E – 1 Treaty Traders and Employees


This visa allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf.




To qualify for E-1 classification, the treaty trader must:

  • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
  • Carry on substantial trade (Substantial trade generally refers to the continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time);and
  • Carry on principal trade (when over 50% of the total volume of international trade is between the U.S. and the trader’s treaty country) between the United States and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.

To qualify for E-1 classification, the employee of a treaty trader must:

  • Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country);
  • Meet the definition of “employee” under the relevant law; and
  • Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.
    • The degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations;
    • Whether others possess the employee’s specific skills;
    • The salary that the special qualifications can command; and
    • Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States.

Qualified treaty traders and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years and extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each.


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