How to Obtain a Green Card via Trade with the U.S. (E-1 Treaty-Trader Visa)

Posted about 5 years ago. 2 helpful votes



Confirm Home Country Has Trade Treaty with the U.S.

Foreign nationals from countries with commerce treaties with the United States may still obtain a visa to live and work in the United States by conducting trade with the United States (E-1 visa) The requirements of the E visa may be found in A?101(a)(15)(E) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act; 8 U.S.C.A. A?1101(a)(15)(E). Germany, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Pakistan, Iran, Japan and Australia are just some of the countries that have treaties with the United States.


Confirm Majority Ownership Meets Requirements

Majority ownership or control of the investing Company must be held by nationals of the foreign country. The E visa category may be used by various types of companies, whether owned by individuals or large multinational corporations, and may be used by the company's principals or by its employees. Although the E visa is considered a non-immigrant visa, unlike other nonimmigrant visas, it may be renewed indefinitely and the E visa holder may apply for a green card through the business supporting the E visa.


Confirm Trade is Principally Between the U.S. and Treat Country

The trade must principally be between the United States and the treaty country. That is, more than 50 percent of the total volume of international trade must be between the U.S. and the treaty country. Also, the amount of trade must be sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of international trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.


Confirm "Substantial" Trade Requirments are Met

Finally, the trade in goods and services should be "substantial" in terms of value, volume or a large number of small transactions. There is no minimum dollar amount necessary for the investment to be considered "substantial" and this requirement is determined on a case by case basis. For example, the import or export of a million widgets at $0.50 per widget would be considered substantial. However, importing three machines at $333,000 per machine may not be considered substantial.


Confirm Citizenship

Confirm every employee or principal of the company seeking E visa status must be a citizen of the foreign country where the company is based.

Additional Resources

Non-Immigrant Visas

Rate this guide

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

24,168 answers this week

2,987 attorneys answering