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E-1 and E-2 treaty page 1

E-1 and E-2 visas are available to citizens of foreign countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation, or a bilateral investment treaty providing for nonimmigrant entries, with the United States.  The E-1 (“Treaty Trader”) visa is specifically designed for alien business owners, business managers, and employees who are required to stay in the U.S. for prolonged periods of time to oversee or work for an enterprise that is engaged in trade between the U.S. and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for the E-1 designation.  The E-2 (“Treaty Investors”) visa is available to an alien who is a citizen or national of a treaty country and who wishes to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. Specific criteria must be met to qualify for either visa.

E-1 and E-2 visas are based on different treaties, however, and depending on which country the beneficiary is from, he or she may not be eligible to apply for both visas. Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) allow for E-2 Treaty Investor status only, whereby Free Trade Agreements (including NAFTA/Fast Track) allow for both E-1 and E-2 visas. For example, a beneficiary from Canada or Mexico would be eligible for both an E-1 and E-2 visa due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between those countries and the United States. A beneficiary from Tunisia, however, would only be eligible for an E-2 visa because the treaty that exists between the U.S. and Tunisia is a BIT. Please refer to the chart below for a list of the specific countries that qualify for each visa.

Both E-1 and E-2 visa holders are initially allowed a maximum stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay can be filed and may be granted for periods of up to two years each. Notably, there is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-1 nonimmigrant may be granted, as long as the alien maintains the intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires or is terminated.

There are three main requirements to apply for both E-1 and E-2 visas:  

  • A treaty must exist between the United States and the foreign country under whose treaty the E status is sought;  
  • Majority ownership or control of the investing or trading company must be held by nationals of the foreign country under whose treaty the E status is sought;  
  • Citizenship of the foreign country under whose treaty the status is sought by each employee or principal of the company who is seeking the E status pursuant to the treaty.  

For a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, please see below:  

E-1 and E-2 visas are available to citizens of foreign countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation, or a bilateral investment treaty providing for nonimmigrant entries, with the United States.  The E-1 (“Treaty Trader”) visa is specifically designed for alien business owners, business managers, and employees who are required to stay in the U.S. for prolonged periods of time to oversee or work for an enterprise that is engaged in trade between the U.S. and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for the E-1 designation.  The E-2 (“Treaty Investors”) visa is available to an alien who is a citizen or national of a treaty country and who wishes to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. Specific criteria must be met to qualify for either visa.

E-1 and E-2 visas are based on different treaties, however, and depending on which country the beneficiary is from, he or she may not be eligible to apply for both visas. Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) allow for E-2 Treaty Investor status only, whereby Free Trade Agreements (including NAFTA/Fast Track) allow for both E-1 and E-2 visas. For example, a beneficiary from Canada or Mexico would be eligible for both an E-1 and E-2 visa due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between those countries and the United States. A beneficiary from Tunisia, however, would only be eligible for an E-2 visa because the treaty that exists between the U.S. and Tunisia is a BIT. Please refer to the chart below for a list of the specific countries that qualify for each visa.

Both E-1 and E-2 visa holders are initially allowed a maximum stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay can be filed and may be granted for periods of up to two years each. Notably, there is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-1 nonimmigrant may be granted, as long as the alien maintains the intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires or is terminated.

There are three main requirements to apply for both E-1 and E-2 visas:  

  • A treaty must exist between the United States and the foreign country under whose treaty the E status is sought;  
  • Majority ownership or control of the investing or trading company must be held by nationals of the foreign country under whose treaty the E status is sought;  
  • Citizenship of the foreign country under whose treaty the status is sought by each employee or principal of the company who is seeking the E status pursuant to the treaty.  

For a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, please see below:  

 

 

Treaty Countries 

Country  Classification  Effective Date 
Albania  E-2  January 4, 1998 
Argentina  E-1  October 20, 1994 
Argentina  E-2  October 20, 1994 
Armenia  E-2  March 29, 1996 
Australia  E-1  December 16, 1991 
Australia  E-2  December 27, 1991 
Austria  E-1  May 27, 1931 
Austria  E-2  May 27, 1931 
Azerbaijan  E-2  August 2, 2001 
Bahrain  E-2  May 30, 2001 
Bangladesh  E-2  July 25, 1989 
Belgium  E-1  October 3, 1963 
Belgium  E-2  October 3, 1963 
Bolivia  E-1  November 09, 1862 
Bolivia  E-2  June 6, 2001 
Bosnia and Herzegovina 11  E-1  November 15, 1882 
Bosnia and Herzegovina 11  E-2  November 15, 1882 
Brunei  E-1  July 11, 1853 
Bulgaria  E-2  June 2, 1994 
Cameroon  E-2  April 6, 1989 
Canada  E-1  January 1, 1993 
Canada  E-2  January 1, 1993 
Chile  E-1  January 1, 2004 
Chile  E-2  January 1, 2004 
China (Taiwan) 1  E-1  November 30, 1948 
China (Taiwan) 1  E-2  November 30, 1948 
Colombia  E-1  June 10, 1848 
Colombia  E-2  June 10, 1848 
Congo (Brazzaville)  E-2  August 13, 1994 
Congo (Kinshasa)  E-2  July 28, 1989 
Costa Rica  E-1  May 26, 1852 
Costa Rica  E-2  May 26, 1852 
Croatia 11  E-1  November 15, 1882 
Croatia 11  E-2  November 15, 1882 
Czech Republic 2  E-2  January 1, 1993 
Denmark 3  E-1  July 30, 1961 
Denmark  E-2  December 10, 2008 
Ecuador  E-2  May 11, 1997 
Egypt  E-2  June 27, 1992 
Estonia  E-1  May 22, 1926 
Estonia  E-2  February 16, 1997 
Ethiopia  E-1  October 8, 1953 
Ethiopia  E-2  October 8, 1953 
Finland  E-1  August 10, 1934 
Finland  E-2  December 1, 1992 
France 4  E-1  December 21, 1960 
France 4  E-2  December 21, 1960 
Georgia  E-2  August 17, 1997 
Germany  E-1  July 14, 1956 
Germany  E-2  July 14, 1956 
Greece  E-1  October 13, 1954 
Grenada  E-2  March 3, 1989 
Honduras  E-1  July 19, 1928 
Honduras  E-2  July 19, 1928 
Iran  E-1  June 16, 1957 
Iran  E-2  June 16, 1957 
Ireland  E-1  September 14, 1950 
Ireland  E-2  November 18, 1992 
Israel  E-1  April 3, 1954 
Italy  E-1  July 26, 1949 
Italy  E-2  July 26, 1949 
Jamaica  E-2  March 7, 1997 
Japan 5  E-1  October 30, 1953 
Japan 5  E-2  October 30, 1953 
Jordan  E-1  December 17, 2001 
Jordan  E-2  December 17, 2001 
Kazakhstan  E-2  January 12, 1994 
Korea (South)  E-1  November 7, 1957 
Korea (South)  E-2  November 7, 1957 
Kosovo 11  E-1  November 15, 1882 
Kosovo 11  E-2  November 15, 1882 
Kyrgyzstan  E-2  January 12, 1994 
Latvia  E-1  July 25, 1928 
Latvia  E-2  December 26, 1996 
Liberia  E-1  November 21, 1939 
Liberia  E-2  November 21, 1939 
Lithuania  E-2  November 22, 2001 
Luxembourg  E-1  March 28, 1963 
Luxembourg  E-2  March 28, 1963 
Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of (FRY) 11  E-1  November 15, 1882 
Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of (FRY) 11  E-2  November 15, 1882 
Mexico  E-1  January 1, 1994 
Mexico  E-2  January 1, 1994 
Moldova  E-2  November 25, 1994 
Mongolia  E-2  January 1, 1997 
Montenegro 11  E-1  November 15, 1882 
Montenegro 11  E-2  November 15, 1882 
Morocco  E-2  May 29, 1991 
Netherlands 6  E-1  December 5, 1957 
Netherlands 6  E-2  December 5, 1957 
Norway 7  E-1  January 18, 1928 
Norway 7  E-2  January 18, 1928 
Oman  E-1  June 11, 1960 
Oman  E-2  June 11, 1960 
Pakistan  E-1  February 12, 1961 
Pakistan  E-2  February 12, 1961 
Panama  E-2  May 30, 1991 
Paraguay  E-1  March 07, 1860 
Paraguay  E-2  March 07, 1860 
Philippines  E-1  September 6, 1955 
Philippines  E-2  September 6, 1955 
Poland  E-1  August 6, 1994 
Poland  E-2  August 6, 1994 
Romania  E-2  January 15, 1994 
Serbia 11  E-1  November 15,1882 
Serbia 11  E-2  November 15,1882 
Senegal  E-2  October 25, 1990 
Singapore  E-1  January 1, 2004 
Singapore  E-2  January 1, 2004 
Slovak Republic 2  E-2  January 1, 1993 
Slovenia 11  E-1  November 15, 1882 
Slovenia 11  E-2  November 15, 1882 
Spain 8  E-1  April 14, 1903 
Spain 8  E-2  April 14, 1903 
Sri Lanka  E-2  May 1, 1993 
Suriname 9  E-1  February 10, 1963 
Suriname 9  E-2  February 10, 1963 
Sweden  E-1  February 20, 1992 
Sweden  E-2  February 20, 1992 
Switzerland  E-1  November 08, 1855 
Switzerland  E-2  November 08, 1855 
Thailand  E-1  June 8, 1968 
Thailand  E-2  June 8, 1968 
Togo  E-1  February 5, 1967 
Togo  E-2  February 5, 1967 
Trinidad & Tobago  E-2  December 26, 1996 
Tunisia  E-2  February 7, 1993 
Turkey  E-1  February 15, 1933 
Turkey  E-2  May 18, 1990 
Ukraine  E-2  November 16, 1996 
United Kingdom 10  E-1  July 03, 1815 
United Kingdom 10  E-2  July 03, 1815 
Yugoslavia 11  E-1  November 15, 1882 
Yugoslavia 11  E-2  November 15, 1882 

Country Specific Footnotes 

  1. China (Taiwan) - Pursuant to Section 6 of the Taiwan Relations Act, (TRA) Public Law 96-8, 93 Stat, 14, and Executive Order 12143, 44 F.R. 37191, this agreement which was concluded with the Taiwan authorities prior to January 01, 1979, is administered on a nongovernmental basis by the American Institute in Taiwan, a nonprofit District of Columbia corporation, and constitutes neither recognition of the Taiwan authorities nor the continuation of any official relationship with Taiwan. 
  1. Czech Repubilc and Slovak Republic - The Treaty with the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic entered into force on December 19, 1992; entered into force for the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic as separate states on January 01, 1993. 
  1. Denmark - The Treaty which entered into force on July 30, 1961, does not apply to Greenland. 
  1. France - The Treaty which entered into force on December 21, 1960, applies to the departments of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Reunion. 
  1. Japan - The Treaty which entered into force on October 30, 1953, was made applicable to the Bonin Islands on June 26, 1968, and to the Ryukyu Islands on May 15, 1972. 
  1. Netherlands - The Treaty which entered into force on December 05, 1957, is applicable to Aruba and Netherlands Antilles. 
  1. Norway - The Treaty which entered into force on September 13, 1932, does not apply to Svalbard (Spitzbergen and certain lesser islands). 
  1. Spain - The Treaty which entered into force on April 14, 1903, is applicable to all territories. 
  1. Suriname - The Treaty with the Netherlands which entered into force December 05, 1957, was made applicable to Suriname on February 10, 1963. 
  1. United Kingdom - The Convention which entered into force on July 03, 1815, applies only to British territory in Europe (the British Isles (except the Republic of Ireland), the Channel Islands and Gibraltar) and to "inhabitants" of such territory. This term, as used in the Convention, means "one who resides actually and permanently in a given place, and has his domicile there." Also, in order to qualify for treaty trader or treaty investor status under this treaty, the alien must be a national of the United Kingdom. Individuals having the nationality of members of the Commonwealth other than the United Kingdom do not qualify for treaty trader or treaty investor status under this treaty. 
  1. Yugoslavia - The U.S. view is that the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) has dissolved and that the successors that formerly made up the SFRY - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo a continue to be bound by the treaty in force with the SFRY and the time of dissolution. 

 

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