Important Travel Document Information – Please Read
Treaty traders must be foreign nationals or foreign business entities, such as foreign corporations, from the foreign treaty trading partner who engage in “substantial trade” with the United States as their “principal trade.” “Substantial trade” refers to a large and ongoing volume of trade containing several transactions over time, while “principle trade” refers to trade with the United States accounting for more than half of the total volume. Furthermore, commerce entails the transfer of ownership. Goods, services, international banking, insurance, transportation, technology, tourism, and news gathering are all examples of trade.
Only nationals of nations with which the US has a treaty of friendship, trade, and navigation, or a comparable arrangement, are eligible for an E-1 visa. A treaty trader must also be travelling to the United States to undertake substantial trade, primarily between the United States and the applicants home country. Significant trade is defined as a continuous flow of significant trade items and transactions across time that is not limited by monetary value or volume.
E1 Visa Validity
The E-1 visa will be valid for up to two years and will be automatically renewed every time the individual trader or employee travels outside of the United States. There is no limit to the number of extensions that can be granted. They must, however, intend to leave the United States once the treaty commerce is concluded.
To be classified as an E-1 treaty trader, the treaty trader must:
Be a citizen of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation or a qualifying international agreement, or which has been designated
Carry out substantial and principal trade between the US and the treaty country that qualifies the treaty merchant for E-1 classification.
The existing international exchange of trade items for consideration between the United States and the treaty country is referred to as trade.
You must include a cover letter that describes the company and the recipient. This letter should address all of the E-1 visa eligibility requirements, which are detailed in the US Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual (9 FAM 402.9), and require the applicant to demonstrate:
- that the requisite treaty exists
- that the individual and/or business has the nationality of the treaty country
- that the activities are trade within the meaning of section 101 (a) (15) (E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
- that the trade is substantial
- that the trade is primarily between the United States and the treaty country
A spreadsheet detailing every eligible foreign trade transaction between the US and a treaty country throughout the previous calendar year. This table should provide the transactions date, invoice number, and dollar amount. The overall number and amount of these transactions should be displayed prominently. Include a summary of the data in the table.
Copies of all invoices summarised in the table; copies of all air bills or shipping invoices demonstrating that products or services were transported from one nation to another; and
For a US entity, the most current federal tax returns, or an annual report (Financial Statements) for a UK entity. US tax forms must be exact replicas of the IRS-submitted signed and dated documents.
Duration of Stay With E-1 Visa
Treaty traders and employees will be allowed a maximum of two years in the country at first. Requests for extensions of stay in E-1 classification or transfers of status to E-1 classification may be granted in two-year increments. An E-1 nonimmigrant may be awarded an unlimited number of extensions. When their status expires or is cancelled, all E-1 nonimmigrants must maintain an intention to leave the United States.
An E-1 nonimmigrant who travels overseas may be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission after returning to the United States if judged admissible by a US Customs and Border Patrol Officer.
For detailed information on specific parts of the USA visa process, you can refer to the links to the right to find the answer to your query. If you are unable to find any particular information, please contact us via email.
Who is eligible to apply for an E-1 classification change?
If the treaty trader is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, they can request a change of status to E-1 classification by filing Form I-129. The eligible employer may file Form I-129 on behalf of the targeted employee if the employee is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status.
If you are physically outside the United States, you cannot request E-1 classification on Form I-129. For more information on applying for an E-1 nonimmigrant visa in another country, visit the US Department of States website. Following the issuance of a visa, the individual may apply for admission as an E-1 nonimmigrant at a United States port of entry.
By acquiring an Employment Authorization Document, spouses of E1 visa holders may work in the United States. You must modify your visa status if you want to change the purpose of your visit while in the United States on an E1 visa.
You may apply for an E1 visa renewal as many times as you need; there are no restrictions on how many times you can renew your E1 visa. E1 treaty merchants and workers must produce a number of documentation to support an E1 visa renewal at a US Consulate or Embassy overseas, including: Proof of citizenship (passport, birth certificate, etc.)
A minimum investment of $100,000 is often needed, however this may be decreased if a particular firm does not require such an expenditure. The guidelines anticipate that a minimum of $75,000 will be needed, however $50,000 may be acceptable in some cases.