E1 vs E2 Visa

E1 vs E2 Visa

The United States has become a launching pad for many small and large businesses. Whether it’s looking to trade or invest in new business ventures, the U.S. is abundant in opportunities, attracting nationals across the globe to sit at the table and share in its bounty. So how does someone begin their pilgrimage down to the U.S of A? What is required in order to successfully secure a spot at the table? If it’s a business they’re interested in, then E-Visa status may be the vehicle for them! So let’s talk business. What will it take in to get someone into a shiny, new E-Visa today? First, we’ll have to take a tour around the lot, and inspect the different models of E-Visas available to obtain a better understanding of how each E-Visa functions. Below is a breakdown of the E1 vs E2 Visa.

The E-1 Visa

Our first E-Visa model is the E-1 or the Treaty Traders Visa. It is tailored for owners and employees of companies wanting to enter the U.S for the purposes of conducting international trade. Specifically, the E-1 Visa is reserved for executives, managerial staff, or specialists of companies wishing to enter the U.S. In this context it’s important to know what constitutes “Trade”. The definition of “trade” can be quite broad, but can be reduced to the involvement in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods or services between the U.S and a treaty country. Some examples of trades can include, but are not limited to:

  • Products
  • Merchandise
  • Natural resources
  • And certain kinds of services

Applicants need to be nationals of a treaty country that maintains an international treaty of commerce agreement with the United States. A list of qualified treaty countries can be found below:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China (Taiwan only)
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Honduras
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liberia
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Mexico
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Paraguay
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Korea (South)
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • Yugoslavia

A crucial component to the E-1 Visa is that the applicant needs to show that a pre-existing business relationship between the U.S and of the treaty country has been established, prior to the application process (generally speaking, up to 1 year). The applicant then needs to demonstrate that the flow of trade is substantial in size or value, and can insure the existence of a continuous course of trade and transactions between the U.S and the treaty country. There is no firm monetary value that must be met when determining whether a trade can be classified as substantial. It is important that E-1 candidates demonstrate that they intend to leave the U.S and return home once their E-1 status has expired. This is normally accomplished by attesting to a simple statement testifying to this effect.

The E-2 Visa

If the E-1 Visa doesn’t work out, don’t stress! The E-2 model might be a better fit. The E-2 Visa or “the Treaty Investor Visa ”, in comparison to its sibling, does not require any sort of trade. Instead, the E-2 Visa is issued for the purposes of investing into an already pre-existing enterprise or a new business. E-2 Visas holders must be nationals from a treaty country (as listed above), and primary applicants need to show that they are serious about spearheading an enterprise by demonstrating an active role in its development, and having at least a 50% share in ownership. Composing a business plan ahead of time, can really strengthen one’s chances for E-2 status.

E-2 Visa holders should also demonstrate that a substantial monetary amount was invested into the company. The funds being used must be from a legitimate source of income, clear of any kind of criminal activity.

Similarities Between the E1 vs E2 Visa

There are certainly a few similarities that can be drawn between the E1 vs E2 Visa. Both Visas require that the applicant must hold a passport from one of the designated treaty countries. Both Visas are available through either a consulate or USCIS.

If the Visa holder is intending to relocate their family to the U.S., both Visas permit entry for spouses and children under the age of 21. Spouses will also have authorization to find work that is not limited or pertaining to the business. It is also important to note that both Visas are temporary, and can eventually equate to obtaining green card status through the process of dual intent. Dual intent is a doctrine that allows foreign nationals to enter the United States as a nonimmigrant, but retain the option to apply for a green card simultaneously.

Differences Between the E1 vs E2 Visa

The fundamental differences between both Visas stem from the fact that the E-1 Visa focuses solely on the trade of international goods or services. While the E-2 Visa focuses on opening or purchasing an already existing US business. Because of this, the evidence requirements needed from each Visa are different.

E-1 Visas, the applicant must provide evidence showing that international trade between the treaty country and the US is substantial, and primarily between the US and the treaty country.

This is in contrast with the E-2 Visa; in which the applicant must demonstrate an investment via corporate documents such as invoices and bank statements.

US Immigration Lawyer

Reach out if you would like further information from a US immigration lawyer about the E1 vs E2 Visa.