How to Get an E Visa in the US
An E Visa, commonly referred to as a business visa, can be obtained by 3 types of foreign nationals whose country has an appropriate treaty with the United States, specifically a treaty of commerce and navigation:
- Traders – people who engage in substantial international trade of goods, services or technology between the United States and the treaty country.
- Investors – a person who will direct and develop a new business in the US or expand an existing business to the US. The Investment must be real ( i.e. at risk of loss, irrevocably committed, and possessed and controlled by the investor).
- Employees – Executives, supervisors or other essential workers needed to sustain or expand an existing business in the US.
An E Visa is a non-immigrant business visa and will not make an individual eligible for a permanent residence alone. E visa’s will also grant dependent spouses and minor children E Status and these dependents qualify for application of employment authorization. Once granted, an E Visa is issued for 5 years, however E Status is only valid for 2 years and as long as the individual maintains appropriate treaty activities they are eligible for an extension of status.
There are 2 subsets of E Visa classification: The E-1 is for Traders, and the E-2 is for Investors. The documents required for preparation of E-1/2 Petition are as follows:
- Evidence of nationality of the E Enterprise
- Evidence of substantial trade OR investment
- Information on corporate relationship between two companies, if applicable
- Job description for United States assignment
- Basic information about the company
- Basic biographic information about the employee/investor and his or her family, if applicable
- Copies of biographic pages of passports of employee/investor and his or her family, if applicable
Department of State (DOS) directs consular officers to consider the spirit of the treaties which were entered into, to improve or assist or develop economic and commercial interaction between the United States and the treaty country. Although the E-1 and E-2 visa categories have many similarities, it is important to remember that they are not identical and the individual requirements of each must be observed. Also it should be noted that an individual country rather than become a party to trader and investor activities may only allow for either trade or investor activities. Another drawback to the trader or investor visas are that if the United States decides to embargo or utilize economic sanctions on your particular home country the treaty may be rendered inoperable. However once again, if E-2 activities become forbidden, it does not necessarily mean that E-1 activities will too become prohibited.