The E1 Treaty Trader:
Nationals of qualifying Treaty countries who undertake a significant amount of international trade with the United States my qualify for this type of visa. The volume of such trade must be sufficient to justify the trader or his/her employee(s) being in the United States to manage the trade, and must constitute the majority of the trader's international trade (i.e. at least 50% of the Trader's exports/imports must be to/from the USA). There is no set minimum level of trade which is considered sufficient, but obviously the lower the volume of trade the less likely one is to qualify as a Treaty Trader.
E1 Visa Countries
The following countries have treaties with the United States that allow qualifying nationals to apply for Treaty Trader status:-
Nationals of qualifying countries may apply for an E1 visa in order to 'Develop and Direct' import/export trade (of goods or services) between their own country and the US. They may also apply for E1 visas for key managerial and specialist employees. Unlike the L1 visa, there is no requirement for such employees to have worked for the Trader for at least one year in the last three.
E1 visa registration applications center on the volume of trade between the USA and the Treaty country. The prospective Treaty Trader must demonstrate that:-
Once the principal applicant has obtained registration as a Treaty Trader, it is a relatively straightforward task to obtain E visas for qualifying employees. Obtaining the registration usually takes 4 to 6 weeks, and obtaining subsequent employee visas usually takes 10 to 15 working days.
Two types of employee qualify for E visas:-
Executives & Managers:
Executives and Managers should be going to develop and direct the trade or investment of the principal investor/trader in the USA. Such personnel should be able to demonstrate their executive or managerial pedigree, though there is no requirement that they have worked for the principal trader or investor for at least one year, as there is with the L1 visa. Generally a resume and supporting letter from the principal is all the evidence required.
Specialist or Essential Skilled Workers:
Visas for this type of employee are somewhat more difficult to obtain. One must demonstrate that:
E-visa employees must be of the same nationality as the principal trader. Dependents of E-visa workers are also issued E visas. However, these are not authorized for employment, though such dependants may engage in study.