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E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor Visas

What are E-1 and E-2 Visas? 

E-1 Treaty Trader Visas and E-2 Treaty Investor Visas are quite similar and each allows individuals or employees of companies to enter into the United States for purposes of conducting business and investing substantial amounts of capital in a U.S. business. In addition to the central E-1 or E-2 classified beneficiary’s coverage, the beneficiary may be accompanied or followed by his or her immediate family members, including and limited to the beneficiary’s spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.  

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • Be a national of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation or with which the U.S. 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 U.S. and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.

To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:

  • Be the national of a treaty investor country, as classified by the U.S. State Department;
  • Invest or have already invested substantial capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and
  • Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise as demonstrated by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or another corporate device.

Process Overview 

Applying Inside the U.S. 

If an applicant is lawfully inside the U.S., they may file Form I-129 to request a change of status to E-1 or E-2 classification. 

Applying from Outside the U.S. 

A request for E-1 or E-2 classification may not be made on Form I-129 if you are physically outside the U.S. Applicants outside the U.S. will need to go through a visa application process. There are several steps to apply for a visa that may vary depending on the embassy or consulate where you apply. 

It is important to fill out your application completely and correctly and demonstrate your eligibility as clearly as possible. 

Spouses + Family Eligibility

Spouses and/or children under 21 may be eligible for E-1 or E-2 nonimmigrant classification. 

  • If the family members are already in the U.S. and seeking a change of status, they may apply by filing a single Form I-539 with a fee. 
  • Spouses of E-1 and E-2 workers may apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765 with fee.
  • Dependents of E-1 and E-2 principals may not apply for work authorization in the U.S.; however, dependents of both E-1 and E-2 principals may attend school, college, or university.

Why Peek & Toland? 

Using our in-depth knowledge of the E-1 visa program, we can help you prepare a business plan that demonstrates how your business clearly meets the program’s requirements. Don’t risk pitfalls or pointless delays. 

The legal team at Peek & Toland consists of hard-working, dedicated professionals who have been practicing for many years in immigration law. We have experienced attorneys who are well-versed in the specific procedures in multiple embassies and consulates around the globe, and can assist you in starting your trade relations with the U.S. right away. 

Call us today so you can get started on your trade enterprise at (512) 474-4445.

How Can We Help You?

Our team is standing by to help. Call us at (512) 474-4445 or complete this form to send a message about your legal situation.