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 applicant’s 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.
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.
A Treaty Trader’s employee may also be eligible for an E-1 Visa. The individual must be performing executive or “supervisory character” tasks or have specific qualifications if not engaged in an executive or supervisory role.
A maximum initial stay of two years is granted for qualified treaty traders and employees. Extensions can be granted in two-year increments per request.
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 as a qualifying country by legislation;
- 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.
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.