Immigrating to the United States can be a complicated process full of visa categories and legal requirements. One type of nonimmigrant visa issued by the U.S. government is the E visa, which allows qualified treaty traders and investors to temporarily work and live in the U.S. An Illinois attorney can help you with the visa process.
What is an E Visa?
The E visa has two categories – E-1 for treaty traders and E-2 for treaty investors. The E-1 visa is meant for those engaged in substantial trade between the U.S. and the treaty country, such as international transportation of goods. The E-2 visa is geared towards those who have invested or are actively investing substantial capital in a U.S. business.
To qualify for either visa, you must be a national of a country with a treaty of trade and navigation with the U.S. There are over 90 eligible treaty countries, such as Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the U.K. The company where you work must also have the treaty country’s nationality.
When Is an E Visa Required in Illinois?
Suppose you are a foreign businessperson looking to work for a subsidiary of your overseas company that engages in trade between your home country and the U.S. In that case, you may need an E-1 visa. The criteria focus on the volume of trade conducted rather than the existence of an office in the U.S.
For an E-2 visa, you must be coming to Illinois to develop and direct a real operating business into which you have already invested substantial capital. Real estate alone does not qualify. The business must generate significantly more income than just your salary to support a family.
How Do I Apply for an E Visa?
E visa applications have several steps:
- Your employer must file a Form I-129 petition with USCIS on your behalf. This must include proof of nationality and ownership, details about business activities, and evidence of substantial capital of trade volume.
- Once the I-129 is approved, you can apply for the E visa at your local U.S. consulate. You must provide supporting documents, undergo an interview, and receive a final decision.
- If approved, you will be issued an E-1 or E-2 visa stamp in your passport with a validity period. This allows you to enter the U.S. as a treaty trader or investor.
- In the U.S., you can apply to extend your stay in 2-year increments. There is no limit on how long you can have an E visa as long as you maintain eligibility.
Contact a DuPage County, IL Immigration Lawyer
The E visa process has strict requirements, so it is recommended to consult with an Itasca, IL immigration attorney. It is important to have legal representation on your side for the best potential outcome. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to get started with the process.