E-1 visa

Nonimmigrant visa for citizens of countries which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation

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Advantages of the E-1 visa

The E-1 visa offers several benefits for traders and key employees who obtain it.
Among them are:

Temporary employment

The E-1 visa allows applicants to work temporarily in the United States in their authorized commercial activity. This provides them with the opportunity to establish or develop a business in an internationally competitive maket.

Flexible travel

E-1 visa holders can travel in and out of the United States during the validity of their visa, which gives them flexibility to manage their businesses and commercial activities in both countries.

Extended presence

The E-1 visa is initially granted for a period of up to 5 years, with the possibility of renewal. This allows applicants to have a sustained presence in the United States and develop their commercial activities in the long term.

Family benefits

E-1 visa holders can also apply for derivative visas for their spouses and children under 21 years old, which allows them to accompany the visa holder and study or work in the United States.

Eligibility requirements for the E-1 visa


The applicant must be a citizen of a country that has a trade treaty with the United States. Some of the eligible countries for the E-1 visa are Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, and many others.

Substantial trade

The applicant must be involved in substantial trade between the United States and their country of origin. This implies that there must be a constant and significant flow of goods, services or technology between both countries.

Principal activity

The applicant’s principal activity must be international trade between the United States and their country of origin. This means that more than 50% of the applicant’s trade must be with the United States.

Key role

The applicant must play a key role in international trade, either as the visa holder or as an executive or supervisor employee of the company.

Benefit to the United States

The presence of the applicant in the United States must be considered beneficial to the country’s economy. This implies that the applicant’s international trade must generate employment, contribute to economic growth, and improve commercial relations between the United States and their country of origin.

Work authorization and travel to the US granted

To qualify for this visa, applicants must be citizens of a treaty country and the trade must be principally between the United States and the applicant's home country. This visa permits the visa holder to work specifically in the capacity of overseeing and conducting trade activities. While the E-1 Visa grants authorization to work in the U.S., it's important to note that this visa doesn't provide permanent residence, and individuals are expected to maintain their ties to their home country. Additionally, E-1 Visa holders may freely travel in and out of the United States, making it a convenient option for those engaged in ongoing trade activities between their home country and the U.S. It's crucial for visa holders to ensure they abide by the specific terms and conditions outlined by U.S. immigration authorities to maintain their legal status.

Trade requirements and economic benefit

For an applicant to qualify, they must showcase a substantial and continuous flow of trade, which can encompass various forms such as goods, services, tourism, or technology transfer. This trade relationship should be dynamic and ongoing, reflecting a robust and mutually beneficial economic engagement. Moreover, the trade must primarily occur between the treaty country and the U.S., with at least half of the total trade volume dedicated to this bilateral exchange.

Your path to a new life

Once you've submitted your E-1 Visa application, it undergoes thorough processing at the U.S. consulate or embassy. This involves a comprehensive review of your submitted documents, including proof of substantial trade and ownership or control of the business. If necessary, you'll be scheduled for an interview where a consular officer will ask about your trade activities and assess your eligibility. Based on this information, the officer will make a decision regarding your application. If approved, the E-1 Visa will be affixed to your passport, allowing you to enter the U.S. for trade-related activities.

Consequently, we recommend researching the requirements and considerations before starting the process to ensure success.

If you qualify for the E-1 visa, you can find a local immigration lawyer who will advise you on the application process and help you obtain the visa as quickly as possible.

At Visa Franchise, we accompany you

At Visa Franchise, we can put you in touch with the right partner to help you through the entire process. Their team of experts will provide you with personalized advice, and provide you with all the information you need to succeed in your E-1 Visa application while our team will be able to assist you with other items of your transition to the United States through our One Stop Solution offering.


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