E-1 visa by international trade agreement for people who carry out transactions between their country of origin and the United States

If you have thought about living and working in the United States, you are surely familiar with the E-2 investor visa and the TN FTA visa. Both visas offer Mexican citizens and citizens of other countries a fast and efficient way to legally live and work in the United States. But there is another lesser-known and just as powerful visa that could be an even better option for you, your business, and your future in the United States: the E-1 International Trade Treaty Visa.

If you own a business incorporated in the United States that is actively doing business with your home country, your business may qualify for an E-1 visa. The E-1 international trade treaty visa is for anyone coming to the United States “exclusively to engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology . . . between the United States and the country with which it has a trade agreement”. The E-1 visa is similar to the E-2 investor visa in many ways, but it is better than the E-2 in some key ways that may make this visa a more affordable option.

The E-1 international trade treaty visa is an excellent option for many people because 1) it does not require you to prove long-term profits or hire local labor, 2) it does not require a substantial investment of funds to be eligible, and 3) can be renewed indefinitely. For service businesses that do not require a large initial capital investment and do not need to employ many American workers, the E-1 visa is a fantastic option.

Who is a candidate for an E-1 visa?

There is a treaty between your home country and the United States

If your country of origin has an active trade agreement with the United States, then you may be a candidate to apply for an E-1 international trade agreement visa. The United States maintains trade and commercial agreements with many countries around the world and nationals of those countries can apply for this visa.

The company and the applicant are from the same country

To apply for an E-1 visa, there must be a company incorporated in the United States of which at least 50% of the company is owned by nationals of a country that has a treaty with the United States. If your company meets this requirement because its owners are from a country with an E-1 treaty, you must show that the person applying for the visa has the same nationality as the owners of the North American company. If both the company and the applicant have the same nationality, the applicant is a candidate to apply for an E-1 visa.

If you are Mexican and you have a company in the United States in partnership with another Mexican person, then the company is 100% owned by individuals from a country with a trade agreement and any Mexican employee can be a candidate to apply for an E-1 visa to work in this company. business.

The North American company carries out commercial transactions with the country of origin

The purpose of the E-1 visa is to conduct international trade between the United States and your country of origin. To apply for the E-1 visa, the exchange of goods or services of your company must be between the United States and your country of origin and this must be verifiable or verifiable.

In order for international trade to be considered applicable for an E-1 visa, there must be an actual exchange of either goods, services, or money between the United States and your home country. The exchange must be constant and active, not speculative or future, and must comprise at least 50% of the total volume of the company’s transactions.

Developing the local market without international trade does not apply to an E-1 visa. You must be able to verify the route of exchange of goods or services between the United States and your country of origin. Similarly, if your business transacts business with multiple countries and you cannot prove that trade with your home country constitutes at least 50% of your transaction volume, you are not a candidate for an E-1 visa.

It is important to note that even if your company is not a candidate for an E-1 visa for the above reasons, you still have the opportunity to apply for the E-2 visa, which does not require proof of trade with your home country.

The applicant is the owner or an eligible employee

A majority partner of the North American company can apply for the E-1 visa by international trade agreement. But the North American company in turn can bring employees from the country of origin to work in the company in the United States, as long as the employee performs functions related to commercial exchange.

An employee is a candidate for the E-1 international trade visa if 1) he or she is going to hold an executive position with the company or 2) possesses essential skills for the company’s operations in the United States. A person can be a candidate for the E-1 visa under various assumptions or categories, so it is possible that they are a candidate as an owner, as an executive or as an essential employee. This is particularly true of startups or start-ups that are run by a small group of people.

When is the E-1 visa better than the E-2?

With some frequency, a company is a candidate for both the E-1 and E-2 visas. Here the question is to decide which option is better. The E-1 visa is generally a better option for businesses that meet the requirements for both visas, as the E-1 visa is easier to obtain and renew than the E-2 visa.

For an E-2 visa, you must be able to show that you have invested a substantial sum of money in your business in the United States, that you will hire American workers or will otherwise have a positive impact on the local economy, and that your business will be more profitable. beyond generating a salary for you. None of these requirements are part of the E-1 visa.

To apply for an E-1 visa you must not demonstrate any investment or possession of funds, you must not hire local labor in the United States, and you must not demonstrate a level of profitability of your company that is above what is required for keep the company in operation. If you have a company that is engaged in international trade of goods and services with your country of origin, the E-1 visa may be a better option for you since many of the requirements that can present a problem in the E-2 visa, they do not exist for the E-1 visa.

Next steps

If you have a company in the United States, or are thinking of creating one, and you are engaged in the commercial exchange of goods or services with your country of origin, then the E-1 trade agreement visa may be a great option to fulfill your dream of Live in united states. This highly flexible visa puts you in control and allows you to continue your career and future in the United States now, without the need for family or company sponsors.

There are many fantastic options for foreigners with a professional career to live and work in the United States, and we can help you evaluate your options and identify the best option for you, your family and your company. Call us at 512-675-1945 to schedule a call with me and start your process. Regardless of the options available to you and the path you choose, your future in the United States is in your hands, you are in control.

Contributing Advisors