E1/E2 (Treaty Trader/Investor)

E1 DESCRIPTION:

The E-1 non-immigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the U.S maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the U.S solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.

REQUIREMENTS FOR E1:

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

  1. Be a national of a country with which the U.S maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
  2. Carry on substantial trade;
  3. Carry on principal trade between the U.S 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 U.S and the treaty country. Items of trade include, but are not limited to: goods, services, international banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, technology, and news-gathering activities.

“Substantial trade” refers to the continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions overtime.

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

  1. Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer
  2. Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law;
  3. Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employer in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.

PROCESSING:

If the treaty trader is currently in the U.S in a lawful non-immigrant status, he or she may file the Form I-129 to request a change of status to E-1 classification. If the desired employee is currently in the U.S in a lawful non-immigrant status, the qualifying employer may file the Form I-129 on the employee’s behalf. A request for E-1 classification may NOT be made on Form I-129 if the person being filed for is physically outside the U.S.  In that case, the treaty trader may apply E-2 visa directly from the US consular post in his home country without the need of getting petition approved by the USCIS first.

Interested parties should consult with an experienced U.S immigration attorney for further information about applying for an E-1 visa abroad. Upon issuance of a visa, the person may then apply at a U.S port of entry for admission as an E-1 immigrant.

 

E-2 DESCRIPTION:

The E-2 non-immigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the U.S maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the U.S when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S business. Certain employees of such a person or a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.

REQUIREMENTS FOR E2:

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

  1. Be a national of a country with which the U.S maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
  2. Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the US;
  3. Be seeking to enter the U.S solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.

An investment is the treaty investor’s placing of capital, including funds and/or other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit.

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

  1. Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country);
  2. Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law;
  3. Either engage duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.

If the principal alien employer is not an individual, it must be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the U.S who have the nationality of the treaty country. These owners must be maintaining non-immigrant treaty investor status.

PROCESSING:

A request for E-2 classification may not be made on Form I-129 if the person being filed for is physically outside the United States. Interested parties should contact an experienced attorney for further information about applying for an E-2 non-immigrant visa abroad. Upon the issuance of the visa, the person may then apply at a U.S port of entry for admission as an E-2 non-immigrant.

 

Read about some of our successful E2 cases: