U.S. Business Immigration & Legal Services

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa Overview

US Visa DocumentsThe E-1 visa is an option for foreign nationals of treaty countries who conduct substantial trade with the U.S. In this context, trade is defined broadly and encompasses a wide range of goods and services. Foreign nationals typically apply at a U.S. Consulate / Embassy in their home country, unless they are physically present in the U.S. when the application is submitted. Depending on the specific consulate where the application is submitted, the entire process can take in the range of 2 to 3 months.

Definition of Trade

Trade for E-1 purposes consists of three ingredients, each of which must be present in all E-1 cases. The three requirements are:

  1. Trade must constitute an exchange;
  2. Trade must be international in scope; and
  3. Trade must involve qualifying activities.

How much Trade is required to be “Substantial”

The word “substantial” is intended to describe the flow of the goods or services that are being exchanged between the treaty countries. The trade must be a continuous flow that should involve numerous transactions over time. However, the smaller businessman should not be excluded if demonstrating a pattern of transactions of value. Thus, proof of numerous transactions, although each may be relatively small in value, might establish the requisite continuing course of international trade. Income derived from the international trade that is sufficient to support the treaty trader and family should be considered favorably.

Treaty Countries

The following list outlines the countries that are currently considered “treaty countries”. As such, citizens of the following countries may be eligible for E-1 Treaty Trader Visas.