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

FloristOver the years, the United States has signed bilateral treaties with numerous countries to promote investment and trade between the United States and other nations. A foreign national who is a citizen of a country that maintains an Investment Treaty or a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce or Navigation with the United States, is eligible to be admitted to the United States to engage in international trade (E-1 visa), or to invest in business (E-2 visa). (Click here for a full list of treaty countries)

E-1 and E-2 visa holders are allowed to stay in the United States for an initial period of two years. E-1 and E-2 visa holders may apply for visa extensions of up to two years at a time. As long as a visa holder continues to comply with the terms of their visa, they may continue to apply for extensions indefinitely.

E-1 Treaty Trader Visas

The E-1 visa allows a foreign national (“treaty trader”), of a country which maintains a qualifying treaty with the United States, to enter the United States to engage in substantial trade between the United States and the treaty trader’s home country”. Trade includes goods, services (such as banking, advertising, and accounting), and technology. While there is no set dollar amount of trade the treaty tradeer must do to qualify for an E-1 visa, the treaty trader must do enough trade to “ensure a continuous flow of international trade items between the United States and the treaty country”. 8 C.F.R. § 214.(e)(10). In addition, at least 50% of the total international trade done by the treaty trader must be between the United States and the treaty country.

A person may qualify for an E-1 visa as the principal trader, or as an employee of a business engaged in trade between the United States and a treaty country. In order to be eligible for an E-1 visa as an employee, the employee must be of the same nationality as the business. The nationality of the business is determined by the entity owning at least 50% of the business enterprise. In addition, the employee must be an executive or manager, or have special skills that are essential to the operation of the business.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visas

The E-2 visa allows a foreign national (“treaty investor”), of a country which maintains a qualifying treaty with the United States, to enter the United States to invest a substantial amount of money in a United States based business, and to remain in the United States to direct and manage the business. The amount of money invested must be sufficient to ensure the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. In our experience, the United States government likes to see an investment of close to at least $75,000.00 when applying for an E-2 visa from inside the United States, and an investment of closer to $100,000.00 when applying for an E-2 visa abroad.

A person may qualify for an E-2 visa as the principal investor, or as an employee of a business engaged in investing in the United States. In order to be eligible for an E-2 visa as an employee, the employee must be of the same nationality as the business. The nationality of the business is determined by the entity owning at least 50% of the business enterprise. In addition, the employee must an executive or manager, or have special skills that are essential to the operation of the business

Family of E-1 and E-2 Visa Holders

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of their nationality, may receive visas to accompany an E-1 or E-2 visa holder to the United States. Spouses and unmarried children may accompany the main visa holder regardless of their nationality. Spouses of E-1 and E-2 visa holders are eligible to apply for employment authorization. Children may attend school, but are not eligible to apply for employment authorization.

Contact an Experienced Business Immigration Attorney Today

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about an E-1 or E-2 visa, Hartzman Law Firm is here to help. Attorney Hartzman is a knowledgeable and skilled immigration lawyer who has helped countless individuals file for E-1 or E-2 visas. If you would like to speak with Daniel about how Hartzman law firm can help you apply for an E-1 or E-2 visa, please call us at (412) 495-9849 or fill out a contact form online. We offer free consultations in person, by phone, and by secure video conferencing. Weekend consultations are also available by request.

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