What are E Visas?
E-1 and E-2 visas are temporary permits for travel and stay in the U.S. Citizens of foreign countries (countries other than the U.S.) are eligible to obtain an E-1 or E-2 visa if their native country has a sufficient treaty with the U.S. (a treaty of commerce and navigation or a bilateral investment treaty providing for nonimmigrant entries).
What is the E-1 Visa?
The E-1 visa is also known as the Treaty Trader visa. The E-1 visa was created to allow alien business owners, managers, and employees to remain in the U.S. for more than a few months to work for a business engaged in trade between their home country and the U.S. The key to the E-1 visa is trade.
What is the E-2 Visa?
The E-2 visa is also known as the Treaty Investor visa. The E-2 visa was created to allow alien business developers and investors to remain in the U.S. for more than a few months to develop, direct, and operate the business in the U.S. The key to the E-2 visa is investment of a substantial amount of capital.
What treaty does my country need for the E Visas?
E-1 visas are based on different treaties than E-2 visas. Whether an alien’s home country has the proper treaty determines whether the alien can apply for either, or both, visas. Free trade agreements (for example, NAFTA) between the U.S. and an alien’s country allow the alien to apply for both E-1 visas (trader visas) and E-2 visas (investor visas). On the other hand, bilateral investment treaties between the U.S. and an alien’s country only allow the alien to apply for an E-2 visa (investor visa).
Refer to this chart to determine whether you are eligible for an E-1 visa or an E-2 visa:
Countries eligible for the E-1 Visa (traders):
Countries eligible for the E-2 Visa (investors):
How long can I stay on an E-1 Visa or E-2 Visa?
An alien can remain in the U.S. for an initial period of two (2) years on both E-1 and E-2 visas. However, an alien can request an extension of stay for periods of up to two (2) years each. There is no maximum number of extensions for E-1 visas, so long as the alien can show his or her intention to depart the U.S. when E-1 status expires.
What are the requirements to apply for an E-1 Visa or E-2 Visa?
An alien must meet at least three (3) major requirements:
1) The alien’s home country must have a sufficient treaty with the U.S. to allow for an E-visa (see list above);
2) Citizens of the alien’s home country must hold majority control/ownership of the investing/trading company;
3) The alien must be a citizen of the country under which the alien seeks an E-visa (see list above).
Beyond these three (3) major requirements, each E visa has further specific requirements. You should contact an immigration attorney for more information to ensure that you qualify for an E-1 or E-2 visa.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.