E-1 Visa


The E1 visa for Treatćy Traders allows nationals from countries that maintain an appropriate treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S., to enter the U.S. to conduct trade between the U.S. and their home country.

E1 Visa Eligibility – It Is Suitable For:

Personnel including executives, managers and specialists of a treaty nation company operating in the U.S.

Nationals of treaty countries seeking to enter the U.S. to carry out substantial trade

Immediate family members of US E1 visa holders

Companies in treaty countries to send key personnel to manage the U.S. affiliate or branch

Companies in tr eaty countries to send personnel to setup a U.S. company

E1 Visa Benefits

You can travel freely in and out of the U.S. while on a valid startup visa

You can stay on a prolonged basis with unlimited two year extensions as long as you maintain valid E1 status

Your dependents can stay with you as long as you maintain your E1 status. They can also attend school

You can apply at an American Consulate abroad or apply for a change of status if you are in the U.S.

Your spouse may seek employment by applying for an employment authorization document - e visa online

E1 Visa Requirements

To qualify for the E1 visa, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. You Must Be A National of A Treaty Country
  2. You must be a national of a country that maintains a treaty of navigation and commerce with the U.S. for E1 visa purposes.

  3. Trading Firm Must Belong To The Treaty Country
  4. The trading firm for which you are coming to the U.S. must have the nationality of the treaty country.

  5. The Trade Must Be Substantial
  6. The international trade between your home country and the U.S. must be ‘substantial’ in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade. More than 50 per cent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and your home country.

    Note: Trade means the international exchange of goods, services and technology. The item of trade, and title of that item, must pass from one party to the other in exchange for consideration.

  7. You Must Be Employed In Supervisory or Executive Capacity, or Possess Specialized Skills You must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify
E1 Visa Notes

Spouses of E1 visa holders may accept employment in the U.S. by obtaining an Employment Authorization Document.

To change the purpose of your visit while you are in the U.S. on an E1 visa, you must change your visa status.

The information provided here is applicable to New E1 Visa and E1 Extension.

Applying For The E1 Visa

To apply for an E1 US visa, you must first establish that the trading enterprise meets the requirements of the law. You may also be required to provide evidence demonstrating that your stay in the U.S. will be temporary.

Your E visa application must include:

  • DOS Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  • DOS Form DS-156E, Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader / Investor Application
  • A copy of your passport which is valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the U.S. and with at least one blank page
  • Color photograph showing full face without head covering against a light background. You may wear a headdress if required by a religious order of which you are a member
  • Proof of one year of trading activity
  • Your curriculum vitae
  • Evidence that you will be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm
  • Evidence of remittance to the U.S. (bank drafts, transfers, exchange permits or receipts.)
  • Evidence of establishment of business in the U.S. (articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, organization and staffing charts, shares, titles, contracts, receipts, licenses or leases)
  • Evidence of the nationality of the investors/traders (passports, articles of incorporation of parent company or stock exchange listings)
  • Evidence of trade between the U.S. and the treaty country (invoices, bills of lading, customs clearances, warehouse receipts, shipping receipts, sales receipts or contracts)
  • Evidence that the business is a real, operating enterprise (annual reports, catalogs, sales literature, news articles, and other evidence as appropriate)
  • Duration of Stay

The E1 US visa, initially, is generally issued for a five-year period. E1 Visa holders are generally granted 2 year of authorized stay upon entry into the U.S. You can obtain E1 status extensions for up to two years at a time from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Since there is no limit on the number of extensions you may obtain, you can stay in the U.S. indefinitely.

Spouse and Children

Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join you in the U.S. for the duration of your stay can apply for E1 visas. Your spouse may also be eligible to take up employment during his/her stay in the U.S. by applying for an employment authorization document. The E2 Treaty Investor visa allows nationals from countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation or bilateral agreements in effect with the U.S., to enter the U.S. for the purpose of directing and developing the operations of an enterprise they have invested in, or are in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.

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