E1 Visa Lawyer USA 
The E1 Visa Lawyer in USA assists international clients with the E1 visa for treaty traders, which is one of the business visas for the USA.
The E1 visa allows individuals from a treaty country to come to the US in order to do business and carry out substantial trade between individuals and firms in the United States and their country of nationality.
Our immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida USA can assist with advising, preparing and filing all the required documents for treaty traders applying for E1 visa.
- What is E1 Visa?
- E1 Visa Benefits
- E1 Visa Requirements
- E1 Visa Application Process
- Documents needed for E1 visa
- E1 Visa Processing Time
- E1 Visa Spouse and Children
- Who qualifies for E1 Visa?
- How long is E1 Visa valid?
- E1 Visa Extension or Renewal
- How to go from E1 Visa to Green Card?
1. What is E1 Visa?
The E1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for individuals from E1 treaty countries who wish to go to the United States to carry on substantial trade, principally between the United States and their own country
The E1 visa is also available to employees of treaty traders who can come to the United States if they have the same nationality as the E1 visa treaty trader, company or individual.
With the E1 visa, treaty traders, businesses, entrepreneurs or employees can bring their spouse and children under the age of 21 to live in the US.
The spouse of an E1 visa holder can work in the US without any restrictions and does not have to apply for a work permit because a spouse on E1 visa is employment authorized incident to status.
The children can attend private or public schools and they are not permitted to work during their stay on E1 visa status.
The E1 visa allows the treaty trader or employee and their spouse and children to travel outside the United States and re-enter.
The E1 visa can be valid for couple of months and up to 5 years depending on the treaty between the United States and the country of citizenship of the treaty trader.
If you are a citizen of one of the E1 treaty countries and engage in international trade primarily with the USA, contact our experienced E1 visa lawyer to determine if you qualify.
2. E1 Visa Benefits
Our E1 visa lawyers maintain that there are many benefits to E1 visa for treaty traders and employees of treaty traders on E1 Visa.
The E1 Visa benefits are:
- You can work in the United States full-time with an E1 visa for the E1 business
- You can bring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States on an E1 visa
- You and your spouse can obtain SSN with E1 visa
- Your E1 spouse can work without restriction in the US. Your spouse can be self-employed or work part-time or full-time for any US company. The spouse is no longer required to apply for a work permit also known as an EAD or employment authorization
- Your spouse and children can attend school in the United States on a part-time or full-time basis
- Your dependent children are not allowed to work in the United States
- Your E1 visa can be renewed indefinitely as long as you continue to meet the requirements, offering you the possibility to live and work in the US indefinitely
- You and your family can travel internationally and have multiple entries to the U.S.
- You can apply for a green card but the E1 visa is not a dual intent visa
3. E1 Visa Requirements
There are many requirements for the E1 visa. An E1 visa lawyer can help you determine if you satisfy the requirements and assist you with the application process.
To qualify for an E1 Visa you must meet the following E1 Visa Requirements:
- You are a national of one of the E1 Visa Countries
- Your activities constitute trade
- Trade is substantial
- Trade is primarily between the United States and your E1 treaty country
- You intend to depart the United States when the E1 status ends
- You fill an executive or supervisory position or possess skills essential to the firm’s operations in the United States
A. You are a national of one of the E1 Visa Treaty Countries
To qualify for an E1 visa, the E1 treaty trader must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation. Your nationality is determined by your citizenship.
You must have a passport of an E1 treaty country to qualify for E1 visa. You cannot qualify by simply being a permanent resident of an E1 visa country.
There are currently about 55 countries with whom the United States has an E1 Visa treaty.
The E1 Visa Treaty Countries are:
|E1 Visa Countries
|Bosnia and Herzegovina
In cases where the E1 visa treaty trader is a business entity, the citizenship is determined by the nationality of the business owners and is traced to individuals who are the ultimate beneficial owners of the company.
At least 50% of the treaty trader business must be owned by nationals of a E1 treaty country.
For E1 visa purposes, when determining the nationality of a business, company owners who are legal permanent residents of the United States or U.S. citizens are not taken into consideration.
Moreover, for purposes of applying for the E1 visa, our best E1 visa lawyer recommends that treaty traders who are citizens of more than one E1 treaty country, use the passport of the country that has the most favorable E1 visa terms and prospective employees.
An E1 visa allows a treaty trader to bring foreign employees to the United States on an E1 visa to fulfill the duties of an executive, supervisor, or essentially skilled employee.
Regarding foreign employees, if the treaty trader anticipates that he or she will bring employees to the Unites States, then our E1 visa lawyers will tell you to also consider the nationality of the prospective employees when deciding the country of citizenship to use for E1 visa because all E1 visa employees of the company must be citizens of the same country as the principal treaty trader, even if they hold other citizenships as well.
B. Your activities constitute trade
To qualify for an E1 visa, the treaty trader, investor or entrepreneur must come to the United States to engage in activities that constitute trade.
To constitute trade within the meaning of US law, there must be (a) a meaningful exchange involving goods, moneys or services that is (b) international in scope.
To qualify as trade for E1 visa, there must be an exchange of commodities such as goods (furniture, electronics, apparel, merchandise, foods and others), moneys, or services (advertising and marketing services, professional services, accounting, tourism, interior design services, painting and others), including without limitation international banking, insurance, transportation, tourism and technology transfer.
Because the objective of the treaties is to develop international commercial trade between the two countries, the trade activities must be international in scope.
Domestic trade or the development of domestic markets without international exchange does not constitute trade.
The best E-1 visa lawyers recommend that the import/export activities must support business activity in the United States and in the country of citizenship of the E1 visa treaty trader in order to qualify for the E1 visa.
Trade between the E1 visa country and the United States must already be in progress on behalf of the individual or company at the time of the E1 visa application. The flow of the transactions must be traceable between the two countries.
A foreign national cannot qualify for E-1 visa status for the purpose of searching for a trading relationship.
Our E1 visa lawyer advise that you cannot qualify for E1 visa if you or your firm have not been engaged in international trade and you are only seeking to qualify for the visa in order to search for a trading partner.
C. Trade is substantial
To qualify for E1 Visa the trade must be substantial.
In order to meet the requirement of engaging in “substantial trade,” the goods or services must be exchanged continuously between the two countries and involve numerous transactions over time.
Consular officers evaluating substantial trade for E1 visas focus on the volume of transactions and not the monetary value of the transactions, although that may be taken into consideration.
What Is the Best Advice That Our Experienced E1 Visa Lawyer can Give Clients Regarding Substantial Trade?
There is no minimum level of trade required to qualify for E1 visa and smaller businessmen qualify, but the level of commercial activity should be sufficient to support employing workers in the US.
Generally, trading with the United States for a period of 12 months or more a total trade value of at least $100,000 can qualify a treaty trader, business owner or entrepreneur for the E1 visa. However, more or less trading activities may also be sufficient depending on the specific case.
Our E1 visa lawyers in USA maintain that a smaller business should not be excluded if it can prove that the volume and pattern of transactions is sufficient to support the E1 treaty trader and family.
Smaller businesses should qualify for E1 visa when there is a pattern of numerous transactions over time, even if the value of each transaction is small.
D. Trade is primarily between the United States and the E1 treaty country
The trade must be primarily between the United States and the Treaty Trader’s country of citizenship.
To satisfy this requirement more than 50 % of the volume of international trade must be between the US and the treaty trader’s country of citizenship whether a company or individual. In other words, more than 50% of import or export activity must be to and from the USA.
The rest of the transactions can be international trade with other countries or domestic.
For example, if Company A is a US subsidiary in Miami of a firm based in Switzerland and more than 50% of trade is between the United States and Switzerland, then the fact that the company in Switzerland is also engaged in trade with other countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Austria or trade within Switzerland is irrelevant.
E. You intend to depart the United States when the E1 status ends
You must intend to leave the United States when the E1 status ends. However, you can still apply for an E1 visa extension or renewal if you choose to do so. This requirement does not prohibit you from applying for an E1 visa renewal.
F. You fill an executive or supervisory position or possess skills essential to the firm’s operations
If you are applying as an E1 visa employee, then you must have the same nationality as your employer and have evidence to show you are necessary for the company to run efficiently or fill an executive or supervisory position.
This can include your role and qualifications as a supervisor, manager or executive, or otherwise having special qualifications.
4. E1 Visa Application Process
Our E1 visa lawyer explains that while US consulates abroad possess the most expertise regarding E1 visa applications, individuals can apply for an E1 visa in two ways:
- Apply for E1 visa at a US Consulate abroad, or
- Apply with USCIS while physically present in the United States
Treaty traders and employees of treaty traders can apply for an E1 visa at the U.S. consulate abroad or can change status to E1 by applying for change of status with USCIS while in the United States.
Our E1 visa lawyer can help you with the E1 visa process at the US Consulate or USCIS.
An experiences E1 visa lawyer will tell you that there are differences between processing the E1 visa application at a US Consulate or at USCIS.
Differences in the E1 Visa Process between applying at a US Consulate or USCIS include:
- When applying for an E1 visa at a U.S. consulate, the consular officer can approve and issue the E1 visa for the maximum period allowed which depending on the country of citizenship can be up to 5 years. However, USCIS can only approve the E1 visa status for a maximum period of 2 years regardless of the E1 visa treaty country.
- An E1 visa processed at a US consulate allows the person to travel internationally, in and out of the United States, while an E1 status approved by USCIS terminates the moment the person travels outside the US.
5. Documents Needed for E1 Visa
Many documents are needed for the E1 Visa application process depending on the applicant’s specific situation.
Some of the documents needed for E1 visa are:
- Company letter describing in detail the nature and function of the business and the applicant’s position
- Information about the ownership and nationality of the business
- Documents proving substantial trade, including purchase orders, bills of lading, sales contracts, client lists, invoices, receipts, inventories, financial statements, tax returns and others
- Proof of intent to depart the United States when your E1 status expires
- Marriage license for E1 visa spouse
- Birth certificate for E1 visa dependent children
- Valid passport
- Required forms
- I-94 record, if applicable
- MRV application fee receipt
- Visa appointment letter
6. E1 Visa Processing Time
On average, the E1 visa processing time varies between 2 to 4 months at US Embassies and Consulates around the world.
The E1 visa processing time for change of status with USCIS while in the United States is 15 calendar days if you select premium processing service or 4 to 6 months if you select regular processing.
7. E1 Visa Spouse and Children
The E1 Visa allows you to bring your spouse and unmarried children under 21 to the United States.
With the E1 Treaty Trader visa, the business owner, investor or entrepreneur can bring his or her spouse and children to live in the US.
The husband or wife of a principal E1 visa holder and dependent children can come to the United States on an E1 visa regardless of their country of citizenship.
What Does Our E1 Visa Lawyer Advise Clients Regarding Their Spouse and Children?
Our experienced E1 Visa Lawyer advises clients that their spouses and children do not need to have the nationality of an E1 treaty country in order to obtain an E1 visa.
In fact, the nationality of the E1 visa spouse or child is irrelevant for the E1 visa purposes as long as the principal applicant is a citizen of one of the E1 treaty countries and qualifies for the E1 visa.
In addition, the spouse on an E1 visa is eligible to work in the United States for any US company and without any restrictions. The spouse can work part-time or full-time and even be self-employed.
Our experienced E1 Visa Lawyer explains that staring in November 2021, the spouse is not required to apply for work authorization in connection with an E1 visa because the spouse is considered employment authorized incident to E1 status.
Dependent children of E1 visa holders are not eligible to work in the Unites States.
An experienced E1 Visa lawyer will tell you that children cannot apply for work authorization but they can study in the United States on a full-time or part-time basis and attend any public or private schools without having to apply for a student visa.
8. Who qualifies for E1 Visa?
Treaty traders, businesses, entrepreneurs and people who are nationals of E1 visa countries qualify for E1 visa. To be eligible for E1 visa you must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a Treaty of commerce and navigation.
The E1 visa is available to foreign businesses, business owners, investors and entrepreneurs who engage in international trade of goods, services, banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, technology and news-related activities with the United States.
E1 visas are more commonly used by entrepreneurs that have an established company abroad and a U.S. customer base. The entrepreneur will use the E1 visa to continue the ongoing business or services with U.S. customers. In some cases, foreign companies may be looking to enter the U.S. market.
Early-stage startups can find it hard to qualify for the E1 visa due to the requirement to show a track record of substantial trade.
The E1 visa is not only available to treaty traders, business owners and entrepreneurs, but also to employees of a qualifying E1 visa business as long as the employees have the same nationality as the principal E1 visa treaty trader employer and they are coming to the United States to perform in an executive or managerial capacity or an essential capacity for which they posses specialized skills or knowledge.
Currently, citizens of the following E1 visa countries qualify for E1 visa: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Kosovo, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey and United Kingdom. For an up to date list of countries that qualify for an E1 Visa, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s Treaty Countries List.
9. How long is E1 Visa valid?
The E1 visa validity depends on your specific country and the reciprocity between the United States and your treaty country.
The validity period for an E1 visa can be anywhere from a couple of months to a maximum of 5 years.
The E1 visa is valid for maximum 5 years and you are granted 2-year authorized stay upon entry into the United States.
If you have a valid E1 visa and want stay beyond the 2 years of authorized stay, then you can leave the US and re-enter to receive an additional 2 years in E1 status.
The period of time for which the E1 visa is approved depends on the reciprocity between the United States and the specific treaty country.
Your status determines how long you can stay in the US on an E2 visa and not the validity of your visa.
10. E1 Visa Extension or Renewal
You can extend or renew the E1 visa when it expires. There is no limit on the number of E1 visa renewals and extensions you can apply for. Simply put, the E1 visa can be renewed indefinitely.
To understand the terms and conditions of the E1 visa under your E1 treaty it is recommended to contact our E1 visa lawyer in USA or visit our page on how to extend your E1 visa.
11. How to go from E1 Visa to Green Card?
The E1 visa allows foreign nationals to do business in USA and expand their foreign companies and divisions in the United States but the E1 visa not automatically lead to a green card as it is the case with all other nonimmigrant visas.
Your options to go from E1 visa to green card are:
- EB-5 Investor Visa
- EB-2 NIW
- Employer-sponsored EB-2 and EB-3 green card
- Family-sponsored green card
12. Why You Should Work with An E1 Visa Lawyer in USA?
The E1 visa laws and regulations are complicated and the applicants must navigate a complex and difficult US immigration system. A US licensed immigration lawyer can provide legal advice regarding immigration laws and legal document preparation and are the only professionals authorized to practice law in the United States.
Our experienced E1 visa lawyers in Miami, Florida USA can help you determine if you or your company can satisfy the substantial trade requirement to qualify for E1 visa, guide you through the E1 visa application process, strategize your case, assist you with the E1 visa documents and communicate with the US Consulate abroad or USCIS to successfully obtain the E1 visa. Contact us or schedule a consultation.
Malescu Law P.A. – Business & Immigration Lawyers