E1: Treaty Traders & E2: Treaty Investors

Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. The applicant must be coming to the United States to:

  • engage in international trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country; or
  • develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which you have invested a substantial amount of capital.

Please refer to http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/fees/treaty.html for the current list of treaty counties.

Eligibility:

To qualify for a Treaty Trader (E-1) Visa:

  • You must be a citizen of a treaty country.
  • The trading firm for which you plan to come to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country, meaning persons with the treaty country’s nationality must own at least 50 % of the enterprise.
  • The international trade must be substantial, meaning that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
  • More than 50 % of the international trade involved must be between the United States and the treaty country.
  • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.
  • You must be an essential employee, employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.

To qualify for a Treaty Investor (E-2) Visa:

  • The investor, either a person, partnership or corporate entity, must have the citizenship of a treaty country.
  • If a business, at least 50 % of the business must be owned by persons with the treaty country’s nationality.
  • The investment must be substantial, with investment funds or assets committed and irrevocable. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.
  • The investment must be a real operating enterprise, an active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking. A paper organization, speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
  • It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
  • You must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
  • You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise. If you are not the principal investor, you must be considered an essential employee, employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.  Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.
  • Visa application Process:
  • Step1:
  • Complete the Online Visa Application
  • Step2:
  • Schedule an Interview and gather required documentation:
  • Passport valid for travel to the United States
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160confirmation page
  • Application fee payment receipt,
  • Photo
  • Additional Documentation May Be Required
  • For E-1, the application must evidence that:
  • the country of petitioner’s citizenship has a trade treaty with the US;
  • meet the definition under relevant law for “employee”;
  • carry on substantial trade and/or principle trade between the US and the treaty countries that qualified for E-1 classification;
  • must be an organization or enterprise that at least 50% owned by persons have trade treaty with the US if the principal alien employer is not an individual;
  • provide the employer responsibility and ultimate control for the company’s operation which duties are executive or supervisory character;
  • special qualifications might be required for employee’s services; and
  • petitioner intends to depart the US upon expiration of treaty trader (E-1) status

For E-2, the application must evidence that:

  • the country of petitioner’s citizenship has a trade treaty with the US;
  • the company is owned by citizens of the same trade treaty country;
  • enter the US solely to develop an direct the company;
  • petitioner owns at least 50% of or has a supervisory, executive or otherwise essential role in the company;
  • company is actively engaged in business;
  • petitioner has invested or in process of investing a substantial amount into the company;
  • company has and or will produce income beyond the marginal level (more than just enough to support petitioner and his/her family’s living expenses); and
  • petitioner intends to depart the US upon expiration of treaty investor (E-2) status

Step3:

Attend Your Visa Interview

For more information about E-1 visa and E-2 visa, you may check U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ web page:

E-1 Visa: http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/e-1-treaty-traders

E-2 Visa: http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/e-2-treaty-investors