E Treaty Visa Overview

What is the E Treaty Visa and is the E treaty visa right for me?

The United States has signed treaties of “Friendship, Commerce and Navigation” with countries around the world. They are designed to promote trade and investment between the U.S. and the other contracting state, with the idea that this will encourage good relations and peace.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) gives special status to citizens of countries which have entered into these treaties with the U.S. More recently, the U.S. has entered into a number of Bilateral Investment Treaties with many former communist states. These treaties are designed to promote investment, but do not generally confer any trade-related immigration privileges. Individuals and companies from countries with such treaties can obtain what are called E visas to work in the U.S. in order to develop and direct their investment and trade dealings with the U.S. E visas come in two types, the E-1 and the E-2. E-1 and E-2 visas are based on different treaties, however, and depending on which country the beneficiary is from, he or she may not be eligible to apply for both visas. For assistance in applying for your E visa, or in determining what is the best path for you to gain your U.S. nonimmigrant visa, please call or email JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office. We offer a free initial consultation with our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys.


H-1b visa


What is the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa?

This visa is specifically designed for nationals from qualifying treaty countries who undertake a significant amount of international trade with the United States may qualify for an E-1 visa. Noncitizen business owners, business managers, and employees who qualify for the E-1 visa usually have to stay in the U.S. for prolonged periods of time to oversee or work for an enterprise that is engaged in trade between the U.S. and the treaty country of their origin. The volume of their trade must be sufficient to justify the trader or his/her employees being present in the U.S. to manage the trade.

Although there is no set minimum level of trade which is considered sufficient, but the level of trade should constitute the majority of the trader's international business meaning that more than 50% of their foreign trade should be with the U.S. For more information on the E-1 visa, please read more here.


E-2 Investor


What is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?

This visa is available to nationals of qualifying treaty countries who have made a significant investment in the United States. Usually, qualified individuals are noncitizens from a treaty country who wish to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. There is no set minimum level of investment which may qualify for E-2 status, but the lower the investment the less likely one is to qualify. For more information on the E-2 visa, please read more here.


What are the requirements for an E Treaty Visa?

To qualify for an E visa, you must meet the following general requirements:

  • Your home country must have a treaty with United States
  • For an E-1 visa, you or your company must engage in substantial trade;
  • For an E-2 visa, , you or your company must have substantial U.S. investment
  • The majority of your company must be owned by citizens of the treaty country
  • You must be an executive, manager, or have essential knowledge
  • You must prove investment or trade is substantial, and company is not “marginal,” or solely to earn a living


Each visa type has specific requirements that must be satisfied before a visa will be issued. Read our sections on the E-1 visa requirements and the E-2 visa requirements for more information on the specific requirements for each.


H-1B 240 day


How long can I stay in the U.S. on an E visa?

The E visa provides admission to the U.S. for two years at a time. Often it is renewed up in two year intervals and there is no maximum limit of how many times it may be renewed.


Can I bring my spouse and children with me on my E Visa?

An E visa holder may be accompanied or joined in the United States by his or her spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Family members will come to the U.S. on a separate derivative E visa. Spouses may also obtain authorization to work in the U.S.

For more information on bringing family members to the U.S. when you are here on an E visa, please contact our experienced U.S. immigration attorney now.

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