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How to Qualify for an E-1 or E-2 Visa

Apr 21, 2014 1:16:13 PM / by Staff Attorney

The United States has active treaties with the majority of other countries. These treaties are often created to promote peace and commerce between nations. Some of these treaties are bilateral investment treaties that are specifically designed to create investment opportunities. Individuals and companies in countries that have a bilateral investment treaty may seek visas to work in the United States. The two types of E-visas that are available for nationals in these countries are the E-1 Treaty Trader and the E-2 Treaty Investor.

The E-1 Treaty Trader was designed for nationals of qualifying treaty countries who participate in international trade with the United States. Not just anyone who trades with the United States will qualify. Only those companies that can justify needing workers in the United States will be allowed to obtain an E-1 visa. In fact, a trader must show that the majority of his or her trade involves the United States. Typically, only those who have a high volume of trade with the U.S. will qualify.
E-2 Treaty Investor visas are for those who have made a significant investment in the United States. E-2 visa applicants must show that they have a sufficient level of investment in the United States to justify the need for a visa. Furthermore, buying stocks, property, and bonds is not enough to qualify. The investments must be in an operating business.

If you wish to apply for an E-1 or E-2 visa, you will first have to determine if you live in a qualifying country. There are over 40 countries that qualify for E-1 visas, including Canada, China, France, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. There are more than 60 countries that are currently E-2 visa countries, including Argentina, Egypt, Italy, Korea, Spain, and Sweden.

Once you have received registration as a treaty investor or trader, you will be able to obtain E-visas for qualifying employees. This is a relatively quick process that may only take one to two months. Visas may be available for your executives, managers, and essential skilled workers. Therefore, the E-1 and E-2 visa program not only allows you to expand and grow your business, it is an opportunity for your company and your workers to earn money in the United States. For more information, contact an experienced Los Angeles immigration lawyer.

Topics: E-Visas

Staff Attorney

Written by Staff Attorney

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