E : Treaty Traders & Investors
The E categories are designated for aliens engaged in international trade or investment between the United States (U.S.) and the aliens' countries of nationality, provided the U.S. has an appropriate treaty relationship with the foreign country.
If applicant will be employed rather than doing business on his or her own account, employing company must have (same) treaty nationality. Company's nationality is determined by its ownership, not ordinarily by its place of registry.
Company must be at least 50 percent owned by persons with treaty country nationality who are not lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and, if in the U.S. , are maintaining E-1 or E-2 status.
Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of an E-1 or E-2 nonimmigrant will be admitted under same classification as the principal and can apply for a work authorization. The dependent spouse and children are not required to have the same nationality as the principal alien.
E-1 – Treaty Trader
The E-1 classification is authorized for a national of a country with which the United States has a commercial treaty , who is coming to the U.S. solely to engage in trade of a substantial nature principally between the United States and the alien's country of nationality. The trade involved must be international exchange (successfully negotiated contracts binding on all parties) of items of trade between the U.S. and a treaty country. Title to the trade item must pass from one treaty party to the other.
The treaty trader countries are:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brunei, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.
E-2 – Treaty Investor
The E-2 classification is authorized for a national of a country with which the United States has a commercial treaty, who is coming to the United States solely to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is actively involved in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital. An investor must be coming to develop and direct the business which means that there must be a controlling interest.
The treaty investor countries are:
Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Camaroon, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo, Dem. Rep. of the (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Slovak Rep., Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.
The investment must be more than marginal, in other it must have the capacity to generate more than just a living to the investor and his family, or it must have a significant impact on the local economy, e.g., in providing or generating jobs.
The investment must be a real and active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking, producing some service or commodity, as opposed to a paper organization, an idle speculative investment in, e.g., a bank account, undeveloped land or stocks, or a not-for-profit organization.
The funds or other investment assets must belong to the investor, whether, e.g., by gift, savings, or inheritance. They need not come from outside the U.S. but must be received legitimately.
The funds or other investment assets must be placed at risk, i.e., committed irrevocably, although they may be placed in escrow subject to issuance of the visa.
Even if alien coming as employed executive, an investor must be in a position to direct and develop the enterprise.