What is the E-1 Visa and How Does It Work?


E-1 visas are temporary visas for treaty traders from other countries to enter the U.S. These individuals engage in substantial trade in goods primarily between the U.S. and the countries in which these individuals are citizens. The U.S. maintains a list of specific countries that have treaties with the U.S. Only nationals of these countries are eligible for E-1 visas. Foreign nationals who already are in the U.S. in a lawful nonimmigrant status may request to adjust their status to an E-1 treaty trader, as well.

Substantial trade generally involves a continuous flow of sizable international trade items and numerous transactions over time. Trade that involves multiple exchanges of significant value can result in a more successful visa application. However, there is no required dollar amount of volume of goods for any of these transactions. Furthermore, to constitute primary trade, over 50% of the total volume of the business must be between the visa applicant’s country and the U.S. Among other items, trade may include goods, services, international banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, technology, and some news-gathering activities.

What is the E-1 Visa and How Does It Work?

Employees of treaty traders also may be able to utilize E-1 visas to come to the U.S. Employees must meet the following criteria to obtain E-1 visas:

  • Be the same nationality as the employer and the treaty country
  • Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant immigration laws
  • Either be engaged in executive or supervisory duties or, if engaged in lesser tasks, have special qualifications

Individuals have supervisory or executive duties when they have ultimate control and responsibility for a significant component of the business operations or the entire business. On the other hand, special qualifications are skills that make individuals essential to efficient business operations. No matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek Law Group are here to assist you. We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your immigration law case successfully.

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