Treaty Investor and Trader Work Visas

E-1 and E-2 Visas

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.

Who Qualifies for an E-I Treaty Trader Visa?

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

  • The individual or the firm has the nationality of the treaty country (at least half of the company must be owned by nationals of the treaty country).
  • There must be substantial trade (more than 50 percent) between the U.S. and the country of nationality. Trade includes the exchange, purchase or sale of goods or services or the transfer of technology.
  • The individual is either the principal trader, who is coming to the U.S. 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 firm 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 (generally in excess of $100,000 at risk) 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 is not the individual’s sole income source.

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 one year. Extensions of stay in the United States may be granted for up to two years at a time from the appropriate Immigration Regional Service Center. An E visa can be reissued for an additional five years by the State Department Visa Office in Washington, D.C. before the termination of the original E visa without the need to return to the home country.

Countries with Treaties for E-l Visas

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brunei (Borneo), Canada, China (Taiwan only), Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.

Countries with Treaties for E-2 Visas

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, China (Taiwan only), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liberia, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Senegal, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, and Zaire.