E-1 Treaty Trader & E-2 Treaty Investor Visas

The E-1 Treaty Trader and the E-2 Treaty Investor Visas are intended for nationals of other countries with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation. The national must come to the United States with the intent of carrying out a substantial trade, or the national must develop and direct a business project in which the national has invested.

E-1 Treaty Trader Requirements

  • the foreign national must maintain a permanent residence in a treaty country
  • the  trading firm or corporation must be in the treaty country
  • The applicant must show that there is to be a substantial trade
  • The applicant must show that at least 50% of the trade is between the United States and the treaty country
  • The applicant must either be a supervisor or executive of the trading firm or corporation or must possess specialized skills essential to the trading firm

E-1 Investor Visa Application Process

  • E-1 visa applicants should apply at their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate
  • Those ages 14-79 usually require an interview
  • Apply early because waiting times vary greatly
  • A digital finger print scan will be taken
  • The visa application might require additional administrative processing time, therefore you should apply well in advance of your intended date of departure

Required forms:

  • File the Form DS-160 on the USCIS website
  • Complete Form DS-156E, Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application
  • Passport that must be valid for an additional 6 months after your intended departure date from the United States back to your  country of origin
  • A 2x2 color photograph

Please Note:  the U.S. Embassy or Consulate may require additional information in order to determine whether you are eligible for the E-1 Treaty Trader visa. Because of this, you should plan in advance and always expect delays.

E-1 Non Immigrant Visa Application processing fee: $390.00

E-1 Visa Issuance Fee: varies by individual and country of permanent residence

E-1 Investor Visa FAQ

Can I bring my wife and children with me while under E-1 Status?

You can bring your spouse and dependent children under 21. The spouse of an E-1 visa holder may obtain employment authorization through the Department of Homeland Security. The dependent children, however, may NOT obtain employment authorization while in the United States.

How Long Can I Stay in the United States Under an E-1 Visa?

You can bring your spouse and dependent children under 21. The spouse of an E-1 visa holder may obtain employment authorization through the Department of Homeland Security. The dependent children, however, may NOT obtain employment authorization while in the United States.

How do I apply for an E-1 Visa Extension?

In order to apply for an E-1 Visa extension you must:

  • Complete form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant worker
  •  You must also complete and submit the E supplement along with Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change Status
  • Include a letter from your employer stating the reason for the extension
  • Include a copy of Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) document
  • Provide a copy of Form I-797 (Notice of Action)
  • Provide a complete copy of your passport
  • Provide a copy of your personal and business tax returns for the previous two years while in the United States. You must include payroll taxes

Can I Change My Status While on E-1 Status?

Yes, you can change your status while in the United States by filing Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker).

Can I Study at a College or University While on an E-1 Visa?

You can study while on an E-1 visa, however, you may not enroll in a full length program at a college or university. You may take a few classes, however, enrolling in a full length program is not allowed, since it conflicts with the purpose of the E-1 visa.

Can my husband or wide and children work while I have an E-1 Visa?

Your husband or wife may work while you are under an E-1 visa, however, your children may not work while in the United States. In order for your husband or wife to obtain employment, they must file Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization).

Can my children study while I am on E-1 Status?

Yes, your children may study at schools, colleges, or universities while you are under E-1 Status. You do not need to apply for student visas (F-1 visa).

Written by:Mark Carmel