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Treaty Traders Visas: E-1 Visas

Key employees and principal owners of a U.S. company that is at least 50% owned by nationals of their country of citizenship may work for the company in the U.S.if their country is signatory to a trade treaty with the U.S., and more than 50% of the company’s trade is with the U.S.

We assist companies, key employees, owners, and their accompanying relatives in preparing the extensive paperwork and complying with the complex rules, regulations and definitions applicable to the E-1 visa. We guide the parties through decisions regarding corporate structure, key employee, control and ownership issues, skill and salary requirements, financial requisites, the greater than 50% trade and “continuous and substantial” requirements, extensions of stay, and the eventual change from a temporary “E” visa to another visa, as needs change over time. We represent their interests before the INS in the U.S. and the appropriate consulate abroad.

The E-1 visa is outlined below.

E-1 visas are only available to citizens of countries which have trade treaties with the U.S. The countries with treaties currently in effect are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brunei, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.


E-1 Visa Privileges:

•You can work legally in the U.S. for a U.S. company which generates more than 50% of its business from trade between the U.S. and your country of citizenship.
•Visas can be issued within approximately three months.
•E-1 visas are available for the spouses and children of E-1 visa holders. Spouses and children may engage in study with the E-1 visa.
•You may travel freely in and out of the U.S. for the term of the visa.
•You are not required to maintain a residence abroad.
•The E-1 visa is not subject to any extension limitations. After the initial grant of two years, you may live in the U.S. with continuous extensions, as long as you continue to satisfy the requirements of the E-1 visa.

E-1 Visa Prerequisites and Restrictions:

•Visas are only available to nationals of countries which have trade treaties with the U.S.
•You must be a principal owner or key employee, as defined by U.S. immigration law.
•At least 50% of the company’s owners must be citizens of the same treaty trade country, and they must either live outside the U.S. and be eligible for E-1 status, or live in the U.S. with E-1 visas.
•More than 50% of the company’s trade must be between the U.S. and the treaty county of which you are a citizen, and the trade must be continuous and substantial.
•You are obligated to work only for the U.S. employer who petitioned for your E-1 visa.
•Spouses and children may not work with an E-2 visa; they must obtain their own status to do so.
•The E-1 visa will initially be issued for a maximum term of two years, with an unlimited number of two year extensions permitted.
•At the time of application, you must intend to depart the U.S. when your business there is completed.