E-1 Visa- Treaty Traders And Family:
Eligibility: The following individuals and entities will be eligible for an E-1 visa.
Executives, managers and specialists of a treaty nation company, which maintains operations in the U.S.
Immediate family members of current E-1 visa holders.
Nationals of treaty countries entering the U.S. to partake in substantial trade.
Companies in treaty countries sending personnel to manage the U.S. affiliate or branch OR companies in treaty countries sending personnel to setup a U.S. company.
Treaty Countries Include:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea (South), Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic of (FRY)), Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.
Trade: 8 C.F.R. §214.2(e)(9), 22 C.F.R. §41.51(a)(7) and (8), 9 FAM 41.51 N.4. Trade has been defined trade as “the existing international exchange of items of trade for consideration between the U.S. and the treaty country.”
Domestic trade will not be considered when determining what qualifies as substantial trade.
DOS has defined items of trade to “include but are not limited to goods, services, international banking, insurance monies, transportation, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, and management consulting.”
Goods: “tangible commodities or merchandise having extrinsic value.” Services: “legitimate economic activities, which provide other than tangible goods.” 62 Fed. Reg. 48138-01 at 48141 (Sept. 12, 1997).
“Principal” Trade: According to 8 C.F.R. §214.2(e)(11), 9 FAM 41.51 N.7:
Trade must be mostly between the treaty country and the U.S. Only international trade will be considered.
If the business conducts more than 50% of its international trade with the U.S., then each E-1 owner is not required to have more than 50% of trade.
“Substantial”: According to 8 C.F.R. §214.2(e)(10), 22 C.F.R. §41.51(a)(9), 9 FAM 41.51 N.6:
The volume of international trade insures a continuous flow between the U.S. and the treaty country.
Substantial trade cannot be based on one single transaction.
Trade includes binding contracts requiring an immediate exchange of goods.
The volume of exchanges will be given more weight than the value of those exchanges.
Smaller Businesses: The income from the value of multiple transactions, sufficient to support the trader and his/her family, will be a favorable factor in the assessment of the existence of substantial trade.
Nationality of Corporation:
If a foreign corporation owns a U.S. entity, the nationality of the foreign corporation will be determined by its owners and not by its place of incorporation or the location of the company’s business activity.
Publicly Traded Companies: The company’s nationality will be determined by where its stock is physically listed and traded on the stock exchange.
LPRs from the treaty country who own stock in a U.S. company cannot have their stock considered in determining the nationality of the company. E or non-E nationals of the treaty country who are not LPRs can have their stock considered in determining the nationality of the company. 9 FAM 41.51 N.14.1.
To employ individuals from the treaty country, it is necessary that at least 50% of the corporation is owned by individuals who are treaty country nationals and who maintain E status if they reside in the U.S., or if they do not reside in the U.S., they would be eligible to be E non-immigrants.