E-1 visas are Treaty Trader visas and therefore require that a treaty be in place between the United States and the country of citizenship of the pricipal applicant that permits this visa. A list of the treaties is maintained by the US Department of State at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/87221.pdf. Although the E-1 visa applicant has no control over whether or not a treaty is in place, without the treaty, an E-1 visa cannot be issued.
In order to qualify for the E-1 visa, the E-1 visa applicant must be coming to the United States solely to carry on substantial international trade principally between the US and the E-1 visa applicant’s country. The trade cannot be just domestic trade within the United States. It must be international in nature, and must be substantial.
For purposes of the E-1 Treaty Trader visa, trade is defined broadly to “include but are not limited to goods, services, international banking, insurance monies, transportation, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, management consulting, tourism, technology,” etc.
The trade of the E-1 Treaty Trader visa company must be principally between the US and the treaty country. In other words, more than 50% of the company’s trade must be between the US and the treaty country.
The trade of the E-1 Treaty Trader visa company must also be substantial. It must be “an amount of trade sufficient to insure a continuous flow of international trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.” It therefore cannot be just one huge transaction.
Additionally, the ownership of the company is important. At least 50% of the company must be owned by nationals of the treaty country, and ownership of Legal Permanent Residents of the US is regarded as US ownership even if these Legal Permanent Residents are also citizens of the treaty country.
E-1 Treaty Trader visas are issued for two years and are renewable in two year increments.
This is a quick overview of the E-1 Treaty Trader visas. The application process is complex, and can be affected by many factors, including trade embargoes.
We have successfully handled countless E-1 Treaty Trader applications. Call our office to start your case: (213) 622-2255.