Is your home country as an official U.S. trading partner by treaty, agreement, or law? If so, then you—and your qualifying employees—could be eligible for E-1 nonimmigrant classification, also called a “treaty trader” visa.

The treaty trader classification is a temporary worker status that lets people from recognized U.S. trading partners to come into the United States to conduct their business. If your employer is already an E-1 treaty trader, you could also be eligible for a treaty trader visa. In addition, the USCIS has special visa provisions for family members and dependents of treaty traders. Spouses of treaty traders are eligible to work upon admission to the United States with their dependent status, without the need to apply independently for a work permit.

Are You a “Treaty Trader”?

To qualify as a treaty trader, you must be a national of a qualified treaty country. You must also engage in “substantial” trade, and more than 50% of your transactions must be between your country and the United States. 

“Substantial” trade means you can ensure a “continuous flow” of business between your country and the U.S., with many transactions over time. The size of each transaction is less important than the value of all the transactions over time. Even owners of smaller businesses may qualify if they can generate enough constant income to support themselves and their families in the U.S.

“Trade” can include not only the traditional exchange of goods and services but also

  • Development or transfer of technology
  • International banking
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Tourism
  • Some news-gathering activities

Employees of a Treaty Trader or a Treaty Trader Enterprise

If your employer has treaty trader status, you could also qualify for an E-1 visa if you

  • Are a national of the same treaty country as your employer
  • Meet the legal definition of an “employee”
  • Work as an executive or supervisor or have special qualifications that make your services essential

If your employer is a corporation, you might still be able to get an E-1 visa if more than 50% of the company is owned by people who have treaty trader status or could qualify for it.

In circumstances like these, the Trillos Ballerini Law Firm will work with both the individual applicant and the employer to make sure the right qualifications exist and can be provided to the USCIS.

Personalized Approach to Complex Immigration

Beatriz Trillos Ballerini has personally handled complex employment-based immigration for more than 20 years, and treaty trader applications have been a staple of the Trillos Ballerini Law Firm’s services since its founding.

Our team brings keen attention to detail, as well as knowledge and experience, to help you evaluate the best immigration options for your business or occupation. We will define a personalized immigration strategy for you, planning as far ahead as we can to help you make decisions.

A treaty trader visa is usually valid for up to two years, with adjustments as you travel in and out of the country, so it is vitally important to stay in touch with your attorney to make sure your status is continually up to date. This is especially important if you have employees or family members whose visas depend on the validity of yours.

From the moment you hire the Trillos Ballerini Law Firm, we will have your back. You can expect promptness, attention to detail, and open communication from every member of our team.

Contact the Trillos Ballerini Law Firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your immigration needs.