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E1 Visa Lawyer: Expert Legal Assistance

For specialist guidance with your E-1 visa application, speak to our US immigration attorneys in London.

E1 Visa Lawyer: Expert Legal Assistance

The E1 visa, also known as the Treaty Trader Visa, is a non-immigrant visa allowing foreign nationals to enter the USA for the purpose of carrying out ‘substantial’ international trade.

This visa is particularly appealing for its flexibility, allowing eligible foreign nationals a route to expand American trading operations while experiencing life in the US. 

The challenge with most E1 visa applications relates to the supporting documentation. Successful applications must be supported by extensive documentation proving that the company’s trading activity meets the stringent visa requirements. Expert guidance is critical to ensure that your application submission is comprehensive in evidencing eligibility. 



NNU Immigration are here to help!

At NNU Immigration, we specialize in helping business owners and key employees secure E1 visa status to pursue Stateside opportunities. 

Our team of US attorneys has extensive experience, bringing insight into both the complexities of the E1 visa application process and the specific needs of international traders. 



Contact our US immigration experts

For advice on any aspect of a US visa application, contact our US immigration attorneys.

Contact our E-2 visa experts

For advice on any aspect of the E-2 visa application, contact our US immigration attorneys. 

Contact our E-2 visa experts

For advice on any aspect of the E-2 visa application, contact our US immigration attorneys. 

Expert E1 Visa Lawyer Services

As specialists in US business immigration, we provide comprehensive legal services tailored to the needs of E1 visa applicants. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers ensures that each client receives personalized attention and expert guidance throughout the visa application process, including:


Initial Assessment and Consultation

We begin with a thorough evaluation of your business and trade activities to determine eligibility and strategize the application process according to your specific circumstances.


Legal Strategy

As experienced E1 visa attorneys, we help with devising a legal strategy that highlights the strengths of your case, addressing potential issues proactively.


Document Preparation and Review 

Our team assists in compiling and reviewing all necessary documents, including proof of substantial trade and evidence of a qualifying relationship between the trade and the treaty country.


Application Filing

We handle the complete filing process, ensuring that all forms are accurately completed and submitted within the required timelines.


Legal Representation

If needed, our lawyers represent clients in all dealings with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), including responses to Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and appeals.


Family and Employees

We also advise on how to include family members and key employees in the E1 application process.

This includes obtaining derivative E1 visas for spouses and dependents, including work permit applications for spouses.


Renewals and Adjustment of Status 

We assist with E1 visa renewals and any necessary adjustments to maintain visa status in response to changing business needs.


Ongoing Compliance Advice

We provide ongoing advice to ensure that our clients maintain their E1 visa status, advising on compliance with US immigration laws and regulations.


What is the E1 Visa?

The E1 Treaty Trader visa allows non-US nationals to enter the USA for the purpose of carrying out substantial international trade as the owner or qualifying employee of an eligible non-US business.

This trade must primarily be between the United States and the treaty country from which the individual or the company originates. The term “substantial trade” generally refers to a significant and ongoing exchange of goods, services, or technology, and the trade must be principally between the US and the treaty country, meaning more than 50% of the total volume of international trade involved.

The E1 visa offers notable flexibility compared with other routes; it can be renewed indefinitely, provided the applicant remains eligible under the visa requirements, and the trader can be accompanied to the US by their spouse and dependent children. 

However, certain restrictions do apply under the E1 classification. As an E1 treaty trader or employee, you can only perform work that has been approved under the visa conditions, which includes working only for the approved company or its parent company.

E1 visas are generally granted for an initial stay of 2 years, which you can apply to extend should you continue to meet the eligibility requirements. There is no limit to the number of extensions. You may travel out of the US during this time, and on re-entry, you will automatically get a 2-year extension.



Eligibility Criteria

There are a number of criteria you must satisfy to be eligible for the E1 Visa:

Nationality of a Treaty Country

The applicant must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.

Registered E1 Company 

The business undertaking the trade in the US must be registered as an E1 Treaty Trader business.

The company application is to be filed at the US consulate at the same time as the business’s first individual E1 visa application is made.

Substantial Trade

You must be coming to the United States solely to carry on substantial trade of goods or services between your treaty country and the USA or, alternatively, to work in a business carrying out substantial trade as an executive, supervisor, or essentially skilled employee.

The definition of “trade” is not strict. It may apply to the trade of goods, moneys or services between the USA and the treaty country, so long as there is an actual traceable exchange of qualifying commodities.

To be considered ‘substantial’, there must be numerous transactions establishing a continuing course of trade based on an existing trading relationship. There is no set limit to the amount of trade that must take place, although greater emphasis is placed on the number of transactions over the total monetary value.

Principal Trade

At least 50% of the company’s international trade must be between the US and the relevant treaty country. To calculate the percentage, you should look at the full year preceding your application.

Position within the Company

The applicant must be coming to the US either as a key employee, executive, or owner of the company engaged in trade.

Intention to Depart the US

Whether you are applying as a trader or an employee, you will need to demonstrate that you intend to depart the US when your E1 status comes to an end.

The E1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning you will be required to depart the US on visa expiry. It is not a path to US permanent residency.

As such, your application will need to show your intention to leave the US by evidencing you have ‘sufficient ties’ to your home country.

This could include documentation such as proof of mortgage statements, employment-related documents, and details about your family that show you will maintain ties in your country.

The option to apply to extend your E1 visa will remain open, provided you continue to meet all of these E1 visa requirements.

Employee Nationality 

If you are applying as an E1 employee, you must have the same nationality as your E1 employer and E1 company.

You will also need to show that you are at an executive or supervisory level in the business or that you have skills that are essential to company operations.

For more detailed advice, take a look at our comprehensive E1 visa guide.

E1 Visa Application process

To apply, you will need to provide evidence that all of the E1 Treaty Trader requirements are met.

The E-1 visa application process can vary between Consular posts; as such, it’s recommended that you take advice on what you will need to do to avoid any issues or delays with your application.

NNU Immigration can advise on the specific procedural and documentation requirements for the Consulate or Embassy where you are applying.

The key stages in the E1 visa application process include the following:

Step 1. Determine Eligibility

We start with a thorough assessment of your business and trade activities to determine if you meet the criteria for an E1 visa, including substantial trade and nationality requirements.

Step 2. Gather Supporting Documents

We help with compiling, organizing and reviewing all necessary documents to evidence you satisfy the E1 visa requirements. The specific documents to submit will depend on the stipulations of the Consular post where you are filing your application but typically include a description of the qualifying goods or services; documents identifying qualifying transactions with the US, such as copies of shipping invoices; the calculation of the percentage of documented international trade with the US.

Step 3. Complete and File the Visa Application Form (DS-160)

We guide clients through the DS-160 form to ensure it is completed correctly and comprehensively.

Step 4. Schedule and Prepare for the Interview

Once your application has been reviewed by the Consulate or Embassy, you will need to attend a visa interview. We help prepare clients for the interview, including conducting mock interviews and advising on the types of questions typically asked and how best to answer them.

Step 5. Attend the Visa Interview

During the interview, you will be asked questions about the information in your submission and about areas relating to your eligibility under the route. It is important to prepare well and, for example, to be familiar with the details you have provided about your trading activity.

We provide a checklist of documents and a briefing to help you prepare and approach the day with confidence.

Step 6. Visa Approval and Entry into the US

After the interview, we help track the visa application status and guide clients on the next steps post-approval, including entry into the US and compliance with visa terms.

Benefits of the E1 Visa


Securing an E1 visa offers several benefits to those engaged in trade with the US: 


Long-term Stay

E1 visa holders can stay for a prolonged period in the US with two-year increments of stay granted upon each entry and unlimited extensions as long as the holder continues to meet the visa conditions.


Work Legally in the US

The visa holder and, in some cases, their dependents can legally work in the US under the E1 status.


Family Inclusion

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age can also apply to accompany or join the principal visa holder as dependents under E1 status, with spouses being eligible to apply for work authorization.


Travel Flexibility

E1 visa holders can travel in and out of the US as needed without jeopardizing their visa status.


Why Choose Us?


Underpinning our extensive experience and outstanding track record in E1 visa applications are our professional qualifications and credentials.

We are a team of US-qualified attorneys specializing in the field of US immigration law. We are recognized by the Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal for our immigration expertise, and our Managing Attorney, Nita Nicole Upadhye, is a regular panel member, presenter and commentator on US immigration matters.

We are also proud and active members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

Our credentials in E1 visa applications include: 


Specialized E1 Expertise

NNU Immigration is dedicated solely to US immigration law, with a particular emphasis on E1 and other business-related visas, ensuring you receive expert legal advice.


Proven Track Record

We have years of experience successfully handling E1 visa applications for a variety of businesses and industries, demonstrating our capability and familiarity with the complexities of trade-related visas.


Client-Centric Service

We pride ourselves on our responsiveness and personalized approach, ensuring that every client receives individual attention and customized guidance.


Successful Outcomes

Our firm has an exceptional success rate in obtaining E1 visas, a testament to our meticulous preparation and in-depth understanding of immigration policies.


Common Challenges With E1 Visa Applications


Proving Substantial Trade

Demonstrating that trade is substantial and primarily between the US and the treaty country can be complex. Lawyers can help by providing ways to effectively document and justify the volume and value of trade transactions.


Maintaining Compliant Status

Keeping up with the necessary requirements to maintain visa status can be challenging. Legal advisors ensure that E1 visa holders remain in compliance with all immigration laws, thus avoiding potential issues that might arise during status extensions or re-entry into the US.


Responding to Requests for Evidence (RFE)

If the USCIS requests additional evidence for an application, responding accurately and promptly is crucial. A knowledgeable lawyer can address these requests effectively, greatly enhancing the chances of a favorable outcome.


Benefits of Working With Our E1 Visa Lawyers 


Complex eligibility and procedural requirements under the E1 classification make expert legal advice critical for applicants. 

By leveraging our specialized knowledge and experience, you can significantly increase your prospects of a successful E1 visa application. Our legal assistance not only simplifies the process but also provides peace of mind that every aspect of the application is professionally managed.


Expertise in Treaty Laws and Regulations

Our E1 visa lawyers are well-versed in the specific legal frameworks and the latest changes in immigration policies affecting treaty trader visas, which ensures all aspects of the application are handled correctly and efficiently.


Strategic Planning

We formulate an application strategy that aligns with both your long-term business goals and immigration objectives, ensuring that every step taken enhances the likelihood of visa approval.


Documentation and Filing

We bring practical expertise, systems and processes to manage E1 visa applications, from gathering and organizing through to presenting the required documentation accordance with the specific requirements of the relevant Embassy or Consulate. 


E1 Visa Case Studies


Our E1 visa attorneys are committed to delivering exceptional legal service and helping our clients achieve their American dream.

The following case studies showcase some of the non-US companies we have helped to pursue Stateside ambitions through the E1 visa route.


1. Manufacturing Company From Europe to California

A small European manufacturing company sought to establish an office near one of its major clients in California. The company came to NNU Immigration seeking an appropriate visa to enter the United States.


We determined that the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa was the best option.

The company was concerned about the copious reporting requirements, but we successfully worked with them to achieve these requirements, enabling them to receive an E-1 visa.

The company is now comfortably ensconced in California, where their business has been successfully growing in the US market.


2. DNA Testing for the U.S. Market

A UK based DNA testing company sought to expand their sales by targeting the high-end US fitness market. They wanted to take advantage of their increased recognition and visibility in the US where the majority of their clients reside.


NNU Immigration poured through shipment transactions, invoices and trade spreadsheets to craft a strong application, enabling the company to achieve E1 registration status. The company is now thriving in Beverly Hills.


3. FinTech Firm Expands into US

A multi-million-pound London based financial analytics company sought stronger distribution channels in the United States. They came to NNU Immigration seeking to set up an office in New York.


We worked with the company, rigorously reviewing company financial records, data and related documents to fulfil the E1 registration requirements. The
company is now successfully operating a New York subsidiary.

They have brought their innovative solutions to the US market, providing services to some of America’s largest corporations.


How we can help you prepare your E1 Visa application


Benefit from the expertise of our dedicated E1 visa lawyers through personalized, strategic support throughout the entire visa application process. Our comprehensive approach is designed to maximize your chances of success, allowing you to focus on developing your trading activity in the US.


Personalized Consultation and Representation

From initial consultation through application submission and follow-up with immigration authorities, we provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific situation.


Comprehensive Documentation Support

Our E1 visa lawyers guide you through the intricate documentation process, including how to evidence the nationality and trade requirements. We ensure every document submitted meets the high standards of US immigration authorities.


Error-Free Application

We help minimize the risk of errors that can lead to visa delays or denials, ensuring that every form, evidence document, and piece of correspondence with immigration authorities is accurate and complete. 


Contact Our E1 Visa Experts


With so much at stake when applying for your E1 visa, it is critical to ensure your application is built to evidence your eligibility and that the stringent procedural requirements are followed correctly. 

Issues with your application can result in a delayed decision or, potentially, a visa refusal. 

As US immigration specialists, NNU can advise on the E1 Treaty Trader requirements and guide you through the application process. For advice about your E1 visa application, contact us.


FAQs About E1 Visas


What is an E1 visa?

The E1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for nationals of treaty countries who wish to enter the United States to engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, principally between the United States and the treaty country.


Who qualifies for an E1 visa?

To qualify for an E1 visa, you must be a national of a treaty country, and the trading firm for which you are coming to the US must have the nationality of the treaty country. The international trade must be substantial, with more than 50% of the total volume of international trade involved conducted between the US and the treaty country.


How long can I stay in the US on an E1 visa?

E1 visa holders are initially allowed to stay for a maximum of two years. However, E1 visas can be extended almost indefinitely as long as the visa holder continues to meet the requirements.


Can my family accompany me if I have an E1 visa?

Yes, spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age can accompany or join you in the US under E2 derivative status. Spouses are also eligible to apply for work authorization in the US.


What constitutes ‘substantial trade’ for an E1 visa?

Substantial trade generally refers to a sufficient volume of trade sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of international trade items between the US and the treaty country. This can include goods, services, and technology. There is no minimum requirement regarding the monetary value or volume of each transaction, but the frequency and volume should be considerable.


How does your firm assist with E1 visa applications?

Our firm handles all aspects of the E1 visa application process, from initial consultation and eligibility assessment to document preparation, application filing, and interview preparation. We provide personalized legal advice tailored to each client’s specific circumstances and business needs.


How long does the E1 visa application process take?

The processing time for an E1 visa can vary depending on several factors, including the specific US consulate or embassy handling the case and the completeness of the application. Generally, it may take from a few weeks to a few months.


Can I work in the US with an E1 visa?

Yes, E1 visa holders are permitted to work legally in the US for the company involved in the trade on which the visa was based. However, the work should be in an executive, supervisory, or essentially skilled capacity.


Is there a limit to how many times I can extend my E1 visa?

There is no limit to the number of times you can extend your E1 visa as long as you continue to meet the visa requirements. Each extension usually grants an additional two years.


Common Myths About the E1 Visa


Debunking common E1 visa myths can help clarify misconceptions and allow applicants to make informed decisions. 


Myth 1: You Need to Invest a Large Sum of Money

Unlike the E2 visa, which requires a substantial investment in a US business, the E1 visa does not require a specific amount of investment. Instead, it focuses on facilitating substantial trade between the US and the treaty country. The trade must be ongoing, and there is no minimum requirement for the amount of trade, though it must constitute the majority of the trader’s international trade.


Myth 2: Any Kind of Trade Qualifies

To qualify for an E1 visa, the trade must be substantial and primarily between the United States and the treaty country. Additionally, the trade involves the exchange of goods, services, or technology. Passive investments, such as stocks or real estate, do not qualify as ‘trade’ under the E1 visa requirements.


Myth 3: The E1 Visa Leads Directly to a Green Card

The E1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning it does not directly lead to permanent residency in the US E1 visa holders wishing to transition to permanent residency must qualify and apply for a different visa type that offers a path to a green card.


Myth 4: There Is a Limit to Visa Extensions

There is no limit to the number of times you can extend an E1 visa as long as you continue to meet the visa requirements. Each extension typically grants an additional two years, and you can extend indefinitely as long as the trade continues at a substantial level.


You Can Work Anywhere in the US with an E1 Visa

The E1 visa allows you to work legally in the US for the specific employer or business that acted as your E1 visa sponsor. The work must be related to the activities of trading that qualify you for the E1 status. You cannot engage in employment unrelated to the trading activities of your E1 business.


Myth 6: Immediate Family Members Are Automatically Allowed to Work in the US.

While spouses of E1 visa holders are eligible to apply for work authorization independently, it is not automatic and requires a separate application process. Unmarried children under 21 can stay in the US as dependents but are not eligible to work.


Glossary for the E1 Visa Application Process


E1 Visa: A non-immigrant visa that allows nationals of treaty countries to enter the United States to engage in substantial trade between the United States and the treaty country.

Treaty Country: A country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.

Substantial Trade: A significant and ongoing flow of trade in goods, services, or technology, principally between the United States and the treaty country. The trade must be sufficient to justify the trader or their employees’ presence in the United States to manage the trade, with no minimum requirement regarding the monetary value.

Principal Trade: Trade that occurs between the United States and the treaty country which must constitute more than 50% of the total volume of international trade by the applicant.

Non-immigrant Visa: A visa granted to persons with a permanent residence outside the United States but who wish to be in the US on a temporary basis – for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, or study.

DS-160 Form: Online Non-immigrant Visa Application form for temporary travel to the United States. Commonly used by persons applying for non-immigrant visas.

Request for Evidence (RFE): A request issued by USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) when an application lacks required documentation or needs more evidence to decide if an applicant qualifies for the visa.

USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services): The government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.

Visa Extension: A process that allows visa holders to request an extension of their stay in the US under their existing visa classification.

Derivative Status: Status that allows spouses and children to accompany or join the principal visa holder in the United States under the same visa classification.

Work Authorization: Permission granted to the spouse of an E1 visa holder to work in the United States while residing under derivative status.

Immigrant Visa: A visa allowing permanent residency in the US, commonly known as a green card.

This glossary covers basic terms that are relevant to the E1 visa process, helping to demystify the language often encountered in legal and immigration-related discussions.

Need specialist advice? Speak to our experts.

Need specialist advice? Speak to our experts.