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What Is An E Nonimmigrant Visa And Who Are Treaty Traders And Investors?


The INA provides that an individual may enter the United States as an E nonimmigrant based upon a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation, or a Bilateral Investment Treaty or other arrangement, between the United States and the country of which he is a national. A list of treaty countries may be found at

The E nonimmigrant must be entering the United States either:

  1. in the case of an E-1 treaty trader, solely to carry on substantial trade which is international in scope principally between U.S. and the country which he is a national;
  2. in the case of an E-2 treaty investor, to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the foreign national has invested, or is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise;
  3. in the case of an E-1 or E-2, as a key employee from a treaty country, including executives and supervisors or persons whose services are “essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise”;
  4. as a principal employer, who is a person with the nationality of treaty country whether inside or outside U.S., or an enterprise or organization that is fifty percent (50%) or more owned by treaty nationals; or
  5. a spouse or unmarried minor child of one of these individuals.