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E-1 and E-2 visas -- Treaty Traders & Treaty Investors
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 international trade) between the U.S. 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.  Such trade must be continuous and ongoing.

  • 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 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 capital investment (relative to the total
    value of the company) in a bona fide business enterprise in the
    U.S.

  • The individual is either the principal investor who will direct and
    develop the enterprise, or an executive, supervisor, or
    employee whose services are essential to the efficient
    operation of the U.S. 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 of future
    capacity to make a significant economic contribution.

How long can E visa holders remain in the U.S.?

  • E visas are generally issued for five years.  Extensions of stay
    in the U.S. may be granted for up to two years at a time from
    the appropriate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    (USCIS) service center.

  • An E visa may be reissued for up to five years at the home
    consulate with submission of appropriate documentation
    establishing the ongoing trade or continuing operation of the
    business investment enterprise.  The spouse or children of E
    visa holder do not require treaty country nationality.  Children
    may attend school and spouses in E status are eligible to apply
    for an employment authorization document.

Lists of countries that have treaties for E-1 visas and of countries
that have treaties for E-2 visas are available
here.