California E-1 Visa Lawyer

A businessman seated at a table with a bag of money and an American flag.Traders from a treaty country have a terrific opportunity to sell products or services with an E-1 Visa in the United States. While this program serves a select group of applicants with unique qualifications, the benefits provide excellent opportunities to operate and grow their trade.

The E-1 nonimmigrant classification permits a citizen from a treaty country to legally enter the United States to engage in international trade. While it does not apply to all employees, some managing operators — or, in some cases, even an entire qualifying organization — may be eligible for this classification.

Trading opportunities can become a reality in the United States with an E-1 trader visa. Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, California E-1 visa lawyers, are highly experienced in obtaining these visas. We can provide legal advice and assistance during the application process, helping raise your chances of completing your goals here in the U.S. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule your confidential and no-obligation review to discuss obtaining an E-1 visa.

How a California E-1 Visa Attorney Can Help

Recent changes to Section 101 (a)(15)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act have redefined eligibility has been for all E visas, including E-1 trader visas. Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law are familiar with the process, requirements, and questions that generally come from applying for this visa program.

We can assist you with all stages of obtaining an E-1 visa, from determining eligibility to applying for your interview. We can also help ensure the success of your stay, including being admitted into the country and maintaining compliance with your visa’s terms throughout your time on U.S. soil.

Our highly experienced attorneys have worked with many companies and individuals. So we understand the factors that help determine whether an E-1 visa stay can not only happen but also be likely to result in the expected outcome for the trip.

Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with one of our experienced immigration lawyers today

What Is Considered a Treaty Country?

Applicants applying for an E-1 visa must confirm that their home country is a treaty country with the United States. A Treaty Country is defined as an outside country that maintains a mutual agreement to allow for commerce, an international qualifying agreement, or legislation qualifying a country within the United States.

These countries are broken down between the E-1 or E-2 visa programs. Applicants are encouraged to check their Country’s status before beginning the application process, as not all countries qualify under this visa program or are considered Treaty Countries.

E-1 Treaty Visa Qualifications

All applicants for an E-1 visa must meet the requirements to obtain an E-1 visa status successfully. To qualify for E-1 classification, the treaty trader must:

  • Have citizenship of a country the United States considers a Treaty Country
  • Carry on continuous transactions in their trade
  • Carry on trade between the United States and the treaty country

Qualified Items of Trade

The United States and treaty countries have worked together to create a list of services and products that qualify for the E-1 visa program. You can confirm any industries or trades not listed by contacting the United States Customs and Immigration Services.

While not limited to the items below, the listed points are generally considered qualified industries of the Trade Treaty:

  • Goods or services
  • Insurance or International banking
  • Some news-gathering activities — Foreign media and journalists possibly need to apply to another program.
  • Technology and technological transfers
  • Tourism
  • Transportation

Those applying for this visa program must ensure proof of continuous transactions considered a “continuous flow.” While the monetary value of each transaction is considered, it holds less weight than the number of transactions that occurred over time. Documenting this flow of commerce can be challenging, so seeking legal assistance from an E-1 visa attorney can help identify and collect all relevant information for your case.

How Long Is the Term of an E-1 Visa?

E-1 visas are work-related programs, so they are meant to be temporary. They cannot provide a direct path toward permanent residency.

Once approved, the maximum initial stay for an E-1 visa is two years. While an extension is possible, all recipients of an E-1 visa must maintain their intention to depart the U.S. upon the termination of their visa and its related activities.

Before completing a two-year term, visa holders may proactively apply for an extension if deemed necessary by their commercial operation. Visa holders who work with a California E-1 visa lawyer can find assistance in the extension process.

Extensions, when granted, are approved for up to two additional years. However, unlike other work visa programs, the E-1 visa has no limits to the number of times a visa holder can apply for an extension.

Thus, an E-1 visa may allow someone to stay in the U.S. indefinitely, so long as they are engaged in continuous qualified trade of a good or service.

Can an Employee of a Treaty Trader Apply for an E-1 Visa?

An E-1 trading visa is not meant for employees but more for treaty traders alone. However, there are exceptions to that rule, where employees can be approved for an E-1 visa so long as they meet the following qualifications:

  • Both employee and the employer must have the same nationality for a single treaty country
  • Must carry specific skills and qualifications not readily available in the United States
  • Have a salary that the special qualifications can require while in the United States
  • History and proof of expertise in the employee’s area of operations
  • Meet the definition of an employee by law
  • Possess a specific skillset as required by their employer for the role

If the employee is not qualified under these duties, they must be able to prove that they have particular qualifications that make an employee essential to the operation of the treaty enterprise, excluding any language barriers.

Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law can help applicants go through their line of work and what duties they complete that are essential to their employer’s operation. Gathering documents and information and determining roles can help identify if an employee qualifies for this exception.

Keep Your Relationships in Good Standing

Treaty workers are expected to remain working the same role as when they applied and were approved for their E-1 visa. This includes remaining with the same organization.

However, changes do happen. In such cases, treaty workers must submit proof of any substantive changes to the condition of their visa.

Cases considered substantive change are an acquisition, a merger, the dissolution or sale of a division, or any other relevant event that compromises the treaty worker’s relationship with their employer.

Employers must also proactively keep their employees with active visa status. By filing Form I-129 to the United States Customs and Immigration Services, employers can report any major events that substantially changed the terms of their employee’s position and their approved visa conditions.

Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law understands that not all events will be considered substantial. Fortunately, working with legal experts can help treaty employees and employers understand what requires a Form I-129 and a fee and what does not. Navigating immigration processes can be overwhelming, but we are here to help.

Bringing Families Over for E-1 Visa Holders

Like other visa programs, the spouse and unmarried children under 21 can accompany the E-1 visa holder to the United States. However, unlike other programs where they would have a different status, their status would be an E-1 visa like the primary petitioner.

Under an E-1 or E-1S visa — a nonimmigrant visa program — families of treaty workers can come to the U.S. and are authorized to work. Their visas will last as long as the treaty worker has an active visa status. They can also extend their visas after the initial two-year period.

International Trade Is Possible With an E-1 Visa: Call a California E1 Visa Attorney

International trade is encouraged, valued, and a huge part of the American economy. Treaty Traders can visit the U.S. once they are approved for an E-1 visa, with the opportunity for extensions for their stay to work and work on their trade. Whether coming alone or under the wing of their employer, the E-1 visa program allows treaty workers and their families to come to the U.S. while being able to work.

Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law will help you determine what is needed to qualify for an E-1 visa program, help prepare all paperwork, and advise you in anticipation of your interview. Our legal team has years of extensive experience helping applicants obtain an E-1 visa. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online for a no-obligation consultation over the phone or in person at our local office.