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E-1 Visa for Companies Doing More than Half of Their Business in the United States

The United States is signatory to a number of treaties with other countries, allowing individuals and companies to develop business opportunities in the United States. As a result, “E- Visas” are available to visitors to the US interested in trade and investment.

As discussed in a previous post, E-2 visas are temporary visas based on a reciprocal commercial treaty between the United States and the individual’s country of nationality, where the individual is visiting the US primarily for investment purposes.

E-1 visas, on the other hand, allow visitors to enter the US in order to carry out substantial trade that is principally between the US and the treaty country.

What Constitutes Trade?

For purposes of the E-1 visa, trade is an exchange of goods, services, international banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, technology, and some news-gathering activities. Substantial trade is a continuous exchange of goods, services, or technology between the US and the treaty trader’s country of origin, usually valued at about $200,000+ annually. The visitor’s international trade must be “principally” with the United States, meaning that more than half of the visitor’s trade must be to/from the US.

Who is Eligible?

Essential employees, executives, and managers are eligible to obtain individual E-1 visas. At least 50% of the trade business must be owned by citizens of the same treaty country. A list of E-1 treaty countries may be found here.

How Long Can I Stay?

E-1 visitors may stay for an initial period of two (2) years, but an unlimited amount of two (2) year extensions are available.

Other Details:

There is no cap to the amount of E-1 visas available.  There is also no official deadline; your visa term will be based on the dates of your trade visit. More information is available here.


Questions about Visiting the US as a Treaty Trader?

To find out if you qualify for an E1 visa, and learn how to prepare an application, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s attorneys; call +1 (949) 798-6298; or fill out a Contact Request Form.

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*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular case, as each case has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by licensed attorney.


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