The E-1 is basically a non-immigrant visa for foreigners coming from a treaty nation to enter the United States and engage in trade activities. A treaty nation is a country that has entered into an agreement of trade and navigation or a bilateral agreement with the US.
With an E-1 visa in hand, you can stay in the United States for a relatively a longer period with the option of extending your visa for 5 years on an unlimited basis. You can also extend your status for two years on an unlimited basis unless and until you are eligible under the E-1 visa requirements.
So, are you eligible for the E-1 visa? Well, below are the eligibility requirements.
- In order to qualify for the E-1 visa, you must be a top-level employee of a company from a treaty nation that is running its operations in the US, or you hold 50 percent stake in the business.
- The company must be a national of the treaty company, meaning your country’s nationals must hold at least 50 percent of the company’s share.
- You must be a citizen of the treaty trade nation and engaged in international commerce.
- You must be a direct family member of a principal E-1 visa holder.
Once you get the E-1 visa, you can work lawfully in the treaty company. You will be allowed to move without restrictions within and outside the US, besides having the option to easily extend your stay in the US. The good news is that you can even take along your dependents to the US and have your spouse work there under this visa. However, you should keep in mind that the authorized stay under the E-1 visa is granted for 2 years at one time. This may make the extension process a daunting task.
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