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E Visas (E-1, E-2, And E-3) For Temporary Workers

The E visa category includes treaty traders and investors who come to the United States under a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the country of which the treaty trader or investor is a citizen or national. This category also includes Australian specialty occupation workers.


Who Is Eligible?


Before entering the United States, treaty traders or investors and Australian specialty occupation workers must apply and receive an E-1, E-2, E-3 visa from a U.S. consulate or embassy overseas. However, a U.S. company may also request a change of status to E-1, E-2, or E-3 for a nonimmigrant that is already in the United States. USCIS processes change of status and extensions of stay requests for nonimmigrants whose companies have filed such petitions.


Treaty traders (E-1) carry on substantial trade in goods, including but not limited to services and technology, principally between the United States and the foreign country of which they are citizens or nationals.



Treaty investors (E-2) direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested, or are actively investing, a substantial amount of money.



Australian specialty occupation workers (E-3) perform services in a specialty occupation.







General eligibility for E-1 classification:


To qualify for E-1 classification, the general requirements for a treaty trader are:

You are a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;

You carry on substantial trade; and

You carry on principal trade between the United States and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.


Note: Substantial trade generally refers to the continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time.


General eligibility for E-2 classification:


To qualify for E-2 classification, the general requirements for a treaty investor are:

You are a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;

You have invested, or are actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and

You are seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise.



The E-2 visa does allow a foreign national to enter the U.S. for up to a year at a time, to “work” at his/her owned investments, and can be renewed annually for an indefinite period of time.



General eligibility for E-3 classification:


To qualify for E-3 classification, the general requirements for a specialty occupation professional from Australia are:

You are a national of Australia;

You have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States;

You possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials; and

You will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation.



E-1 or E-2 classification as an employee of a treaty trader or treaty investor:


To qualify for E-1 or E-2 classification as an employee of a treaty trader or treaty investor, the general requirements are:

You are the same nationality as the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country);

You meet the definition of “employee” under relevant law; and

You are either engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.