The E1 Trader Visa

The following countries have treaties with the United States that allow qualifying nationals to apply for Treaty Trader status:

Argentina China (ROC) France Italy Netherlands Sweden
Australia Colombia Germany Japan Norway Switzerland
Austria Costa Rica Greece Korea Oman Thailand
Belgium Denmark Honduras Latvia Pakistan Togo
Bolivia Estonia Iran Liberia Philippines Turkey
Brunei Ethiopia Ireland Lux’bourg Spain U.K.
Canada Finland Israel Mexico Suriname Yugoslavia

Nationals of qualifying countries may apply for an E1 visa in order to ‘Develop and Direct’ import/export trade (of goods or services) between their own country and the US. They may also apply for E1 visas for key managerial and specialist employees.

Unlike the L1 visa, there is no requirement for such employees to have worked for the Trader for at least one year in the last three.

E1 visa registration applications center on the volume of trade between the USA and the Treaty country. The prospective Treaty Trader must demonstrate that:

  • There will be a substantial number of trade transactions between the US and the treaty country.
  • There will be a substantial dollar value to the trade between the US and the treaty country.
  • The majority of international (i.e. not including transactions within the Treaty country or within the US) trade transactions undertaken by the applicant (have been and) will be between the US and the treaty country.
  • The majority of the dollar value of trade (has been and) will be between the US and the treaty country.
  • The trader (or his/her employees seeking E1 visas) has sufficient business acumen and experience to develop and direct the trade.
  • The trader, and any other E1 staff, are able and willing to leave the US upon termination of their E1 status.
  • The trader has a past history of conducting trade between the US and the treaty country.