Visas Through Trade and Investment
Foreign-owned companies may be able to take advantage of visa options with work authorization under bilateral agreements between their home countries and the United States. These Treaty Traders and Investors (E-1 and E-2) can send executives, managers or essential skills workers to their U.S. operations. A list of qualifying countries can be found here . If a treaty is not available, your company may have other options (see Multinationals).
The benefit of E classification is that applications are made at the consulate directly without the need for a pre-approval from USCIS. E registration at the consulate also allows for ‘fast tracking’ of additional qualifying employees.
Applications for treaty trader visas require ‘existing trade’ in goods, services or technology - and a well-founded business plan showing ‘substantial trade’ in the foreseeable future. What is substantial? That depends on the goods or services being exchanged, the volume of shipments or value of contracts.
Treaty investor visas require a ‘substantial investment’ at risk in an ‘active business’ that is more than ‘marginal’ – again all terms that are fleshed out with facts and documentation that depend on your industry, your plans, your means of investment and your chances of making an impact in the U.S. economy and create jobs.
For both E Visa categories, the company ownership and citizenship of the employee must be the same, meaning that the company must be prepared to show ultimate beneficial ownership of the shareholders and that the employees must have the same nationality as the majority of beneficial owners. This often presents an issue for a multinational company that has employees from different nations.
Please contact us for more information.
For “Investor Green Cards” please see Green Cards through investments
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