E-1 Visa Lawyer

Visa for International Traders

The E1 Treaty Trader Visa is for a national of a country with which the United States has entered into a treaty of commerce, who is coming to the United States to engage in a substantial trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.

Items of trade include, but are not limited to:

  • Goods
  • Services
  • International banking
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Tourism
  • Technology

The main requirements for obtaining an E-1 Visa are:

  • that the trade will be substantial;
  • that the petitioner is a citizen of a Treaty Country;
  • that the trade will be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country.

The E-1 is a non-immigrant Visa. It is generally granted for an initial period of admission of 5 years (2 years in case of a change of status obtained in the U.S.). There is no limit to the number of extensions an E-1 Visa holder may be granted, as long as his or her business is active and the trade remains substantial.

In other words, the E-1 Visa does not create a path for U.S. Citizenship, as opposed to other non-immigrant Visas that allow "dual intent", such as the H-1B, O-1, and L-1 Visas.

However, a limited form of "dual intent" is recognized for E-1 Visa holders. The USCIS position is that an application for initial admission, change of status, or extension of stay in E classification may not be denied solely on the basis of an approved request for permanent labor certification or a filed or approved immigrant visa preference petition (Green Card).

The spouse of a Treaty Trader may be granted admission as dependent, and may also apply for unrestricted work authorization with USCIS. Unmarried children under the age of 21 may also be allowed in the United States as dependents, but can only attend schools.

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