The E1 and E2 Treaty visas afford certain non-U.S. citizens temporary status to conduct and oversee business transactions in the U.S. See the list below to establish if your nationality is part of the signed Treaty Agreement.

Countries that qualify for the Treaty visa

Argentina China France Italy Netherlands Sweden
Australia Colombia Germany Japan Norway Switzerland
Austria Costa Rica Greece Korea Oman Thailand
Belgium Denmark Honduras Latvia Pakistan Togo
Bolivia Estonia Iran Liberia Philippines Turkey
Brunei Ethiopia Ireland Luxembourg Spain United Kingdom
Canada Finland Israel Mexico Suriname Yugoslavia

Please note that spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to apply for derivative visas (E1) in order to join their spouses/parents in the U.S. If the E-2 visa application will be successful, the investor´s spouse and children will automatically be awarded an E2 visa as dependents.The spouse may apply for work authorization.  

The E1 Treaty Trader Visa

This visa is temporary and available to applicants who engage in export and import with the United States. It allows the individual to work and live in America for up to two years, with the possibility of extension.

The applicant should have minimal 50% ownership of a business from a Treaty country. The type of international trade that is relevant to this visa includes the sale of goods, finance, and transportation services. The trader may apply for this visa if the trade is sufficient enough to justify his presence in the U.S. to oversee this business.

Also, 50% of the exports / imports must be channeled through the U.S. The higher the volume of trade, the more it is probable that a visa will be granted to the applicant. A sales representative from the country in question should conduct and maintain the trade between their country and the U.S. Changes in trade conditions must be approved by the USCIS office.

E-2 Investor Treaty Visa

This is a temporary visa for individuals that are coming to the U.S. to oversee and manage an active business in which they have invested a significant amount of money. E-2 visa is conditional on whether the candidate has invested substantially in a business in the U.S., prior to their application of the E2 visa. The business in question must be fully functional and active; investing in stocks or bonds does not require the investor’s presence. Such investments are considered speculative. The visa specifies that candidates must be involved in a fully functional entrepreneurial or commercial enterprise.

It is required that you possess at least 10% in your business enterprise and exercise a significant control over the business. This business should have a significant amount of trade with the U.S. The candidate must prove that he or she is capable of generating more income than minimal living costs and expenses in the U.S.  The applicant must show financial authorization and control in his business dealings and should therefore be an active component in the business venture. Loans secured with the properties of your investment enterprise will not be allowed.  It is suggested that your capital investment should exceed a minimum of $50,000. Therefore, the investment should not be marginal but substantial and of interest to the American economy.

What are the differences between the E-1 Treaty Trade Visa and the E-2 Treaty Investor visa?

E-1 Trader Nonimmigrant visa

E-2 Investor Nonimmigrant visa

The individual may enter and work based on trade with America.

The individual may enter and work based on investment in America.

Position of employee.

Position of investor, or controller.

Advantageous to those who seek to establish or expand a business.

Advantageous to those who seek to establish their business.

International trade is required, that is, an exchange of goods or services between the US and the relevant treaty country.

There are no such stipulations.

There are no monetary requirements in place that specifies an individual´s right to this visa.

The individual should have invested a substantial capital

of the sum $100,000 or more.

How do I apply for an E-1 or an E-2 Visa?

It is estimated that it takes 3 to 5 months to process the application for the E2 Investment Visa in the U.S. Additionally, it can take up to 2 weeks if you are applying from in your home country at the U.S. Embassy. However, you can use premium processing to receive a decision from the USCIS within 3 weeks. Be aware during this process that any willful misrepresentation or fraudulent behavior may result in the permanent refusal of your visa.

  1. Check out the website of the United States Embassy or Consulate in the country where you  apply for your E-visa.
  2. Complete the online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160, upload a photo and print the application form.
  3. Schedule an appointment for your visa interview, at the U.S. Embassy.
  4. Collect the required documents including:
  • Passport
  • Nonimmigrant visa application
  • The DS-160 form
  • The application fee payment receipt
  • Photo
  • Nonimmigrant Treaty Investor/ Treaty Trader Application
  • The DS-156E form

Please ensure that you have all other relevant documents like academic certificates, marriage and birth certificates etc. Prepare  the documents that identify your company’s nationality of a Treaty country, your nationality of a Treaty country and financial documents that prove or identify the requirements of your company’s trade/business.

Learn more about E-2 Investor Visa here.
Learn more about dependents E-2 Visa for your family members.