The E-1 visa category allows individuals from countries with which the United States maintains a qualifying treaty of commerce to enter the U.S. to engage in trade primarily between the U.S. and the applicant’s country of nationality. A list of these countries can be found here.

E-1 Visa Requirements

An E-1 visa applicant must generally meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be a national of a qualifying treaty country
  • The trade must be substantial. Single and infrequent trade activities will generally not be considered substantial. Rather, the trade must be continuous and involve more than a nominal or small monetary value.
  • The E-1 trader must be engaged in trade principally between the U.S. and the treaty trader’s country of nationality. Over 50% of the volume of international trade must be between the U.S. and the applicant’s treaty country.

Items of trade can include:

  • Goods
  • Services
  • Tourism
  • Management consulting
  • Transportation
  • Communications

The E-1 visa is often an overlooked visa that is available for individuals engaged in commerce between the U.S. and their home country. It is important to note items of trade are not strictly limited to tangible goods, but can also include services and consulting.

E-1 visa holders will be allowed an initial stay in the U.S. of up to two years, with extension of stay requests granted for up to two years. There is no maximum duration of stay so long as the E-1 visa holder meets the requirements as described above.

Further Information

VisaZip LLP helps individuals and businesses find more efficient solutions to their immigration needs. With over two decades of combined experience handling thousands of immigration cases, our attorneys will help you navigate the complex landscape of U.S. immigration law to find the solution that is best for you. Please contact us to learn more about the L-1 visa and to schedule a consultation.

Written by Farid Masoud Esq. Mr. Masoud previously served as an Assistant Chief Counsel for Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and as an Immigration Officer with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Mr. Masoud is currently a partner at VisaZip LLP, an immigration law firm that serves individuals throughout the U.S. and globally. More information about this visa can be found on

Please note: This article is for general information purposes and should not be construed as legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact an experienced immigration attorney for your specific immigration issue.