This type of nonimmigrant visa permits foreign nationals, key managerial and specialist employees with highly specialized skills from treaty countries to “develop and direct” import or export, a significant amount of international trade (of goods, services, or technology) between their own country and the US. The key is that the volume of such trade must be sufficient and “substantial” to justify the presence of the visa holder in the US for the purpose of managing said trade. There is no set minimum level of trade that is considered “substantial” but at least 50% of the trader’s exports/imports must be to or from the USA. Lastly, the trader must have a history of conducting trade between the US and the treaty country.
E1 Treaty Trader Visa Requirements
Nonimmigrant visa status is provided to nationals of certain countries that are parties to certain treaties with the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) grants this status. The treaty must be one of commerce and navigation.
Applicants must be nationals of countries that are parties to commerce and navigation treaties with the United States.
Applicants must intend to come to the United States to engage in “substantial trade,” and this trade must mainly take place between the applicant’s country of nationality and the United States, or develop and direct an enterprise’s operations invested in by the applicant, or the applicant must be engaged in the process of investing substantial capital in the enterprise.
The nationality of the trading firm in the United States must be of the same nationality as the applicant for the temporary visa.
There must be a transfer of title of the trade goods. The title cannot remain with one party only.
Applicants must have an executive or supervisory role or have highly specialized skills required for the firm’s operations.
Unskilled or ordinarily skilled applicants are not eligible for this type of visa.
E1 Visa Lawyer in New York City
What to Expect Upon Arrival
Upon arrival at an international land border crossing, seaport, or airport, visa applicants should prepare to be enrolled in the entry-exit program known as US-VISIT. Some applicants who arrive in the United States will also need to register their entry and exit in compliance with the Special Registration program.
Family Members of E1 Visa Holders
If the holder of an E1 Visa has unmarried children younger than 21 years of age and/or a spouse, these persons may apply for derivative E visas. Spouses of E visa holders can apply to the Department of Homeland Security for employment authorization. It should be noted that if the E visa holder’s children are holders of derivative E visas, they are not entitled to work in the United States.
As long as E1 visa holders are complying with their visa requirements, they may stay in the United States as long as they continue to hold their status with the business enterprise.
Retaining an E1 visa lawyer with experience and knowledge of the process is necessary when handling such important immigration visa matters.
Ready to get started?
Contact our immigration law firm for a free consultation or with any questions.