E-1 Visas for Traders (Exporters & Importers)

What is an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa?

The treaty trade visa (E-1) is very different from the immigrant investor visa (E-B2). Often the two types of visas are confused. E-1Treaty investor status is a nonimmigrant visa, that is, it is a temporary visa that can be continuously renewed. EB-2 is an immigrant visa. It is a permanent visa based on an investment in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full time jobs for U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens.

Treaty Trader (E-1)

Treaty Trader Countries
Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brunei (Borneo), Canada, China (Taiwan only), Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, LIBERIA, Luxembourg, Macedonia Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

What do I need to do to obtain an E-1 visa.

  1. You must be a national of a treaty country listed above;
  2. Solely engage in trade;
  3. Of a Substantial nature;
  4. Principally between the United States and the investor’s country of nationality;
  5. and

  6. The applicant intends to depart the U.S. upon the expiration of E-1 status.
  7. If the applicant is not the principal trader, the alien must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possesses special qualifications that make the alien’s services essential to the successful and efficient operation of the enterprise.
  8. The alien employer must be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons having the nationality of the treaty country.
  9. The employee must have the same nationality as the principal alien employer.