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E-1 and E-2 Treaty Traders and Investors

Law Offices of Yu & Associates


Who is Eligible for the E-1 Treaty Trader Category?

An alien may be classified as a nonimmigrant treaty trader (E-1) if he or she

  • will be in the United States solely to carry on trade of a substantial nature, which is international in scope, either on the alien's behalf or as an employee of a foreign person or organization engaged in trade principally between the United States and the treaty country of which the alien is a national, and
  • intends to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of treaty trader (E-1) status.

The alien shall conduct substantial trade with the U.S. to be qualified for admission in E-1 status. Substantial trade is an amount of trade sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of international trade items between the United States and the treaty country. This continuous flow contemplates numerous transactions over time. Treaty trader status may not be established or maintained on the basis of a single transaction, regardless of how protracted or monetarily valuable the transaction. Although there is no minimum requirement with respect to the monetary value or volume of the transaction, numerous transactions of larger value will give more weight in assessing the existence of substantial trade.

Who is Eligible for E-2 Treaty Investor?

An alien may be classified as a nonimmigrant treaty investor (E-2) if he or she:

  • Has invested or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States, as distinct from a relatively small amount of capital in a marginal enterprise solely for the purpose of earning a living;

    Substantial amount requires the investment shall be sufficient to purchase an established enterprise or create a new enterprise; to ensure the treaty investor's financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise; and to support the likelihood of the success of developing and directing the enterprise.

  • Is seeking entry solely to develop and direct the enterprise; and
  • Intends to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of treaty investor (E-2) status.

Who Are Considered as Treaty Countries with the US?

Complete list of E-1/E-2 Treaty Countries C Click Here.

Can the Employee of a Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor Enter the US in E-1/E-2 Status?

An alien employee of a treaty trader can be classified as E-1, and an alien employee of a treaty investor can be classified as E-2 if the employee is in or is coming to the United States to engage in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or, if employed in a lesser capacity, the employee has special qualifications that make the alien's services essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise. The employee must intend to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of E-1 or E-2 status.

The employee must have the same nationality as the principal alien employer. The principal alien employer must be:

  1. A person in the United States having the nationality of the treaty country and maintaining nonimmigrant treaty trader or treaty investor status or, if not in the United States, would be classifiable as a treaty trader or treaty investor; or
  2. An enterprise or organization at least 50 percent owned by persons in the United States having the nationality of the treaty country and maintaining nonimmigrant treaty trader or treaty investor status or who, if not in the United States, would be classifiable as treaty traders or treaty investors.

Can the Spouse and Children of an E-1 or E-2 Treaty Trader or Investor Come to the U.S.?

The spouse and children of a treaty trader or treaty investor accompanying or following to join the principal alien may receive the same classification as the principal alien. The nationality of a spouse or child of a treaty trader or treaty investor is not material to the classification of the spouse or child.

How Long Can an E-1 or E-2 Visa Holder Stay in the U.S.?

A treaty trader or treaty investor may be admitted for an initial period of not more than 2 years. The spouse and minor children accompanying or following to join a treaty trader or treaty investor shall be admitted for the period during which the principal alien is in valid treaty trader or investor status. E-1 or E-2 visa holders can request extensions of stay in increments of not more than 2 years, but there is no specified number of extensions of stay that a treaty trader or treaty investor may be granted.

How Can E-1 or E-2 Visa Holders Extend Their Stay in the U.S.?

In order to obtain the extension of E-1 or E2 visa, the alien must prove that he or she:

  • Has at all times maintained the terms and conditions of his or her E nonimmigrant classification;
  • Was physically present in the United States at the time of filing the application for extension of stay; and
  • Has not abandoned his or her extension request.

 

The above is intended as a general introduction and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion for your particular case. Please contact the Law Offices of Yu & Associates with any specific questions. Tel: (301) 838-8986, Email: syu@yulegal.com, Address: 110 N Washington St., Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850.



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