E1 Treaty Trader Visa

The E-1 visa classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her behalf.  This visa classification provides temporary work authorization in the United for those traders actively engaged or seeking to engage in the trade of Goods, Services, International banking, Insurance, Transportation, Tourism, Technology, and its transfer, some news-gathering activities.

Specific requirements must be met to obtain the E1 Trader Visa. Applicants must prove that they will be conducting trade over 50% in volume between the United States and the treaty country of which the individual is a national of and the trade will be ‘substantial”.

See U.S. Department of State’s Treaty Countries for a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.

To qualify for E-1 classification, the treaty trader must:

  • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
  • Carry on substantial trade. Substantial trade generally refers to the continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time. There is no minimum requirement regarding the monetary value or volume of each transaction.  While the monetary value of transactions is an essential factor in considering substantiality, greater weight is given to more numerous exchanges of higher value.
  • Carry on principal tradebetween the United States and the treaty country, which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification. Principal trade between the United States and the treaty country exists when over 50% of the total volume of international trade is between the U.S. and the trader’s treaty country. Trade is the existing international exchange of items of trade for consideration between the United States and the treaty country.  Items of trade include but are not limited to Goods, Services, International banking, Insurance, Transportation, Tourism, Technology, and its transfer, some news-gathering activities.

To qualify for E-1 classification, the employee of a treaty trader must:

  • Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country)
  • Meet the definition of “employee” under the relevant laws

Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications. Special qualifications are skills which make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the business.  There are several qualities or circumstances, which could be depending on the facts, meet this requirement.

These include, but are not limited to:

  •  The degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations
  • Whether others possess the employee’s specific skills
  • The salary that the special qualifications can command
  • Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States
    • Duties, which are of an executive or supervisory character, are those, which primarily provide the employee ultimate control and responsibility for the organization’s overall operation or a major component of it.

    If the principal alien employer is not an individual, it must be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the United States who have the nationality of the treaty country.  These owners must be maintaining nonimmigrant treaty trader status.

    Treaty traders and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.  Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty trader or employee.  These family members may seek E-1 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee.  Spouses of E-1 workers may apply for work authorization.  If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the E-1 spouse may work.

    The burden of proving all of the above requirements is on the visa applicant. A professionally written business plan is the vital element to meet the requirements and format established by the USCIS. Exoodus will deliver the guidance, professionalism, and expertise you need to meet and exceed the burden of proof. Contact Us Today to get your plan in motion.

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