The Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa is for a citizen of another country planning to come to the United States to negotiate substantial trade. For those are partaking trade in services or technology between a treaty country and United States may be eligible for a E-1/E-2 visa.
Treaty Trader (E-1)
The E-1 visa is available to foreign nationals whose countries have a reciprocal treaty with the United States. To be eligible, the treaty trader must carry on substantial trade, principally between the United States and the country where foreign national is from. There is no assigned dollar value to the amount of trade, but there should be numerous exchanges of trade involved. Over 50% of the total volume of international trade should be between the U.S. and the trader’s treaty country.
The consular officer will determine whether a treaty trader applicant qualifies for a visa.
Here are some general qualifications that need to be met in order for a successful approval E-1 visa are listed below:
- Trader must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
- The volume of the international trade must be considered sizable and “substantial”
- Trade must be between treaty country and the United States
- Trade refers to all exchanges of products, services, and/or technology that occur internationally
- Trader must be currently employed in a supervisory or executive position
Period of Stay
Qualified treaty traders and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years per each request. However, there is no limit to as how many times one can request for E-1 extensions. All E-1 nonimmigrants must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.
Treaty Investor (E-2)
The E-2 visa is available to foreign nationals whose countries have a reciprocal treaty with the United States. To be eligible, the treaty investor must invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. There is no simple definition for what constitutes a substantial investment, but it must have the capacity to generate more income than what is required for the treaty investor and the investor’s family to live on.
Treaty investor applicants and the investment must meet specific requirements to qualify for a treaty investor (E-2) visa under U.S. immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether a treaty investor applicant qualifies for a visa.
- The investor must be a national of a treaty country.
- The investor cannot be remote and must be in the United States when developing and carrying out the enterprise. If applicant is not successful he/she must be employed as a supervisor, executive or other highly regarded position.
- The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
- The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
- The investment must generate a significant income, one that impacts the economy of the United States
- The investment must be at risk and the investor must have full control of the funds. This means loans secured with assets of the investment enterprise do not qualify.
Period of Stay
Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years after being granted their E-2 visa. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant can apply for. All E-2 nonimmigrants must maintain the intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.