1. What is E-1 visa?
The E-1 treaty trader visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign nationals of a treaty nation to enter into the U.S. and carry out substantial trade. A treaty trader belongs to a nation that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation or a bilateral agreement with the U.S.
Note: Trade includes commercial transactions in goods and trade in services and technology like banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, management consulting, technology transfer and other measurable services which may be traded.
2. How do I qualify for E-1 visa?
You may qualify for E-1 visa if:
- You are an executive, manager or specialist in a treaty nation company operating in the U.S., or you own 50 per cent of the company
- The nationals of your country own at least 50 per cent of the stock of the company, i.e., the firm has the nationality of the treaty country
- You are a citizen of a treaty trade country, and are involved in international trade
- You are the immediate family members of a principle E-1 visa holder
3. What privileges do I enjoy on E-1 visa?
On E-1 visa, you may:
- Work legally in the U.S. for a U.S. company where more than 50 per cent of the business is trade between the U.S. and your home country
- Travel freely in and out of the U.S.
- Stay in the U.S. on a prolonged basis with unlimited two year extensions as long as you maintain E-1 qualifications
- Bring your dependents to the U.S. Your spouse can also work in the U.S.
4. What are the limitations of E-1 visa?
The limitations of E-1 visa are:
- You are restricted to working only for the specific employer or self-owned business that acted as your E-1 visa sponsor
- Visas are available only to foreign nationals of countries having trade treaties with the U.S.
- Authorized stay is granted for two years at a time which makes the application or extension process cumbersome
5. How long can I stay in the U.S. on E-1 visa?
You may stay in the U.S. on a prolonged basis with unlimited five year visa extensions or two year status extensions as long as you maintain E-1 qualifications. You may apply for unlimited extensions as long as you are qualified for an E-1 visa.