E1 Visa (Treaty Trader Visa)

When a native of one country travels to another, it is essential to have a visa in order to enter the country travelling to. In the United States, there are many visa options that a person can make use of, to enter the country depending on the reason for their visit. United States of America has stringent laws formulated to ensure that other natives traveling to their country is not a cause of concern. Therefore, visas are granted after much investigation and only to those eligible to enter their country with complete abidance to the rules and regulations of the country. Visas to the United States are under various categories and one of them is the E Visa which is a Treaty Visa.

United States is seen as one of the super powers of the world and that is why signing a treaty with the country is a matter of great pride for other nations both big and small. One of the treaties is the “Friendship, Commerce and Navigation” Treaty, which United States has signed with a number of countries in the world. Under this Treaty, the countries can encourage investment and trading facilities between the United States and other country that has signed the treaty. The countries having signed such treaties are granted visas by which their nationals can enter USA and either work there enter into a trade agreement with an individual or an organization in USA and invest in the country for business.

USA E1 Visa

These visas called the E- visas are categorized into two. They are E1- which is the Treaty Trader visa and E-2 which is the Treaty Investor visa respectively.

There are about 42 countries that have signed such Treaty agreements with USA and these 42 countries are eligible for the E1 Visa to trade with USA under conditions that other requirements are satisfied.


One of the basic requirements to be granted E1 Visa is that the person should be a native of one of the 42 countries that have signed the Treaty with USA. The other requirements include:

1. The volume of trade should be such that it justifies the presence of trader, the employees or both, in the United States for the conducting of trade and management of the establishment. The volume of trade conducted with the United States should approximately constitute at least 50% of the total trade. The exports and imports should be from or to USA. The chances of not being granted E1 Visa is higher if there is a possibility of low volume of trade.

2. The trader should prove the required volume of trade between the treaty county and USA

3. The dollar value of the trade should be substantially high

4. The majority of the transactions internationally, which is outside of both the countries involved need to be undertaken between Treaty country and USA.

5. The maximum dollar value must be between the Treaty country and USA.

6. In case of termination of E1 Visa, the trader or any employees of the trader in USA should have to leave the country.

7. There should be a past history of trade conducted between the two countries.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply for E1 Visa you need to be:

1. A national of the country that has signed a treaty with USA and you are involved in an International trading business with USA.

2. Owning at least 50% of the partnership of a company that is operating in USA.

3. Applicant's designation should bean executive or a manager of the company.

4. Specialists in certain fields relevant to the company are also eligible to apply for E1 Visa.

5. The organization belongs to Treaty country. Hence, 50% of the stock should be owned by the nationalities of the Treaty country.

6. Applicant should be one of the immediate family members of the owners of the trading organization.

Application Process

To complete E1 Visa application there is a process which involves:

1. Fill the form DS-160 for each person applying for visa which includes the principal applicant and accompanying eligible family members. On submission of the form, you will be given a “Confirmation code”.

2. The principal applicant needs to fill the form DS-160E.

3. Go to the website of the Applicant Service Center and create an account for which you will have to provide the Confirmation code number.

4. Select the category E visa.

5. Pay the E-visa Application fee and schedule your appointment for E-visa interview.

Supporting Documents required

The documents when applying for an E1 Visa include:

1. The confirmation page of the DS-160 printed and duly stamped by Visa Application Center.

2. Receipt of payment of Visa application fees.

3. Visa application Interview Letter of Appointment.

4. Old passports should be carried with person when attending interview.

5. Every individual requesting for E1 Visa irrespective of their age must have their own passport in person when attending the interview. The passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months, extending from the end of the period of your intended stay.

6. A valid document to prove purpose of visit.

Since this is a business related visa, documents related to business that are required include:

1. Letter from the investor or trader in USA, who is supporting the travel.

2. A letter explaining the business type, the position to which alien is traveling to fulfill.

3. All supporting documents of claims put forward by both employer and alien.

4. Proof of volume of trade conducted, including its percentage of volume conducted by alien’s country and US

5. The duties for which applicants are expected to perform.

6. Alien’s qualifications and eligibility for the position.

Fee, Application Form

The E1 Visa application fee is $270 and must be paid before the visa application interview is scheduled. The payments may be made either over the counter in designated banks or electronically. The fee paid has one year validity and the interview must be scheduled before it ends.

Application Form : The Treaty Trader application form DS -160E is E1 Visa application form.

Rejection Reasons

There are many reasons for the rejection of the E1 Visa and they include:

1. Failure to prove that you are a native of a treaty country.

2. Insufficient legal documents that do not prove the trading organization credibility.

3. Failure to prove that trade is possible between the treaty country and the USA.

4. Failure to prove your position or designations in the organization that is trading with USA.

5. If as a manger or a superior you have been granted E1 Visa but on termination of services from

the company, the visa too expires and it can be rejected.

How Long Can Stay or Extension with this Visa

The applicant is eligible to stay in the USA on an E1 Visa for a maximum period of two years initially. Applicants for extensions can be made on Form I-129, may also be granted multiple 5 year extension for as long as the E1 Visa is valid.

This visa Holders Whether Qualified to Apply for Other Visas & Citizenship

Depending on factors of business and role of the Treaty Trader, application for Citizenship can be submitted by the E1 Visa holder.

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