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E-1 Treaty Trader

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa

Table of Contents

In this guide, we go over the E-1 Treaty Trader visa, spotlighting its significance as one of the most invaluable immigration services offered by Ochoa & Hill Law Group in Houston, Texas. Our mission extends beyond the procedural aspects; we aim to provide profound insights into the E-1 Treaty Trader visa by providing an overview on eligibility, required forms, and the supporting documents that are necessary to ensure a seamless application process.


What is the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa?

The E-1 Treaty Trader visa is a nonimmigrant visa category custom-tailored for individuals from countries that hold qualifying treaties with the United States. This visa provides an avenue for E-1 applicants to engage in substantial trade activities and help strengthen economic bonds between their home country with the United States. Similar to the E-2 Treaty Investor visa, this nonimmigrant visa category is important for promoting international trade and fostering economic relationships, thereby contributing to global commerce.

Who Qualifies for the E-1 Visa?

The E-1 Visa caters to individuals actively involved in substantial trade, which encompasses the exchange of goods, services, or technology between their treaty country and the United States. This inclusive category extends to a diverse range of individuals, including business owners, employees, and contributors who play a key role in the trade relationship, thereby fostering economic growth and partnership.

Meeting the basic E-2 Visa requirements involves satisfying criteria outlined in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual1 (9 FAM 402.9). Some of the requirements for the E-1 Treaty Trader visa include:

  1. Treaty Country: A treaty of commerce exists between the U.S. and the E-1 treaty trader applicant’s country. The E-1 Visa is only for individuals from countries that maintain qualifying treaties with the United States.
  2. Treaty National: The E-1 treaty trader possesses the nationality of the treaty country.
  3. Substantial Trade Activities: To qualify, individuals must be involved in ongoing and significant trade exchanges between their home country and the United States. This may include the exchange of goods, services, technology, or intellectual property.
  4. 50 Percent Rule: Over 50% of the total international trade volume must be between the treaty country and the United States.
  5. Trader or Employee Status: Traders are individuals involved in directing the trade, while employees work in a supervisory or executive role, or possess essential skills for the trade operations.

What are the E-1 Treaty Trader Countries?

Traders from various treaty countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Italy, and many more, can leverage this E-1 visa opportunity. For a full list of E-1 Treaty Trader countries, visit List of E Treaty Visa Countries: Exploring Trade and Investment Opportunities in the U.S..

Which Forms and Documents are Needed for the E-1 Visa?

To embark on the journey of securing an E-1 Treaty Trader visa, if applying outside of the United States, the E-1 treaty trader applicant will primarily need to complete Forms DS-160 and Form DS-156E, which serves as the Treaty Trader Application. Alongside these forms, the E-1 treaty trader applicant must also provide supporting materials to demonstrate the substantial nature of the trade, which include but are not limited to:

  • Business contracts that outline trade agreements and partnerships.
  • Financial statements offering a comprehensive view of the economic aspects of the trade relationship.
  • Concrete evidence of trade volume, effectively showcasing the extensive trade activities and exchanges.
  • Resumé/CV demonstrating essential skills.

It’s important to note that the specific documentation requirements may vary based on individual circumstances and the nature of the trade relationship. Ochoa & Hill Law Group, headquartered in Houston, Texas, stands as your reliable partner, adeptly guiding you through the E-1 Visa application process. Ochoa & Hill Law Group has a deep understanding of business immigration law intricacies, our experienced legal team is committed to helping individuals from treaty nations unlock the opportunities presented by the E-1 Treaty Trader visa. Contact us today to start your journey toward a successful international trade engagement in the United States.

  1. U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual. Last Updated on October 5, 2023.
    9 FAM 402.9: TREATY TRADERS, INVESTORS, AND SPECIALTY OCCUPATIONS – E VISAS ↩︎

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Frequently Asked Questions


An E-1 Visa, also known as the Treaty Trader Visa, is a nonimmigrant visa that allows individuals from countries with qualifying treaties with the U.S. to engage in substantial trade activities between the two countries.

Eligibility requires that the applicant is a citizen of a treaty country and is involved in a significant amount of trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.

You will need to provide evidence of the qualifying trade, the nature of the trade, and your role in the trade. Consultation with an immigration attorney can help ensure you have the necessary documentation.

While the E-1 Visa itself does not lead directly to a green card, some individuals may be eligible to adjust their status to permanent residency through other employment-based categories.

E-1 visa holders can generally stay in the U.S. as long as they maintain their treaty trader status and continue to engage in qualifying trade activities.

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