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E-1/E-2 visas

The E-1 / E-2 visas are non-immigrant employment visas issued to applicants who are nationals of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and who are sponsored by a company that is majority-owned by individuals who are from the same country as the applicant.  The E-1 visa is based on the existence of substantial trade by the sponsoring company with the home country of the applicant.  The E-2 visa is based on an investment in the sponsoring company.
 
E-1 VISA
Countries with Treaties for E-1 Visas:
 
Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Serbia Montenegra, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, Wallis & Futura Islands, Western Sahara.
 
An E-1 visa is granted to an individual seeking entry into the US under the following conditions:
  1. the company conducts substantial trade: goods may be tangible commodities or merchandise with intrinsic value; services are economic activities other than tangible goods (e.g., banking, insurance, design and engineering, transportation, communications and data processing, advertising, accounting, management consulting, tourism, technology transfer).
  2. the trade must be principally between the U.S. and the applicant's country (i.e., more than 50%).
  3. the applicant must be a national of a country that belongs to the treaty.
  4. the trade is already in existence.
  5. the applicant must be in an executive or managerial position or have special skills relating to the company’s business.
  6. the applicant confirms that he/she intends to depart the US when the E-1 status ends.
     
E-2 VISA
Countries with Treaties for E-2 Visas:
 
Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Rep. of the), Congo (Rep.), (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldavia, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Fed., Senegal, Serbia Montenegra, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia, Wallis & Futura Islands, Western Sahara.
 
An E-2 visa is granted to an alien seeking entry into the U.S. under the following conditions:
  1. he/she wishes to develop and direct operations of an enterprise in which a substantial amount of capital has been invested.
  2. the investment amount must be substantial.
  3. the invested funds must be 'at risk' (i.e., the funds must be unencumbered) and must be used to purchase fixed assets.
  4. the applicant must be a national of a country that belongs to the treaty.
  5. the investment must be in a real and operating commercial enterprise that is already in existence or that is in the process of being established.
  6. the investment is not marginal, i.e. the investor must have an outside source of income, other than the money he/she has invested in the company, to enable him/her to sustain him/herself during the first few years of the investment.
  7. the applicant must be able to operate and manage the business or have special skills relating to the company’s business.
  8. the applicant confirms that he/she intends to depart the United States when the E-2 status ends.

General Information
Individuals holding an 'E' visa may reside in the United States as long as they continue to maintain their E visa status with the enterprise. E visas may be renewed indefinitely as long as the trade or investment is in effect.
 
Individuals with an 'E' visa may bring their immediate families to reside with them in the US and their children may attend school or university without having to obtain a separate visa.
 
Work Authorization for Spouses
Spouses of E visa holders are permitted to work while they are in the United States.  Spouses are allowed to accompany principal E visa holders for the full duration of their assignments in the US and are permitted to apply for work authorization.