Guide to E-1 Treaty Trader

Employment-Based Immigration

Temporary Visas

Summary

An E-1 Treaty Trader nonimmigrant visa allows foreign nationals to engage in international trade on their country’s behalf. Employees of organizations may also qualify for an E-1 treaty trader visa. The visa grants entry and work privileges in the U.S. under a treaty between the U.S. and another country.

An E-1 Treaty Trader nonimmigrant visa allows foreign nationals to engage in international trade on their country’s behalf. Employees of organizations may also qualify for an E-1 treaty trader visa. The visa grants entry and work privileges in the U.S. under a treaty between the U.S. and another country.

Who Qualifies as a Treaty Trader?

A treaty trader handles the international exchange of items from their respective country to the U.S. It’s not limited to physical items but can also include services. However, there must be a continuous and sizable volume of these services. There is no minimum required for each transaction, but items of more value get more attention.

If there’s over 50% volume of that asset or service from the country, they are a treaty trader. Industries that qualify for E-1 include:

● Goods
● Services
● Newsgathering
● Transportation
● Tourism
● Insurance
● International banking

A trader qualifies as long as the U.S. maintains a treaty with that country and the trader is a national. If the company is multinational, it must have at least 50% ownership from the treaty country while maintaining trader status.

How Do Employees of the Treaty Trader Qualify?

To get the E-1 visa for Treaty Traders, you must be of the same nationality as the treaty country. You must also be a legal employee of that organization. You can only get the E1 if you have duties related to the trade, such as supervision or an executive role. You can also get a visa under a lesser capacity if you have qualifications that require you to go to the U.S.

Knowledge of a foreign language does not qualify as a major skill for the E-1. Special qualification considerations include:

● Whether you have a unique skill compared to other employees
● Whether that skill is readily available in the U.S.
● If you have a salary that matches your special qualification
● You have proven expertise in that area

What Documents Are Required for an E-1 Visa?

Documents can vary depending on the application, nation, and organization involved. Here is a general list of documents you might need:

Form DS-160
Form DS-156E for investors
● Proof of nationality
● Proof of establishment in the U.S.
● Evidence of trade
● Evidence that business is real
● Evidence of employment and skill

How Much Does an E-1 Visa Application Cost?

The general application fee for the E-1 visa is $205. It does not include other costs such as insurance, which will depend on the country you are coming from.

Can I Change to an E-1 Status While in the U.S.?

Yes, you or your employer may change your status using Form I-129 as long as you are in lawful nonimmigrant status. It is a request to switch to the E-1 classification.

How Long Can I Stay in the U.S. With an E-1 Visa?

Qualified traders and employees can stay in the U.S. for up to two years, and you can apply for an extension in increments of two years. There is no limit to how many times you can extend the visa. However, the E-1 holders must still intend to leave the U.S. after the expiry of the visa.

When Would I Need to Reapply for a Visa?

E-1 nonimmigrant holders who leave the country and return may be able to get automatic two-year readmission. You do not need to file a new application with the USCIS.

What Happens if There Is a Change in Company Structure?

When a change in duty happens, the treaty trader or employee can maintain the E-1 status as long as their work is of the same capacity.

For any large change like a merger or acquisition, the treaty trader or employee may need to file a new application and pay another fee. This new application will also extend the E-1 visa. However, they must fulfill all initial requirements again to get E-1 status.

If there is a problem determining whether or not a reapplication is necessary, consult legal help. Immigration lawyers can help verify if you need to reapply for your E-1 visa.

Can My Family Also Get a Visa?

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old can also seek E-1 status. They do not need to be of the same nationality as the trader or employee. They will stay for the same period and can apply with Form I-539 if they are already in the U.S. in a different nonimmigrant status. Spouses can also apply for work authorization using Form I-765.

The period of stay for family members always matches with the E-1 treaty trader or employee even if they had a late admission. They must also apply for an extension before expiry.

Next Steps

An E1 treaty trader visa can involve many considerations that need careful examination. To help improve your chances at approval, consult with our experts at Reeves Immigration Law Group. We can help complete the requirements and improve your chances for approval and also help your family apply for or extend their status.

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