Houston E-1 Visa Lawyer
An E-1 Treaty Trader is a foreign national who wishes to come to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade, principally between the U.S. and his or her own foreign country. The E-1 visa applicant must be a foreign national of a treaty trader designated country, as well as meet other specific criteria. BBA Immigration can advise you on visa requirements, guide you through the necessary steps, and help ensure you fill out the right documents in the right way to get your visa approved. Contact our experienced Houston E-1 Visa lawyers today.
How to Become an E-1 Treaty Trader in Texas
First of all, the E-1 visa is only available to nationals of counties with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation or qualifying international agreement, or which has been deemed a qualifying country by law. Currently, nationals from well over 100 foreign countries would be eligible to apply.
The qualifying foreign national must also carry on substantial trade, and their principal trade must be between the U.S. and the treaty country under which they qualified for E-1 classification. “Trade” is defined as “the existing international exchange of items of trade for consideration between the United States and the treaty country” and includes items of trade such as goods, services, international banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, technology and its transfer, and some news-gathering activities as well. The requirement for carrying on “substantial trade” does not require a certain monetary value per transaction, but exchanges of higher value do receive greater weight in making this determination. An amount of trade sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of items between the two countries or to support a treaty trader and their family would likely be considered substantial. “Principal trade” means that over 50% of the volume of the treaty trader’s international trade is between the u.S. and the treaty trader’s country of nationality.
An employee of the treaty trader who is of the same nationality may also obtain the E-1 classification, provided the employee works in an executive or supervisory capacity or has special qualifications that make them essential to the efficient operation of the treaty enterprise.
If the individual seeking treaty trader status is already in the U.S. on a lawful nonimmigrant status, they should file Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to change their status to an E-1 classification. This petition can be filed by the treater trader or by the employer on behalf of an employee. If the individual is outside the U.S., they should apply for an E-1 visa abroad and then seek admission at a US port of entry as an E-1 nonimmigrant. BBA Immigration can help you complete the application and gather all relevant documentation to support your petition and provide strong grounds for approval by USCIS.
The initial stay for a treaty trader is up to two years. This time can be extended, however, and there is no limit to the total time one can remain in the country as a treaty trader, provided they continue to fulfill all requirements and maintain an intention to depart when their status expires or is terminated. An E-1 treaty trader can even travel abroad and then be readmitted for two years, provided Customs and Border Protection (CBP) finds them otherwise admissible.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 can also accompany treaty traders and their employees, even if they are of a different nationality from the treaty trader or employee. In most cases, spouses are eligible to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD/work permit).
Contact BBA Immigration Today
The E-1 visa can be an effective means for immigration to carry on substantial trade between the U.S. and your home country. The immigration attorneys at BBA Immigration can counsel you on eligibility and provide expert technical assistance in helping you obtain this visa for yourself or your employees. Call our experienced Houston E-1 treaty trader visa lawyers today.