How you cash out stocks while you are in another country depends on your specific situation. The procedure will vary depending on whether or not you have a permanent U.S. address, and whether you have the stocks placed with a brokerage house or an online trading service. Because most stocks are handled electronically, you will most likely be able to manage your transaction over the Internet or on the phone.
1. Open a trading account with a U.S. company if you have both a valid social security number and an address in the U.S. that you can use. If you are living in another country long-term, you can still use a relative’s address for the purpose of opening your account. If you don’t have a U.S. address that you can use, open an account with an international brokerage house or an online service based in your country of residence. Be sure they are able to handle the type of stocks that you have.
2. Deposit your stocks into the account. This is typically an electronic transfer that requires you to provide the appropriate information such as the stock's ticker symbol, the number of shares you own, the company name and the stock certificate’s unique number. If you hold a paper stock certificate you might be required to physically present it in order to deposit the stock in your account.
3. Create a sell order, either through your online account or by speaking to a broker. This begins the process of placing stocks for sale in the appropriate market. When the stocks have been sold, your account will be credited with the proceeds, minus any transaction or brokerage fees.
- If you can set up an account in the U.S. it can help to simplify the transaction. Creating an online account with a U.S. address will let you manage your stocks from anywhere in the world, as long as you have Internet access. You can even use a phone application to sell your stocks if your online service offers this feature.
- Carefully check the costs involved in selling stocks, especially if you choose to use an international brokerage house. Transaction fees can be quite large in some cases, especially when you are in one country and selling stocks that come from another country. You might find it is best to wait until you can set up an online account, unless you need the services a brokerage house can provide.
Items you will need
- Stock certificates
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images