Treaty Trader (E1) Visa

The E categories are designated for aliens engaged in international trade or investment between the United States and the alien’s country of nationality, provided the U.S. has an appropriate treaty relationship with the foreign country.

A treaty country is a foreign state with which a qualifying Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, or Navigation or its equivalent with the U.S.  A Treaty Country includes a foreign state that is accorded treaty visa privileges under section 101(a)(15)(e) of the INA by specific legislation.  A listing of countries with whom the U.S. currently has treaties can be downloaded from the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual.

For the alien to visit the U.S. temporarily for trading or investing purposes, the requirements outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations must be met.  Potential applicants should studiously review those regulations.

Treaty Trader (E-1) :

The E-1 classification is authorized for a national of a country with which the United States has a commercial treaty, who is coming to the U.S. solely to engage in trade of a substantial nature principally between the United States and the alien’s country of nationality.  The trade involved must be international exchange (successfully negotiated contracts binding on all parties) of items of trade between the U.S. and a treaty country.  Title to the trade item must pass from one treaty party to the other.

There is no petitioning process for the E categories.  If outside of the U.S., the alien may apply for an E-1 visa on his or her own behalf directly to a U.S. consular office abroad.  If the alien is inside the U.S., the I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, extension of stay, or change of employment.

Application Requirements :

  • The applicant must be a national of a country with whom the U.S. has the requisite treaty or agreement;
  • The activity must constitute a trade as defined by regulations;
  • The trade must be of a substantial nature, i.e. an amount of trade sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of trade items between the
        U.S. and the treaty country;
  • The trade conducted by the alien must be a trade principally between the United States and the treaty country of which the alien is a
        national.  Trade is deemed to be principally between the U.S. and treaty country when over 50% of the volume of international trade
        conducted by the alien treaty trader is between the U.S. and treaty country of which the alien is a national;
  • If the applicant is not the principal trader, the applicant must show that s/he is employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or
        possesses special qualifications that make the his/her services essential to the successful and efficient operation of the enterprise;
  • The employee must be of the same nationality as the principal alien employer.
  • The alien employer must be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons having the nationality of the treaty country.
  • The applicant must show that s/he intends to depart the U.S. upon the expiration of E-1 status.  (However, an application for initial
        admission, change of status, or extension of stay in E classification may not be denied solely on the basis of an approved request for
        permanent labor certification or a filed or approved immigrant visa preference petition.)
  • Notes:

    Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of an E-1 or E-2 alien will be admitted under the same classification as the principal.  The dependent spouse and child(ren) are not required to have the same nationality as the principal alien.

    The spouse of an E-1 can now file for work authorization.

    You may be able to revalidate an E visa while in the US.  Your E visa can only be revalidated if your passport contains a previous E visa (the same classification as the visa now being sought).

    There are multitudinous immigration laws, federal statutes and regulations involved in applications for non-immigrant and immigrant visas. The legal process is complex and could result in the denial of a your visa if the application is not properly prepared. If the application is put together correctly and professionally by a qualified immigration attorney, the probability of achieving a successful result is greatly increased.

    The Bócsi Law Firm can precisely and professionally prepare all of the necessary applications for you, providing you with security that the entire process goes smoothly, and relieving you of the stress and worry that often accompanies immigration legal procedures.

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