E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor Visas
Citizens and nationals of certain countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States (U.S.) may apply for E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor Visas.
In order to be eligible for the E-1 Treaty Trader visa, the applicant has to provide evidence that s/he is coming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade between the treaty country they are from and the U.S.
For the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, the applicant has to provide evidence that s/he is coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of a business that the applicant has invested in, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.
E-1 Treaty Trader Visa and E-2 Treaty Investor Visa holders can stay for an unlimited duration of time in two year increments which have to be renewed every two years. A dependent spouse and unmarried minor children (20 years old and below) are eligible to accompany or follow-to-join the principal visa holder.
For eligible “Treaty Countries” access the following Department of State website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3726.html.
Requirements: E-1 Treaty Trader
- The applicant must be a citizen or national of a designated treaty country.
- The trading enterprise that the applicant is employed or associated with must have the nationality of the designated treaty country.
- The applicant must be either employed by the trading enterprise as a supervisor or executive, or have highly specialized skills that is essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise. Ordinary skilled or unskilled employees do not qualify for the E-1 Treaty Trader visa.
- International trade means exchange of goods, technology, and services and title of traded items must pass from one party to the other.
- The trading enterprise must be dealing with “substantial” size and volume of international trade.
- The international trade must be more than 50 percent between the U.S. and the applicant’s country.
Requirements: E-2 Treaty Investor
- The applicant, whether a real or corporate person, must be a citizen or national of a treaty country.
- There is no set dollar amount required for investing. However, the applicant must invest a substantial amount in order to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.
- The applicant must invest into a real operating business that has been newly created or buy an existing business.
- The applicant’s investment must generate a significant income that is more than one that merely provides a living for the applicant (investor) and the family, or the investment impact significantly the economy of the U.S.
- The applicant cannot have secured loans with the assets of the investment company. The applicant must have control of the funds and it must be at risk in the commercial sense.
- The applicant, if the principal investor, must come to the U.S. in order to develop and direct the business. If the applicant is not the principal investor, s/he must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or have a highly specialized skill.
Note: If you are interested in applying for an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa or E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, please consult with an Immigration Attorney.