Treaty Traders/Investors (E-1/E-2)

Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor visas are available for nationals of certain countries that have a special commercial treaty with the United States. These visas are used for both large international corporations and small family-owned businesses. These visas are especially useful for business owners and employees who wish to remain in the United States for extended periods of time as the period of stay may be extended indefinitely. The initial period of stay is generally two years.

Treaty Trader Visas (E-1)

Treaty Trader (E-1) visas are available for nationals of qualifying countries provided:

  • They are a citizen of a qualifying treaty country.
  • The sponsoring company in the United States is majority-owned by an individual (or individuals) or a company (or companies) that is a national of the same qualifying country
  • The United States sponsoring company is engaged in "substantial" trade with the same qualifying country.
  • They will work in the United States as an “executive,” “supervisor,” or employee with “essential skills”.

Treaty Investor (E-2)

Treaty Trader (E-2) visas are available for nationals of qualifying countries provided:

  • They are a citizen of the qualifying country.
  • The sponsoring company in the United States is majority-owned by an individual (or individuals) or a company (or companies) that is a national of the same qualifying country
  • A “substantial investment” has been made or is in the process of being made in the United States sponsoring company.
  • They will work in the United States as an “executive,” “supervisor,” or employee with “essential skills”.

Relevant Terms

Substantial Trade

Substantial trade means an amount of trade sufficient to insure a continuous flow of international trade between the U.S. and the treaty country. There is no minimum dollar amount on the amount of qualifying trade. Trade may consist of goods or services.

Substantial Investment

Substantial investment means an investment adequate to develop and direct the business in question. There is no minimum qualifying dollar amount. A “proportionality test" is used: (i) the amount of qualifying funds invested weighed against the total cost of purchasing or creating the enterprise; (ii) the amount normally considered sufficient to ensure the investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise; and (iii) a magnitude of investment to support the likelihood that the investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.

Executive or supervisory

Executive or supervisory means a position with duties that provide the employee ultimate control and responsibility for the enterprise's overall operation or a major component thereof.

Essential Skills

Essential Skills means skills and/or aptitudes that an employee brings to a position or role that are essential to the successful or efficient operation of the treaty enterprise.

Countries eligible for treaty visas

  • Albania**
  • Argentina
  • Armenia**
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh*
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia*
  • Brunei*
  • Bulgaria**
  • Cameroon**
  • Canada
  • China (Taiwan)
  • Colombia
  • Congo**
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech(Rep)**
  • Denmark*
  • Ecuador**
  • Egypt**
  • Estonia**
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany (FRG)
  • Greece*
  • Grenada**
  • Georgia**
  • Honduras
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Israel*
  • Italy
  • Jamaica**
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan*
  • Korea
  • Kyrgyzstan*
  • Latvia
  • Liberia
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Mexico
  • Moldavia**
  • Mongolia**
  • Morocco**
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama**
  • Paraguay
  • Philippines
  • Poland**
  • Romania**
  • Senegal**
  • Slovak (REP)**
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka**
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Trinidad&Tobago**
  • Tunisia**
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine**
  • United Kingdom
  • Zaire**

Countries with one asterisk (*) contain are eligible for only E-1 (Treaty Trader) visas.
Countries marked with two asterisks (**) are eligible for only E-2 (Treaty Investor) visas.