The United States permits the entry of certain business owners and employees to operate U.S.-based enterprises in certain situations. E-1 Treaty Trader Visas and E-2 Treaty Investor Visas are available to nationals of designated countries that maintain an appropriate commercial treaty with the United States. The owner of the U.S. business whether independent or affiliated with a foreign company) qualifies for this classification as do certain executive, managerial and essential personnel. E-3 Specialty Occupation Visas are available to nationals of Australia and are separately discussed on their own page. Spouses and children of E Visa holders may accompany them to the United States and spouses may request employment authorization. These classifications may be extended indefinitely provided the business and the visa holder continue to qualify.
E-1 Treaty Trader Visas
E-1 Treaty Trader Visas are available to nationals of certain countries who want to operate a business in the United States that trades internationally. The trade must be a primary component of the business, it must be substantial and it must be primarily with the home country. Visas in a Treaty Trader classification are available to those providing international banking, transportation and other services in addition to trade in goods.
E-2 Treaty Investor Visas
E-2 Treaty Investor Visas are available to nationals of designated countries who want to operate a business in the United States regardless of the type of business operated. Unlike the E-1 classification trade does not need to be a significant part of the business operations. The investment in the business must be substantial, however, and the business must seek to generate a profit for its owner beyond the amount necessary to live, generally within the first five years of operations. That is, Treaty Investor Visas are for investment and not merely self-employment. The rules for deciding whether a business is substantial and what constitutes profitability are elaborate; many business ventures qualify if established correctly.
Qualification for these classifications can be difficult. Different application procedures are required in different circumstances, which adds to their complexity. Greenberg Visa Law has broad experience in treaty classifications. If you are a citizen of a treaty country and are interested in founding a business in the United States or opening a branch of your foreign business, contact us today for a review of your qualifications.