What Is the E1 Visa?

Right over the years the United States has signed treaties with many countries over the world and more in particular treaties of “Friendship, Commerce and Navigation”. These treaties were signed with the sole intention of promoting trade and investment between the United States and the contracting country which would foster good relations and peace. Quite recently the United States has entered into a number of bilateral investment treaties with communist states, designed to promote investment but not conferring any trade-related immigration privileges.

Any nationals (individuals or companies) of countries which have treaties with the United States can obtain visas to work in the United States in order to develop and direct their investment inside the USA or trade with the USA. The visa related to this is the E1 visa.

The E1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which would allow the foreign nationals of a treaty nation to enter into the US to carry out substantial trade through USCIS.

Qualifying for investor visa:

The following people would be eligible to apply for a visa.

Executives, Managers or Specialist of a treaty nation company which is operating in the United States or if the applicant is owning 50% of the share in the company. The E1 visa applicant holding a supervisory or executive position should have the skill which is essential to the successful operation of the enterprise.

1. The applicant is a citizen of a treaty trade country and is involved in international trade

2. The applicants immediate family members are principle E1 visa holders.

3. The applicant should show an intent to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of treaty trader E1 visa status.

The visa is initially valid for two years with chances of it being extended indefinitely.

Obtaining an E1 visa:

Every case must be properly documented, attached with supporting evidence providing that all legal requirement are met. The initial visa application will normally be adjudicated by the relevant US Embassy or Consulate. Further extensions are processed by a Citizenship and Immigration Services Service Center. Dependents of the E-1/E-2 holder (spouses and children) may also obtain E visas. E spouses may also later apply for work authorization in the US.


1. Legally work in the US for United States Company where more than 50 percent of the business is related to trade between the US and the applicants home country.

2. With a visa one can travel freely in and out of the US.

3. Stay in the US on a prolonged basis with an unlimited two year extensions as long the applicant maintains the visa qualifications.

4. The applicant can also bring his dependents and spouse to work in the US. The dependents and spouse can also stay the same length of time as the visa holder.

Some of the countries with treaties with E1 visa:

Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Philippines, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the Territory of Wallis.