For a  list of  Treaty Countries

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E= employment

E1 and E2 Treaty Visas Overview.  Non immigrant Visas.  

  1. Treaty with United States and applicant’s country of citizenship.

  2. E-1 substantial trade; E-2 substantial investment.

  3. Company owned 50%+ by citizens of treaty country.

  4. Employee must be an executive, manager, or have essential knowledge.

  5. Often a five-year visa; admission for two years at a time.  However, they can be extended (2015) unlimited times.

  6. Must prove investment or trade is substantial, and company is not “marginal” solely to earn a living

         E1 - Engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities,
                principally between the United States and the treaty country:

  1. Work legally in the U.S. for a U.S. company where more than 50 per cent of the business is trade between the U.S. and your home country

  2. Travel freely in and out of the U.S.

  3. Stay in the U.S. on a prolonged basis with unlimited two year extensions as long as you maintain E-1 qualifications

  4. Bring your dependents to the U.S. Your spouse can also work in the U.S.

E2 You invest a substantial investment into a US busines, minimum of $500,000, but it is
     usually $1,000,000.

1.  E2 investment is the treaty investor’s placing of a substantial amount of capital, including funds and/or other
     assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit.  The capital must be subject to
     partial or total loss if the investment fails. 

2.  The treaty investor must show that the funds have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activity.


   The definition of 'substantial amount of capital' is:

  1. Substantial in relationship to the total cost of purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one.  

  2. Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.

  3. Produces services or goods for profit.  It must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction. 

  4. A bone fide enterprise refers to a real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking

  5. The investment must be of sufficient magnitude to support the likelihood that it will be a success.

  6. Like the E1 visa, there is no set minimum level of investment which may qualify for E2 status, but the lower the investment the less likely one is to qualify. Again, the level of investment must be sufficient to justify the treaty national (or his/her employees) presence in the United States. The investment must be in an operating business. Simply buying property or stocks and bonds does not qualify.  

  7. American consuls worldwide have been requiring that a significant portion of the invested funds be put to work before the E-2 visa is issued. More often, consuls do not view funds in a bank account as being “at risk.”    With an investment of capital in the amount of $1,000,000 or more, will be presumed 

  8. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.

What we do to here at Realty Executives Glendale to meet the standards of the USCIS and secure your investment?

  1. Acquire a business and commercial real estate with your investment and secure you with an ownership position in both.


The principal difference between the E1 and E2: 

  1. E1 employment and business.EEs bringing in goods and trading 

  2. E2 is where the investor invests a substantial amount of money.  

With both the E1 and E2 you can:

  1. Work legally in the U.S. for a U.S. company.

  2. Travel freely in and out of the U.S.

  3. Stay in the U.S. on a prolonged basis with unlimited two year extensions as long as you maintain E-1 qualifications.

  4. Bring your dependents to the U.S. Your spouse can also work in the U.S.

General Qualifications of a Treaty Investor.    To qualify for E-1 classification, the treaty investor must:

  1. Be a citizen of a treaty country.

  2. The trading firm for which you plan to come to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country, meaning persons with the treaty country’s nationality must own at least 50 percent of the enterprise.

  3. The international trade must be substantial, meaning that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.

  4. More than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the United States and the treaty country.

  5. Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.

  6. You must be an essential employee, employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.


To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:

  1. Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation

  2. Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States

  3. Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise.  This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.


Who May File for Change of Status to E-1 or E-2 Classification

  1. If the treaty investor is currently in the United States in a lawful non-immigrant status, he or she may file Form I-129 to request a change of status to E-1 or E-2 classification. 

  2. If the desired employee is currently in the United States in a lawful non-immigrant status, the qualifying employer may file Form I-129 on the employee’s behalf.


How to Obtain E-1 or E-2 Classification if Outside the United States

  1. A request for E-1 or E-2 classification may not be made on Form I-129 if the person being filed for is physically outside the United States. 

  2. Interested parties should refer to the U.S. Department of State website for further information about applying for an

  3. E-1 or E-2 non-immigrant visa abroad. 

  4. Upon issuance of a visa, the person may then apply to a DHS immigration officer at a U.S. port of entry for admission as an
    E-1 or E-2 non-immigrant.   


Marginal Enterprises

  1. The investment enterprise may not be marginal.  A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. 

  2. Depending on the facts, a new enterprise might not be considered marginal even if it lacks the current capacity to generate such income.  In such cases, however, the enterprise should have the capacity to generate such income within five years from the date that the treaty investor’s E-1 or E-2 classification begins.  

  3. For the E1 there must be substantial trade.  How much trade is considered “substantial trade”?

    Substantial trade is an amount of trade sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of international trade items between the United States and the treaty country.
  4. Essentially, trade is considered substantial when there are numerous transactions over a period of time and the income derived is sufficient enough to support the treaty trader. Note: A one-time transaction, no matter how great the value, does not constitute substantial trade.
  5. What items are considered “items of trade”? Items of trade include but are not limited to goods, services, international banking, insurance, monies, transportation, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, management consulting, tourism, technology and its transfer, and some news gathering activities.
  6. What does “principal trade” mean? Principal trade between the United States and the treaty country exists when over 50 percent of the volume of international trade of the treaty trader is conducted between the United States and the treaty country of the treaty trader's nationality.


Employees of Treaty Investors

General Qualifications of the Employee of a Treaty Investor

  1. To qualify for E-1 or E-2 classification, the employee of a treaty investor must:

  2. Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country)

  3. Meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law

  4. Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.


Once the principal applicant has obtained registration as a Treaty Investor or Trader, it is a relatively straightforward task to obtain E visas for qualifying employees. Obtaining the registration usually takes 4 to 6 weeks, and obtaining subsequent employee visas usually takes 10 to 15 working days.

Executives and Managers should be going to develop and direct the trade or investment of the principal investor/trader in the USA. Such personnel should be able to demonstrate their executive or managerial pedigree, though there is no requirement that they have worked for the principal trader or investor for at least one year, as there is with the L1 visa. Generally a resume and supporting letter from the principal is all the evidence required.


Period of Stay for Treaty Investors

  1. Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years.  Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. 

  2. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-1 or E-2 non-immigrant may be granted.  All E-1 and E-2 non-immigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.

  3. An E-1 or E-2 non immigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States, even if the visa has a validity period of one week remaining. 

  4. It is generally not necessary to file a new Form I-129 with USCIS in this situation. On every trip abroad, a treaty alien is readmitted for a new period of two years. Thus, if you travel abroad at least once every 1 1/2 years, you need never obtain extensions of their U.S. stay through an application to USCIS


Terms and Conditions of E-2 Status

  1. A treaty investor or employee may only work in the activity for which he or she was approved at the time the classification was granted. 

  2. An E1 or E-2 employee, however, may also work for the treaty organization’s parent company or one of its subsidiaries as long as the:

a. Relationship between the organizations is established

b. Subsidiary employment requires executive, supervisory, or essential skills

c. Terms and conditions of employment have not otherwise changed.

Family of E1 and E-2 Treaty Investors and Employees

  1. Treaty investors and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. 

  2. Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty investor or employee. 

  3. These family members may seek E-2 nonimmigrant classification as dependents and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee. 

  4. If the family members are already in the United States and are seeking change of status to or extension of stay in an E-2 dependent classification, they may apply by filing a single Form I-539 with fee. 

  5. Spouses of E-2 workers may apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765 with fee.  If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the E-2 spouse may work.

  1. The E1 and E-2 treaty investor or employee may travel abroad and will generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States. 

  2. Unless the family members are accompanying the E-2 treaty investor or employee at the time the latter seeks readmission to the United States, the new readmission period will not apply to the family members. 

  3. To remain lawfully in the United States, family members must carefully note the period of stay they have been granted in E-2 status, and apply for an extension of stay before their own validity expires. 


Changes  in terms or conditions of Treaty Investors

  1. USCIS must approve any substantive change in the terms or conditions of E-1 or E-2 status.  A “substantive change” is defined as a fundamental change in the employer’s basic characteristics, such as, but not limited to, a merger, acquisition, or major event which affects the treaty investor or employee’s previously approved relationship with the organization. 

  2. The treaty investor or enterprise must notify USCIS by filing a new Form I-129 with fee, and may simultaneously request an extension of stay for the treaty investor or affected employee.  The Form I-129 must include evidence to show that the treaty investor or affected employee continues to qualify for E-1 and E-2 classification. 

  3. It is not required to file a new Form I-129 to notify USCIS about non-substantive changes.  A treaty investor or organization may seek advice from USCIS, however, to determine whether a change is considered substantive.  To request advice, the treaty investor or organization must file Form I-129 with fee and a complete description of the change.

  4. A strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage at the intended place of employment may affect a Canadian or Mexican treaty investor or employee’s ability to obtain E-1 or E-2 status. 

Important Note
USCIS changes things from time to time.  We will be happy to provide you with the latest when you contact us.

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