Receiving a visa is one of the most stressful concerns about your journey. It steals your precious time, energy and money, and there is no guaranty that you will receive it after all. In order to prevent any sort of unexpected complications, check out a list of significant things you should know about Treaty Trader Visa (E-1).
WHAT DO WE CALL A “TREATY TRADER VISA (E-1)”?
First of all, the concept of the E-1 or Treaty Trader Visa, represents a special category of visa designed for citizens of countries with which United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation (also known as Treaty Countries). It is created for certain employees, business owners, business managers, which engage in substantial trade (either trade in services, or qualifying services) between the United States and the treaty country. The “E” classification highlights the different types of treaties between U.S and foreign countries. A one time transaction, regardless of the amount of money, doesn’t mean substantial trade.
The idea of “trade” involves an international commerce between the U.S. and the treaty country of following items: goods, tourism, transportation, technology (technical know-hows, accounting advice, or software engineering services, blueprints, data processing). Make sure your country classifies as treaty, which means that it has a qualifying Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, Navigation or its equivalent, with the United States.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR E-1 VISA?
Before packing your things, you have to be sure that you are suitable for E-1 Visa. The visa applicant must satisfy the following requirements:
- Firstly, he or she must be a national of a treaty country;
- The international trade must be substantial and continuous (i.e. it must fit the concrete and continuing volume of trade and dollar venue, consequently);
- The trading firm must engage in trade, which means an international exchange of services, goods, and technology;
- Ordinary skilled workers do not qualify, that’s why the applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity (or capacity involving essential skills). He or she must meet the definition of “employee” under the relevant law, and there must be a degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations;
- Your job is to prove that the trade project happens between the United States and the treaty country, and the Treaty Country must own at least 50% of the business (or parent company). Also, the business owners must be maintaining non-immigrant treaty trader status;
- The applicant intents to depart when the E-1 Visa expires.
Spouses and children under 21 years of age, of the E-1 visa holders can receive derivative E visas that allow them to accompany the employee to the United States and seek for employment authorization based on it. There are no restrictions regarding where they can work. Their nationalities don’t have to be the same as the treaty employee.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO APPLY FOR A TREATY TRADER VISA?
Your application can be made in the United States or in the U.S Embassy or Consulate outside the U.S.
- Your first step in the application process is to complete the online visa application, and imprint a copy in order to bring it with you to the interview. Also, it is necessary to upload your photo while filling your digital form DS-160.
- After that, you need to schedule an interview. Keep in mind that although for certain ages, (like 13 and younger, or 80 and older) the interview is commonly not required, your consular can demand it anyway. Under other circumstances, you must schedule an appointment and attend your interview (with some exceptions for renewals). You can do it at the U.S Embassy, where you are located. The wait time for the interview appointment, vary by: location, season, and visa category.
- Before applying for an interview, you need to make sure that you have gathered all the required documentation, such as:
- Passport valid for travel to the United States for at least six months beyond your departure from the U.S. (remember that each person included in your passport that needs a visa, must submit a different application);
- Non-immigrant Visa Application;
- Form DS-160 confirmation page;
- Non-immigrant Treaty Trader Application (DS-156E);
- Photo - a color photo with a white background, taken within the last six months. You may face a lot of special Photo Requirements.
- Application fee payment receipt.
*Sometimes, additional documentation is required. For example, your consular officer can demand a cover letter describing the enterprise, which will include a comprehensive Index/Table of Contents, or a corporate organizational chart of your U.S. company, or your relevant diplomas and job certificates. It is nearly impossible to anticipate the amount of information and documents that will be requested, as they vary by application. Respectively, you have to be prepared that during your application process, your consular officer will decide if the trading business meets the requirements of the law.
4. With reference to the Application fee payment receipt mentioned above – one of the main steps of your E-1 Visa Application is to pay your non-refundable visa application fee, which costs $270, but the price may vary, depending on your nationality. All the subsequent instructions are available on the website of the embassy or consulate where you intend to apply.
5. Attending your interview is the next move in the visa application journey. By this time, the embassy will determine if you are eligible for the E-classification and what type of visa suits you the best. After that, ink-free, digital fingerprints will be taken. In case that your visa is approved, you’ll have to pay a visa issuance fee (applicable to your nationality).
PERIOD OF STAY AND VISA RENEWAL
The maximum duration of stay of the E-Visa holder in the United States, is 2 (two) years. In order to extend your stay, you have to submit a request for an extension that might potentially grant you up to 2 (two) additional years. It has to be mentioned that there is no maximum number of extensions that can be requested. Your visa renewal inquiry (or any other changes in your E-1 status) must be approved by USCIS. All these specifications apply to the family members as well, so they have to be careful with their E-1 Status legitimacy.
Receiving a visa is a very complex and stressful process, so make sure you don’t miss anything. It is not a secret that your application may be denied without a warning if you don’t have all the necessary documentation. In order to manage this in a better way, consider finding a qualified attorney that will provide you all the information needed and help you go through the additional issues that might occur. All you have to do is go to Legal Bistro, create an account and describe your case. Watch a video released by Legal Bistro for a better understanding of the process.
Note: You remain anonymous until you decide to reveal your identity to the lawyer that you choose. Also, it is absolutely free for consumers, so you have nothing to lose. Good luck!