Treaty Trader (E-1) Visas

Treaty Trader Visas for individuals from certain countries.
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Treaty Trader (E-1) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation.
You must be coming to the United States to:
  • engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country;
  • develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which you have invested a substantial amount of capital

For more information on business investment in the United States, see the U.S. Department of Commerce website SelectUSA.

TRADE FOR TREATY TRADER AND TREATY INVESTOR PURPOSES – EXAMPLES


These are some examples of types of enterprises that constitute trade under E visa provisions.
  • international banking
  • insurance
  • transportation
  • tourism
  • communications
To Qualify for a Treaty Trader (E-1) Visa
  • You must be a citizen of a treaty country.
  • The trading firm for which you plan to come to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country, meaning persons with the treaty country’s nationality must own at least 50 percent of the enterprise.
  • The international trade must be substantial, meaning that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
  • More than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the United States and the treaty country.
  • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.
  • You must be an essential employee, employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.
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