E Visa

Q: What is an E-1 visa and what are the features and benefits?

A: To promote trade and investment, the United States has forged treaties of navigation and commerce with other countries. Individuals or businesses from other countries with the help of treaties are granted work visas to work within the United States to improve investments and trade. Such visas are called E visas.

An E-1 visa is generally issued to treaty traders. Non-immigrants of the United States can be allowed to enter its territory if he maintains international trade. The volume of trade should be enough to justify the worth of the trader to trade successfully in United States. There are no mandatory limits on the quantity of trade.

The E-1 visa benefits applicants with a number of unique features. The E-1 visa enables applicants to live and stay temporarily in the United States. Initially, the E-1 visa is valid for two years, after which extension can be granted based on the nature of the request. Any substantial change that affects the trade must meet E-1 visa requirements and be brought to the notice of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Dependents of E-1 visa holders are allowed to accompany the E-1 visa holder to the United States. Children who are under 21 years old can study in any reputed institute of the United States, irrespective of a student visa. The spouse of E-1 visa holder is eligible for employment in any enterprise of the United States. However, spouses require necessary authorization for employment.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: What are the qualification criteria for an E-1 visa?

A: A visa issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services should meet certain requirements depending on the nature of the visa applied for. To qualify as an E-1 visa or treaty trader, you must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains treaty relations of navigation and commerce. The treaty trader must have substantial trade running with the country. The treaty trader must have a principal trade with the United States and the qualified country that is listed in the navigation and business treaty of the United States.

Trade refers to the exchange of items between the treaty country and the United States. Items like goods, services, banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, technology, and news information can be considered as trade commodity.

Substantial trade refers to the continuous interchange of trade commodity. Whereas, principal trade refers to when there is more than fifty percent of trading between the treaty country and the United States.

To qualify as an employee of a treaty trader, the individual must belong to the same nationality as the treaty trader. The employee of the treaty trader must be an ‘employee’ according to Employee Law. The employee of a treaty trader must be an executive or supervisor or have sufficient special qualification. The work requirements should enable the employee to have complete control of the organization.

Special qualifications are skills required for efficient business operation.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: What is the application process for an E-1 visa?

A: To apply for an E-1 visa, applicants must complete an online appraisal form (Form DS - 160). Form must be completed with correct information and its confirmation page must be submitted. The application for an E-1 visa can be filed from a U.S. consular office if the applicant resides outside the United States during the time of application.

If the company, position, or candidate is eligible for registration as an E-1 visa treaty trader, then a document with formal instruction and details is mailed. When the complete documents are mailed they are submitted at the appropriate U.S. consulate treaty visa section. The registration processing takes around four to six weeks.

After registration as a treaty trader, visas can be obtained for the principal applicant, employees, and dependents within ten to fifteen working days. For dependents of the primary applicant, necessary documents must be carried. The E visa holder’s spouse must carry original marriage certificate along photocopies of it. Children of the primary applicant should carry the original birth certificate along photocopies of it. If the spouse is applying for a visa without accompanying E-1 visa holder, then the complete photocopy of E-1 visa holder’s passport is required.

After the visa is issued, the visa holder can apply to a DHS immigration officer at a U.S. port to enter the United States as an E-1 visa immigrant. Those nonimmigrants who are already in the United States on another kind of visa can apply for E-1 visa with Form I-129.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: How can I extend my stay with an E-1 visa?

A: According to Department of State, nonimmigrants whose visas have expired must leave the U.S. territory immediately. However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can issue an extension after receiving a petition from an E visa holder.

If the level of international trade in the United States remains significant, then a treaty trader can stay in the United States for an indefinite period of time. Although, the stay must be justified by the volume of international trade which is reviewed by immigration authorities.

Treaty-qualified treaty traders and their employees are allowed to remain in United States for two years initially. USCIS grants extensions of an E-1 visa in increment of two years. However, there are no limits on the number of extensions a nonimmigrant can obtain.

An E-1 visa holder can be granted an automatic readmission valid for two years when the nonimmigrant returns to the United States. Therefore, Form I-129 may not be required to be filed before the USCIS.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: Which employees qualify for an E visa?

A: Employees who qualify for visas differ based on the nature of the work and expertise of the employee. Treaty traders or investors, when registered, can obtain visas for their employees. Registration requires around four weeks to six weeks and another fifteen days are required for employee visas. Not all employees can qualify for an employee visa under the E visa classification. For example, contract employees do not qualify for an E visa.

Executives and managers who can develop and direct trade or investments in the United States are applicable. Personnel are not required to mandatorily work under an investor, as is required on an L-1 visa. However, they must be able to demonstrate their skills whenever they are asked. A resume and supporting documents from the principal applicant is required as evidence.

Visas for specialists and skilled workers are difficult to obtain. It is required to prove that a U.S. resident worker cannot fill the position. Employment is necessary for the investor business in the United States. An U.S. worker will be trained to replace the treaty national.

Renewal of an E visa for executives and managers are also difficult to obtain. However, special considerations can be made by the immigration authorities at USCIS.

E visa employees may also work for the treaty organization’s parent company or one of its subsidiaries as long as:

  • The relationship between the organizations is established by proper evidence
  • The subsidiary employment requires executive, supervisory, or essential skills
  • The terms and conditions of employment have not otherwise changed since the original E visa application was filed

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: What is an E-2 visa and what are the features and benefits?

A: To promote trade and investment, the United States has forged treaties of navigation and commerce with other countries. Individuals or businesses from other countries with the help of treaties are granted work visas to work within the United States to improve investments and trade. Such visas are called E visas.

E-2 visas are generally issued to treaty investors. Non-immigrants of the United States can be allowed to enter its territory if only he maintains significant investments with U.S. The volume of investment should be enough to justify the worth of investor to invest successfully in the United States. There are no mandatory limits on the amount of investment required.

An E-2 visa benefits applicants with a number of unique features. An E-2 visa enables applicants to live and stay temporarily in the United States. Initially, the E-2 visa is valid for two years, after which an extension can be granted based on the nature of the request. Any substantial change that affects the investments must meet E-2 visa requirements and be brought to the notice of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Dependents of E-2 visa holders are allowed to accompany the E-2 visa holder to the United States. Children who are under 21 years can study in any reputed institute of the United States, irrespective of student visa. The spouse of an E-2 visa holder is eligible for employment in any enterprise of the United States. However, spouses require necessary authorization for employment.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: What are the qualification criteria for an E-2 visa?

A: Visas issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services should meet certain requirements depending on the nature of the visa applied for. To qualify for an E-2 visa, the treaty investor must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains treaty relations of navigation and commerce. The treaty investor must be an active investor in an affiliated organization of the United States. The treaty investor must enter United States only to direct investment to enterprises of the United States.

Investment refers to the placing of a significant capital or funds to gain profits from them. It must be noted that if an investment fails then there is a risk of losing the entire capital or fund that is tied with the investment.

To qualify as an employee of a treaty investor, the individual must belong to the same nationality as the treaty investor. The employee of the treaty investor must be an ‘employee’ according to Employee Law. The employee of a treaty investor must be an executive or supervisor or have sufficient special qualification. The work requirements should enable the employee to have complete control of the organization.

Special qualifications are skills required for efficient business operation.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: How much does it cost to apply for an E visa?

A: For a non-immigrant visa, the applicant is required to pay a fee. The non-immigrant visa application processing fees are based on the category of visa applied for, except in special cases where the application fee is exempted.

Different visas have different fees tied to them. The fee changes according to applicant’s nationality.

If the applicant is applying for an E-1 visa or an E-2 visa from any other country than the United States, then as part of consular processing a fee is required to be paid to the Department of State. The flat fee for an E-1 visa or E-2 visa is $270 USD. A visa reciprocity fee will be charged additionally depending on the nationality of the nonimmigrant. The petition for an E-1 visa or an E-2 visa with the USCIS costs $325 USD for filing. Attorneys charge additional fees for successful visa processing.

Premium processing for the E visa provides faster processing for a fee. The USCIS guarantees that within 15 calendar days, clients of premium processing will receive either an approval notice, a denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a Request for Evidence (RFE), or notice of an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. No waiver or discounts apply to premium processing. The fee for premium processing is $1225 USD. To request premium processing, Form I-907, (Request for Premium Processing Service) must be completed along with the standard Form I-129, (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker). They must accompany the E visa petition. A separate check or money order must be submitted.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: Which country traders and investors can obtain an E visa?

A: The United States, to promote trade and investments, have formed treaties of friendship, navigation, and commerce. There must be continuous trade and investments from nonimmigrants from treaty countries. The mandatory requirement for the nonimmigrant to qualify for an E visa, the applicant must be a citizen of a treaty country. Not all countries are listed as a treaty country.

E-1 visa countries include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey and United Kingdom.

E-2 visa countries include Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Slovak republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

Those immigrants who are from other than the listed countries can apply for other visas. Issuances of visas are subject to approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: What happens if there are changes to my employer while I am on an E visa?

A: If there are any changes to your employer while you are on E visa status, you should consult with an immigration attorney. USCIS must approve any substantive change in the terms or conditions of your E status. A “substantive change” includes any fundamental change in the employer’s basic characteristics, including a merger, acquisition, or major event that affects the treaty trader or investor or his employee’s previously approved relationship with the organization.

USCIS must be notified of any changes to the employer by the filing of a new Form I-129 with the fee. A request for an extension of stay for the treaty trader or investor and any employees may be simultaneously filed. This petition must include evident to show that the treaty trader or investor and any affected employees continue to qualify for the original E visa classification.

You are not required to file Form I-129 or notify USCIS about any non-substantive changes to your employer. You should seek advice to determine whether a change is considered substantive or not.

A strike or other labor dispute that involves a work stoppage at your intended place of employment may affect a Canadian or Mexican treaty investor or employee’s ability to obtain E visa status.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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