Nationals of many countries are eligible to obtain Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor visas. The E-1 Treaty Trader visa requires that at least 51 percent of the company’s trade be between the treaty country and the U.S. The E-2 Treaty Investor visa requires a substantial investment in a U.S. business which must be controlled by treaty nationals. No fixed amount is required, and the definition of “substantial” varies depending on the nature of the business. E visas may also be issued to managers, executives and essential employees of the same nationality who work for the U.S. branch office. The visas may, depending on each treaty, be granted for an initial period of up to five years. However, the person’s stay is authorized by the Immigration Service in two-year increments granted upon each entry to the United States. The easiest way to extend E status while the visa is valid is to travel abroad and re-enter. This can only be done during the validity of the visa. The E visa can be extended as long as there is a need for the investor to direct and control the U.S. enterprise. Essential employee Es are expected to be replaced by U.S. trained personnel.
Spouses of E visa holders are allowed to request work authorization.