E-1, or treaty trader, visas are available to people coming to the United States to work for or invest in a company that carries on substantial trade between the relevant treaty country and the United States.
E-2, or treaty investor, visas are available to people who will be themselves making a substantial investment in an enterprise in the United States or who will be working for an enterprise that represents a substantial investment in the United States by other citizens of the relevant treaty country.
Eligibility Requirements for E-1 and E-2 Visas
To qualify for either visa, you must be a citizen of one of the treaty countries
. You also must be coming to the United States to work for or invest in a company that is majority-owned (i.e. 50% or more) by citizens of the same treaty country. Finally, you must be either a principal investor in the company who is coming to the United States to direct or manage your investment, or an employee of the relevant company who works in an executive, supervisory, or other essential capacity.
How to Apply for Trader or Investor Visas
You do not need to petition United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
for one of these visas. Instead, you apply directly to a United States consulate with proof that you meet the eligibility requirements. The consular officer will decide if you qualify for an E visa and if you are admissible to the United States. Unlike most applicants for non-immigrant visas , you do not need to show that you will be maintaining a residence outside the United States. However, you must show that you will return to your country when your E status expires and will not apply for a green card from within the United States. Once the consular officer issues the visa, you are free to travel to the United States to begin your activities with the trading or investment enterprise.
Duration of Stay
If you are granted an E-1 or E-2 visa, you will usually be allowed to stay in the United States for an initial period of two years. This period of stay can be extended indefinitely in two-year increments.
Accompanying Family Members
Your spouse and your unmarried children who are under the age of 21 can obtain visas to accompany you. They need not be citizens of the treaty country. Your spouse may work if he or she applies and is granted employment authorization by Citizenship and Immigration Services. Your children may not work but may attend school.
Get in Touch with an Immigration Lawyer
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