The E-1 visa is a special type of visa that allows businesspeople from certain treaty countries to work in the United States. This visa also permits these individuals to engage in substantial trade between businesses and firms located within the US and their home country.
The following article provides an overview of the eligibility requirements, application process, and benefits of the E-1 visa. If you are interested in obtaining this type of visa, read on to learn more about it in detail.
The E-1 visa is necessary for any individual, company, or employee who wants to enter the US for the purpose of conducting international trade. The definition of “trade” is unclear and can be interpreted in different ways. For instance, a trade might refer to services, goods, or even banking. There is no specific amount of trade that needs to happen in order for the visa to take effect, but officials do focus on the number of transactions made. In other words, making more transactions will result in a better-value visa.
In addition to the primary beneficiary, an E-1 visa also covers the immediate family members, such as a spouse or unmarried children who are under 21 years old.
If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible for a visa, you might want to consult with an E1 visa lawyer who will go over all the legalities with you and will help you in the process of obtaining one.
To be eligible for an E-1 visa, you must either own or operate a substantial business as a principal investor and have invested, or be in the process of investing, a large enough amount of funds into your business to ensure its success. Your trade must also exist mainly between the United States and the country where you are from or will be traveling from.
To prove that your business is eligible for an E-1 visa, you will need to show sufficient evidence of your investment in the company and provide documentation proving the claim of trade between yourself or your organization and countries opposing the US. It is also important to demonstrate that the business will bring a positive economic effect to the US by creating jobs and increasing commerce.
With an E-1 visa, you can stay in the United States for up to 2 years. If you meet the conditions, your length of stay may be even longer—provided you apply for an extension. There’s no limit on the number of extensions that can be applied.
You can leave the US whenever you please and be granted an automatic one-year extension upon readmission. Unfortunately, this is not a guarantee for your family members, so it’s crucial that you adhere to the E-1 visa procedure.
The process for applying for an E-1 visa includes several steps. Many find it helpful to consult with an immigration lawyer to guide them through this process. You can either apply from the US through USCIS or outside the US, through a US consulate. You’ll need to provide the following documentation if you want to apply for this visa:
- Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Attorney or Appearance as Accredited Representative, is a document to be filled out by your chosen attorney or representative, which establishes their ability to act on your behalf in legal matters;
- The documentation that you meet the criteria to apply for an E-1 visa;
- Information about your business;
- US Company Support Statement, which originates from your employer in the United States and outlines why your professional skills are critical for the company’s operations;
- Proof that you’ll leave the US once your E-1 visa expires.
You’ll need to fill out all the documentation and send it via email. Once your application is reviewed, you’ll be granted an interview to get your visa. Keep in mind the processing time might take up to 6 months.
There is a general application fee of $205 for the E-1 visa, but you may also be required to pay additional fees such as reciprocity or insurance fees. This will depend on your home country. Ideally, you should use USCIS’s fee calculator for the total sum.
An E-1 visa is a great way to spend time in the US while conducting trade. You’re not restricted travel-wise with this, unlike other visas, meaning that you can go home or on vacation any time you want. The E-1 visa is quite flexible and provides many opportunities. Refer to this post if you need help applying for this type of visa.