E-1 Treaty trader visa

E-1 Treaty Trader Visas allow foreign entrepreneurs of certain nationalities to come to the United States to engage in international trade of goods or services between the U.S. and his or her own country. The entrepreneur may also benefit his or her employees if they have the same nationality as the entrepreneur and if they are key employees for the business operation (managers, executives, and those who have specialized skills). Children under the age of 21 years as well as the entrepreneur’s spouse will also be able to come to the U.S. The entrepreneur’s spouse may petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for authorization to work in the United States.

If you are considering the possibility of filing a E-1 Treaty Trader Visa application you may consult your case with Carlos Mauricio Duque, Esq., by calling one of the following telephone numbers:

• Miami, Florida +1 305 436 0155
• Bogotá, Colombia +57 1 426 3975
• México, D.F., México +52 55 4170 3632
• San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2113 3858
• Panamá, Panamá +507 836 5750
• Lima, Perú +51 1 707 5967
• Madrid, España +34 911 239 941
• Buenos Aires, Argentina +54 11 5218 4068
• Caracas, Venezuela +58 212 7715900

Below you will find further information about E-1 Trader visa.

SUBSTANTIAL TRADE – REQUIREMENT OF THE E-1 TREATY TRADER VISA

It is necessary to have substantial trade of goods or services. Trade is “substantial” if the volume of goods or services large. Several transactions, even if their individual value is small, would be enough to establish the required trade level. In the case of small businesses, there is a “substantial trade volume” if the income for the entrepreneur coming from international trade is enough to cover the economic needs of the entrepreneur and his family.

The trade of goods and services nust exist “mainly” between the entrepreneur’s country of citizenship and the U.S. In other words, at least 51 percent of the international trade in goods and services must be traded with the U.S.

If the company that the entrepreneur wishes to establish in the U.S. has no “substantial trade” with this country, the best option might be to ask for an E-2 Visa (Investor visa) or a L-1 Visa.

PROCESSING OF THE E-1 TREATY TRADER VISA

(1) Changing Status in the U.S.

Those foreigners who legally live in the U.S. may request the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to change their current legal status to an E-1 Treaty Trader. It is very important to bear in mind that this change of status may only take place if the applicant is in valid immigration status in U.S. For example, imagine that a Colombian entrepreneur, who owns a farm that produces guava, travels to the U.S. to attend a Fruit exhibition. The Colombian entrepreneur has a B-1 B-2 visa that he uses to be admitted to the U.S. The customs officer allows him to stay in the country for 6 months. Fifteen days after arriving the entrepreneur finds a client in the U.S. that commits to buying his entire guava crop for the next five years. The entrepreneur begins to export fruit. The Colombian entrepreneur could use these trade operations to request the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to change his status from visitor to E-1 treaty trader.

When USCIS approves the change of status, the entrepreneur will be given his new immigration status for two years. The E-1 treaty trader status may be extended almost indefinitely for periods of two years if the trade between the two countries continues.

Imagine that the Colombian entrepreneur decides to return to Colombia to supervise his guava farm. When he decides to return to the U.S., he realizes that his passport only has the visitor visa stamped in it. If he presents himself at the border with this passport, the customs officer will not be able to admit him in any other status different from visitor status (B1/B2).

The conclusion is as follows: if the entrepreneur wants to stay in the U.S. without being able to travel abroad (which is very unlikely) he may request for a change of status in the U.S., receive the two-year approval and keep on renewing his E-1 Treaty Trader status. However, if this foreign entrepreneur wants be able to travel abroad and reenter the United States as an E-1 Treaty Trader, he must file his application at a U.S. Embassy.

(2) E-1 Treaty Trader Visa Application at U.S. Embassys

The foreign entrepreneur may file an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa application at the U.S. Embassy or consulate located in his or her country of residence. When the case is approved the consular officer will have the E-1 Treaty Trader visa stamped in the entrepreneur’s passport with a validity period of five years. Processing times vary depending on the country .

Holders of an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa obtained in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate may travel freely to and from the United States during the visa validity period.

Holders of an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa can only work in the business that was used to get the visa. The E-1 Treaty Trader’s spouse may obtain a work authorization based upon the entrepreneur’s E-1 Treaty Trader Visa. With this permission the entrepreneur’s spouse may work anywhere he or she wishes. Additionally, the treaty trader’s children may study without restriction.

If you wish to file an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa application you may consult your case with Carlos Mauricio Duque by calling one of the following telephone numbers:

• Miami, Florida +1 305 436 0155
• Bogotá, Colombia +57 1 426 3975
• México, D.F., México +52 55 4170 3632
• San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2113 3858
• Panamá, Panamá +507 836 5750
• Lima, Perú +51 1 707 5967
• Madrid, España +34 911 239 941
• Buenos Aires, Argentina +54 11 5218 4068
• Caracas, Venezuela +58 212 7715900

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