreasuryDirect account.

Thanks,
This response is a reaffirmation of the posts by others on this topic. Thank you for all your help.

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Mel Lindauer
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by Mel Lindauer » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:46 pm

aceoperations wrote:I just wanted to follow up on this post so that it may be useful for others in the same situation.

Apart from all the useful information provided by others on this forum regarding this topic, I used the "contact us" link on the treasurydirect website to ask whether an SSN alone is sufficient to purchase I-bonds.

Here is my question (sent on a Saturday morning)
Hi, I currently live in the US on a H1B work visa. I am not a US citizen or a permanent resident. My spouse is on a H4 dependent visa having held a H1B work visa earlier. She is also not a US citizen or a permanent resident. However, we both have SSNs. Am I allowed to open a treasurydirect account and purchase I-series savings bonds up to the maximum limit of $10k for each of our SSNs? Thanks
Here is the response I received from treasury direct (received response on Tuesday morning):
Hello,

Who is eligible to open a TreasuryDirect account, states:

"Only an individual or an entity is eligible to open a TreasuryDirect account. In order to open a TreasuryDirect account, an individual or entity account manager must have a valid social security number (SSN), be 18 years of age or over, and be legally competent. An entity must have a valid SSN or employer identification number (EIN). The account owner must have a United States address of record and have an account at a United States depository financial institution that will accept debits and credits using the Automated Clearing House method of payment"

If you meet these requirements then you can open a TreasuryDirect account.

Thanks,
This response is a reaffirmation of the posts by others on this topic. Thank you for all your help.
Thanks for sharing that feedback from TD. My guess is that you meet those requirements, so it sounds like you're good to go.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

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NAVigator
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by NAVigator » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:08 am

That is interesting information about who can open a TD account.

Here is a variation. My daughter is an expat living in Europe; she is a US citizen and has a social security number. I have purchased a number of I-Bonds in my account and named her as a co-owner. When she inherits these bonds, I think she will have to open an TD account. But it seems that she won't be able to since she doesn't have an address in the US or a financial institution, except Vanguard.

Any suggestions on what to do in this case?

Jerry
"I was born with nothing and I have most of it left."

aceoperations
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by aceoperations » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:33 am

My thought on it is that she will only need to have an US address on record. It can be a family member or a trusted friend. It does not specify that the she actually has to live at that address. Of course, meeting the requirement of having an account with a US financial institution is an easy one.

To be sure, it might be useful to email TD. They have a pretty quick response time.

manedark
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Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Post by manedark » Sun May 20, 2018 1:44 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:24 pm
Years ago I advised a couple of H1-B software engineers at our company to open treasury direct accounts and purchase I-bonds. The H1-B work visa only applies to the holder and not the spouse. The spouse is not eligible to work and thus cannot apply for a SSN. However, for bank accounts and spousal IRA's, the spouses applied for and received Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN).

They contacted Treasury Direct and were told as long as they had valid Taxpayer Identification Numbers that would allow the proper reporting of IRS tax forms, they could open an account. They applied for Treasury Direct accounts and purchased I-bonds for years. Once they applied for and received their permanent resident status the spouses could now work and recevied SSNs, which have replaced their ITINs on all their accounts.

I am guessing that you are currently here on some kind of work visa. I added the above information in case you are married and could take advantage of the additional opportunites for your spouse to also purchase I-bonds. Also, I don't know if this is still true, but it is worth a try if circumstances allow.
HI, I am on a temporary work visa to the US - L1 (intra-company transfer), I was thinking of investing in I-bonds in my taxable account. My question is that if I after 30 years (full maturity) - I am no longer a US resident or citizen, can I potentially run into issues while trying to redeem these bonds as in need to have a valid SSN and/or a US bank account etc.?
Thanks in advance!

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