The Differences Between the E-1 an E-2 Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications

While doing your research on United States immigration law, you realize that looking at visa options is best guided by the very purpose of your intended travel. Upon much contemplation, it finally comes to you – the purpose of your intended travel is to invest in the U.S. economy, either through international trade or major business investment.

More research leads you to the seemingly perfect fit: the E visa category. The E visa category includes treaty traders and investors who come to the U.S. under a treaty of commerce and navigation between the U.S. and the country of which you are a citizen or national.

However, you notice that the E visa has various classifications. Which one is the best for you?

The E-1 Classification

The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade.

To qualify for E-1 classification, you have to meet the following general requirements:

>You are a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
>You carry on substantial trade in which at least 50% of the volume of trade you carry out must be between the U.S. and the designated treaty country. The trade can be in the form of physical movement of goods, transportation, or non-physical services, including banking and insurance, tourism, technology, or journalism; and
>You should be prepared to provide evidence that you intend to return to your home country at the end of the visa period.

If you are granted this classification, you will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. You can request an extension of stay and it may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions you can be granted; however, you must maintain an intention to depart the U.S. when your status expires or is terminated.

The E-2 Classification

The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country who has significant funds to invest to come into the U.S. for the purposes of setting up a business, practice, or office.

To qualify for E-2 classification, you have to meet the following general requirements:

>You are a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
>You carry on substantial trade in which at least 50% of the volume of trade you carry out must be between the U.S. and the designated treaty country. The trade can be in the form of physical movement of goods, transportation, or non-physical services, including banking and insurance, tourism, technology, or journalism; and
>You should be prepared to provide evidence that you intend to return to your home country at the end of the visa period.

If you are granted this classification, you will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. You can request an extension of stay and it may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions you can be granted; however, you must maintain an intention to depart the United States when your status expires or is terminated.

For a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, see the U.S. Department of State’s Treaty Countries.

The foregoing should serve as a good foundation for understanding the differences between two of the classifications in the E visa category. If you believe that this visa category matches your purpose for intended travel or would like to learn more about it, you should contact and consult with an immigration attorney.

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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.