E Visa: Treaty Traders and Investors

Requirements of the  E-1/E-2 Visa Category

Section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act permits eligible enterprises engaged in trade with, or investment in, the United States to transfer key employees to this country for extended periods of time in either E-1, “treaty trader,” or E-2, “treaty investor,” nonimmigrant status. In order to obtain such status, an underlying reciprocal treaty of “friendship, commerce, and navigation” or bilateral investment treaty between the trader/investor’s country of nationality and the United States must be in force. Depending upon its terms, a treaty may confer eligibility for either one or both E categories if both the individuals seeking such status and the employing enterprise meet certain requirements with respect to nationality, substantiality of the proposed trade or investment, and responsibilities of the individuals to be employed.

Nationality

The nationality of an enterprise is determined by the nationality of the persons who ultimately own it. To be considered a national of a treaty country, at least 50% of the enterprise must be owned by nationals of that country. In the case of a company wholly-owned by another corporate entity, the consular official adjudicating an application for E-visa status must look to the nationality of the majority shareholders of the parent company to determine the subsidiary’s nationality. Documentation establishing the business relationship between, and the nationality of, all related companies must be included in the initial application package submitted to the Consul. [Read more…]

Lawful Permanent Residence for Athletes

Professional Athletes in Team Sports:
Obtaining Lawful Permanent Residence in the United States

The “EB-1” immigrant preference classification is for individuals who have “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; “EB-2 immigrant preference classification is for individuals who have “exceptional ability” in the sciences, arts, or business (the government has interpreted this to include athletics);   and “EB-3 classification is for individuals who qualify for permanent employment in positions requiring professionals – individuals possessing a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in a field directly related to the prospective employment – or “skilled workers” who possess at least two years of employment experience or related training. [Read more…]

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