International commerce plays an important role in U.S. immigration law. Those seeking to conduct business in the United States may have several visa options available to them. The eligibility requirements are specific to each type of visa.
E-1: Treaty Traders
Nationals of certain treaty countries may qualify for an E-1 “treaty trader” visa if they conduct substantial trade in goods, services, financial services or technology. Employees also qualify if they serve in an executive or supervisory capacity. The business must conduct more than half of its total international trade with the United States.
Investors from certain countries may qualify for an E-2 visa if they have invested — or are currently investing — a substantial amount in a U.S. enterprise. While there is no minimum dollar amount, the investment cannot be marginal. Startup companies, for example, must be funded with sufficient capital to get the business up and running. The business must be a genuine enterprise, and the visa-holder must have a significant role in developing and directing the enterprise.
Both types of E visas initially grant a period of stay for two years. After that, extensions may be available. Both also allow spouses and children to accompany the primary visa-holder.
The Visa Process
E visas are handled by U.S. consulates abroad. They involve multiple steps, from filing the appropriate paperwork and supporting documentation to completing an in-person interview at the embassy. The process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Maximize Your Immigration Opportunities
At the Law Offices of George Giosmas, we can help you make the most of your opportunities for temporary, business-related nonimmigrant visas. Our firm also handles immigrant investor visas (EB-5) for those who qualify. Immigration lawyer George Giosmas will apply more than 30 years of experience to analyze your options. He will advise you of the strategic considerations involved in pursuing E visas or other work-related visas such as the TN, L-1 and B-1 visas. You can rely on his guidance in making informed decisions.