USA Immigration Visas for the purpose of Trade
E-1 Visa - Trade in the US
There are two types of E visas, E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor. The basis for the classifications lies in treaties of friendship, commerce and navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty or other arrangements between the US and certain countries that were entered into to enhance or facilitate economic and commercial interaction between the United States of America and the relevant countries.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
In January 1994, Canada, the United States and Mexico launched the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). One of the world’s largest free trade zones and laying the foundations for strong economic growth and rising prosperity for Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Since then, NAFTA has demonstrated how free trade increases wealth and competitiveness, delivering real benefits to families, farmers, workers, manufacturers, and consumers. To learn more about NAFTA, please click here
Who Qualifies for an E-1 Trade Visa?
A person may be issued an E-1 visa if:
The individual or the company has the nationality of the treaty country
There is substantial trade – more than 50 percent of the company’s trade – between the US
and the treaty country. Trade involves the commercial exchange of goods or services in the
international market place. The trade must be continuous and ongoing.
The individual must be entering the US solely to carry on the trade or as a key employee ·
The person is a dependent of an E investor or key employee
How Long Can E Visa Holders Stay in the US?
E visas may be issued for up to five years but is commonly issued for two years at a time. There is no limit on the number of extensions. These can be granted as long as eligibility continues and the relevant treaty remains in force.
How to Obtain an E-1/E-2 Visa?
Each case must be well documented with supporting evidence proving that all legal requirements are met. For a list of treaty countries, please contact our office. The initial E application will normally be adjudicated by the relevant US Embassy or Consulate. Subsequent extensions are processed by a Citizenship and Immigration Services Service Center. Dependents of the E-1/E-2 holder (spouses and children) may also obtain E visas. E spouses may later apply for work authorization in the US.
Stephen K. Tills Attorney at Law
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