What is a VISA?
VISA is an abbreviation for “Visitors International Stay Admission”. It is a conditional authorisation given by an immigrant country to a foreigner to stay in the country for a certain duration. In the USA, various types of visas are issued depending on the purpose and the duration of the stay in the U.S.
What is the E1 and E2 VISA?
In order to do business, or to grow one’s business in the U.S., or to invest in a U.S.-based company, the E visa category is a relevant visa which the non-immigrant national will have to apply for. The E-1 and E-2 visas are issued to citizens of those countries with which the U.S. has some treaty on trade, commerce, or navigation.
The E-1 visa is commonly referred to as the “non-immigrant treaty trader visa”. It is issued to non-immigrants of those countries with which the United States maintains an E-1 treaty on commerce and navigation, and the purpose of admission to the United States is solely to engage in international trade.
The E-2 visa is commonly referred to as the “non-immigrant treaty investor visa”. It is issued to non-immigrants of those countries with which the United States maintains an E-2 treaty on trade and commerce. It allows a non-immigrant individual/entity to invest in an existing U.S. based business or to establish a new business.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR E-1 AND E-2 VISA?
The eligibility requirements for both the categories are different and those who fulfil the criteria can be granted an E-1 or E-2 visa.
For the E-1 visa, the requirements are:
- One must be a citizen of an E-1 treaty country.
- The individual must have the intention of engaging in substantial trade.
- There has to be 50% of the trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.
- The trade can be in any form, eg. transportation, banking, insurance, tourism, etc.
- The person must have the intention to go back to his own country.
For the E-2 visa, the requirements are:
- The individual must be a national of an E-2 treaty country.
- The sole purpose of entering the U.S. is to develop or run a business.
- The investment in businesses should be significant, which creates jobs for the U.S. market.
- The intention to go back to the origin country also has to be there.
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN E-1 AND E-2 VISA
There are few similarities between the E-1 and E-2 visas.
- Both visas are issued to nationals of those countries with whom the U.S. has a treaty.
- Both are issued for a temporary period of 2 years and can be renewed as many times as the national fulfils the legal requirement.
- The spouse can apply for work authorization in the United States and children under the age of 21years can attend public and private schools and colleges.
- The holders of both the visas can bring people who have specialised knowledge of business from their country to the U.S.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN E-1 AND E-2 VISA
There are few differences between E-and E-2 visas.
- There are a few countries who can apply for an E-1 visa and some countries who can apply for an E-2 visa, and there are a few countries which can apply for both. Before applying, the person should be clear as to which treaty his/her country falls.
- The E-1 visa, as it is also called, the treaty trader visa, does not require any investment by the person. The person applying only has to prove trade between the treaty country and the U.S. However, for the E-2 visa, the person applying has to invest a substantial amount depending on the type of business. The business should be such which will create new jobs.
PROS AND CONS OF THE TWO VISAS
Now let us know the pros and cons of the E-1 visa.
PROS OR ADVANTAGE
- The E-1 visa holder can legally work in the U.S. till the time he fulfils the requirements of the visa.
- The holder of an E-1 visa can freely travel within the U.S.A and outside the U.S.A.
- The spouse and children under the age of 21 years of the visa holder can also get permits to work and to study in schools and colleges respectively.
- There is no limit to the number of times one can renew the visa. So, the person can stay for a long period of time.
CONS OR DISADVANTAGE
- One can apply for an E-1 visa only if the person is from an E-1 treaty country.
- The visa has to be renewed every 2 years.
- The employee from the treaty country can work only for the company which has sponsored the visa.
- The E-1 category is a temporary non-immigrant visa which does not create any scope for permanent residency.
Now let us know the pros and cons of the E-2 visa.
PROS OR ADVANTAGE
- There is no limit to the number of times the visa can be renewed till the time there is an investment shown.
- The spouse of the visa holder can also stay and get work permits. The children under the age of 21 years can also study in schools and colleges.
CONS OR DISADVANTAGE
- The E-2 visa can be issued only to nationals of those countries with which there is a E-2 treaty with the U.S.
- It has to be renewed every 2 years.
- It is a non-immigrant visa which does not open any doors to permanent residency or green card.
- One has to show and give evidence of investment in a business which has the potential to grow. If the investment in the business is not successful, it can lead to revocation of the visa.
In the end, we can say that both the E-1 and E-2 are Non-Immigrant visas which means the holder of visa cannot become a green card holder or a permanent resident of the U.S. Both the visas have certain pros and cons, some similarities between them and few dissimilarities as we have discussed above. These visas can be issued only if the purpose to stay in the U.S. is trade or investment by the nationals of the treaty country. Few countries have a trade treaty with the U.S., they can apply for the E-1 visa. Some countries have an investment treaty with the U.S., the nationals of these countries can apply for the E-2 visa. Few countries have both the treaties with the U.S., the citizens of these countries have the option to apply for either of the two or can also apply for both. Therefore, before applying one must be aware of that which category their country falls. These visas are comparatively easier to get and less time taking than other visas. As there is no limit to the number of times these visas can be renewed, a person can stay for an indefinite period if he fulfills the other criteria.
Thus, we can say that the E-1 and the E-2 visa are although non-immigrant visas, but the holder of these visas can stay with their families and work throughout their life. As the spouse too can get a work permit, without any separate procedure to get it, this further increases its demand. The requirement for getting these visas is not very complicated. First, if you are a citizen of the treaty countries with the U.S, Second, either you have trade with the U.S. or you can invest in some business, Third, there has to be more than 50% of the trade or a substantial investment by the person applying for the visa. After fulfilling these, one gets eligible for either of the two visas. But the most important factor is that the person has to be the national of the treaty countries otherwise one cannot think of getting these visas.