Frequently Asked Questions Regarding E Treaty Visas
Is it possible to gain E status from USCIS as a self-employed professional?
No it is not. The principal applicant needs to be going to the U.S. to 'develop and direct' his or her trade or investment. E-visas are not meant for people looking to be a factor of production or trade in his or her own right. As a result, accountants, IT consultants, doctors, and lawyers for example cannot obtain E status in the attempt to practice their profession in the U.S.
How long can I stay in the U.S. on my E status visa?
With an E-visa, you may stay in the U.S. indefinitely, provided the level of international trade or the value of your investment in the U.S. remains sufficient to justify your remaining there. E-visas are initially valid for anywhere between two and five years, but can be renewed any number of times. If you would like assistance in renewing your E visa, please contact our experienced Los Angeles immigration and visa attorneys. We offer a free initial consultation! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
Why isn't my country on the eligible list for an E visa?
Your country may not agree to provide a reciprocal visa for U.S. nationals in your country. Generally, the treaties that give rise to E-visas are made with countries on a reciprocal basis in that they will also entitle U.S. nationals to obtain similar immigration rights in the co-signatory’s country. Countries with restrictive inward investment policies or currency controls are less likely to have a treaty of this nature with the U.S. Furthermore, the majority of recent treaties signed by the United States have been entered into with the former Communist countries and are generally Bilateral Investment Treaties, conferring only E-2 eligibility on nationals of the other contracting state. Existing treaties may be suspended if the U.S. relationship with the other treaty signatory deteriorates or in the case of international sanctions. For a list of current treaty countries, please see our informational sections on E-1 treaty visa qualifying countries [LINK TO E-1 QUAL COUNTRIES] and E-2 visa qualifying countries here. [LINK TO E-2 QUAL COUNTRIES]
Is there a minimum amount of trade or investment needed to qualify for an E-visa?
No, but the lower the amount of trade or investment the poorer the chances are that the application will succeed. That being said, the amount necessary to qualify will depend on the type of business or trade engaged in.
Are there any alternatives if I or my employees do not qualify for E-status?
The L-1 intra-company transfer visa and the H-1B specialty occupation visa are possibilities. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor is an option which eventually leads to U.S. permanent residency, but it is extremely difficult and time-consuming to obtain. Please contact JCS Immigration and Visa Services for expert legal counsel if you need any assistance with obtaining a visa. Our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys are ready to help you today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
Can E-visa dependents work?
E dependents can obtain a general work authorization by filing the appropriate application. This form must be applied for separately from the E-visa application. We can help you with your work application. Please contact our immigration and visa attorneys for help today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
Misrepresentation of Material Facts or Fraud
If you attempt to obtain a visa through a willful misrepresentation of a material fact or by fraud, it may result in the permanent refusal of a visa and/or denial of entry into the U.S.
Visa Ineligibilities and Waivers
There are certain activities that can make you ineligible for a U.S. visa both now and into the future. There are cases wherein an applicant who is ineligible, but who is otherwise properly classifiable for a certain type of visa, may apply for a waiver of ineligibility and be issued a visa if the waiver is approved. Immigration law is a complex field. Please contact JCS Immigration and Visa Services for expert legal counsel if you need any assistance with obtaining a visa. Our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys are ready to help you today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
If a visa application is denied, the applicant can apply again only if there is new evidence that can overcome the reason for the initial denial.
U.S. Port of Entry
While a visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to any U.S. port-of entry and request permission to enter, applicants must be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the U.S and if you are allowed to enter, they will also note the length of your visit on the arrival and departure card.
It is very important to keep arrival and departure record in your passport as it is your authorization to stay in the US. There is plenty of information available regarding restricted or prohibited goods in the United States, so prospective travelers should review this information on the CBP website before making plans to enter the U.S.
Remaining Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S.
If you are to stay in legal status in the U.S., you must depart on or before the last day you are authorized to be present in the U.S. This date will be found on your arrival and departure card. If you fail to depart by that date, you will be out-of-status and will be in violation of immigration laws. This may cause you to be ineligible for a visa for return travel to the U.S. in the future. At the very least, your visa will be automatically voided. Generally, this will require you to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa in your country of citizenship.
How Do I Extend My Stay?
If you wish to stay beyond the date indicated on your arrival and departure card, you must seek an extension with USCIS. Information can be found on the USCIS website. Please contact JCS Immigration if you have any questions or concerns about extending your visa. Our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys can assist you and are ready to help you today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
How Do I Change My Status?
It is possible for some nonimmigrant visa holders to change their status from one visa classification to another while they are in the U.S. For more information on change of visa status, please read more here. [LINK TO NIV COS] It is recommended that you apply for a change of status (COS) with plenty of time before your present visa expires so that you have time to make travel arrangements in case your change of status request is denied. Immigration law is complex and constantly changing. If you would like to apply for COS, please contact our experienced immigration attorneys for assistance today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
If your inquiry concerns a visa case in progress overseas, you should first contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your case for status information. If you have further questions, feel free to contact our office. [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
If the individual applying for the E-1 or E-2 visa is relying on an employer's substantial trade, the employer must be a citizen of the treaty country. An employer residing in the U..S must also maintain treaty trader status.