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. A current trade treaty must be in effect between the treaty trader or treat investor’s home country and the United States. 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.