E-1, E-2 Visas - Treaty Traders, Investors and Family
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides nonimmigrant visa status for a citizen of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The citizen must be coming to the United States to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, principally between the United States and the treaty country. They may also be coming to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested, or are in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.
Treaty Trader - Requirements
- The applicant must be a citizen of a treaty country;
- The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U.S. must have the nationality of the treaty country;
- The international trade must be "substantial" in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade;
- The trade must be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, which is defined to mean that more than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant's nationality;
- Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other; and
- The applicant 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.
Treaty Investor - Requirements
- The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a citizen of a treaty country;
- The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise;
- The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment;
- The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States;
- The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed; and
- The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.