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E-2 Visa

E VISAS: FOREIGN NATIONALS ENGAGED IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE OR INVESTMENT

The E category visas are designed for foreign nationals engaged in international trade or investment. They allow nonimmigrant workers who engage in trade/investment between the U.S. and their home country to come to the United States temporarily in order to continue their trade or investment work, provided the US has an appropriate treaty relationship with the foreign country.

To be classified as a Treaty Country, a foreign state must have a qualifying Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, or Navigation or its equivalent with the U.S.. A Treaty Country includes a foreign state that is accorded treaty visa privileges under section 101(a)(15)(E) of the INA by specific legislation. For a full list of Treaty Countries, please visit the U.S. Department of State's Treaty Countries.

E-1 Visa (Treaty Trader)

The E-1 visa is the appropriate visa category for foreign nationals who enter the United States to conduct substantial trade between the United States and their country of residence.

Requirements:

  • The applicant must be a national of a Treaty Country.
  • The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the US must have the nationality of the treaty country.
  • The international trade must be “substantial” in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
  • The trade must be principally between the US and the treaty country, which is defined to mean that more than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the US and the country of the applicant's nationality.
  • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.
  • The applicant must be 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.

E-2 Visa (Treaty Investor)

The E-1 visa is the appropriate visa category for foreign nationals who enter the United States to conduct substantial trade between the United States and their country of residence.

Requirements:

  • The applicant must be a national of a Treaty Country.
  • The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the US must have the nationality of the treaty country.
  • The international trade must be “substantial” in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
  • The trade must be principally between the US and the treaty country, which is defined to mean that more than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the US and the country of the applicant's nationality.
  • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.
  • The applicant must be 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.

E Category Family Visas

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, may receive derivative E visas in order to accompany or join the principal visa holder to the US. The spouse of an E visa holder may apply to DHS for employment authorization. Dependent children of an E visa holder are not authorized to work in the US, however.

E Visa Application Procedures

If the prospective E applicant is already in the US in a different lawful nonimmigrant status, either the worker himself/herself or the employer may file a Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker on behalf of the candidate.

If the prospective applicant is abroad, he/she should contact the local US Embassy/Consulate for more E Visa application information. As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early visa application is strongly encouraged.

E Visa Required Documentation

Each applicant for a Treaty Trader (E-1) visa must submit these forms and documentation, as explained below.

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160 . Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E , completed and signed.
  • A passport valid for travel to the US and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the US.
  • One (1) 2×2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in the US Department of State's Nonimmigrant Visa Photograph Requirements.

Each applicant for a Treaty Investor (E-2) visa must submit these forms and documentation, as explained below.

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E, completed and signed, if you are an Executive/Manager/Essential Employee.
  • A passport valid for travel to the US and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the US.
  • One (1) 2×2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in the US Deparment of State's Nonimmigrant Visa Photograph Requirements.

Additional Documentation

An applicant for a Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa must first establish that the trading enterprise or investment enterprise meets the requirements of the law and complies with the many requirements for the E visa classification. The consular officer may provide the applicant with special forms for this purpose. The applicant can expect the consular officer to request additional documentation to make a determination about eligibility for a Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor visa. It is impossible to specify the exact documentation required since circumstances vary greatly by applicant.

E-2 VISA INVESTOR CHECKLIST

If you have already sent any of the documents to the person preparing your business plan, you do not need to resend them to our office. Please just let us know to contact them for the documents.

In order to prepare your E-2 petition, we will need the following:

  • Required Information    
  • Biographic documents
  • Business related documents
  • Source of funds documents
  • Investment documents

REQUIRED INFORMATION

  1. Full legal name and full contact information of U.S. company
    2. Main address of business/place of work, and address where you will work
    3. Federal tax ID number for U.S. company
    4. Year U.S. company was founded
    5. Gross and net annual income for U.S. company
    6. Total number of employees. Please specify:
    Nationals of the treaty country on E, H, and L visas 
    U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents and 
    Other third-country nationals categorized by managerial/executive positions, specialized/essential positions, and all other employees
    7. Full legal name and contact information of foreign parent, if any
    8. Job title and description of proposed duties for U.S. company
    9. Proposed annual salary
    10. Complete names, address, date of birth and country of birth of spouse and any dependent children. Please note if your spouse and/or children will be traveling with you.
    11. Name, address, telephone and fax number of current employer
    12. Job title, brief job description, salary and original start date of current position
    13. Name, address, telephone and fax number of current residence
    14. List all instances in which you were refused a U.S. visa, including the date and location of referral and type of visa
    15. List of all other names used, including maiden, religious, professional and aliases
    16. National identification number, if applicable
    17. Address where you intend to stay in the U.S.
    18. Name, phone number, email, and current address for contact person in the U.S.
    19. Current address abroad.

BIOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTS

  1. Complete copy of current and expired passports
    2. Copies of all US visa documents, including I-797 approval notices, I-20s, and DS-2019s
    3. Curriculum vitae (CV)
    4. Copies of diplomas for college or university education

BUSINESS RELATED DOCUMENTS

We will need to provide documentary evidence that you have established your business in the US, that it is a real and operating enterprise, and that it is more than marginal.

  1. Valid signed and dated purchase agreement, if applicable
    2. Binding escrow agreement, if applicable
    3. FEIN registration confirmation 
    4. Articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, and relevant local, state, and federal licenses as applicable to your business.
    5. Brochures, annual reports, websites, catalogs, sales literature etc., as applicable to your business.
    6. Latest federal tax return, if available
    7. Payroll records, IRS form 941, and/or evidence of other personal assets and income, as applicable. 
    8. Copies of business bank statements for the previous calendar year

SOURCE OF FUNDS DOCUMENTS

We will need to provide documentary evidence of the original source(s) of the invested funds. Below is a list of the documents required for the most common sources.  If your investment is derived from a multiple sources, we will need to document each.

Personal Savings
1. Selection of bank account statements showing the deposit and accumulation of funds over time
2. Pay statements and/or employer letter demonstrating that the funds were derived from lawful employment
3. If the funds were ever transferred between accounts, please provide all statements documenting these transactions
4. Bank transfers and statements showing the path of funds to the US

Sale of Real Estate
1. Title or mortgage paperwork demonstrating ownership
2. Closing documents specifying the net income from the sale
3. Bank statements demonstrating the net income being deposited into the investor's account
4. Bank transfers and statements showing the path of funds to the US

Gift 
1. Affidavit or other written evidence describing the nature of the gift. Please consult with your paralegal for an affidavit template.
2. Bank statement demonstrating the gift's arrival in the investor's bank account
3. Bank transfers and statements showing the path of funds to the US

Personal Loan 
1. Personal loan agreement, guaranteed by the investor's signature
2. Bank statement evidencing the deposit of the loan amount into the investor's account
3. Bank transfers and statements showing the path of funds to the US

Investment Income
1. Initial account statement for brokerage or other investment account, demonstrating principal investment. 
2. Selection of statements demonstrating the appreciation of investments over time
3. Pay statements, employer letter or other evidence documenting the lawful source of the principal investment
4. If the funds were ever traded or transferred, please provide all statements demonstrating this path
5. Statements demonstrating the withdrawal from the brokerage account and subsequent deposit in the investor's account
6. Bank transfers or receipts showing the path of funds to the US

INVESTMENT DOCUMENTS

We will need to document that the total invested amount has been or is actively being invested by the US business.

  1. Bank account statements, credit card statements, and/or receipts showing the funds being used for business related expenses such as: office supplies, equipment, utilities, rent, insurance, travel, attorneys, accountants, etc. 
    2. If a portion of the investment is to remain as “working capital” to fund future expenditures, please provide a currently dated bank statement showing those funds in the business bank account.

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