E-1, or Treaty Trader visa is a type of non-immigrant visa available to nationals whose countries hold a trade treaty with the United States. Businesspersons who seek to engage in substantial trade or participate in an enterprise that engages in trade with the U.S. can choose to apply for an E-1 visa.
- The applicant must be a national of a treaty country with which the U.S. conducts trade, commerce, and navigation under a relevant treaty.
- The applicant’s trade must be substantial in operation.
- The applicant should carry on conducting trade primarily between the U.S. and the country via which s/he can be issued an E-1 visa.
- The company should not be marginal. This means the company is required to produce significantly more income than the one which would solely afford the applicant and his/her family’s living.
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to apply for E-1 visas as dependents. If approved, they will be entitled to the same period of lawful stay as the applicant.
Duration of your stay, as well as number of entries, vary by treaty country. But it generally ranges from 3 months to 5 years. If you apply change of status in the U.S, you only get 2 years of stay in the U.S. Please beware of difference between visa and status, visa is needed to be able to travel and multiple entries to the U.S while status only gives option to stay in the U.S.
Yes, you can. Fortunately, extensions are limitless.
As long as you are in the U.S. under a lawful nonimmigrant status, you can request a change of status to E-1 by filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
To learn if your country is a treaty country or not, please see Treaty Countries by the U.S. Department of State.
Fortunately, no. Your spouse and children might hold different nationalities than yours, and their national country may be a non-treaty country.
Yes! They can request a change of status to or extension of stay in an E-1 by filing form** I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. **
Spouses of E-1 workers can apply for work authorization. They need to simply file form I-795, Application for Employment Authorization. If granted, spouses can work any jobs as there are no specific restrictions and regulations concerning their employment.