E1 and E2 Treaty / Trader Visas

The Law Offices of Derek Lim at Fremont, California, help investors and employers apply for E1 and E2 visas under the provisions of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requirements. E1 and E2 visas fall into the nonimmigrant visa category. To qualify, the investor or employee must be from a country with which the U.S. has signed a formal treaty or trader agreement. Labor certification is not required. Unlike with the L-1 visa, the E1 visa applicant is not required to demonstrate a minimum investment in starting or expanding a U.S. business operation. However, the applicant must demonstrate the intention to carry on substantial trade between the U.S. and a foreign country. See the U.S. Department of State's Treaty Countries to see if you come from an eligible country. Relevant countries include Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Call immigration lawyer Derek Lim at 510-818-0898. You can meet with one of our Fremont and San Francisco immigration attorneys.

The purpose of a treaty trader is to carry on substantial trade in goods, services and technology, principally between the U.S. and the foreign country of which he/she is a citizen or national.

Are Spouses and Children Eligible to Accompany the Primary Visa Holder?

Under provisions of the E1 and E2 visa program, spouses and legal dependents may be granted nonimmigrant visas to accompany the primary visa holder.

The Difference Between an E1 and E2 Visa

An E1 visa may be obtained by (or for) employees of a multinational company from a country with whom the U.S. has signed a formal treaty agreement regarding trade. The company must be in business to do a substantial amount of trade with the U.S. Like with an L-1 visa, the employee may be in a management or executive position or have a specialized skill or knowledge critical to the business operations.

An E2 visa may be obtained for an individual who demonstrates a willingness to invest substantial funds in the U.S., with the purpose of international trade operations. The investor must place their capital and assets at risk of partial or total financial loss. Passive investments, such as stocks or undeveloped land do not qualify. Although there is no maximum number of extension requests that can be granted, the applicant must demonstrate an intent to return to their home country upon the expiration of their visas.

Required Qualifications
  • The applicant must be from a country with which the U.S. has signed a formal trade or navigation treaty.
  • The applicant must be in the process of investing (or have already invested) substantial assets into the setup and operations of a U.S. company and maintain at least 50 percent ownership.
  • The applicant must continue to work in the U.S. and for the activities they were approved for at the time of their visa’s issuance.
Attorney Derek Lim Speaks Fluent Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai, and Laotian

For help with your E1 or E2 application in the San Francisco Bay Area or Northern California, contact The Law Offices of Derek Lim in Fremont. Call 510-818-0898 or use the convenient email contact form to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys serving our Fremont and San Francisco offices.

Client Reviews
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