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Assisting Qualified Treaty Traders Obtain E-1 Classification

The United States maintains commerce and navigation treaties with a number of countries, and citizens of those countries have the opportunity to qualify to come to the United States to engage in international trading. Employees and family members of so-called treaty traders may also be eligible to obtain a visa to accompany them to the U.S.

If you are interested in obtaining E-1 classification as a treaty traders, you should discuss this option and the visa application process with an experienced immigration attorney. Learn how the legal team at Farmer, Farmer & Brown Law Firm, P.L.L.C. can help you.

Who Qualifies for an E-1 Visa?

The first qualification for E-1 classification is to be a citizen of a treaty country with the United States. Next, you must engage in “substantial trade” principally between your home country and the United States. Items that may be traded might include:

  • Services
  • Goods
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • International banking
  • Tourism
  • News-gathering activities
  • Technology

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and our attorney can advise you whether your business activities with the United States may qualify as substantial trade.

There is not a minimum amount of a trade or transactional value set out in immigration laws, though the value will be weighed as a factor in deciding whether your trade activities qualify you as a treaty trader. Generally, more than 50 percent of your trade volume must be with the United States to be considered “principal” trading. Any employees of traders seeking E-1 classification must be of the same nationality as the primary trader and must engage in supervisory, executive, or specialized duties.

Obtaining E-1 Classification

If you are currently residing in the United States under another nonimmigrant classification, you might be eligible to apply for a change of status to E-1 by filing Form I-129 with the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you are outside of the U.S., you will need to apply through the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country.

In addition to the complete application, E-1 applicants must present evidence that they are engaged in substantial trade with the United States and that their trade enterprise meets the many requirements of immigration laws. It is not possible to generally state exactly what type of evidence and documentation should be presented, as it varies from case to case. An attorney who routinely handles E-1 applications can evaluate your situation and advise you on the evidence you should prepare to submit with your application. Many applicants also must sit for an interview at the consulate or embassy before their application is approved.

Contact an E-1 Visa Lawyer to Directly Discuss Your Situation Today

E-1 classification can be extremely beneficial for many businesses to successfully operate in trade with the United States. However, the process can be complicated, and many applicants are denied. To maximize your chances of obtaining E-1 visas for you and your employees, you should consult with the immigration attorneys at Farmer, Farmer & Brown Law Firm, P.L.L.C.. Call (512) 894-2128 or contact us to discuss your qualifications and the application process today.


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