The E-1 visa allows a national of a Treaty Country to be admitted to the United States in order to engage in international trade. E-1 visa holders must meet at least the following requirements of eligibility:

 

  • The treaty trader must have the citizenship of a Treaty Country;

  • The treaty trader must carry on substantial trade (“substantial” is assessed primarily in terms of monetary value and number of trade transactions  - numerous sizable transactions are required);

  • More than 50% of the trade carried on by the treaty trader must be between the U.S. and the Treaty Country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.

 

An employee of a treaty trader is also eligible for E-1 visa status. To qualify for eligibility, the employee must meet the following conditions:

 

 

  • The employee must be the same nationality as the employer, who must have Treaty Country citizenship (if employer is a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by nationals of the Treaty Country);

  • The employee must meet the definition of “employee” under the relevant law; and

  • The employee must be engaged in executive or supervisory duties, or have special qualifications which make the employee’s services essential for the efficient operation of the business.

 

Duration of Status

 

Persons who qualify for E-1 status are allowed a maximum initial stay in the U.S. of two years. These persons are then eligible for an unlimited number of two-year visa extensions.

 

Family Visa Eligibility

 

Spouses and minor children (under the age of 21) of E-1 visa holders may seek E-1 visa classification as dependents. This classification generally allows spouses and minor children to accompany E-1 visa holders during the entirety of their stay in the United States. Spouses of E-1 visa holders may also apply for work authorization. There is no restriction as to the type of work they may perform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treaty Trader (E-1) / Treaty Investor (E-2) Visas

Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are available to traders and investors who are nationals of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce or navigation (“Treaty Countries”). Treaty Countries include Spain, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico. These visas have expiration dates which may be extended indefinitely.  Unfortunately, Brazil is not a Treaty Country.  Consequently, individuals who have only Brazilian citizenship are not eligible for either E-1 or E-2 status.  

 

 

E-1 Treaty Trader
E-2 Treaty Investor

The E2 visa allows admission to the United States to nationals of Treaty Countries who invest a substantial amount of capital in a United States business. Certain employees of Treaty Investors or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification. The general requirements for E-2 eligibility are as follows:

 

  • The investor, either a person, partnership or business, must have the citizenship of a Treaty Country (if a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by nationals of Treaty Country);

  • The investment must be substantial, with irrevocable investment funds or assets. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise;

  • The investment must be a real operating enterprise, not a paper organization, or speculative or idle investment;

  • The investment must generate significantly more income than that sufficient to sustain a living for the applicant and his/her family;

  • The applicant must have control of the funds and the investment must be at commercial risk;

  • The applicant must develop and direct the enterprise from within the United States;

  • If the applicant is not the principal investor, the applicant must be an essential employee, who is employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.

 

Duration of Status

 

Persons who qualify for E-2 status are allowed a maximum initial stay in the U.S. of two years. These persons may then be eligible for an unlimited number of two-year visa extensions.

 

Family Visa Eligibility

 

Spouses and minor children (under the age of 21) of E-2 visa holders may seek E-2 visa classification as dependents. This classification generally allows spouses and minor children to accompany E-2 visa holders during the entirety of their stay in the United States. Spouses of E-2 visa holders may also apply for work authorization.  There is no restriction as to the type of work they may perform.

 

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