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E-1/E-2 Trader & Investor Visas

Understanding E-1 and E-2 Trader and Investor Visas

The E-1 and E-2 visas are available to certain individuals who are coming to the U.S. to engage in trade or invest in a U.S.-based business. The Treaty Trader (E-1) and the Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are available to some applicants who are coming to the U.S. to engage in substantial trade or investment.

Requirements For the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa

The E-1 visa can be filed for a treaty trader who is a national of a country with which the U.S. maintains an applicable treaty. The trade must be substantial and be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country. Trade is considered to be goods, services, banking, and tourism among other activities. The individual seeking the visa must possess the same nationality as the principal employer. The employee must be coming to work in an executive or supervisory capacity or be an “essential” employee of the business.

Requirements For the E-2 Investor Visa

The E-2 investor visa can be filed for a treaty investor who is a national of a country with which the U.S. maintains an applicable treaty. The investor and in some cases the employees of the investing company may apply for an E-2 visa to work in the U.S. In order to qualify for the E-2, a substantial amount of the initial investment must have been placed “at risk” at time of application for the visa. If the E-2 visa holder is the investor, he or she must be coming to the U.S. solely to develop and direct the enterprise. In addition, the individual investor must own at least 50 percent of the enterprise. If the E-2 visa applicant is an employee she or he must be coming to work in an executive or supervisory capacity or be an “essential” employee of the business.

Spouses and Children of E Visa Holders

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 may accompany the E-1 and E-2 visa holder to the US and can be given E visas for dependents. Spouses of E visa holders may be eligible to apply for an employment-authorization document.

We Can Help You With Your Investor Visa

At Becker & Lee LLP, business and employment immigration is one of our primary focus areas. Our attorneys have advised a range of nonimmigrant investors, including investors of restaurants, artistic entrepreneurs, etc.

Our investor visa lawyers offer comprehensive representation to help increase chances of success in the visa application process. Contact our San Francisco law firm to learn more about your options.