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Barrera Legal Group can help with the applying for a Treaty Trader E-1 Visa 

What are Treaty Based Visas?

Treaty Trader visas (E-1) and Treaty Investor visas (E-2) are nonimmigrant visas for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The applicant must be coming to the United States to engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country (E-1); or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital (E-2).

 

E-1 Trader Visa

 

The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, or which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or which has been deemed a qualifying country by legislation) or certain employees to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf.

E-1 Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation or with which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or which has been deemed a qualifying country by legislation.

  • Carry on substantial trade; and

  • Carry on principal trade between the United States and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.

 

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.

 

Substantial Trade is defined as amount of trade sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of international trade items between the United States and the treaty country. The continuous flow contemplates numerous transactions over time. There is no minimum requirement regarding the monetary value or volume of each transaction. While monetary value of transactions is a relevant factor in considering substantiality, greater weight is given to more numerous exchanges of greater value. For smaller businesses, the income derived from the value of numerous transactions which is sufficient to support the treaty trader and their family is a favorable factor. 

 

Principal trade must be principally between the United States and the Treaty Country where more than 50% of the total volume of international trade that is conducted by the E-1 business must be conducted between the United States and the Treaty Country.

 

Employee of a Treaty Trader

 

An employee of a treaty trader can qualify if:

 

  • The employee is of the same nationality of the principal noncitizen employer who has the nationality of the treaty country.

 

  • The employee must be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity have special qualifications that make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the business.

Spouse and children:

Spouse and children (unmarried and under the age of 21) can also apply for an E-1 visa as dependents. Their nationalities do not need to be the same as the treaty trader. Spouses of treaty traders granted dependent E-1 visas are employment authorized as part of their status except for spouses of employees of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices who will be required to apply for employment authorization.

 

E-1 Application Process:

Filing with USCIS:

Only if the applicant is present in the United in another immigration status can the applicant file a petition for change of status to E-1 classification by filing the Form I-129 with the E-1 Supplement before the United States Citizen and Immigration Service, (USCIS). Documentation must also be provided supporting all of the eligibility requirements for the E-1 Visa. If the application is granted, the applicant will obtain the E-1 status, but not the visa which means that the applicant will be permitted to stay in the United States to perform duties authorized by the E-1, but the applicant will not be able to return to the United States since the status granted by USCIS is not an actual travel visa. Only a United States Consulate abroad can grant both the visa and status. The applicant can also change the status of a spouse and children as dependents by filing form I-539 with USCIS. 

Filing from outside the United States:

If the applicant is outside the United States, the application process will require the applicant as well as a spouse and children to file the application known as the DS-160 online to commence the process through a United States Consulate to obtain both the visa and status. The instructions for application are provided by the Department of State on their website. However, the applicant must still provide documentation demonstrating eligibility for the E-1 visa as well as submitting a supplement known as the DS-156E along with the supporting documents. 

 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an Treaty Visa attorney professional to discuss the eligibility requirements and application process for the Treaty Trader Visa

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