Guide | E Visas for Trade or Investment

Understanding E Visas

The E visa treaty classification may be used by foreign enterprises to establish a business or commercial presence in the United States or to facilitate the hiring of qualified foreign national employees.

In this Guide, you will learn the basics of the investor visa so you can determine if this is a viable pathway to work and live in the United States. You will also learn the requirements and timelines of the visa, so you can set yourself up for success during the petition process. Download Guide using the form below.

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E-1 visas allow the visa holder to live in the United States while conducting trade between the United States and the visa holder’s country. E-2 visas allow the visa holder to start or acquire and operate a business in United States. The E visa is different from other employment visa classifications and must be approached carefully by practitioners who are new to its substantive and procedural idiosyncrasies.

Some differences of the E Visas include:

  • A treaty of commerce and navigation be in place between the United States and the sponsoring enterprise’s home nation (click here for a list of E visa treaty countries).
  • The classification requires an E visa holder share the nationality of the visa sponsor.
  • E visas are conferred solely on the basis of consular review, making the E visa stamp an unreliable indicator of legal status.

Despite its unique attributes, the E visa classification is a flexible and robust visa and can be instrumental to the successful establishment of a U.S. presence for a foreign company or foreign investor. The E visa allows for long-term residence in the United States without the definitive cap on temporary employment as encountered in other work-authorized visa classifications. For information about other immigration pathways for entrepreneurs, visit here.

Who Should Read this Guide:

Investors and entrepreneurs from treaty countries who would like to invest in, acquire, or start a business in the United States.

What You Will Learn:

  • Part 1: Understanding the E Visas
  • Part 2: List of Treaty Countries
  • Part 3: E-1 Visa in Focus
  • Part 4: E-2 Visa in Focus
  • Part 5: Essential Workers and E Visas
  • Part 6: Processing Timeline and Admission on E Visas
  • Part 7: Extension of Stay and Changes in Terms

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