Canadian and US Immigration Law

E-1 – Treaty Trader Visa

E-1 – Treaty Trader Visa

The US Immigration and Nationality Act includes provisions pertaining to  nonimmigrant visa status for a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation and who is coming to the United States to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, principally between the United States and the treaty country.

Nationals of certain countries who have entered treaties containing treaty trader and treaty investor provisions with the United States are eligible for the E-1 visa.

For Canadians seeking to obtain a treaty trader visa, the applicant must demonstrate that the Canadian enterprise is engaged in a substantial trade with businesses or clients in the United States.  The trade can be in goods or services and the trade must be substantial. This usually means that more than 50% of the company’s international trade is with the United States. The application is submitted to the US Consulate and an in-person appointment is required. All initial applications for Canadians applying for E-Visas are made at the US consulate in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Subsequent applications can be made at other US Consulates across the country or at the US Embassy in Ottawa. 

Holders of E-1 visas may reside in the United States if they continue to maintain trade with Canada and all revenues continue to flow through to the Canadian entity. Generally, if successful, an E-1 visa will be approved for 5 years. Additional applicants who work for the enterprise can be added to the approved entity’s E-1 visa during this time. To be eligible to reapply for a further E-1 visa, the enterprise will need to continue to trade on both sides of the border.

Let Guberman Appleby Help You Apply for an E-1 Treaty Trader Visa

There are multiple steps and aspects of an E-1 visa application. We have extensive experience in advising with respect to E-1 visas and understanding the requirements. Work with an experienced US immigration lawyer at Guberman // Appleby Immigration Lawyers and discuss E-1 visa options for you, your company or your business.

The team of leading immigration lawyers at Guberman // Appleby will be able to guide you through the E-1 visa application process every step of the way. Your application will be prepared by legal experts with years of experience – Contact us today.

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa FAQ

The E-1 visa is a treaty trader visa, so applicants must be citizens of a country with a qualifying treaty of commerce and navigation with the US. The list of countries is below:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brunei, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia,Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia (FRY), Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Slovenia, Spain, Surinam, Swede, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom.

The general requirements for E-1 visa applicants are as follows:

Applicants must be engaged in “substantial” international trade between their country of nationality and the US. You must either be the “principal trader”, or in an executive/managerial or essential skills position at an entity engaged in substantial trade with the US. The trade volume between your country of nationality and the US must be substantial enough to justify E-1 classification. We will use our breadth of experience to help you determine what figures are necessary based on your specific circumstances. The trade must also be consistent and continuous over a substantial period of time. Fifty (50) percent of your company’s international trade must be between your country of nationality and the US. 

Individuals are eligible to apply for E-1 visas, as are companies.  In the case of a company, it is necessary to prove that the company for which the applicant is coming to the United States  has the nationality of the treaty country.

Processing times for E-1 visas vary.

Once form  DS-160 is filed, all application materials are provided to the US Consulate. Upon the request of the US Consulate, an E-1 visa interview will be booked. When you attend the interview, you will present all application materials including the DS-160 confirmation page. At the end of the appointment, the interviewing officer will request your passport, and if the case is approved, for visa issuance.  Your passport is returned by a courier service.

It is also possible to change status from within the US in certain circumstances. 

An E-1 visa is valid for 5 years.  You are authorized to remain in the US for 2-years at a time throughout the duration of the E-1 visa.

Yes, provided that the E-1 visa entity continues to meet the requirements, you can apply for a further E1 Visa that is typically issued for another 5 years.

No, your company does not need to have an US subsidiary for you to be eligible for an E-1 visa.  As long as over 50% of your company’s foreign trade is with the US, and the trade is deemed substantial, you should be eligible for an E-1 visa.

The immigration lawyer at the Guberman//Appleby Immigration Lawyers law firm will review your individual case and advise as to the documents required in order to best present your E-1 visa application.  In general, supporting supporting documentation will include:

  1. passport information
  2. resume
  3. articles of incorporation and other ownership documents
  4. evidence of trade with the US
  5. tax returns
  6. financial statements