E1 Visa

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

16. What is the processing time for E-1 treaty trader visa?

The processing time for E-1 treaty trader visa is generally between two and four weeks from the filing of the application. This may vary depending upon the work load in the consulates.


17. Can I apply for Green Card while on E-1 visa?

Yes, you may apply for Green Card while in the U.S. through the following options:

  1. Family Based Immigration: If you have close relatives who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents, the relatives may file an immigration petition for you as the beneficiary
  2. Employment Based Immigration (Labor Certification): You can attain immigrant status through employment-based immigration. You may find an employer who is willing to file a Labor Certificate for you with the DOL
  3. EB-1: You may also file an immigration petition based on the classification of ‘Alien of Extraordinary Ability’ – EB-1(A) or ‘Multinational Executive or Manager’ – EB-1(C)
  4. National Interest Waiver: You can also file an immigration petition through a National Interest Waiver (NIW). National Interest Waivers are available to foreign nationals who are seeking work in a profession and who have an advanced degree (or equivalent experience) or can prove themselves as ‘aliens of exceptional ability’, and who can show that their work will substantially benefit the U.S. interest.
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18. Must the trading company exist and or the investments be made before the visa is issued?

Trade must already be established at the time the E-1 visa application is filed. Investments, however, may be prospective, provided that the funds are irrevocably committed to the investment, contingent only upon the issuance of the visa. Investment funds may come from any country, including the U.S., as long as they are controlled by the investor applicant.


19. What is 'substantial trade'?

Substantial trade is that volume sufficient to ensure continuous flow (numerous transactions over time) of international trade between the U.S. and treaty country. There is no value or volume minimum. However, smaller businesses are expected to yield income sufficient to support the treaty trader and his or her family.


20. What is 'principal trade'?

When over 50 per cent of the volume of the treaty trader’s international trade is conducted between the U.S. and the country of nationality it is termed as principal trade.