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E1, E2, and E3 Visas
Treaty Trader and Investors

Overview

Based on your responses, you should apply for a E1, E2 or E3 visa.  

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.

Treaty Trader (E-1), Treaty Investor (E-2), and Australian in Specialty Occupation (E-3) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. For a list of participating countries, select Treaty Countries .

You must be coming to the United States to:

        • engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country; or
        • develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which you have invested a substantial amount of capital; or
        • be a national of Australia working solely in a specialty occupation.

For more information on business investment in the United States, see the U.S. Department of Commerce website SelectUSA .

Treaty Trader (E1) Qualifications:

        • You must be a citizen of a treaty country.
        • The trading firm for which you plan to come to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country, meaning persons with the treaty country’s nationality must own at least 50 percent of the enterprise.
        • The international trade must be substantial, meaning that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
        • More than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the United States and the treaty country.
        • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.
        • You must be an essential employee, employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.

Treaty Investor (E2) Qualifications

        • The investor, either a person, partnership or corporate entity, must have the citizenship of a treaty country.
        • If a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by persons with the treaty country’s nationality.
        • The investment must be substantial, with investment funds or assets committed and irrevocable. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.
        • The investment must be a real operating enterprise, an active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking. A paper organization, speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
        • It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
        • You must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
        • You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise. If you are not the principal investor, you must be considered an essential employee, employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.  Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.

Australian in Specialty Occupation (E3) Qualifications

        • You must have an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) issued by the Department of Labor (DOL);
        • You must demonstrate that the prospective employment meets the standard of being a “specialty occupation employment”;

          • In determining whether an occupation qualifies as a “specialty occupation,” follow the definition contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 214 (i)(1) for H-1B nonimmigrants and applicable standards and criteria determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Please see the USCIS page on H1B visas for more information.

        • You must demonstrate that the necessary academic qualifications for the job have been met.

For more details on an E Visa, visit Travel.State.gov.

Additional Information

        • We cannot guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
        • Spouse and Children –
        • Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date.  Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid.  If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

Australian in Specialty Occupation (E-3) visa applicants will need the following documents:

        • An approved Labor Condition Application (LCA), which the U.S. employer obtains from the Department of Labor.
        • Evidence of academic or other qualifying credentials as required under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 214(i)(1), and a job offer letter from the employer.
        • In the absence of an academic or other qualifying credential(s), evidence of education and experience that is equivalent to the required U.S. degree.
        • A certified copy of any required license or other official permission to practice the occupation in the state of intended employment if so required or, where licensure is not necessary to commence immediately the intended specialty occupation employment upon admission, evidence that the required license will be obtained within a reasonable time after admission.

 

Be sure to view local information below to determine fees and payment process and additional requirements.

Apply

Complete the Online Visa Application

        • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
        • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

You should have the following documents available while you complete your DS-160

        • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
        • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
        • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
        • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
        • Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E – This form is required for:
          • all E-1 treaty trader visa applicants; and
          • E-2 treaty investor visa applicants, if you are an Executive/Manager/Essential Employee.

Some applicants will need to have additional information and documents handy while completing the DS-160

        • Students and Exchange Visitors (F, J, and M): You will be asked to provide your SEVIS ID, which is printed on your I-20 or DS-2019, so you should have this form available when completing your DS-160. You also will be asked to provide the address of the school/program at which you intend to study. This information should also be on your I-20 or DS-2019 form.
        • Petition-based Temporary Workers (H-1B, H-2, H-3, CW1, L, O, P, R, E2C): You should have a copy of your I-129 available when completing your DS-160.
        • Other Temporary Workers: You will be asked for information about your employer, including the employer’s address while completing your DS-160.

After you complete your DS-160, gather the required documentation

        • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
        • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
        • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
        • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
        • Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E – This form is required for:
          • all E-1 treaty trader visa applicants; and
          • E-2 treaty investor visa applicants, if you are an Executive/Manager/Essential Employee.

Additional Documentation May Be Required:

Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa applicants must establish that the trading enterprise or investment enterprise meets the requirements of the law and complies with the many requirements for the E visa category. The consular officer may provide you with special forms to complete for this purpose. You should expect that the consular officer will request additional documentation to determine your eligibility for a treaty trader or treaty investor visa. It is impossible to specify the exact documentation required since circumstances vary greatly by applicant. For detailed requirements for this category, review 9 Foreign Affairs Manual 402.9 Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor.

Pay Fees (Prices in U.S. Dollars)

Each Applicant must pay a non-refundable processing (MRV) fee of US$205.00.

For some nationalities and visa types, an additional issuance fee may be required. Detailed information is available on your country of nationality’s Reciprocity Table on travel.state.gov. These additional fees will be paid at the time of your interview.

Schedule an Interview

Schedule an interview online  (using the barcode of your Form DS-160) and print the appointment confirmation. Because of space limitations in our public waiting area, only the person with an appointment for an interview will be admitted. Exceptions: Parents or guardians of a minor child who has an appointment, a caregiver for a disabled person, and young children accompanying the person with an appointment will be allowed to enter the waiting area.

Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required (some exceptions for renewals) to book one interview slot each and appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. While an interview is generally not required for children aged 13 and younger or for adults aged 80 and older, please keep in mind that a consular officer can require any applicant to appear for an interview. When submitting an application for a non-present child, the person present at the interview should bring the child’s birth certificate or family book as a supporting document.

Local Information

Please read the information in this section carefully.  It contains location-specific information that you will need to know when applying for your Visa.

Select the country or area where you will apply for your visa:


    Application Status

    You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.

    Some visa applications may require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.