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E-1 Treaty Trader Visa and E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

General

The E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visas are available to citizens of countries that have certain treaties with the United States. This visa allows individuals who own and/work for a company that either does a substantial amount of trade with the U.S., or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in the U.S., to enter the United States to manage their trade/investment. E status also permits numerous employees from the foreign company in question to enter the U.S. on a streamlined basis if they meet certain qualifications.

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa

To qualify for an E-1 visa, the applicant must be coming to the U.S. to work for a business, at least 51% of which is owned by citizens of the treaty country in question. E-1 visas may only be issued to the principal owners or key employees of the qualifying business. More than 50% of the company’s trade must be between the U.S. and the treaty national’s country. “Trade” is defined as transactions involving tangible goods, technology, services, banking, law, insurance, and international transportation. The amount of trade must be substantial and is judged by dollar amount, volume, and frequency.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

To qualify for an E-2 visa, the applicant must be a national of a country that has an investor treaty with the U.S. The applicant must be entering the United States to work for a U.S. business supported by a substantial capital investment from citizens of, or a company in, the treaty country in question. The investment must be large enough to establish and operate an enterprise of the type in which the company is investing. The business can be owned by the applicant or the applicant can be an essential employee of the business.

Duration

E visas are issued initially for two years and can be extended without limit.

Spouses may Work in the U.S.

The spouse of an E-1/E-2 visa holder may obtain work authorization.

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