TREATY TRADER / INVESTOR (E-1, E-2) Visas
"Substantial Trade" or "Develop and Direct"

214(e)(1) the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 ("Act"), Pub. L. No. 104-649, __ Stat. __,
8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(E)
8 C.F.R. 214.2(e) (1998)

Copyright 1999 VIKRAM BADRINATH, P.C. All rights reserved.


E-1 TREATY TRADER VISAS


Introduction

The general definition of an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa holder is a foreign national who is entering the United States for an indefinite period of time, based upon a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty or other arrangement (e.g., NAFTA, between U.S.-Canada-Mexico) between the United States and the country of which he is a national. An E-1 Treaty Trader Visa is designed for a foreign national is enters solely to carry on substantial trade which is international in scope principally between the U.S. and the foreign state of which he is a national. An E-1 Visa may also be extended to a key employee from a treaty country, including executives and supervisors or persons who make their services "essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise" or if the principal employer of the key employee is: (1) a person with nationality of the treaty country in or outside the U.S.; (2) the enterprise or organization that is 50% or more owned by a treaty national.

Dependents such as spouse and minor children who accompany the E-1 holder are eligible to follow and join the principal E. Moreover, these dependents are authorized for employment in the United States, but cannot adjust status; children may also attend school without a change of status.

In order to be eligible for E-1 status, a foreign national must provide proof that:


Duration

Generally, an E-1 visa holder must not demonstrate that they are proceeding to the United States for a specific period of time, as long as there is an expressed intention to ultimately depart the United States and not permanently remain. See 8 C.F.R. 214.2(e)(1)(ii), (2)(iii), (5). Note: E-1 Visas vary in their total duration, dependant upon the visa reciprocity of the treaty nation. Maximum time is usually five (5) years.

Application Procedure

The petitioner must usually file a petition with the U.S. INS on Form I-129E, if the alien is seeking a change of status while inside the United States. If an alien wishes to file outside the United States, Form OF-156E, is required with supporting evidence of the investment. The burden of proof on all E-1 visa applications, rests with the applicant.

An alien will normally be admitted for a period of two (2) yeras, if the alien does not depart the Untied States during that time, he must file I-129 before the expiration of the time period.


E-2 TREATY INVESTOR VISAS


 

Introduction

The general definition of an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa holder is a foreign national who is entering the United States for an indefinite period of time, based upon a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation or Bilateral Investment Treaty or other arrangement (e.g., NAFTA, between U.S.-Canada-Mexico) between the United States and the country of which he is a national. An E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is designed for a foreign national is enters solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the aline has invested, or is actively in the process of investing a substnatial amount of capital.

Dependents such as spouse and minor children who accompany the E-2 holder are eligible to follow and join the principal E. Moreover, these dependents are authorized for employment in the United States, but cannot adjust status; children may also attend school without a change of status.

In order to be eligible for E-2 status, a foreign national must provide proof that:


Duration

Generally, an E-2 visa holder must not demonstrate that they are proceeding to the United States for a specific period of time, as long as there is an expressed intention to ultimately depart the United States and not permanently remain. See 8 C.F.R. 214.2(e)(1)(ii), (2)(iii), (5). Note: E-2 Visas vary in their total duration, dependant upon the visa reciprocity of the treaty nation. Maximum time is usually five (5) years.

Application Procedure

The petitioner must usually file a petition with the U.S. INS on Form I-129E, if the alien is seeking a change of status while inside the United States. If an alien wishes to file outside the United States, Form OF-156E, is required with supporting evidence of the investment. The burden of proof on all E-1 visa applications, rests with the applicant.

An alien will normally be admitted for a period of two (2) years, if the alien does not depart the Untied States during that time, he must file I-129 before the expiration of the time period.

 

For more information about E-1 (Treaty Trade) or E-2 (Treaty Investor) Visas, please contact us by email, telephone, or fax or schedule an appointment to have your individual case discussed and analyzed by an attorney.