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The state Bar of California
Asian American Bar Association
American Immigration Lawyers Association
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Expertise
Expertise 2021

Coming to the USA: Your E1 Visa

If you wish to come to the United States for the purpose of carrying out international trade, then you will want to apply for an E1 visa. The E1 visa has strict requirements that you must meet. Once you obtain this visa, recognize that it permits you to participate in business in the United States for a limited period of time.

E1 visas also cover your immediate family members, such as your husband or wife and direct unmarried children. Children must be under the age of 21. If your children come to America with you, they are unable to work legally. However, your spouse can come to America to work legally under your visa.

What are the Requirements to Obtain an E1 Visa?

To obtain this visa, you will need to show that you plan to engage in a substantial trade while in the United States. You will also need to show that any trade that takes place will be carried out between the treaty country and the United States at a volume of at least 50 percent. You must be a national of a treaty country, and you need to provide evidence that you will return to your home country once the visa period has ended.

How Long Can You Stay in the United States with This Visa?

The E1 visa allows you to remain in the United States for up to two years at a time. You are able to travel outside of the United States at any time. As long as you are still meeting the conditions of the original visa, you can leave the United States and return to get an immediate automatic two-year extension.

Keep in mind that the readmission extension does not apply to your family members. They need to track how long they have been in the United States and apply for extensions if and when necessary.

Remember that you can only complete the type of work or activity that you were approved for while you are in the United States. If your employer does have a parent company that works with the United States, it is possible that you could take a role in a position there, which would give you additional options as an employee or trader. These are a few things to keep in mind if you plan to enter the country on an E1 visa.

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