There are two types of E Visas available – the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa and the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.
E-1 Treaty Trader Visa
The treaty trader visa allows individuals to come to the United States for the purpose of furthering the existing trade agreement between countries. The E-1 Visa is for use with aliens from countries currently in a treaty with the United States. There are a number of countries that are included so check with your attorney to determine whether you will qualify for this type of visa.
To qualify for an E-1 Visa you:
- Must be a resident of a country with which the U.S. has an agreement or treaty
- Must hold a supervisory or executive position or skills that are essential to company operations
The E-1 Visa is initially valid for a period of two years but is eligible for extension.
In order for a company to utilize the E Visa they must show that they have created substantial trade between the United State and the treaty country. More than half of the volume of international business done by the company must be done with the treaty country. Also, at least 50% of the U.S. business must be owned by non-U.S. resident nationals of the treaty country.
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
The treaty investor visa allows individuals to come to the United States to further an investment in a United States enterprise. The investment must have been made by businesses or individuals who are citizens of a treaty country.
For a company to qualify for an E-2 treaty investor visa the business must show that it has a substantial investment in the U.S. business. The individuals must be citizens of a country that is part of the treaty agreement. For the investment to be considered substantial it must be “at risk”, meaning that it is possible that it could be lost by investors. Also, the investment cannot be simply “marginal”, or made for the purpose of making a living. At least half of the U.S. company must be owned by residents of the treaty country.
To apply for the E-1 or E-2 Visas the company must first be qualified. The application to qualify should be submitted with the E-1 or E-2 application. These may be submitted through the national country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Once a company is qualified additional people can apply for visas. The E-1 and E-2 Visas are granted for a period of up to five years and are renewable as long as the individual maintains the qualifications. The children and spouse of an E-1 or E-2 visa holder may apply for an E-1 or E-2 dependant visa.