The E-1 Treaty Trader Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for nationals of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. It allows individuals to enter the U.S. solely to engage in international trade on their own behalf or on behalf of a foreign employer. The trade must be substantial, meaning that there is a sizable and continuous volume of trade.
The E-1 Visa initially allows a stay of up to two years, which can be extended indefinitely in two-year increments as long as the individual continues to qualify for the status. The spouse and children of an E-1 Treaty Trader may also be eligible to accompany the principal visa holder, and spouses can apply for work authorization.
To apply for an E-1 Visa, the applicant must be a citizen of a treaty country, and the trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U. S. must have the nationality of the treaty country, meaning that more than 50% of the ownership of the enterprise must be in the hands of nationals of the treaty country.