General Qualifications for the Employee of an E-1 Visa Treaty Trader
Once the principal applicant has obtained registration as a Treaty Investor or Trader, it is relatively easy to obtain E visas for the qualifying employees. If the principal E visa holding employer is not an individual, it must be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the United States who have the nationality of the treaty country. These owners must be maintaining nonimmigrant treaty trader status. If the owners are not in the United States, they must be, if they were to seek admission to this country, classifiable as nonimmigrant treaty traders.
To qualify for E-1 classification, the employee of a treaty trader must:
- Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country)
- Meet the definition of “employee” under the relevant law
- Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character. Duties which are of an executive or supervisory character are those which primarily provide the employee ultimate control and responsibility for the organization’s overall operation, or a major component of it.
- if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications. Special qualifications are skills which make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the business. There are several qualities or circumstances which could, depending on the facts, meet this requirement.
USCIS Terms and Definitions
Executives & Managers: Executives and Managers should be going to the U.S. to develop and direct the trade or investment of the principal investor/trader in the U.S. These employees should be able to demonstrate their executive or managerial background, but, unlike the L-1 visa, there is no requirement that they have worked for the principal trader or investor for at least one year.
Specialist or Essential Skilled Workers: In order to qualify, one must demonstrate the following:
- A U.S. resident worker could not fill the position;
- The employment of the treaty national is necessary for the running of the principal trader or investor's business in the U.S.;
- U.S. workers will be trained to replace the treaty national at the culmination of the visa.
Visas for this type of employee are somewhat more difficult to obtain than those for executives and managers. Details of the proposed training of U.S. workers must be outlined.
Knowledge of a foreign language and culture does not, by itself, meet this requirement. Note that in some cases a skill that is essential at one point in time may become commonplace, and therefore no longer qualifying, at a later date.
Even if these qualifications are met and an E-visa is obtained, it is also more difficult to renew a visa for this type of employee than for an Executive or Managerial E-visa.
If you or your employer has any question regarding E-1 visa processing, please contact our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys at JCS Immigration and Visa Services. [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]