How can You Differentiate between E1 and E2 Visa?

E1 and E2 VisaThe E1 and E2 visa categories are for treaty traders and the treaty investors eligible to be in the U.S.

The primary purpose of the treaty trader is carrying out “substantial trade in goods, services and technology, principally between the United States and the foreign country of which s/he is a citizen or national.”

On the other hand, the primary purpose of the treaty investor lies in directing the operations of a company in which he has made an investment or is investing a substantial amount.

The spouse and the unmarried children, under 21 years of age, of the E1 or E2 nonimmigrants visa holder may be granted the same status as the E1 and the E2 visa holder.

E1 (Treaty Traders) Visa

An E1 visa allows a foreign national to be admitted to the U.S. for engaging in international trade. This visa is available only for applicants from countries with whom the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.

Eligibility is determined if:

– You are the national of a treaty country

– The international trade must be substantial

The items of trade include though not limited to:

  • Technology;
  • Transportation;
  • Tourism;
  • International banking;
  • Insurance;
  • Goods;
  • Services;

– The commerce of the United States enterprise is chiefly between the treaty country and the U.S.;

– More than 50% of the international trade involved must be between the United States and the country of the applicant’s origin; and

– You are immediate family member of an E1 visa holder.

E2 (Treaty Investor) Visa

The E2 temporary investment visa permits foreign nationals of a country to invest in a business enterprise. This nonimmigrant classification allows the nationals of a treaty country to be admitted to the U.S. upon investing a substantial amount of capital.

The qualifications for an E2 visa include, but are not limited to:

  • A national of a treaty country;
  • Have already invested or are about to invest a ‘substantial amount’;
  • The investment must be made in the real or an active commercial undertaking; and
  • You need to have the intention to enter the United States to direct and develop the enterprise.

In addition to the above differences, below outlines, with more specificity, other notable differences.

Nature of Treaty

As the E1 visa deals with the traders, ‘the international trade must be substantial’. This means that there must be a ‘sizable and continuing volume of trade’. There isn’t any minimum requirement on the monetary need or the volume of the transactions.

For E2 visa, the investment needs to be substantial. The investment must be sufficient to ensure successful operation of business. Here, the substantial amount is settled upon by the proportion of funds invested compared to the cost involved in developing business to aid with being operational.

Substantiality, and what qualifies as substantial, is a complex and often confusing question. It’s best to seek guidance from a trained Business Immigration Attorney.

Control over Funds

The E2 visa applicants are required to have sufficient control over money.

The applicants of E2 visa’s are anticipated to create more income than is required to sustain themselves as well as their families.

The E1 visa does not list this as a need.

Responsibilities Assumed

The investors will be coming to the United States to direct and develop the enterprise. In case the applicant is not the principal investor, the person concerned needs to be employed in executive, supervisory or a specialized skill capacity.

For the E1 visa, the applicants need to hold supervisory or executive powers or come with special skills, ordinary skilled employees won’t qualify for these visas.

The E1 and the E2 visas have a few things in common as well. With them, you can stay in the U.S. for two years and bring your spouse and children aged less than 21 years. Moreover, you follow the same procedure while you apply for both of these visas.

Without legal help, navigating through the complicated application process is quite frustrating. Since the application process requires a lot of paperwork as well, it is advisable to get the help of an attorney.

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