Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by Visa Journal
E1 visas are the most popular for those who are seeking business opportunities in the US. It is for people who wish to run international trade between the USA and the country they are living in. The E-1 visa USA is not confined to a certain trade type rather, you can apply it for the trading of goods, transportation, advertising, management, and services. It also includes the trading of currency and coins via banks.
E-1 employee is confined to work in the activity they get approval for when the visa was issued to them. But if they started with the employer having a parent company then they can work for the organization.
This visa allows the person who is the sole trader of the company with its employees to go to the US and continue with the trading process. One thing to keep in mind is that the trade must be substantial, which means it should be in bulk and continuous. There is no specified minimum amount you can start from, but this condition varies from industry to industry.
Another bright side of it is that you can take your family along, including your spouse and children aged below 21 and unmarried. The Visa holder’s spouse can work, but their children are not allowed.
The validity of this visa is for 2 years, which means you are allowed in the US and conduct international trade for this duration. After that, there are multiple options for you to continue your stay or return to your homeland as per choice.
E-1 is one of the reliable visas of US with minimum restrictions, but still, there are limitations that one has to follow; For example:
- Visa holders can work with the company they are trading, but they cannot change the employer.
- They are allowed to study and can join a few courses but are not allowed to enroll in the full-time study.
What are the eligibility requirements for the E-1 visa?
To get an E-1 visa, you are supposed to fulfill certain conditions to get yourself verified as an eligible candidate. The criteria is mentioned below:
- Trade must be international
- Your country must have a trade treaty with the US
- 50% of your profit must be the share of citizens of the country you are trading with.
- You must be appointed to the position of manager, supervisor, or executive.
- Trade can be physical or non-physical (tourism, money).
- Applicants must have evidence and proof that they will return to their home country when the visa duration is over.
E-1 Visa application and its steps:
One can apply for an E-1 visa either from within or outside the US. If you are from within, then contact the USCIS. But if you belong to another country, contact the US embassy located in your hometown. Then there are further steps you need to follow depending on the choice and situation.
Within the US:
If you are directly engaged with the company trading internationally, File a 1-129 petition. But if you are working for someone who is further in contact with the trading company, then file form 1-129. Afterwards, you have to submit the fees along with the documents showing your involvement in trade and intention to return home. USCIS will process it, and they will send you the appropriate response. If they accept it, you will be given a form 1-797.
Outside the US:
Applying from outside the US is a long and tiring process that involves various steps.
Online form DS-160:
Fill in the information required in the form and submit it. They will give you a confirmation page which you will need late.
You are supposed to pay 205$. Agency will ask you to pay further depending on the relationship of your home country with the US. It varies from country to country and is termed as the reciprocity fees or visa issuance fees. Your process of visa will proceed after the submission of fees.
Documents that are required:
While applying for an E-1 visa these are the documents that are demanded, you need to carry the following documents when you will go for the interview.
- Valid passport
- In case if a company employs you, bring documents that prove the information of the company and its association with one of the treaty trade countries.
- One passport size picture
- DS-160 confirmation page
- Proof of 1 year worth of trading
- Your fees recipients
- Proves that you or the company you are trading with have trading links with the US
- Proof of your intentions regarding return to your home town, permanent residency documents, property evidence, and other needed papers.
Attend the Interview:
After successfully applying, you will receive a letter of the interview from the US embassy. They will check your documents and ask you the reason for applying for the E-1 visa. If they are doubtful about any information, your visa will be at risk.
How long does it take to process the E-1 visa?
Processing time depends on the US embassy. It might take 2 weeks or sometimes 4 weeks from the time of submission of application. After that, you will be informed via mail whether you are eligible or not.
This visa is valid for two years. You can leave the US and come back any time through designated Port of Entry (POE). The visa got renewed automatically after 2 years, but the family has to go through the procedure of renewing the visa.
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