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E1 Visa Countries (Are You Eligible?)

By Nita Nicole Upadhye

Table of Contents

Which Are The E1 Visa Countries?

One of the eligibility requirements under the US E-1 visa is that the visa applicants must be a national of a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US.

This means you must be a national of one of the following E1 visa countries to be able to apply under the Treaty Trader category:




Effective Date

Argentina E-1 October 20, 1994
Australia E-1 December 16, 1991
Austria E-1 May 27, 1931
Belgium E-1 October 3, 1963
Bolivia E-1 November 09, 1862
Bosnia and Herzegovina  E-1 November 15, 1882
Brunei E-1 July 11, 1853
Canada E-1 January 1, 1993
Chile E-1 January 1, 2004
China (Taiwan)  E-1 November 30, 1948
Colombia E-1 June 10, 1848
Costa Rica E-1 May 26, 1852
Croatia  E-1 November 15, 1882
Denmark E-1 July 30, 1961
Estonia E-1 May 22, 1926
Ethiopia E-1 October 8, 1953
Finland E-1 August 10, 1934
France E-1 December 21, 1960
Germany E-1 July 14, 1956
Greece E-1 October 13, 1954
Honduras E-1 July 19, 1928
Iran E-1 June 16, 1957
Ireland E-1 September 14, 1950
Israel E-1 April 3, 1954
Italy E-1 July 26, 1949
Japan E-1 October 30, 1953
Jordan E-1 December 17, 2001
Korea (South) E-1 November 7, 1957
Kosovo E-1 November 15, 1882
Latvia E-1 July 25, 1928
Liberia E-1 November 21, 1939
Luxembourg E-1 March 28, 1963
Macedonia E-1 November 15, 1882
Mexico E-1 January 1, 1994
Montenegro  E-1 November 15, 1882
Netherlands  E-1 December 5, 1957
New Zealand E1 June 10, 2019
Norway  E-1 January 18, 1928
Oman E-1 June 11, 1960
Pakistan E-1 February 12, 1961
Paraguay E-1 March 07, 1860
Philippines E-1 September 6, 1955
Poland E-1 August 6, 1994
Portugal E-1 December 23, 2022
Serbia  E-1 November 15,1882
Singapore E-1 January 1, 2004
Slovenia  E-1 November 15, 1882
Spain  E-1 April 14, 1903
Suriname  E-1 February 10, 1963
Sweden E-1 February 20, 1992
Switzerland E-1 November 08, 1855
Thailand E-1 June 8, 1968
Togo E-1 February 5, 1967
Turkey E-1 February 15, 1933
United Kingdom E-1 July 03, 1815
Yugoslavia E-1 November 15, 1882


What are the E-1 Trader requirements?

Satisfying the nationality requirement is the first of several E1 visa eligibility criteria that you will need to meet and evidence within your E1 petition.

The E1 visa requirements are that:

  • You are a national an E-1 treaty country
  • You carry out substantial trade activity with the US
  • Your principal trade is between the US and your country of nationality


What counts as ‘trade’ and ‘substantial trade’?

The E-1 visa is aimed at individuals seeking to move to the US temporarily to further their existing trade activities within the US market. Under the E-1 visa requirements, ‘trade’ is considered as the existing exchange of goods, services or other items between the US and the E-1 treaty country of the visa applicant.

Trade could also include insurance, banking, tourism and technology.

To qualify as principal trade, the applicant must be able to show that more than half of the E1 company’s international trade is with the US.

For trade to be ‘substantial’, as required under the E1 visa criteria, the activity being relied on for the visa application should relate to a ‘continuous flow of sizable international trade items’. Generally, this should encompass multiple transactions and it is the volume of trade (not the value) and the number of transactions that will be considered under the substantial test, rather than a limited number of higher value transactions.


E-1 visa employees

The E1 classification also allows key employees within the E1 company to apply to come to the US to help further the trade-related activity

To be eligible, the employee has to:

  • Hold the same nationality (ie of an E1 treaty country) as the main E1 visa applicant
  • Qualify as an ‘employee’
  • Hold a role within the E1 company that is of an executive or supervisory nature, or hold special qualifications that make the employee’s skills, knowledge and services essential to the company.

Note that if the E-1 employee’s sponsor is a company, and not an individual, the organization has to be at least 50% owned by individuals in the US who have the nationality of the E1 treaty country.


E-1 visa family members

E1 visa holders can be accompanied by their spouse and dependent children (unmarried and under 21 years of age).

This requires the family members to file a petition each as a dependant of the principal E1 visa holder.

E1 dependents do not need to hold the same nationality as the principal E1 visa holder (unlike E1 employees).

If successful in their application, the period of stay granted to E1 visa dependents is generally the same as that of the principal visa holder. E1 dependents will also be able to apply to extend their stay, where they meet the requirements.

E1 visa spouses can also apply for work authorization while in the US. With an EAD, they will not be limited in the type of work they can take on. This is unlike the principal E1 visa holder and E1 employees, who must work for the E1 company.


Other points to note about the E1 visa

E1 visa holders can stay in the US for up to two years. During this time, they can usually leave and re-enter the US without restriction, provided they are returning to the US to for purposes permitted by and relating to the E-1 category and there are no other concerns by the border officials.

At the two-year period, visa holders will either have to leave the US or apply to maintain lawful status by exending their visa. E1 visa extensions can be granted for up to two years, and there is no limit on the number of times an E1 visa holder can apply to extend their visa, provided they continue to meet the visa requirements. This means E1 visa holders can only stay in the US while they remain active with the qualifying trade activity.


Need assistance?

The E-1 trader visa offers many advantages for those seeking to grow existing trade activity with the US. The E-1 eligibility criteria are however strict, and the petitioning process is far from straightforward.

As specialists in US immigration, NNU’s London-based attorneys can guide you through the E-1 requirements and application process. Under current US immigration policy, visa applications are facing increasing scrutiny by adjudicators. Taking expert advice will help ensure you compile a robust application and avoid evidentiary or process issues which can result in a delayed or even refused application.

Contact us for guidance on your specific circumstances.


E-1 visa countries FAQs

What is an E-1 country?

An E-1 country is a nation that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the USA allowing its citizens to be eligible to apply for a US E-1 visa.

Can E1 visa lead to green card?

The E1 visa does not directly lead to a Green Card as it is a temporary visa.

What kind of visa is an E-1?

The E-1 is a temporary visa for those engaged in substantial trade with the US on behalf of an overseas business.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.


Founder & Principal Attorney Nita Nicole Upadhye is a recognized leader in the field of US business immigration law (AILA) and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with both US and UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

Nita successfully acts for corporations and professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, actors, and athletes from across the globe, providing expert guidance on all aspects of US visa and nationality applications, and talent mobility to the USA.

Nita is an active public speaker, thought leader, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.​

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.

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For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.

For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.