How do I open an account to buy or sell international shares?

To buy or sell international shares through CommSec, you’ll need to open an International Shares Account.

If you're new to CommSec or you don't have an existing account in the name you wish to commence trading in, follow the steps below to get started.

Before applying for an International Shares Account, you will first need to open a CommSec Share Trading Account that settles to a Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA).

To open a CommSec Share Trading Account:

  • Navigate back to the CommSec home page
  • Click on Join Now
  • Select Share Trading
  • Follow the prompts to complete your application

Once your account is set up, you can apply for an International Shares Account in the same name.

Who can open an International Shares Account?

You can apply for a CommSec International Shares Account if you and all additional applicants’ identity have been verified and are:

  • 18 years or older with an Australian residential and postal address
  • Are an individual and/or joint account holder, or
  • An Australian registered or incorporated company, or
  • An Australian formal trust or SMSF

If you fit the above criteria, you must also have the following:

  • An existing CommSec Australian Shares Account and Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA) in the same name, and
  • A valid photo ID, such as an Australian Driver's Licence, Passport, or Medicare card that is not expired.

This account is available to and for the benefit of Australian residents only. If you are a U.S Person or not residing in Australia, you will not be able to open an International Shares Account at this time. Limitations also apply to applicants with citizenship or tax residency in countries not accepted by our international custodian.

How do I apply for an International Shares Account?

Once you have opened a CommSec Share Trading Account, you are ready to open an International Shares Account. Follow the steps below:

  • Log in to CommSec
  • Navigate to Products
  • Select Shares, then International on the sub-menu
  • Click Apply now
  • Follow the prompts to complete your application
When will my International Shares Account be opened?

Your identity will be electronically verified when opening your International Shares Account. This process usually takes a few minutes, however, if we require you to submit additional documentation, your account may take between 1 - 2 business days to open from the time we receive your ID documents.

If you need any assistance completing your application, please call the International Desk on 1300 361 170 (between 8am Monday and close of the U.S. market on Saturday morning AEST), or learn more about an International Shares Account here.


Please consider the International Share Terms and Conditions available from this website before making any decisions. As this information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs, before acting on this information, please consider it's appropriateness for your circumstances. Fees and charges apply.


© Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399 AFSL 238814 (CommSec) is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945. CommSec is a Market Participant of ASX Limited and Cboe Australia Pty Limited, a Clearing Participant of ASX Clear Pty Limited and a Settlement Participant of ASX Settlement Pty Limited.

The information on this page has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. For this reason, any individual should, before acting on this information, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regards to their objectives, financial situation or needs, and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

CommSec does not give any representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any content on this page, including any third party sourced data, nor does it accept liability for any errors or omissions.