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Trade Agreements and E Visas.

4 (Demo)
Trade Agreements and E Visas.

Are you a citizen of Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Mexico or Paraguay? Do you have plans for a business and money to invest in the United States? The E Visa (Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors) can be a means to make your dream come true.

The countries mentioned are among the many that have signed Trade Agreements with the United States, allowing their citizens to apply for temporary visas to conduct trade or investment business in the United States.

The E Visa

Unlike the Permanent Resident Investor Visa, the E Visa is temporary in nature and does not require a minimum investment or trade capital.

There are two types: E-1 for merchant and E-2 for investor. Both are designed to pursue long-term business objectives. They are generally issued for 5 years and there is no limit to the number of extensions requested as long as the conditions for the individual to qualify are in place and the Treaty between the two countries remains in effect.

The spouse of the trader or investor may apply for employment authorization and unmarried children under 21 may study without changing status. It is not necessary that these family members have the nationality of the treaty country.

E-1 Merchant Visa

To qualify it is necessary to be a citizen of the signatory country, or if it is a company, at least 50% of its shares must be in the hands of nationals of that country.

More than 50% of the company’s international trade must be between the United States and the treaty country. For this Visa “Trade” is a very broad concept, including the exchange, purchase or sale of goods and services; technology; and contracts already signed that commit this exchange. This trade must be ongoing and continuous.

The individual must be the principal trader, or an executive, manager, or employee with special skills essential to the company.

E-2 Investor Visa

To qualify it is necessary to be a citizen of the signatory country, or if it is a company, at least 50% of its shares must be in the hands of nationals of that country.

The individual or company has invested or will invest substantial capital (relative to the total value of the company) in a legitimate U.S. business or enterprise.

The individual must be the principal investor who will direct and develop the enterprise, or an executive, supervisor, or employee whose services are essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise in the United States.

The investment must have the capacity to generate more than sufficient income for the E-2 Investor and his or her family, or have the capacity to contribute significantly to the local economy.

The procedure is before the U.S. Consulate in the country of origin, so it is very important to present a Business Plan for the next 5 years.

Franchises are a perfect fit for this visa category since, as they are already established businesses, it is less complicated to test them before the
Consulate that the investment has the capacity to generate income.


E visas are a possibility that is not very well known or taken advantage of. The definition of TRADE for the E-1 visa is very broad and is not limited to the exchange of goods, services, international banking, insurance, transportation, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design, engineering, tourism, some media activities.

As far as Investment for the E-2 visa is concerned, there are not many restrictions, except that the funds must be at risk and cannot be the direct or indirect product of illicit activities. Likewise, it cannot be a passive investment and must be of an entrepreneurial nature, i.e. for profit.


Cuídese de los notarios, consultores en inmigración o cualquier persona no calificada y preparada en estos temas. Siempre busque la asesoría y los servicios de un abogado de inmigración para sus procesos y trámites migratorios.