The E visa is for Treaty Traders or Investors who are nationals of a foreign country that has signed a treaty of commerce or its equivalent with the United States. Canada is one of these countries.
The Treaty Trader category (E-1) is for individuals who enter the United States to conduct trade between the United States and the country that has signed the treaty. The Treaty Trader must carry a passport from the country, and meet the following requirements:
- Applicant/trading firm must be a national of the treaty country;
- Substantial volume of trade between the U.S. and the treaty country (more than 50% of the firm’s international trade);
- The international trade must be either: exchange of goods, services, and/or technology; and Applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive position.
The Treaty Investor category (E-2) is for individuals who are coming to the United States to develop and direct the operation of a business in which the applicant is investing, or has a substantial investment in the U.S. (meaning that person or company has invested a significant amount of funds), and meet the following requirements:
- Investor (either a real or corporate person) must be a national of a treaty country;
- Investment must be substantial enough to ensure the successful operation of the business;
- Investment must be a valid active business (idle investments such as real estate, uncommitted funds in a bank account or security do not qualify);
- Investment must generate an income and employment for more than just the investor. Only providing a basic living for the investor and his/her family, as self employment, will not qualify.
The validity period of the visa will depend on the nationality of the applicant and the discretion of the visa officer. However E visas are usually valid for a period of three (3) to five (5) years. Although the applicant may be granted a visa that is valid up to five (5) years, treaty traders and investment traders may not be admitted initially into the United States for more than two (2) years and may not receive extensions that are valid for more than two (2) years.
For further details on the E non-immigrant category, please contact us for a consultation.