Author Topic: Options for non-resident aliens paid in USD  (Read 1097 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Options for non-resident aliens paid in USD
« on: August 06, 2017, 12:51:42 PM »
Hi All,

Apologies if this is a stupid question, have only just built up enough savings above and beyond rainy day fund to really look seriously into what to do with them.

I'm a grad student here in the US and have been here for two years on an F1 visa. Will be here for at least three more. Have an SSN and a salary paid in USD.

However, I've found I can't open an online-only high yield savings account because I'm not a 'US person'.

It's not enough money to be eligible for the offshore accounts I've looked into (just a few thousand dollars) but it's making me anxious that it's just sitting there doing nothing when it could be accruing value. My normal US nationwide bank offers a savings account with an interest rate of 0.01 APY, so that's not exactly an attractive option!

I'm now looking to open an account with the local credit union, where they have fixed term options that would bring that up to 1.5% - but that's for five years, and I'd like to find a better solution before then!

Another consideration was whether it would make sense to convert it to sterling (grimace!) and then put it into a UK account, but obviously that can't be an ISA as I'm not a UK resident (according to substantial presence test and taxation)...and opening a new savings account in the UK (I still have a basic checking account) seems tricky and possibly legally dodgy.

My original hope had been to put some money into a couple index funds and leave it there for 5-10 years, but that now seems hopelessly complicated.

Feel pretty stuck in the middle: not a UK resident, not a US resident...and apparently without many good options!