E-1 Treaty Traders & E-2 Treaty Investors

The United States maintains treaties with certain countries for commerce and navigation. An E-1 or E-2 are nonimmigrant classifications for a foreign national of a country with which the U.S. maintains such a treaty.

What is an E-1?

An E-1 is for treaty traders. They are foreign nationals who engage in substantial and continuous international trade between their treaty country and the U.S. International trade includes but is not limited to the transfer of goods, services, technology or tourism. An employee of an E-1 may also qualify if the employee is also of the same nationality as the principal, is a bonafide employee, and is working in an executive, supervisor or essential capacity to the operation of the business.

Which Countries Does the U.S. Maintain a Treaty With For E-1 Purposes?

  • Argentina
  • France
  • Norway
  • Australia
  • Germany
  • Oman
  • Austria
  • Greece
  • Pakistan
  • Belgium
  • Honduras
  • Paraguay
  • Bolivia
  • Iran
  • Philippines
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Ireland
  • Poland
  • Brunei
  • Israel
  • Singapore
  • Canada
  • Italy
  • Slovenia
  • Chile
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • China (Taiwan)
  • Jordan
  • Suriname
  • Colombia
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Costa Rica
  • Latvia
  • Switzerland
  • Croatia
  • Liberia
  • Thailand
  • Denmark
  • Luxembourg
  • Togo
  • Estonia
  • Macedonia
  • Turkey
  • Ethiopia
  • Mexico
  • United Kingdom
  • Finland
  • Netherlands
  • Yugoslavia

What is an E-2?

An E-2 is for treaty investors. E-2 treaty investors develop and direct the business in which they have already invested or are actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. Of course, the business must be a genuine for-profit enterprise with active operations in the U.S.

Investment Must be at Risk of Partial or Total Loss

The investment in the U.S. enterprise must be at risk of partial or total loss if the business fails. For any such investment, the investor must prove to the satisfaction of the U.S. government — whether it be the U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) in the case of a change of status, or the U.S. Department of State when applying for a visa at a consulate abroad — that the funds invested or to be invested have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activity.

Investment Must be Substantial

The law does not set a minimum amount of capital that is required to be invested by a treaty investor. However, whether an amount satisfies the “substantial” amount of capital requirement will depend on the type of business the investor is injecting capital into. For example, a treaty investor who wants to establish an accountant’s office would need a lot less capital to establish an office than a treaty investor who wants to invest in a Holiday Inn. Where a $50,000 investment into an accountancy firm might be considered a substantial amount of capital, a $50,000 investment into a Holiday Inn would not be a substantial amount of capital.

Must Not Be a Marginal Enterprise

Equally important, an investment by a treaty investor must not be into a marginal enterprise. A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the present or future capacity (within the next five years) to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family.

The U.S. Maintains a Treaty for E-2 Purposes with Certain Countries:

  • Albania
  • Ethiopia
  • Norway
  • Argentina
  • Finland
  • Oman
  • Armenia
  • France
  • Pakistan
  • Australia
  • Georgia
  • Panama
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Paraguay
  • Azerbaijan
  • Grenada
  • Philippines
  • Bahrain
  • Honduras
  • Poland
  • Bangladesh
  • Iran
  • Romania
  • Belgium
  • Ireland
  • Senegal
  • Bolivia
  • Italy
  • Singapore
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Jamaica
  • Solvak Republic
  • Bulgaria
  • Japan
  • Slovenia
  • Cameroon
  • Jordan
  • Spain
  • Canada
  • Kazakhstan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Chile
  • South Korea
  • Suriname
  • China (Taiwan)
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Sweden
  • Colombia
  • Latvia
  • Switzerland
  • Congo (Brazzaville)
  • Liberia
  • Thailand
  • Congo (Kinshasa)
  • Lithuania
  • Togo
  • Costa Rica
  • Luxembourg
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Croatia
  • Macedonia
  • Tunisia
  • Czech Republic
  • Mexico
  • Turkey
  • Denmark
  • Moldovia
  • Ukraine
  • Ecuador
  • Mongolia
  • United Kingdom
  • Ecuador
  • Morocco
  • Yugoslavia
  • Estonia
  • Netherlands
 

Must Maintain Nonimmigrant Intent

E nonimmigrants must continue to maintain the intent to depart the U.S. when their status expires. Therefore, neither E-1 nor E-2 is a dual intent status. A treaty trader or treaty investor may seek to change their status to an E nonimmigrant if they are in the U.S. in another valid status. They may also apply for a visa at their local U.S consulate abroad.

How Long Can You Obtain an E-1 or E-2 For?

E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrants may receive approvals in two-year increments. An E-1 or E-2 nonimmigrant applying for a visa at a U.S. Consulate may be granted a visa for up to five years. There is no limit on the number of extensions an E nonimmigrant may receive.

Speak with an Immigration Attorney

Sunil C. Patel Immigration Law has extensive experience in assisting clients with E-1 and E-2 petitions at both the USCIS and U.S. Consulates abroad. We are committed to honest, competent, cost-effective immigration advice and services in every case. Contact us for more information about how we can assist you.

For More Information

  • Please review the "How we work" page before submitting a message.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Testimonials

“He is strong willed but is quite caring a person which is really difficult to find”
– Anonymous, ★★★★★ Review

Read More From Our Clients