US E1 Visa Requirements (Do You Qualify?)

E1 Visa Requirements (Do You Qualify?)

Do you meet the eligibility criteria for the E1 Treaty Trader visa?

The US E1 visa allows international traders, or their senior or skilled employees, to enter the United States for the purpose of carrying out substantial trade.

This category of visa was established to enable business interactions between the US and countries with which it maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The E1 visa can be renewed but only where the applicant and company continue to satisfy the visa requirements. Further, the E-1 visa does not offer a route to US permanent residency for E1 visa holders; it remains a temporary visa.

While company owners and employees are both granted E1 visas, the E1 visa requirements and application process present notable differences.

Do you have a query about the US E1 Visa Requirements?>>

What are the E1 visa requirements?

A company may be eligible for E-1 company registration if it is engaged in trade with the US and its owners are nationals of a treaty country.

The foreign company should register as an E-1 company before any individual E1 applications can be made by filing a petition at a US consular post outside the USA.

Also known as a treaty trader visa, the E1 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa for citizens of E Treaty nations. The current list of treaty countries includes the UK, Germany, France and Australia.

The applicant’s trading company must have the nationality of the same treaty country, i.e. it must be owned at least 50% by the treaty country’s nationals of the treaty country.

The treaty trader applicant must be coming to the US to engage in ‘substantial’ trade.

‘Trade’ must constitute an actual traceable exchange of qualifying commodities and can, for example, apply to the trade of goods, services and/or technology between the US and the treaty country.

To be ‘substantial’, there must be numerous transactions over time establishing a continuing course of international trade. There is no set limit on the amount of trade that must take place, although greater emphasis is placed on the volume of transactions over the total monetary value.

More than 50% of international trade must be between the US and the country of the applicant’s nationality. The remainder of the trade in which you are engaged may be international trade with other countries or domestic trade.

Finally, the applicant must intend to depart the US when their E-1 status ends.

What are the E1 visa requirements for an employee of a treaty trader?

To qualify for E1 classification as a treaty trader employee, you must be coming to the United States to engage in duties as an executive, supervisor, or essentially skilled employee of the commercial enterprise.

This means that you must be employed in an executive or supervisory capacity or, if employed in a lesser capacity, you must possess skills essential to the successful and efficient operation of the enterprise. Ordinarily skilled or unskilled workers generally do not qualify.

Your employer must also have the nationality of the treaty country, who is maintaining the status of treaty trader if in the United States or, if not in the US, would be classifiable as a treaty trader, or an organisation at least 50% owned by persons having the nationality of the treaty country.

How do you apply for an E1 treaty trader visa?

There are a number of steps involved in applying for an E1 treaty trader visa. , in particular E1 visa applicants will need to complete Form DS-160.

This is an online application form requiring, amongst other things, the basic details of the purpose of your visit. Having submitted this form and paid the non-refundable application fee, you will need to schedule an appointment, typically with the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where you reside.

At interview, you will be required to produce documentation in support of your E1 visa application, including but not limited to your passport, a copy of Form DS-160 confirmation page, as well as Form DS-156E which requires detail of the treaty trader enterprise.

You should also expect that the consular officer will request additional documentation to determine whether you satisfy the E1 visa requirements.

In particular, you will need to provide a cover letter describing the nature of the commercial enterprise and your position within it. This should describe in detail how trade with the US is both substantial and occurring principally between the US and the treaty country.

If you are applying as an employee, the cover letter must detail the nature of the executive or supervisory role that you will fill in the US, or a description of the skills you possess essential to the firm’s operations.

At the conclusion of your interview, the interviewing officer should inform you whether the E1 visa application has been approved, denied, or if further documentation is required.

Will I need to continue to meet the E1 visa requirements?

An E1 treaty trader visa is a nonimmigrant visa and therefore only temporary. While it can can be renewed or extended, you must continue to meet all applicable E1 visa requirements throughout your stay in the United States.

Unlike “dual intent” visas that permit the visa-holder to work while applying for permanent residence by way of a green card, the E1 visa does not create a path to US citizenship. On the contrary, you must be able to prove that you intend to depart the US when your E1 visa status comes to an end.

In the event that you intend to permanently relocate to the US you should seek expert legal advice on what options are available to you.

What are the challenges when meeting the E1 visa requirements?

Satisfying the E1 visa requirements inevitably requires detailed business and financial information, with extensive documentary evidence in support. For example, you will certainly be required to provide documentation to evidence that trade has taken place over a period of time and the nature of that trade.

However, one of the main challenges when applying for a treaty trader visa is that many of the E1 visa requirements are not legally defined. For example, what constitutes “substantial” or “trade” is not defined by statute.

The treaty trader applicant must be coming to the US to engage in ‘substantial’ trade.

‘Trade’ must constitute an actual traceable exchange of qualifying commodities and can, for example, apply to the trade of goods, services and/or technology between the US and the treaty country.

To be ‘substantial’, there must be numerous transactions over time establishing a continuing course of international trade. There is no set limit on the amount of trade that must take place, although greater emphasis is placed on the volume of transactions over the total monetary value.

More than 50% of international trade must be between the US and the country of the applicant’s nationality. The remainder of the trade in which you are engaged may be international trade with other countries or domestic trade.

Finally, the applicant must intend to depart the US when their E-1 status ends.

What are the E1 visa requirements for an employee of a treaty trader?

To qualify for E1 classification as a treaty trader employee, you must be coming to the United States to engage in duties as an executive, supervisor, or essentially skilled employee of the commercial enterprise.

This means that you must be employed in an executive or supervisory capacity or, if employed in a lesser capacity, you must possess skills essential to the successful and efficient operation of the enterprise. Ordinarily skilled or unskilled workers generally do not qualify.

Your employer must also have the nationality of the treaty country, who is maintaining the status of treaty trader if in the United States or, if not in the US, would be classifiable as a treaty trader, or an organisation at least 50% owned by persons having the nationality of the treaty country.

How do you apply for an E1 treaty trader visa?

There are a number of steps involved in applying for an E1 treaty trader visa. , in particular E1 visa applicants will need to complete Form DS-160.

This is an online application form requiring, amongst other things, the basic details of the purpose of your visit. Having submitted this form and paid the non-refundable application fee, you will need to schedule an appointment, typically with the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where you reside.

At interview, you will be required to produce documentation in support of your E1 visa application, including but not limited to your passport, a copy of Form DS-160 confirmation page, as well as Form DS-156E which requires detail of the treaty trader enterprise.

You should also expect that the consular officer will request additional documentation to determine whether you satisfy the E1 visa requirements.

In particular, you will need to provide a cover letter describing the nature of the commercial enterprise and your position within it. This should describe in detail how trade with the US is both substantial and occurring principally between the US and the treaty country.

If you are applying as an employee, the cover letter must detail the nature of the executive or supervisory role that you will fill in the US, or a description of the skills you possess essential to the firm’s operations.

At the conclusion of your interview, the interviewing officer should inform you whether the E1 visa application has been approved, denied, or if further documentation is required.

Extending your E1 visa

An E1 treaty trader visa is a nonimmigrant visa and therefore only temporary. While it can can be renewed or extended, you must continue to meet all applicable E1 visa requirements throughout your stay in the United States.

Unlike “dual intent” visas that permit the visa-holder to work while applying for permanent residence by way of a green card, the E1 visa does not create a path to US citizenship. On the contrary, you must be able to prove that you intend to depart the US when your E1 visa status comes to an end.

In the event that you intend to permanently relocate to the US you should seek expert legal advice on what options are available to you.

What are the challenges when meeting the E1 visa requirements?

Satisfying the E1 visa requirements inevitably requires detailed business and financial information, with extensive documentary evidence in support. For example, you will certainly be required to provide documentation to evidence that trade has taken place over a period of time and the nature of that trade.

However, one of the main challenges when applying for a treaty trader visa is that many of the E1 visa requirements are not legally defined. For example, what constitutes “substantial” or “trade” is not defined by statute.

For an employee of a treaty trader, it can often be difficult to establish whether the executive or supervisory character of their position grants the employee sufficient control and responsibility for the enterprise’s operation.

For individuals employed in a lesser capacity, it can be virtually impossible to predict with any degree of certainty whether your skills will be regarded as essential to the successful and efficient operation of the enterprise. This can only really be assessed in light of all circumstan

For an employee of a treaty trader, it can often be difficult to establish whether the executive or supervisory character of their position grants the employee sufficient control and responsibility for the enterprise’s operation.

For individuals employed in a lesser capacity, it can be virtually impossible to predict with any degree of certainty whether your skills will be regarded as essential to the successful and efficient operation of the enterprise. This can only really be assessed in light of all circumstances at the time of each visa application on a case-by-case basis.

As such, it can often be difficult to predetermine the outcome of an E1 visa application, or to know precisely what information and/or documentation needs to be provided to ensure your application is approved.

NNU Immigration can answer your questions about the US E1 visa requirements!

Your E1 visa application will require significant supporting documentation to evidence that you satisfy the US E1 visa requirements. Issues with your petition can result in your application being delayed or potentially denied in the current cliamet of stringent visa adjudication.

NNU Immigration specialize in US immigration matters, including applications for the E1 visa for treaty traders. We can guide you through the E1 visa requirements, and help you to submit your application, compile the necessary documentation and prepare for your interview. Contact us for advice on your E1 visa application.

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

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2018-11-09T23:43:02+00:00October 27, 2018|E1 Visa|