Latest List of Offshore Forex Brokers Accepting US Citizens & Reasons Why
Estimated Reading Time: 32 minutes
We cover the following subjects in this special guide;
- What are Offshore Investing & are offshore brokers illegal?
- Why Do US Citizens Need Offshore Brokers? What are Constraints?
- Why do Many Offshore Forex Brokers Decline US citizens to Open Account?
- Reasons Why Some Offshore Brokers Can Still Accept US Clients
- The List Of Outside US Brokers Accepting US Residents
- Dodd-Frank Act Repeal – Latest Status / Forecasting (This is very important, So Don’t Overlook the last section)
The “Show” box underneath displays Full Contents & Jump Links for convenience.
- 1. What are Offshore Investing & Offshore Brokerage for US Citizens?
- 2. Why Do US Citizens Need Offshore Brokers? What are the Constraints of US-Based Brokers?
- 3. Why do Many Offshore Forex Brokers Decline US citizens to Open Account?
- 4. Reasons Why Some Offshore Brokers Can Still Accept US Citizens
- 5. The Latest List Of Offshore Brokers Accepting US Residents
- 6. Dodd-Frank Act Repeal – Latest Status / Forecasting
What are Offshore Investing & Offshore Brokerage for US Citizens?
Twisted Image & Fact of Offshore Investment & Offshore Broker
Offshore investing using offshore brokerage account is often associated with a wicked & unscrupulous politician, ultra-rich, multi-national corporation or gangsters who use the offshore investment as havens for tax evasion or money laundering etc.
Although it is true that there are always such instances as shady deals, the vast majority of offshore investment at offshore brokerage account is absolutely legal. Then, are offshore brokers safe? Basically, Yes. The modern offshore centres, especially after the incident of Panama Papers, tighten their safety, which allows legitimate investors & traders to make the best use of higher rates of return (and/or lower rates of tax on that return) offered by offshore brokerages operated in those domiciles.
So, can US citizens trade forex overseas? Yes, no US law prohibits US residents from trading outside the US. The general advantage to using offshore stock brokerage or forex broker (in other words, overseas forex trading) is that such operations are both legal and less costly than those offered in the onshore, namely trader’s country, in your case the USA.
Offshore Forex Broker Meaning for US Citizens
What are offshore brokers meaning? The definition of Offshore investing is simply the keeping of fund in a jurisdiction other than one’s country of residence, so offshore broker meaning for US citizens is just trading in the Forex Broker domiciled outside the US. The offshore stockbroker also exactly applies to this meaning.
Then, can US citizens trade forex overseas? The answer is Yes. Allow me to repeat that despite its negative perception, offshore trading is a legal, very effective way to invest in the entities that are only available outside the US. However, not all offshore forex brokers accept US citizens.
We constantly receive questions like “Does Pepperstone accept US clients?" The answer is No. “Does FXCM accept US traders?" The answer is No. “Is there any FXTM US Clients?" Again, the answer is No. or “Does IG accept US clients?" Yes, but not in the same conditions as the UK.
People have different questions with different reasons, which includes “What are Forex brokers that accept VLoad?", “What are the best offshore brokers for day trading?" or “Why can some overseas forex brokers accept us clients?" etc.
You may find all the answers to these popular questions in this guide. However when it comes to the questions of “Which are the best Forex Brokers for US Clients?", “Which is the best offshore broker for day trading?" or “Which are the best offshore stockbrokers?", it depends on each individual trader’s needs.
And don’t blindly count on the sites recommending certain brokers based on reviewer’s subjective judgement. Our priority is safety & security, thus we emphasize & remark “Trusted" sign to each offshore Forex broker name based on our registered members’ input (as of now we have around 4,500 members) as well as various forums’ assessments.
Anyhow, let’s start with the basic question Why Do You US Citizens Need Offshore Brokers? Are there any real advantages other than less costly?
Why Do US Citizens Need Offshore Brokers? What are the Constraints of US-Based Brokers?
Forex brokers in the US are regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that publishes Commitments of Traders (COT) Reports every Friday, around 2:30 pm EST.
The regulatory framework set out by these two bodies is often found too strict for free trading, means the forex brokers regulated by NFA & CFTC are not necessarily the best forex brokers for many forex traders. A few examples of rules US Forex Brokers must follow are;
The CFTC released the new trading rules regarding the use of leverage and margin by clients in 2010, setting out a leverage requirement of 1:50 for individual forex traders and 1:20 for options traders, while at least 1:100 is an absolute global standard, means the US traders have limited power to earn in comparison to other players.
No Hedge & FIFO
With the NFA rules, US brokers no longer allow hedge and they need to implement FIFO (First In First Out). Hedging is simply coming up with a way to protect yourself against big loss namely a trader that is long a foreign currency pair, can protect oneself from downside risk; while the trader that is short a foreign currency pair, can protect against upside risk.
However, the NFA’s FIFO rule specifies that if you open more than one position on a currency pair, you must close the first before closing the second one, which is a not-so-straightforward way of preventing hedging. This FIFO has never become common outside the US, means offshore brokers are usually non-fifo forex brokers.
The Office of Foreign Assets and Control (OFAC) has placed limitations on who US forex brokers can accept into their network. Nationals of countries on the OFAC blacklist are not permitted to open forex trading accounts with US forex brokers. Those from affected countries who already operated accounts with US forex brokers had their accounts shut down as a result. US forex brokers, therefore, have to operate within pretty stringent guidelines and so they tend to restrict their business to a certain class of traders.
No Longer Credit Card
The NFA announced in June ’14 that its board has approved banning the use of credit cards for funding Forex accounts. The law is pending approval from the CFTC. However, as the NFA is assigned by the CFTC to supervise the futures and Forex industry, once a measure is formalized by the NFA, rarely does the CFTC make many amendments in rulings. The news follows a greater than the year-long enquiry into credit card deposits that began in January of 2013.
At the time, the impending ban was viewed as possibly being a huge blow to US Forex firms, who depending on the firm are estimated to have between 3% to 35% of their deposits in the form of credit cards. Specifically, brokers with smaller size deposits were expected to be especially affected by the ban. The fact is NFA already made it Effective 31 January 2015.
Pattern Day Trader (PDT) Rule
When it comes to stock trading, Pattern Day Trader, a.k.a. PDT rule requires you to maintain a minimum balance of at least $25,000 if you execute 4+ day trades in 5 consecutive business days, provided the number of day trades is more than 6% of the total trades in the account during that period. This rule was established in 2001 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA – Day Trading Margin Requirements) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC – PDT).
I assume it $25,000 is a sizable risk for many traders especially for newbies who want to start a day trading career, which set very high hurdle to participate in the market. Therefore, I can easily imagine many US traders seek brokers with no PDT rule like CMEG.
BTW, Freedom in the World 2019 reported the US as a Free Country. Are US citizens really free? As long as concerning Forex & Stock Broker regulations, US citizens are not like that free. So you have many reasons for Not Using US Forex Brokers but Using Brokers with Better Trading Conditions, More Freedom, and More Convenience which are available with Offshore Brokers. So, can US citizens practically trade forex overseas?
Why do Many Offshore Forex Brokers Decline US citizens to Open Account?
Unfortunately, a good number of regulated international Forex brokers operating offshore do not accept US residents to open an account with them. There are strict regulations that limit doing business with US citizens originated from the US government. Below is the primary reason why almost all offshore international Forex brokers do not accept US citizens now.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a federal statute which President Obama signed into law. It first became operational on July 21, 2010. The act brought forth new rules that are designed to regulate all financial markets including stocks, futures, options and Forex.
Dodd-Frank Act requires that Forex brokerage company who wants to do business with US citizens must first be registered with Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and National Futures Association (NFA). Many international Forex brokers find this very difficult and costly operation with more reporting requirements as shown by HBR report.
Many of them are still not registered with these two bodies. They are mostly legitimate and regulated offshore brokers. To avoid the paper mess, they stop accepting US citizen to open an account with them. It is easier for them to decline the US citizens than incur the unforeseen expenses.
So the Dodd-Frank Act is the primary reason that has forced international offshore Forex brokers to decline US citizens. As a result, US citizens desiring to trade Forex are forced to open US Forex accounts, and trade with very low leverage (50:1) as said before so that you often have no choice but to deposit a lot of money in your account if you want to trade safely and get anywhere financially without getting a margin call that would normally wipe out a small deposit depending on the lot size of your choice.
So, in essence, the Dodd-Frank Act indirectly, even if unintentionally, makes it harder for the small trader in America to trade Forex, but it is not a problem for those who are already rich and have enough extra income they can afford to use in a US Forex account.
Reasons Why Some Offshore Brokers Can Still Accept US Citizens
Despite the regulation, for a US citizen, there are chances you can open an account with international brokers not registered by US regulatory bodies – NFA and CFTC. However, this is done under certain different conditions. Such offshore brokers are allowed to accept US clients only under their US-based affiliate brokerage firms.
Let me quote the discussion from the babypips.com forum as;
The CFTC has U.S. forex brokers by the throat: by threatening their ability to do business in the U.S., the CFTC can interfere with the rights of those brokers to do business outside the U.S. and the CFTC has his tentacles deep inside many foreign governments, through a series of nasty, little agreements known as Memoranda of Understanding. These agreements have effectively extended U.S. regulation to cover U.S. residents doing business in countries which have signed the agreements. There are yet the countries where these agreements do not exist. And there are a few offshore brokers, in Memorandum countries, who have the courage to defy the over-reaching U.S. regulatory authorities, and welcome U.S. residents as clients, and to consider client relationships with them.
And under the current law, the CFTC has no authority over individual traders who trade through foreign brokers that are beyond the reach of U.S regulation. The U.S. government claims the authority, through the IRS, to require U.S. residents to report foreign accounts which people hold, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, etc, which has been automatically reported under FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) started in July ’14. But, they cannot yet prevent US citizens from having those accounts.
From another perspective, the non-US Forex brokers who are affected by the Dodd-Frank act are those that are regulated in their own countries. Means, the brokers in the countries where Forex itself is not regulated such as Finland can accept US citizens without being bothered by Dodd-Frank act (remember the Act affects the brokerage but not you as an individual, as long as you report what is required to IRS, you are not subject to be punished).
The Latest List Of Offshore Brokers Accepting US Residents
Having explained, fortunately, US strict regulations do not completely stop best offshore brokerage firms from accepting US citizens. There are 10+ offshore international Forex brokers that accept US citizens. This data source is offshore babypips though we simplified the original information while adding our own assessments & our members’ feedback when we feel value for our readers.
- The list does include not only offshore Regulated Brokers but also Unregulated Forex Brokers which you may want to put low priority or make full due diligence.
- Broker Type Abbreviation;
1) ECN: Electronic Communication Network 2) STP: Straight Through Processing 3) NDD: Non-Dealing Desk 4) DD: Dealing Desk 5) MM: Market Maker 1), 2) & 3) allow you to trade directly with the market (means major banks etc) without a middleman (the broker’s dealing desk) while 4) & 5) is via (or controlled) by the middleman.
Some brokers are hybrid such as DD/STP, which means they have both systems. In short, you may want to select 1),2) & 3) rather than 4) & 5). For the detailed rationale, please check Select Trusted Forex Brokers With No Hidden Agenda. There are a few brokers I marked “Reportedly Trusted" which are in line with the original list and according to Babypip forum, the Trusted brokers are described as “the Trusted Broker designation was determined by a consensus of thread participants — primarily participants who trade live accounts with the broker being vetted. Each Trusted Broker was judged to be exemplary based on these criteria:
- (1) honesty and transparency in advertising their services, and in handling the funds and executing the trades of their clients
- (2) compliance with the laws and regulations of the country in which they are domiciled" (so, currently they are considered as the best forex brokers for US clients outside the US soil)
Besides, we also added “Trusted" mark in blue, this comes from our own 4,500+ members’ feedback (possibly a bit biased though), just for your information.
List Of Offshore Brokers Accepting US Traders
UK / Europe
- Renesource Capital (Latvia)— ECN/STP broker, regulated by Latvia Financial and Capital Markets Commission (FCMC) / Website (in the course of our Renesource Capital review, Renesource Capital told us that all customers planning to deposit more than 3’000 EUR to the trading account per month, they need to physically visit their office to go through KYC as a regulatory requirement. So, unless you are able to visit Latvia, don’t deposit over 3,000 EUR / month or don’t open an account.)
Africa / Middle East / Persian Gulf
- Turnkey Forex (Mauritius) Reportedly Trusted — ECN/STP broker, not regulated, Leverage up to 1:400, Spread from 0.2 Pips, Min. initial deposits 5 USD (micro), 100 USD (STP), 200 USD (ECN and swap-free), 25,000 USD (VIP), No Requotes, Scalping Allowed, EA Allowed, Zulu Trade platform available, Bitcoin accepted / Website / Email: email@example.com
- FXGlory (Dubai UAE) — MM, not regulated, Leverage up to 1:3000, Spreads EUR/USD 2 pips, Min. initial deposit 1 USD, Scalping Allowed, EA Allowed, Bitcoin accepted / Website / Email: Info@fxglory.com
- FXBrew (Seychelles) — ECN, not regulated, Leverage up to 1:500, Spreads from 0 pips (ECN and VIP accounts) from 0.02 pips (Micro account), Min. initial deposit Micro account 5 USD ECN account 100 USD VIP account 5000 USD, Bitcoin accepted / Website / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Central America / Caribbean
- FX Choice (Belize) Reportedly Trusted & Trusted — NDD/STP broker, regulated by International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) Belize, Bitcoin accepted, Leverage up to 1:200, Spreads EUR/USD from 0.0, Min. initial deposit 100 USD, VLoad accepted, No Requotes, Scalping Allowed, EA Allowed / Website / Email: email@example.com
- Trader’s Way (Dominica) Reportedly Trusted & Trusted — MM/ECN broker, not regulated, Scalping Allowed, EA Allowed, Leverage up to 1:1000, Spreads EUR/USD from 0.0 (ECN account), Min. initial deposit 0 USD (M/M account), 10 USD (ECN account), VLoad accepted, Scalping Allowed, EA Allowed / Website / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- PaxForex (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) — ECN+STP broker, not regulated, Leverage up to 1:500, Spreads EUR/USD 0.4 pips, Min. initial deposit 10 USD (mini account), 2000 USD (std. account), Bitcoin accepted, VLoad accepted / Website / Bonus Offer / Loss Insurance / Email: email@example.com
- CryptoRocket (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) — STP broker, not regulated, Leverage up to 1:500, Spreads EUR/USD 1.1 pip, Min. initial deposit no minimum, both deposits & withdrawals accepted not only bitcoin but also USD, EUR & GBP / trade Forex, Stocks, Indices, Metals, Oil and Gas, and Cryptocurrencies / Website / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- EagleFX (Dominica) — MM broker, not regulated, orders subject to requotes – arbitraging and sniping prohibited, Leverage up to 1:500, Spreads EUR/USD 1 pip, Min. initial deposit 10 USD, Bitcoin accepted / trade Forex, Spots, Crypto and Shares / Website
Pacific / Asia
I picked Tallinex (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) & TradeWise FX (I quoted Tallinex’s answer to check if they have common understandings) as examples and sent an inquiry about Regulation, then the answers I received are (Note; both of these brokers no longer accepts US Citizens, thus this info are already history, but just FYI);
Just For Your Information.
As said, this list is based on the babypips.com info as of July 2020 and we screened the list in our own criteria mainly based on our members’ honest input. Surely the list would be constantly updated thus changeable, and most importantly, it’s essential to make minimum Due Diligence before you open an account in any of the above brokers, especially for Not Regulated ones, because as North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) warned that there are still a lot of Forex Fraud. Needless to say forex brokers no KYC are out of the question.
Follow Success Model & Use World Best Tools
On this occasion, allow me to remind you that almost all offshore brokers you will find here enable you to trade with large leverage, scalping with EAs & grid-based trading with hedging etc. Surely, these are the benefits you US traders look for but at the same time they are quite risky, and many traders who are not prepared for it lose money. Therefore, strongly suggest you go through:
These reports comprehensively explain how you can evolve Forex Trading successfully by using world top-class tools & the full list of them. 95% of forex retail traders are estimated to fail. The 5% winners are only Institutional Traders & very experienced Professionals.
Most probably you are an experienced trader since you’re looking for better trading environments than US brokers. But, usually, it’s difficult for even such traders to achieve consistent profits in the new liberated trading conditions from the outset. So, take a look at the above Special Reports which we believe worth your time.
We set 2 Meditation videos for Traders, go the Latest News section in Successful Forex Model, you may want to go through it every day, which will definitely improve your trading performance.
Dodd-Frank Act Repeal – Latest Status / Forecasting
What happens when US authorities repeal Dodd-Frank?
What does it mean? Let me share the summary as follows;
Harsh Reality – Latest News, Current Status & Future Prediction
NBC News reported “Congress just approved a bill to dismantle parts of the Dodd-Frank banking rule" and actually Trump signed the bill. However, what is the real effect on Forex Industry & Forex Brokers?
Brookings issued the interesting article titled “No, Dodd-Frank was neither repealed nor gutted. Here’s what really happened“, which points out several misconceptions of the repeal. The Balance’s article of “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act 8 Ways a Repeal Hurts You" clearly identifies;
Therefore, if you would seek better trading environments, there are no other choices than considering the above Offshore Forex Brokers we are listing currently. Bear it in mind that there is no assurance they will keep accepting US Citizens. We have seen the reducing number of Forex Brokers accepting US Players over the last several years. In 2010, the number of offshore brokers accepting US clients was over 100, but now it’s merely around 10.
After they decided Not to accept US traders, some still allow the US Citizens to keep trading as long as the traders had the active account (means actually deposited & traded before they close the door) while some brokers asked all the US registered traders to leave (but don’t worry you can, of course, withdraw all your account balance).
So, if you decide to open their account, suggest do at least 1 deposit and trade your real money (not just a demo account), which will largely increase the chance of maintaining your account even after they decide not to accept the US clients.
In this sector, there are a lot of uncertainties when it comes to politics & regulation. We need to keep watching it carefully.
Joshua Walker (bio)
Editor – Global Extra Money (GEM)