How to Invest in US Stock Market from India

Investing in the US stock market offers Indian investors a chance to diversify their portfolios, gain exposure to global companies, and potentially enjoy attractive returns. However, navigating the process requires understanding regulations, choosing the right brokerage, and being aware of costs and taxation. Here’s an in-depth guide to help you invest in the US stock market from India.

Who can Invest?

Any Indian resident willing to go through the steps mentioned below and who wants to invest in foreign bourses can invest in the US stock markets. Do read the rules and regulations of the LRS Scheme beforehand.

How to Invest?

There are a two ways to invest in US stock market from India, and it’ll will be classify as Direct and Indirect investment.

Direct investment includes investment directly into equities listed on the US stock exchanges. One can also invest directly in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). ETFs are like mutual funds but can be traded like a stock.

Indirect investment include investing in Mutual Funds that invest in foreign equities or foreign mutual funds. This way is easier mostly because of the passiveness. An investor just needs to invest and can do without managing it every day. You should have proper knowledge of the stock market, and if you don’t have it then, there are many stock market courses available in the market that will help you in the long run.

1. Understanding the Regulatory Framework

Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS)

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) allows Indian residents to remit up to USD 250,000 per financial year for overseas investments, including in the US stock market. This scheme ensures that investors adhere to legal remittance limits and guidelines.

2. Methods of Investing in the US Stock Market

A. Direct Investment via International Brokers

Investing directly through international brokers gives you access to a wide range of US stocks. Here’s how to proceed:

1. Choose a Broker: Select an international brokerage firm that caters to Indian investors. Popular options include:

  • Charles Schwab
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Interactive Brokers

2. Account Opening:

  • Complete the online application form provided by the broker.
  • Submit the required documents, which may include proof of identity, address proof, and PAN card.
  • The broker might also ask for a copy of your bank statement and a form declaring your intention to invest under the LRS.

3. Fund Your Account: Transfer funds from your Indian bank account to your brokerage account. Ensure you adhere to the LRS limit.

4. Start Trading: Once your account is funded, you can start buying and selling US stocks.

B. Indirect Investment via Indian Brokers

Some Indian brokerage firms offer access to US stock markets through tie-ups with international brokers. Examples include:

  • ICICI Direct
  • HDFC Securities
  • Kotak Securities

1. Account Opening: Open a demat and trading account with one of these brokers.

2. Fund Your Account: Transfer funds to your Indian brokerage account.

3. Trade US Stocks: Use the brokerage platform to place orders for US stocks. The process is similar to trading Indian stocks but through a different platform interface.

3. Investment Options

A. Individual Stocks

Invest directly in well-known companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Tesla. This method allows you to build a portfolio tailored to your preferences.

B. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

ETFs offer a diversified investment in a single security. Popular US ETFs include:

  • SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)
  • Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)
  • Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ)

C. Mutual Funds

Some Indian mutual funds invest in US stocks or global markets, providing indirect exposure without the need for an international brokerage account.

4. Tax Implications

A. Tax on Capital Gains

  • Short-Term Capital Gains (STCG): Gains from selling stocks held for less than 24 months are taxed as per your income tax slab.
  • Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG): Gains from selling stocks held for more than 24 months are taxed at 20% with indexation benefits.

B. Dividend Tax

Dividends received from US stocks are subject to a 25% withholding tax in the US. However, under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and the US, you can claim a credit for taxes paid in the US while filing your Indian tax return.

5. Costs and Fees

A. Brokerage Fees

International brokers charge various fees, including account maintenance fees, trading commissions, and currency conversion fees. Compare these fees before choosing a broker.

B. Currency Conversion Charges

When converting INR to USD for investment purposes, currency conversion fees apply. Check the conversion rates and fees with your bank or broker.

6. Risks and Considerations

A. Currency Risk

Fluctuations in the INR-USD exchange rate can impact your returns. A stronger dollar can enhance returns, while a weaker dollar can reduce them.

B. Market Risk

Investing in US stocks exposes you to market risks, including economic downturns, political instability, and regulatory changes in the US.

C. Compliance and Reporting

Ensure compliance with RBI regulations and report your overseas investments in your income tax returns. Failure to do so can attract penalties.


Investing in the US stock market from India can be a rewarding venture if done correctly. It provides diversification, exposure to global growth, and potential for high returns. However, it’s essential to understand the regulatory framework, choose the right brokerage, and be aware of costs and tax implications. By taking these steps, you can successfully navigate the process and build a robust portfolio of US stocks.

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