If you are a non-U.S. Citizen and you want to operate or buy an existing business in the U.S., or interested in starting a new business of your own in the U.S., we can obtain the right visa for you.  We boast a 100% success rate in obtaining visas for our clients, because we advise you on the best option only after a careful evaluation of your qualifications.

Currently, there are two types of U.S. visas available for citizens of countries with which the U.S. has treaties to promote trade and investment (also  called "Treaty Countries").  These visas are called 
E-visas.  The E-1 Treaty-Trader visa is useful for entrepreneurs, managers and employees who need to live and work in the U.S.  The E-2 Treaty-Investor visa is for investors interested in investing a substantial amount of money, either in an existing business, or in a new company. 

Whether you qualify for an E-1 or an E-2 visa, you and your spouse may begin work immediately and your children may attend school in the United States.


There are 3 general requirements to get an E-1 visa:

1)  A treaty must exist between the U.S. and your country;

2)  Your company must be majority owned, or controlled, by citizens of a Treaty Country;

3)  Majority of the trade must be between the U.S. and your Treaty Country.

* "Majority-Owned" means at least 50%.

Specific Requirements:

Besides having the proper nationality, the most delicate and intricate requirements are associated with the amount of "trade." 


Trade means the exchange, purchase or sale of goods or services between the U.S. and the Treaty Country.  "Trade" also includes technology, monies, international banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, communications, some news gathering activities, data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, and management consulting.

Substantial Trade

The term "substantial trade" is not defined in the law or by any numerical measure, but the flow of trade must be continuous in nature.  What is "substantial" depends on your type of business.  An importer of heavy machinery may not have to show a high number of transactions per month, as long as the value of each transaction is sizable compared to an importer of, for example, dog apparels, or shoes.  Generally, there are three tests that can be used to measure substantiailty:  "Dollar Amount," "Volume," and "Frequency."

Dollar Amount of Trade--  Although each U.S. Consulate may have a different guideline, as a general rule, the dollar amount of trade per year should exceed $200,000 USD., although this amount may vary depending on the type of your business and the economic conditions of your home country.
Volume of Trade--  The volume of trade by your company should meet the industry standard when compared with others in the same business.  In some cases, a new company with less than a one-year sales record may qualify for an E-1 visa if it can demonstrate growth and the potential to increase in volume. 

Frequency of Trade--  Importation or exportation must be continuous, so that the company can maintain full inventory at all times.

Generally, a high value in one of these three criteria will lower the requirement of the other two, provided you adequately prepare the documents.  We will make sure all your documents are fully prepared, and strive to find the right balance for you, always keeping in mind your cost-efficiency.


The nationality requirements for an E-1 visa also applies to an E-2 visa.  The more important factors to consider should be how much to invest and in what type of business?  Generally, the investment must be "substantial," as you may have expected, and the business must be "active."

Substantial Investment

To "invest" your money means putting your money at risk, meaning you cannot reverse your investment once it is made. 

Again, what is "subtantial" depends on your type of business.  A lower-cost business generally will require a higher amount of investment, and you need to invest enough to show that you are committed to the success of your business.

"Active" Business

An active business is one that requires daily supervision by high-level managers of your company.  Consequently, investments that are speculative in nature, such as in stocks, bonds, holding companies, and real estate companies solely for the speculation of real estate markets, do not qualify.


Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Philippines, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the Territory of Wallis and Futuna Islands.


*Disclaimer:  Information provided on this page is only intended as a general guideline for the reader, and it is not intended as legal advice for any particular case, or exhaustive of all legal requirements.