Search articles:
Schedule an appointment

Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors

Treaty trader & Treaty Investors

 

 

Overview

The Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa are visas for nationals of a country with which the United States (U.S.) has entered into a treaty of commerce and navigation, who is coming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital, under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. For a list of participating countries, select Treaty Countries.

Source: USCIS.GOV

Requirements for a  Treaty Trader Visa (E-1)

There are specific requirements to qualify for Treaty trader (E-1). 

  •  The applicant must be a national of a treaty country. 
  • The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U. S. must have the nationality of the treaty country.
  • The international trade must be "substantial" in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
  • The trade must be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, which is defined to mean that more than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant's nationality.
  • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other. 
  • The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.

Requirements: Treaty Investor

Treaty investor applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for a treaty investor (E-2) visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether a treaty investor applicant qualifies for a visa.

  • The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country.
  • The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
  • The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
  • The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the U.S.
  • The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
  • The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.

Applying for the Visa

Applicants for visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger, and age 80 and older, generally do not require an interview, unless requested by embassy or consulate. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early visa application is strongly encouraged. Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing time information for each U.S. Embassy or Consulate worldwide is available on our website at Visa Wait Times, and on most embassy websites. Learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview, pay the application processing fee, review embassy specific instructions, and much more by visiting the Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply. See: US Embassy.

During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer.

Required Documentation

Each applicant for a treaty trader (E-1) visa must submit these forms and documentation, as explained below.

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
  • Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E, completed and signed.
  • A passport valid for travel to the U.S. and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person must complete a Form DS-160 application.
  • One (1) 2x2 photograph. 

Each applicant for a treaty investor (E-2) visa must submit these forms and documentation, as explained below.

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
  • Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E, completed and signed, if you are an Executive/Manager/Essential Employee.
  • A passport valid for travel to the U.S. and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person must complete a Form DS-160 application.
  • One (1) 2x2 photograph.  

What are the Required Visa Fees?

  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee - For current fees for Department of State government services, select Fees. You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid, when you come for your visa interview.
  • Visa issuance fee – Additionally, if the visa is issued, there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.

Additional Documentation

An applicant for a Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa must first establish that the trading enterprise or investment enterprise meets the requirements of the law, and complies with the many requirements for the E visa classification. The consular officer may provide the applicant with special forms for this purpose. The applicant can expect the consular officer to request additional documentation, to make a determination about eligibility for a treaty trader or treaty investor visa. It is impossible to specify the exact documentation required since circumstances vary greatly by applicant.

Misrepresentation of a Material Facts, or Fraud

Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the U.S.

Visa Ineligibilities and Waivers

Certain activities can make you ineligible for a U.S. visa. The Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-156 or Online Form DS-160, lists some categories of persons who are ineligible under U.S. law to receive visas. In some instances 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. 

Visa Denials

If the consular officer should find it necessary to deny the issuance of a visa, the applicant may apply again if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal.In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not obliged to re-examine such cases.

U.S. Port of Entry

A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the U.S. port-of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. Applicants should 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. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U.S., it’s very important to keep in your passport.   Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program. In addition, some travelers will also need to register their entry into and their departure from the U.S. with the Special Registration program.

Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S.and Being Out of Status

  • It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Failure to depart the U.S. will cause you to be out-of-status, violating immigration laws.
  • Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the Department of Homeland Security and being out-of-status in the U.S. is a violation of U.S. immigration laws, and may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travel to the U.S.
  • Staying unlawfully in the U.S. beyond the date CBP officials have authorized--even by one day--results in your visa being automatically voided, in accordance with INA 222(g). Under this provision of immigration law, if you overstay on your nonimmigrant authorized stay in the U.S., your visa will be automatically voided. In this situation, you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa, generally in your country of nationality.

General Visa

  • No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued.
  • Unless previously canceled, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if the traveler has a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport, do not remove the visa page from the expired passport. You may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the U.S.

Family Members

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, may receive derivative E visas in order to accompany the principal visa holder. The spouse of an E visa holder may apply to DHS for employment authorization. Dependent children of an E visa holder are not authorized to work in the U.S.

How Do I Extend My Stay?

Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their Form I-94 are required to have approval by USCIS. See Extend Your Stay on the USCIS website.

How Do I Change My Status?

Some nonimmigrant visa holders, while present in the U.S., are able to file a request which must be approved by USCIS to change to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website.

Important Note: Filing a request with USCIS for approval of change of status before your authorized stay expires, while you remain in the U.S., does not by itself require the visa holder to apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the U.S. while USCIS processes your change of status request, you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Further Inquiries

  • Before submitting your inquiry, we request that you carefully review this website and also the Embassy web site abroad. Very often you will find the information you need.
  • 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. Select U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and you can choose the Embassy or Consulate Internet site you need to contact.

Articles related to this topic

  • Green Cards Through Employment, PERM, I140, EB1, EB2, EB3, NIW, I485
  • Adjustment of Status

  • Videos related
    Author
    Moses Apsan and his staff, based in New York City and Newark, NJ provide exceptional legal services throughout the world, in all aspects of immigration to the United States, including non-immigrant (temporary visas), immigrant visa (Green Card) and deportation defense. In addition Mr. Apsan, has been practicing Bankruptcy law and Divorce laws for over 30 years, He was the President of the Federal Bar Association, New Jersey Chapter (1997-2002). He speaks Portuguese and Spanish..
    Click-to-Call us

    Use our automated
    Click-to-call to contact Apsan Law Offices, LLC. or
    call directly at
    1(877) 873-8510

    Click to call immigration lawyers


    nj immigration lawyers
    PayPal
    Consultation
    Sign up

    Immigration news
    If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he probably would have cringed when he realized that his own party, the Republican Party, has been blocking the way for a comprehensive immigration reform. A law...
    President Obama is angry. Following a year of trying to convince Congress to pass an immigration reform law, President Obama vented his fury today in a scorching White House speech, saying it's ti...
    June 4, 2014 - É possível uma ordem executiva prestar socorro imediato a determinadas disposições das leis draconianas em vigor daimigração, mesmo enquanto se...
    June 4, 2014 - É possível uma ordem executiva prestar socorro imediato a determinadas disposições das leis draconianas em vigor daimigração, mesmo enquanto se...
    When an immigration case has run its’ course and the alien has not violated the terms of the bond, ICE cancels the immigration bond. Once this is done, ICE notifies the Debt Management Cente...
    June 6, 2014 - Washington D.C. On this day, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed the public of its’ new renewal system for the many thousands of youths who were gr...
    The multinational company, TelexFREE, recently shut down in Brazil is being investigated by the Secretary of the State  in Massachusetts, triggered by TelexFree’s filing for federal ban...
    This past Monday, Multinational company, TelexFree, filed for bankruptcy protection in a federal court in Nevada. The next day FBI and Homeland Security agents raided the company’s offi...
    The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), has made available an immigration courts’ 800 Phone Number, which allows anyone to obtain information about their case though its automate...
    While Congress languishes on agreement to comprehensive immigration reform, a pro-immigration movement is sweeping the individual states. According to NCSL report for 2013, 184 laws were enacted a...
      CALABASAS, Calif. It seems that the more famous you are, the greater the chance of screwing up. Such is the case of Justin Bieber, a Canadian citizen, who is facing felony charges for alle...
    Immigration reform has been the perennial Ping-Pong in Congressional politics. Democrats are constantly on the march for comprehensive immigration laws, while ((Republican fear the word comprehensive,...
    Thousands of intending immigrants apply for U.S. residency every year. As part of the process, each applicant must have their fingerprint taken and processed through many agencies, such as the FBI, In...
    Attaining equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has been a pressing civil rights issue created by our malfunctioning immigration system. The problem is heightene...
    Source: apsanlaw.com After weeks of contentious debate all 52 Democrats, as well as 14 Conservatives and two independents were responsible for the passage of the Senate Bill S.744, a landmark imm...
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved the statutory maximum 10,000 petitions for U-1 nonimmigrant status (U visas) for fiscal year 2014. This marks th...