The E visa category is for foreign traders (E-1) and investors (E-2) who desire to enter U.S. for trade or investment purposes. Certain countries have treaties with the United States with regard to trade and/or investment. Nationals of the treaty countries may apply for E-1/E-2 visa.

Three elements of an E visa are that there must be a treaty between U.S. and the foreign country, majority of the ownership or control of the investing or trading company must be held by the nationals of that foreign country, and the employee-to-be-transferred to U.S. must also be a national of that foreign country. If any of the above three elements are not present, an E visa is not possible.

To be eligible for E-1, the company must demonstrate:

  1. Trade: Trade involves the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods or services.
  2. Trade must be substantial: There is no minimum amount prescribed by the immigration law to determine whether the trade is substantial or not. Instead, it is ascertained based upon volume of trade, number of transactions, and continuity of trade.
  3. Trade must be principally between U.S. and the treaty country: It is essential that more than 50% of the total volume of the international trade of the U.S. business entity must involve trade between U.S. and the treaty country.

Countries with E-1 treaty with U.S.: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brunei, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.

Period of Admission: A treaty trader or treaty investor may be admitted for an initial period of not more than 2 years. Requests for extensions of stay may be granted in increments of not more than 2 years.

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