E-2 Treaty Investor Visa and E-1 Treaty Trader visas overview
In many cases it may be worth considering the E2 treaty investor or E1 treaty trader visa scheme. Usually, the business needs to show that it is at least fifty percent owned by a national or nationals on the list of E-2 or E-1 Countries. Both investors and employees.of the same nationality can come under these visa schemes. E2 treaty investor companies may be able to be registered under the E-2 scheme with investments of tens of thousands of dollars or less. This is a much smaller investment requirement than the minimum $500,000 required under the EB5 immigrant investor scheme. E-2 and E-1 employee visas can be obtained much more cheaply and more quickly than say L-1 or H-1B visas.
Over the years the United States has signed treaties of ‘Friendship, Commerce and Navigation’ with many Countries in the World which is a requirement to come under the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Scheme or E-1 Treaty Trader Visa scheme. These treaties are designed to promote trade and investment between the USA and the other contracting state, as well as encouraging good relations between the US and the treaty Country. The USA has also entered into a number of Bilateral Investment Treaties with many former communist states, designed to promote investment and trade; Nationals of many former Eastern Bloc Countries can come under the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa scheme and E-1 Treaty Trader visa scheme.
Nationals of countries with such Treaties with the United States together with their employees can obtain visas to work in the USA in order to develop and direct their investment in and/or trade with the USA under the E-2 and E-1 visa schemes. There is also the E-3 visa which is meant for professional level Australians who have a job offer in the US:
- E-1 Treaty Trader For businesses and individuals engaged in substantial international trade between the US and the treaty investor country. The volume of trade must be sufficient to provide employment for a number of people in the United States and must constitute the majority of the trader’s international trade.
- E-2 Treaty Investor For those who have made a significant investment in a US business in which the investor has at least a 50% ownership. The investment must be sufficient to provide employment for a number of people in the United States, and must be in an active US business.
- E-3 Certain Specialty Occupation Professionals from Australia For Australian nationals to come to the US to engage in a specialty occupation role. Applicants for this visa must have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) or higher, and the job must be in a specialty occupation.