The E1 Visa
The E1 visa is available to nonimmigrant individuals who wish to come to the United States to engage in international trade on his own behalf. This visa benefit can also extend to certain employees of his or her qualifying organization. Visa applicants must originate from a treaty country of the United States. For a list of treaty countries Click Here.
To qualify for an E1 visa, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be a citizen of a treaty country of the United States. A treaty country maintains a a treaty of commerce and navigation, or is a country that has a qualifying international agreement with the United States, or is a qualifying country through legislation. A list of qualifying countries can be found here.
- Must be willing to carry on substantial trade; and
- Must be willing to carry on principal trade between the United States and the treaty country.
Trade is defined as the existing international exchange of items of trade between the United States and the treaty country. Examples of trade include, but are not limited to, the following:
- International Banking
- Technology and its transfer
- Some news-gathering activities.
How to Apply for an E1 Visa
If you meet the requirements for an E1 visa, here are the steps you need to complete for approval:
- Fill out a Form G-28. This form entitles your attorney or accredited representative to act on your behalf,
- Documentation that you are eligible to apply for a visa,
- Information about the business you intend to work with or for (name, location, type of business, business owner, etc.),
- U.S. Company Support Statement. This document is supplied by the U.S. employer and explains why your services are necessary for the business,
- Evidence that you plan to leave the United States after your E1 visa expires or is terminated.
If you are outside the United States, you should apply for your E1 visa at a consulate or embassy. It is recommended to work with a qualified immigration attorney to ensure your documents are filed correctly and expeditiously.
An E1 visa comes with certain benefits, including:
- You can work legally in the United States,
- You can freely travel in the United States,
- The E1 can be renewed indefinitely in two-year increments,
- Your immediate family (spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age) can also qualify for an E1 visa. While in the United States, your children can go to school and your spouse can apply for an EAD, employment authorization document, giving them permission to work legally in the United States.