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E-1 Visa

E-1 Visa | Treaty Trader

Serving San Antonio, Austin and McAllen, Texas

What is an E-1 Visa?

An E-1 “Treaty Trader” visa permits foreign nationals who need to conduct “substantial trade” within the United States to enter the country on a temporary basis. Generally, the transactions that E-1 visa holders conduct must be worth at least $200,000, occur on a regular basis, and involve an entity based in the visa holder’s country of origin. Likewise, the transaction must typically be finalized on the treaty trader’s visit in order for the trader to remain in good standing with U.S. immigration authorities.The United States maintains E-1 visa treaties with dozens of countries around the world. Business people who hail from a non-treaty country may be unable to secure an E-1 visa and must pursue entry into the U.S. by other legal means. For professional help in obtaining an E-1 visa, get in touch with a E-1 visa lawyer.


E-1 visas have several key advantages. First, the U.S. government does not maintain quotas on these types of visas. As such, prospective E-1 visa holders will not be placed on a quota-determined “waiting list.” These visas also come with few education or industry-specific requirements. As long as he or she is a principal or “key employee” of a foreign company that regularly trades with U.S. entities, a businessperson can obtain an E-1 visa. Also, the visa is initially valid for up to five years. After this period expires, it may be renewed indefinitely for consecutive two-year periods.


The E-1 visa has a few key requirements. First, “regular” employees cannot qualify for this type of entry permit. Only principals and “key employees” may hold an E-1 visa. In addition, individuals who wish to remain in the United States after the conclusion of their treaty trading business must apply for a new type of visa. Otherwise, they must depart the country. Finally, the U.S. business with which the treaty trader is working must be majority-owned by citizens of the trader’s home country.


The E-1 visa does not confer work clearance on those who hold it. It simply permits those who hold it to conduct business with firms that meet the trade treaty criteria. In addition, it is considered to be a “semi-dual intent” document. This means that it cannot be extended to individuals who have multiple visa applications pending. For this reason, it makes more sense for business people who expect to conduct a range of business activities with multiple U.S. companies to apply for a work-authorization visa or a “green card.” For a thorough explanation of the E-1 visa’s limitations, contact an experienced E-1 visa attorney today.

How We Can Help

The E-1 visa attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm have worked with treaty traders from dozens of countries around the world. They can provide advice for treaty traders who must obtain their visas at a U.S. consulate in their home countries as well as for those who wish to renew their visas without leaving the United States.

To learn more about how to obtain or renew an E-1 visa, speak to one of our professional E-1 visa lawyers at 210.225.7114.

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