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E-1 & E-2

Treaties between the United States and many countries allow foreign nationals to come to the United States to conduct trade or to manage substantial investments. Unlike the one million dollar threshold for the permanent resident investor visa, there is no fixed dollar amount for treaty investment. Those qualifying for the E-1 (Trader) or E-2 (Investor) visas can pursue long-term business objectives using these practical visas. Be sure to consult with an Attorney experienced in immigration matters to be certain that your case is prepared correctly.

Who Qualifies for an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa?

A person may be issued an E-1 Treaty Trader visa if:

- The individual or the company has the nationality of the treaty country (at least half of the company must be owned by nationals of the treaty country)

- There is substantial trade (more than 50 percent of the company’s trade) between the United States and the treaty country. “Trade” includes the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods or services; the transfer of technology; and binding contracts that call for the immediate exchange of items of trade. This trade must be continuous and ongoing.

- The individual is either the principal trader, who is coming to the United States to engage in substantial trade, or an executive, manager, or employee with special skills essential to the company.

Who Qualifies for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

A person may be issued an E-2 Treaty Investor visa if:

- The individual or the company has the nationality of the treaty country (at least half of the company must be owned by nationals of the treaty country)

- The individual or the company has made or is in the process of making a substantial investment (relative to the total value of the company) in a business in the United States.

- The individual is either the principal investor who will direct and develop the enterprise, or an executive, manager, or employee with special skills essential to the company.

- The investment has the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide minimal living for the investor and his or her family, or has a present or future capacity to make a significant economic contribution.

How Long Can E Visa Holders Remain in the United States?

E Visas are generally issued for five years. Extensions of stay in the United States may be granted as long as eligibility continues and the treaty remains in force.

At the border, E visa holders are admitted to the United States for two years (notwithstanding the visa validity period). Extensions of stay in the United States may be granted for up to two years at a time for the appropriate Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) service center.

An E visa can be reissued for up to five years at the home consulate or by the State Department Visa Office in Washington, D.C., with a valid I-94 and within one year after the termination of the original E Visa.

The spouse and children of E visa holders may attend school but cannot be employed.

Countries with Treaties for E-1 and E-2 Visas

For updates, see www.travel.state.gov

Countries with Treaties for E-1 Visas:

Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Honduras, Iran (very limited), Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea (South), Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdoms, Wallis & Futuna Islands, Yugoslavia.

Countries with Treaties for E-2 Visas:

Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaizan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo, Dem. Rep. of (Kinshasa), Congo, Rep. of (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, Wallis & Futuna Islands.