Who Should Apply for an E-1/E-2 Visa?

Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are available only to citizens of countries that have commerce and navigation treaties with the United States.

While there are quite a few treaty countries on this list, this visa is not available to those from China or India. While requirements for the two visas are similar, there are some key differences: an E-1 visa is for an employee of a company, while an E-2 visa is for someone who is capitalizing a company.

E-1 Treaty Trader visas are for essential employees of foreign companies, such as executives and supervisors, that have operations in the United States. The E-1 visa applicant must be from the same treaty nation as the employer, and the employee must have significant responsibility for the enterprise’s operations. More than 50 percent of total volume of the employer’s international trade must be between the United States and the treaty country.

E-2 Treaty Investor visas are for investors who are citizens of a treaty country and have invested, or are in the process of investing, a “substantial” amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise, and are seeking to enter the United States to develop and direct the operations of the enterprise. The investor must own least 50 percent of the enterprise or have operational control of the business. Whether an investment is considered substantial depends on the size of the investment in relation to the size of the business.

E1/E2 visas can be renewed indefinitely to allow individuals to remain in the United States to operate and run the business. However, an E visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which means it does not give the visa holder an advantage in obtaining permanent resident status.

For further information on E visa requirements, consult an experienced Pinellas County immigration attorney.