Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors Visas

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Visa Overview

Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas permit holders of E visas to reside in the United States to manage the trade or investments of a U.S. business (the "Enterprise") or, in certain cases, to provide essential skills to the Enterprise. Holders of E visas must intend to depart the United States upon the termination of their E status.

Treaty visas are authorized on the basis of treaties of commerce and navigation between the United States and certain other countries. Currently, Guatemala is not one of these countries. The Enterprise must be majority-owned, as well as developed and directed by nationals of the treaty country.

The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of treaty traders, treaty investors, or employees of Enterprises may also receive dependent E visas in order to accompany or follow to join their spouse or parent. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. If the spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are nationals of a country which does not have a treaty with the U.S., they may be accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status. In these cases, the reciprocity schedule of the principal alien’s nationality is used.

E visas permit the investor/trader and his or her family to live in the United States during the period of stay authorized by DHS. These visas are non immigrant visas; consequently, you are allowed to live in the United States only so long as the conditions under which the visa was granted remain valid. Dependents are not authorized to work in the U.S. unless they receive explicit authorization to do so from DHS-USCIS in the United States. This authorization must be applied for after your arrival in the United States.

Visa Requirements

Treaty Trader (E-1 VISA)
  • The international trade must be "substantial" in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
  • The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U. S. must have the nationality of the treaty country.
  • The trade must be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, which is defined to mean that more than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant's nationality.
  • The applicant must be a national of a treaty country. Currently, Guatemala does not have a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States.
  • The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.
Treaty Investor (E-2 VISA)
  • The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country. Currently, Guatemala does not have a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States.
  • The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low- cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
  • The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
  • The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
  • The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
  • The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.

E-1/ E-2 Visa Application Procedures

Applicants for treaty trader/treaty investor visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.

Does my application package have to be submitted in advance for review?

Yes.  When scheduling an appointment for an E-Visa, applicants should use the Group scheduling option so that the Consulate can arrange for an interview appointment suitable to both parties. At that time, the applicant will submit the application package when requested so that Consular Officers can review the material prior to the interview.

Step 1

E visa applicants should use the online appointment system to submit a “Group Scheduling Request.”  It is not possible to submit a Group Scheduling Request via the call center.

Group Scheduling Request

It is not possible to submit a request through an agent. Once the request is submitted, wait for a response from the Embassy which will come via email.

Step 2

Once the Embassy processes your Group Scheduling Request, you will receive an email with further information, including instructions on how to submit your visa application package.  Effective January 2020, the application package for E visas should be submitted by email as a PDF file.  Please take care to follow the instructions on how to organize the materials in your application package, according to the tabs outlined below.

Step 3

If the Embassy approves the request, you will receive another email with instructions on how to return to your online profile and schedule appointments. Call center agents cannot schedule these appointments, but they are able to assist with questions.

Note: The email confirming or denying your request comes from no-reply@ustraveldocs.com. Some email applications have rules which filter unknown senders into a spam or junk mail folder. If you have not received your email notification, please look for the message in your junk and spam email folders.

 THE APPLICATION PACKAGE SHOULD BE SUBMITTED ONLY WHEN REQUESTED

 

Required Documents

For both Employee and each Family Member:

  • Passport
  • One photograph
  • Non-immigrant Visa Application Form DS-160
  • MRV application fee receipt. Additional visa issuance fees may apply. At the time of your formal application, you will be informed of any extra fees due.
  • A spouse whose surname (as shown in the passport) differs from the surname of the employee should submit a copy of his or her marriage certificate.
  • Birth certificates should be submitted for all children under 18, especially those whose surnames differ from those of their parents (i.e. from previous marriage, etc.)
  • Any other supporting documentation

EMPLOYEE ONLY:

  • Supplement Form DS-156E, "Part III - Applicant”
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Detailed job description
  • An organizational chart of U.S. operations to indicate whom the employee manages/supervises and to whom he reports.
  • A letter from the employer giving the number of other recipients of E-1 or E-2 visas from the same firm who are in the U.S. and their positions in the company; and the number of U.S. nationals employed by the firm and their positions in the company.

Please do not send these documents in advance. The applicant will need to present these documents at his/her interview.

Checklist For E-1 Treaty Trader Visa Application                                                                

For expedited processing of your E-1 visa application, please use the following guidelines for organizing your application using Tabs.

Tab 1 a

  • A current photograph complying with U.S. visa photo requirements
  • Non-immigrant Visa Application Form DS-160
  • MRV application fee receipt. Additional visa issuance fees may apply. At the time of your formal application, you will be informed of any extra fee due.
  • A photocopy of the principal applicant’s passport

Tab 1 b

A completed Form DS-156E on behalf of the principal applicant with Form G-28 (as appropriate). Contact information must include an e-mail address, and all questions must be answered fully.

Tab 1 c

A cover letter describing the enterprise, the beneficiary. The letter must address how the enterprise and employee meet the E-1 visa requirements.

Tab 2 a

A business plan for the next 5 years also tax returns for the past 3 years if an existing enterprise.

Tab 2 b

Evidence of company ownership and incorporation, (Articles of Inc.).

Tab 2 c

Evidence of the trade, activities, and substantiality, and that the trade is principally between the treaty country and the U.S., if multinational.

Tab 3 a

Evidence of ongoing trade: Monthly summaries, invoices, shipping receipts, custom clearances, warehouse receipts, contracts, sales receipts, other.

Tab 3 b

Purchase contract for office/ property or lease agreement.

Tab 4

Demonstrate the applicant, if an employee, is destined to an Executive/Supervisory position (if company can prove it is maintaining E-visa status include organizational chart) or possesses skills essential to the firm’s operations in the United States.

Upon receipt of all required documentation, we will review the case. Once the application is complete, E-Visa Team will contact you or your lawyer to arrange an interview appointment. Please note that an interview is not an indication that the company will meet the criteria for E-visa status.

Checklist E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Application                                                                    

For expedited processing of your E-2 visa application, please use the following guidelines for organizing your application using Tabs.

Tab 1 a

Tab 1 b

A completed Form DS-156E on behalf of the principal applicant with Form G-28 (as appropriate). Contact information must include an e-mail address, and all questions must be answered fully.

Tab 1 c

A cover letter describing the enterprise, the beneficiary. The letter must address how the enterprise and employee meet the E-1 visa requirements.

Tab 2 a

A business plan for the next 5 years also tax returns for the past 3 years if an existing enterprise.

Tab 2 b

Evidence of company ownership and incorporation, (Articles of Inc.).

Tab 2 c

Demonstrate the applicant has invested or is in the process of investing, such as, contracts, promissory notes, leases, purchase contracts, bank statements, etc.

Tab 3 a

Demonstrate the enterprise is a real and operating commercial enterprise, such as, annual income statements, catalogs, business invoices and corresponding bank, receipts, purchases, employees, etc.

Tab 3 b

Demonstrate the applicant’s investment is substantial and proportionate to the value of the enterprise. Start-up costs must be identified; Demonstrate the investment is more than a marginal one solely for earning a living.

Tab 4

Demonstrate the applicant, if an employee, is destined to an Executive/Supervisory position (if company can prove it is maintaining E-visa status include organizational chart) or possesses skills essential to the firm’s operations in the United States.

Upon receipt of all required documentation, we will review the case. Once the application is complete, E-Visa Team will contact you or your lawyer to arrange an interview appointment. Please note that an interview is not an indication that the company will meet the criteria for E-visa status.

Additional Documentation                                                                                                     

An applicant for a Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa must first establish that the trading enterprise or investment enterprise meets the requirements of the law. An applicant may also be asked to provide evidence, which illustrates that the stay in the U.S. will be temporary. It is impossible to specify the exact form the evidence should take since applicants' circumstances vary greatly.

E-Visa Processing Times                                                                                                       

After receipt of an E-visa application for E1 or E2 Treaty Trader or Investor status, the Consulate will review the application and arrange an interview appointment suitable to both parties.

Family Members                                                                                                                      

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, may receive derivative E-visas in order to accompany the principal alien. Spouses of E-visa holders may apply for a work authorization in the United States.

Time Limits                                                                                                                              

Holders of E-visas may reside in the United States so long as they continue to maintain their status with the enterprise.