A national from a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) may apply to be admitted to the United States solely for the purpose of engaging in international trade, on his or her own behalf. If an E1 Treaty Traders Visa is granted, the national may be permitted a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for an extension of the stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each, with no maximum limit to the number of extensions that may be granted. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification upon meeting certain qualifications.
Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s Treaty Countries for an updated list of countries with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
If the treaty trader is currently lawfully residing in the United States, a Form I-129 must be filed by the treaty trader in order to request a change of status to E1 classification. If the application is for a desired employee that is lawfully residing in the U.S., a qualifying employer may file a Form I-129 on the employee’s behalf. A request for E1 classification may not be made on a Form I-129 if the person for who such Form is being filed is physically outside of the U.S. Such person must consult the U.S. Department of State for further information about applying for an E1 visa while such person is abroad.
The applicant must:
- Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
- Carry on substantial trade (i.e., continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time); and
- Carry on principal trade (i.e. over 50% of the total volume of international trade is between the U.S. and the trader’s treaty country) between the United States and the treaty country, which qualified the treaty trader for E1 classification.
Applying for an E1 visa is a great opportunity to carry on trade in the United States, but the application process can be complex and daunting. If you believe that you qualify for an E1 visa, then contact the attorneys at AKTAS | HINDEN today.