E-1 Treaty Traders & E-2 Treaty Investors
An E-1 or E-2 Visa is Suitable For:
- Entrepreneurs from treaty countries investing substantially in a new U.S. enterprise being created
- Entrepreneurs from treaty countries investing substantially in an existing U.S. enterprise
- Nationals of treaty countries entering the U.S. to develop and direct investments from the treaty country
- Nationals of treaty countries entering the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested, or they are actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital
- Immediate family members of E-2 visa holders
- Companies in treaty countries who wish to send key personnel to manage the U.S. company
- Companies in treaty countries who wish to send personnel to set up a U.S. company
E-1 Treaty Trader
The E-1 classification is authorized for a national of a country with which the United States has a commercial treaty, who will be coming to the United States solely to carry on trade of a substantial nature, which is international in scope, either on their own behalf or as an employee of a foreign person or organization, engaged in a substantial amount of trade principally between the United States and the treaty country of which the applicant is a national.
Requirements for a Treaty Trader (E-1) nonimmigrant visa are:
The applicant must be a national of a treaty country. The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country.
The international trade must be "substantial" in the sense that there is a sizable and continuous volume of trade.
The trade must be principally between the United States and the treaty country, which means that more than 50% of the international trade involved must be between the United States and the country of the applicant's nationality.
Trade means the international exchange of goods, services and technology. The item of trade, and title of that item, must pass from one party to the other in exchange for consideration.
The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the successful and efficient operation of the commerical enterprise. Ordinarily skilled or unskilled workers generally do not qualify.
E-2 Treaty Investor
The E-2 classification is authorized for a national of a country with which the United States has a commercial treaty, who is coming to the United States solely to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is actively involved in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.
If the alien is inside the U.S., a petition should be used to apply for a change of status, extension of stay, or change of employment. This category does not require a petition for employment if the alien is outside of the U.S. In that case, the alien applies for this category directly to a U.S. consular office abroad.
The investment involved must place lawfully acquired, owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit objective, and be subject to loss if the investment fails.
Application Document Requirements for a Treaty Investor (E-2) nonimmigrant visa are:
- The investor is a national of a country with whom the U.S. has the requisite treaty or agreement;
- The alien (or in the case of an employee of a treaty investor who seeks classification as an E-2, the owner of the treaty enterprise) will direct or develop the enterprise. The alien must demonstrate that he controls the enterprise by showing ownership of at least 50% of the enterprise, by possessing operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device or by other means;
- The investor has invested in or is actively in the process of investing in the enterprise;
- The investment is substantial, i.e. sufficient to ensure the investor?s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise and big enough to support the likelihood that the investor will successfully direct and develop the enterprise;
- The investment enterprise is not a marginal enterprise;
- If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in an executive or supervisory capacity, or possess skills that are highly specialized and essential to the operations of the commercial enterprise. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.
- That the applicant intends to depart the U.S. upon the expiration of E-2 status