E Visas


The E category visas are for foreign nationals engaged in international trade or investment. They allow nonimmigrant workers who engage in trade or investment between the U.S. and their home country to come to the U.S. to continue their work temporarily. Given that the U.S. has an appropriate treaty relationship with the foreign country, E visas can be granted.

To be classified as a treaty country, a foreign state must have a qualifying Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, or Navigation or equivalent with the U.S. Please visit the U.S. Department of State's Treaty Countries for a complete list of treaty countries.

E-1 Visa (Treaty Trader)

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


  • The applicant must be a national of a treaty country.
  • The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U.S. must have the treaty country's nationality.
  • International trade must be “substantial,” meaning a sizable and continuing trade volume.
  • The trade must be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, which means that more than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant's nationality.
  • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. The 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-2 visa is appropriate for nationals of a treaty country who wish to be admitted to the United States when investing significant capital in a U.S. business.


  • The applicant must be a national of a treaty country.
  • Have invested, or be actively investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States.
  • Enter the U.S. solely to direct the investment. The investor should show at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position.

E Category Family Visas

Regardless of nationality, spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may receive derivative E visas to accompany or join the principal visa holder in the US. The spouse of an E visa holder may apply to Department of Homeland Security for employment authorization. However, dependent children of an E visa holder are not authorized to work in the US.

E Visa Application Procedures

Suppose the prospective E applicant is already in the U.S. under a different lawful nonimmigrant status. In that case, either the worker or the employer may file a Form I-129 on behalf of the candidate.

If the prospective applicant is abroad, they should contact the local U.S. embassy or 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 aged 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 Treaty Trader (E-1) visa applicant must submit these forms and documentation:

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E, completed and signed.
  • A valid passport for travel to the US and 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 Treaty Investor (E-2) visa applicant 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 valid passport 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.

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 decide eligibility for a Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor visa. It is impossible to specify the exact documentation required since circumstances vary greatly by applicant.


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.

To prepare your E-2 petition, we will need the following:

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


  1. Full legal name and complete 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.


  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


We will need to provide documentary evidence that you have established your business in the U.S., 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


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 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


  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 accounts, demonstrating principal investment. 
  2. Selection of statements demonstrating the appreciation of investments over time
  3. Pay statements, employer letters, 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


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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