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Nonimmigrant Visas

The categories of nonimmigrant visas read like alphabet soup and are notated by a letter-number combination as appearing on the I-94 Arrival-Departure Card.

A Diplomats and foreign government officials
B Visitors for business or pleasure (B-1/B-2 information)
C Transit visa
D Crewmen
E Treaty Traders and Investors (E-1 & E-2 information)
F Students (academic) (F-1 information)
H Temporary Workers
I Representatives of foreign media
J Exchange Program students, scholars, trainees, teachers, research assistants, medical graduates, etc. (J-1 information)
K Fiancees of U.S. citizens
L Intracompany transferees (L-1 information)
M Students (vocational) (M-1 information)
N Parents or children of an alien accorded Special Immigrant status
O Individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, athletics, movies, or television
P Athletes and entertainers - highly qualified individuals / groups as well as accompanying group members
Q Participants in international cultural programs
R Religious workers
S Individuals coming to the U.S. to testify in a criminal proceeding
TN Canadians and Mexicans entering under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

E - Treaty Traders and Investors (E-1 & E-2 information)

The E-1 / E-2 visas are non-immigrant long term visas granted to an alien who is a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce, and who wishes to invest in the U.S. or carry on substantial trade between the U.S. and his/her country. Such an applicant is known as a Treaty Foreign National (TFN).


E-1 VISA

Countries with Treaties for E-1 Visas

Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Serbia Montenegra, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, Wallis & Futura Islands, Western Sahara.

An E-1 visa is granted to an alien seeking entry into the U.S. under the following conditions:

  1. he/she must carry out 'substantial trade' defined as the 'exchange, purchase or sale of goods and/or services'. Goods may be tangible commodities or merchandise having intrinsic value. Services are economic activities whose outputs are other than tangible goods. Such service activities include but are not limited to banking, insurance, design and engineering, transportation, communications and data processing, advertising, accounting, management consulting, tourism and technology transfer.
  2. the trade must be principally (i.e. more than 50%) between the U.S. and the applicant's country.
  3. the applicant must have the nationality of a country that belongs to the treaty.
  4. the trade is already in existence.
  5. the applicant must be in an executive or managerial position or have special skills relating to that field.
  6. the applicant confirms that he/she intends to depart the United States when the E-1 status ends.

E-2 VISA

Countries with Treaties for E-2 Visas

Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Rep. of the), Congo (Rep.), (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldavia, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Fed., Senegal, Serbia Montenegra, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia, Wallis & Futura Islands, Western Sahara.

An E-2 visa is granted to an alien seeking entry into the U.S. under the following conditions:

  1. he/she wishes to 'develop and direct operations of an enterprise in which he/she has invested or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital'.
  2. the investment must be substantial, i.e. the amount must be enough to establish or purchase an ongoing business. In addition, there are certain proportionality tests that have to be met. This requires the alien to invest from 100%(in cases where the business enterprise costs less than $75,000/-) to 50%(in cases where the business enterprise costs more than $500,000/-).
  3. the funds must be 'at risk', i.e. must be applicant's own personal funds and not belong to a third party, and collateral for a loan must be signed on a personal basis by him/her.
  4. the applicant must have the nationality of a country that belongs to the treaty.
  5. the investment must be in a real and operating commercial enterprise that is already in existence, or he/she is actively in the process of establishing.
  6. the investment is not marginal, i.e. the applicant must have an outside source of income, other than the money he/she has invested in the said enterprise, to enable him/her to sustain him/herself during the first few years of the investment.
  7. the applicant must be able to operate and manage the business or have special skills relating to that field.
  8. the applicant confirms that he/she intends to depart the United States when the E-2 status ends.

General Information

Persons holding an 'E' visa may reside in the United States as long as they continue to maintain their status with the enterprise. This means that the visa may be renewed indefinitely as long as the trade or investment is in effect.

Persons holding an 'E' visa may bring their immediate family to reside with them in the U.S. and the children may attend school or university without having to obtain a separate visa.

Work Authorization for Spouses

The President has signed into law a new immigration bill H.R. 2277. This will allow spouses of E visa holders to work while they are in the United States. Currently, spouses are allowed to accompany the principal visa holder for the length of their assignment, but are banned from working. The new rule will come as a welcome measure to many as most families depend on a dual income.

NOTE: Immigration law changes frequently. The resources and information provided on this web site are intended to help you understand basic issues involved in the immigration process, and are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. This information is not offered as, nor does it constitute legal advice or legal opinions. Although we strive to keep this information current, we neither promise nor guarantee that the information is the latest available, or that it applies to your specific situation. You should not act or rely upon the information in these pages without seeking the advice of an attorney.

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