E Visas

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Chicago E Visa Lawyers

This category of visas, which includes both the E-1 and E-2, is reserved to citizens of qualifying countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation who will work in the United States as traders or investors. The E-1 visa is reserved for traders and the E-2 visa is reserved for investors. Both types of visas share the following conditions:

  • The individual seeking such status must be a national of the treaty country.
  • The individual seeking such status must be the major investor (in the case of an E-2), or must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly-specialized skilled capacity.

E-1 Visas

E-1 visas are available to foreign nationals whose home country and the United States governments have signed a treaty in order to facilitate existing international trade between the two countries. This includes, but is not limited to “goods, services, international banking, insurance monies, transportation, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design, engineering, management consulting, tourism, and technology.” The following conditions must also be met for an E-1 visa:

  • Trading firm must be a national of the treaty country
  • At least 50% of the trade must occur between the United States and the national’s country, and the amount of trade must be substantial
  • The trade must involve the actual exchange of goods, services, or technology

E-2 Visas

The E-2 visas require that a treaty is in place between the foreign national’s home country and the United States.  It provides for this foreign national to make a “substantial investment” in a business enterprise in the United States and remain here to oversee the enterprise for a temporary term. The key conditions that must be met for this visa category include:

  • The project supporting the E-2 visa must involve a substantial investment and cannot be marginal
  • The project must involve a real operating enterprise and cannot be speculative or idle
  • The investor must control the funds which must be “at-risk” commercially. Investment enterprise assets cannot be used to secure the loan.


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