The E1 Treaty Traders visa allows citizens of countries that maintain an appropriate treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States to enter the United States to conduct trade between the United States and their home country.
VisaPro’s experienced immigration lawyers will prepare and file all required documents for business operators applying for the E1 visa.
E1 VISA Requirements:
To qualify for the E1 visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- A. You must be a citizen of a treaty country
- You must be a citizen of a country that maintains a shipping and trade agreement with the United States for the purposes of the E1 visa.
E1 Visa Treaty countries currently include:
- Argentina Greece Oman
- Australia Herzegovina Pakistan
- Austria Honduras Paraguay
- Belgium Ireland Philippines
- Bolivia Israel Poland
- Bosnia Italy Slovenia
- Brunei Japan Spain
- Canada Jordan Suriname
- Chile Korea (South) Sweden
- China (Taiwan) Kosovo Switzerland
- Colombia Latvia Serbia
- Costa RicaLiberiaSingapore
- Croatia Luxembourg Thailand
- Estonia Mexico Türkiye
- Ethiopia Montenegro United Kingdom
- Finland Netherlands Yugoslavia
- France New Zealand
- Germany Norway
B. The trading company must belong to the treaty country
The business enterprise for which you are coming to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country.
C. The trade must be substantial
International trade between your home country and the United States must be “substantial,” meaning there is a substantial and continuous volume of trade. Over 50% of the international trade involved must occur between the United States and your home country.
Note: Trade refers to the international exchange of goods, services and technology. The commercial item and the title of such item must pass from one party to the other in exchange for consideration.
D. You must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity or have specialized skills
You must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the company. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers are not entitled to it.
E1 VISA Fee:
- E1 Visa Fees (Filing with USCIS)
- Filing fee: Regular $460
- Filing Fee – Premium $2,960
- E1 Visa Fees (Deposit at US Consulate)
- Filing fee $205
- VisaPro processing time1 week
E1 visa application:
To apply for a US E1 visa, you must first establish that the business enterprise meets the legal requirements. You may also be asked to provide evidence that your stay in the United States will be temporary.
Your US E1 visa application must include:
- DOS Form DS-160, Application for Nonimmigrant Visa
- DOS Form DS-156E, Nonimmigrant Trader/Investor Treaty Application
- A copy of your passport valid for at least six months beyond your stay in the United States and with at least one blank page
- Color photograph showing the full face without headgear on a light background. You may wear a head covering if required by a religious order of which you are a member
- Proof of one year of commercial activity
- Your CV
- Evidence that you will be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity or that you possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the business
- Proof of remittances to the United States (cashier’s checks, wire transfers, exchange permits, or receipts).
- Proof of establishment of business in the United States (articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, organizational and organizational charts, shares, securities, contracts, receipts, licenses or leases)
- Proof of the nationality of the investors/operators (passports, deed of incorporation of the parent company or stock market listings)
- Evidence of trade between the United States and the treaty country (invoices, bills of lading, customs clearance, warehouse receipts, shipping receipts, sales receipts, or contracts)
- Evidence that the company is a real, operational enterprise (annual reports, catalogues, sales literature, news articles and other evidence, as appropriate)
Duration of stay:
The USA E1 visa is generally issued for a period of five years initially. E1 visa holders are generally granted 2 years of authorized stay upon entry to the United States. You can obtain extensions of E1 status for up to two years at a time from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Since there is no limit to the number of extensions you can obtain, you can remain in the United States indefinitely.
- What is the E-1 visa?
The E-1 business visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign citizens of a treaty nation to enter the United States and engage in substantial trade. A treaty trader belongs to a nation that maintains a trade and navigation treaty or bilateral agreement with the United States.
Note: Trade includes commercial transactions in goods and trade in services and technologies such as banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, management consulting, technology transfer and other measurable services that may be exchanged.
- How do I qualify for the E-1 visa?
You can qualify for the E-1 visa if:
- You are an executive, manager, or specialist of a treaty nation company doing business in the United States or you own 50% of the company
- Citizens of your country own at least 50% of the company’s shares, i.e. the enterprise has the nationality of the treaty country
- You are a citizen of a convention country and are involved in international trade
- You are the immediate family member of a primary E-1 visa holder
- What privileges am I entitled to with the E-1 visa?
With the E-1 visa you can:
- Work legally in the United States for a US company where more than 50% of the business is trade between the United States and your home country
- Travel freely in and out of the United States
- Stay in the United States for an extended period with unlimited two-year extensions as long as you maintain your E-1 qualifications
- Bring your dependents to the United States. Your spouse can also work in the United States
- What are the limitations of the E-1 visa?
The limitations of the E-1 visa are:
You are limited to working only for the specific employer or company that acted as the sponsor of your E-1 visa
Visas are available only to foreign citizens of countries that have trade treaties with the United States.
Authorized stay is granted for two years at a time, making the application or extension process cumbersome
- How long can I stay in the United States with the E-1 visa?
You can stay in the United States for an extended period with unlimited five-year visa extensions or two-year status extensions as long as you maintain your E-1 qualifications. You can request unlimited extensions as long as you qualify for an E-1 visa.
- How can I request an extension of stay with the E-1 visa?
To request an E-1 extension, you must submit Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, along with Supplement E, and Form I-539, Application for Extension or Change of Status, for accompanying relatives. Together with it you need to send:
A copy of the Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Document
A copy of the original Form I-797, Notice of Action, if your status was previously approved or extended in the United States.
A copy of your complete passport, including E-1 visa
A letter from your employer stating that your extension is needed
A copy of your U.S. personal and business tax returns for the past two years, including payroll tax returns
- Can I revalidate my E-1 visa?
No, you cannot apply for an E-1 visa renewal by mail without leaving the United States.
- Can I change status while on the E-1 visa?
Yes, you can apply for a change of status while you hold your E-1 visa. You must submit Form I-129, Nonimmigrant Worker Petition, or Form I-539 Application to Extend/Modify Nonimmigrant Status, indicating change in status with appropriate supporting documents
- Are there travel restrictions for the E-1 visa?
No, there are no travel restrictions for the E-1 visa. You may travel as many times as you wish before your E-1 status expires. USCIS does not impose any time limits on staying abroad.
- Can I study with the E-1 visa?
Yes, you can study with the E-1 visa. However, you cannot participate in full-length study programs. You can acquire some credits at a university as long as they do not harm the primary interest of your visa.
- Can I bring my dependents on the E-1 visa?
Yes, you can bring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 with you. They can remain in the United States as long as you maintain your E-1 status. You may bring with you a domestic or personal servant with nonimmigrant status, provided you can demonstrate that:
He or she does not abandon his or her residence abroad
He or she has served you for at least one year, or has had an ongoing employment relationship with you and has at least one year of experience as a server
- Can my dependents work on the E-1 visa?
Yes, your spouse can seek employment by applying for employment authorization using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. However, your children cannot work
- Can my dependents study on the E-1 visa?
Yes, your dependents can attend U.S. schools, colleges, and universities on the E visa and do not need to apply for a separate student visa such as an F-1 visa.
- How can I apply for the E-1 visa?
The following documents are required while applying for the E-1 visa:
Form DS-160, Application for Nonimmigrant Visa, completed and signed
Completed and signed Form DS-156E, Treaty or Trader Investor Application
Documents that establish the identity of your company’s nationality
A letter from your employer detailing your position and stating that you have highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the company or that you are an executive or manager
Evidence of substantial trade for at least one year between the United States and your home country
Other documents relevant to your case, such as marriage and birth certificates for you and your family members
A valid passport to travel to the United States with an validity date at least six months beyond the intended period of stay
Color passport-style photographs (37 x 37 mm) for each member listed on the visa application. The photo must be taken in front of a light background and with your head uncovered
- Where should I submit my E-1 visa application?
If you have legal status in the United States, submit your visa application to a USCIS Service Center office in the United States.
If you are outside the United States, submit your visa application to the U.S. consular office in your home country