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The E-1 Treaty Traders Visa

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Learning About The E-1 Treaty Traders Visa

The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf.  Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.

Please refer to U.S. Department of State’s Treaty Countries for a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce.

“D’Alessio Law Group provided phenomenal client service while delivering successful results during the approval of both my O-1 Visa and Green Card (immigration from Canada to the United States of America). 

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General Qualifications Of A Treaty Trader

To qualify for E-1 classification, the treaty trader must:

  • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
  • Carry on substantial trade
  • Carry on principal tradebetween the United States and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.

The Different Types of Trades

Trade is the existing international exchange of items of trade for consideration between the United States and the treaty country. Items of trade include but are not limited to:

Substantial Trade generally refers to the continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time. There is no minimum requirement regarding the monetary value or volume of each transaction. While monetary value of transactions is an important factor in considering substantiality, greater weight is given to more numerous exchanges of greater value.

Principal Trade between the United States and the treaty country exists when over 50 of the total volume of international trade is between the
U.S. and the trader’s treaty country.

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General Qualifications Of The Employee Of A Treaty Trader

To qualify for E-1 classification, the employee of a treaty trader must:

Employee Of A Treaty Trader Continued

If the principal alien employer is not an individual, it must be an enterprise or organization at least 50 owned by persons in the United States who have the nationality of the treaty country. These owners must be maintaining nonimmigrant treaty trader status.  If the owners are not in the United States, they must be, if they were to seek admission to this country, classifiable as nonimmigrant treaty traders.

Duties which are of an executive or supervisory character are those which primarily provide the employee ultimate control and responsibility for the organization’s overall operation, or a major component of it.

Special qualifications are skills which make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the business.  There are several qualities or circumstances which could, depending on the facts, meet this requirement. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations
  • Whether others possess the employee’s specific skills
  • The salary that the special qualifications can command
  • Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United
    States

Knowledge of a foreign language and culture does not, by itself, meet this requirement.  Note that in some cases a skill that is essential at one point in time may become commonplace, and therefore no longer qualifying, at a later date.

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CEO and Founder of D’Alessio Law Group, Lorraine D’Alessio was named the 2017 Leader in Law by the Los Angeles Business Journal and is the recipient of the 2018 Enterprising Woman Award.

Ready to Expand Your Business Horizons? Explore E-1 Treaty Trader Visas Now

Are you ready to seize international business opportunities and expand your trade ventures? Our experienced team at D'Alessio Law is here to guide you through the intricacies of E-1 Treaty Trader Visas. Let's work together to unlock the potential of global markets, streamline your visa application, and help your business flourish. Reach out to us now and take the first step towards a world of trade possibilities!

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Ready to Expand Your Business Horizons?

Are you ready to seize international business opportunities and expand your trade ventures? Our experienced team at D'Alessio Law is here to guide you through the intricacies of E-1 Treaty Trader Visas.

Terms And Conditions Of An E-1 Status

A treaty trader or employee may only work in the activity for which he or she was approved at the time the classification was granted.  An E-1 employee, however, may also work for the treaty organization’s parent company or one of its subsidiaries as long as the:

Relationship between the organizations is established.

Subsidiary employment requires executive, supervisory, or essential skills.

Terms and conditions of employment have not otherwise changed.

USCIS must approve any substantive change in the terms or conditions of E-1 status.  A “substantive change” is defined as a fundamental change in the employer’s basic characteristics, such as, but not limited to, a merger, acquisition, or major event which affects the treaty trader or employee’s previously approved relationship with the organization.

A strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage at the intended place of employment may affect a Canadian or Mexican treaty trader or employee’s ability to obtain E-1 status.

Family Of E-1 Treaty Traders And Employees

Treaty traders and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age.  Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty trader or employee.  These family members may seek E-1 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee.

As discussed above, the E-1 treaty trader or employee may travel abroad and will generally be granted an automatic two-year period of admission when returning to the United States.  Unless the family members are accompanying the E-1 treaty trader or employee at the time the latter seeks admission to the United States, the new readmission period will not apply to the family members.

To remain lawfully in the United States, family members must carefully note the period of stay they have been granted in E-1 status, and apply for an extension of stay before their own validity expires.

Period Of Stay

Qualified treaty traders and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-1 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-1 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.

An E-1 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa and what it can offer your international business aspirations? Whether you’re looking to explore eligibility, duration of stay, or business requirements, we have the answers to your key inquiries. We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions to help you gain a clearer understanding. 

This visa is designed for individuals from countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States and are engaged in substantial trade between the two countries. Both the trader and the trading company must meet specific eligibility criteria.

Substantial trade refers to a continuous flow of international trade items involving numerous transactions over time. The volume of trade should be sufficient to ensure a continuous and substantial exchange of goods and services.

Yes, E-1 visa holders can bring their spouses and unmarried children under 21 as dependents. They can apply for E-1 visas, and spouses can also work in the U.S. without restrictions.

E-1 visa holders can stay in the United States for an initial period of up to two years, with extensions available as long as the qualifying trade activities continue.

E-1 visa holders are generally expected to maintain their qualifying trade or business. However, it is possible to change employment or start a new business, but certain requirements must be met, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should be notified.

The E-1 Treaty Trader Visa is open to a wide range of businesses, including import/export companies, manufacturing firms, technology companies, and more. The key requirement is that the business must engage in substantial trade with the United States and the treaty country. Services and technology transfer businesses can also be eligible, but the trade should be in goods, services, or technology, and the business must meet the necessary criteria.

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