New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

How To Get An E Visa In The US

Author: Business visa lawyer Alena Shautsova

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 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 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 is 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.

Differences between E and EB5

EB5 investments amounts are regulated, while an E investment amount has to be “substantial.”

If an E status received in the United States, a person may extend it indefinitely. It may be a good option for those who would like to convert their investments into EB5 green card, in case there is a backlog for the I 526 petitions. An E visa has to be received each time it expires, but if a person enters the US on an expiring E visa, he/she will be able to receive a full amount of authorized stay time in the US, up to 2 years, beyond the expiration of the visa sticker.

However, when seeking to convert E investments into EB5 investments, a person has to take into consideration the difference in rules applied to these two types of immigration benefits. An E visa is a non-immigrant visa, EB5: is an immigrant visa/status. For EB5 a person must demonstrate with precise clarity the source of the funds for the investment. For EB5 investments, the investment must be of an individual seeking to receive a status. For E visa/status, a corporate investment may be acceptable. There is no requirement of the creation of a certain number of employment places for the E visa/status, but there is one for EB5. An E visa holder may have a B1 household employee, but EB5 beneficiary may “help” only his/her spouse and children under 21, unmarried.

A dependent spouse’s nationality may be different from the principal E visa/status holder. So a spouse from a non-qualifying state may nevertheless be allowed as a dependent and may receive an open market employment authorization. The same goes for the E employees: they may hold a different nationality than the nationality of the E visa/status principal.

If you have questions regarding the USA business visa, reserve a consultation at 917-885-2261 or here.

14 January 2020
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