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E-1 Treaty Traders

E-1 Introduction

E-1 visa for Treaty Traders and Employees allows nationals from countries that maintain an appropriate treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S., to enter the U.S. to conduct trade between the U.S. and their home country. It can be divided into two categories: E-1 Visa Treaty Trader and E-1Visa Employee.

Although an initial period of stay of two years is granted to persons coming to the United States in E-1 category, this period can be extended almost indefinitely.

Spouses and children under 21 of E-1 visa holder may also receive E-1 status. The nationality of a spouse or child is not material in determining eligibility for E-1 status.

Advantages & Disadvantages of E-1

1.Application for an E-1 Visa is made directly to a U.S. consulate. There is no need to submit a preliminary petition with CIS
2.No cap on E-1 Visa extensions
3.Regulations require only that E-1 Visa visitors intend to depart when their status terminates.
4.E-1 Visa visitors do not have to maintain a foreign residence that they have no intention of abandoning.
5.E-1 visa holder may be admitted with a two-year I-94 even though the visa may be valid for a lesser time. For example, a person with one week left on his E visa may still obtain a two-year I-94 upon entry to the U.S.
6.E-1 spouse may obtain employment authorization
7.E-1 spouse and children under 21 can also attend school

1.E-1 Visa Treaty Traders may only engage in employment that is consistent with the terms and conditions of the activities forming the basis for their E-1 Visa status.
2.There are strict requirements on the nationality of individuals and the level of trade necessary to qualify for E-1 Visa status.

Requirements for E-1

1. A trade treaty must exist between the United States and applicant's country
2. At least 50% of the company is owned by nationals of applicant's country
3. The owners of the company must either:
(i) Maintain E nonimmigrant status if they are in the United States, or
(ii) Must live outside the U.S. and be eligible for E nonimmigrant status if they were to live in the United States.(This means that owners who are also U.S. citizen or permanent resident cannot be counted toward determining at least 50% ownership, even if they are nationals of the applicant's country.)
4. Applicant is either:
(i) An owner of the company or
(ii) An employee in a managerial or executive capacity or with essential skills
5.The company has already been engaged in substantial trade principally between the United States and applicant's country (or is ready to engage in substantial trade). The trade must be substantial in terms of dollar amount, volume and frequency

Treaty countries:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia.

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