Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors Visas

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Overview

Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas permit holders of E visas to reside in the United States to manage the trade or investments of a U.S. business (the "Enterprise") or, in certain cases, to provide essential skills to the Enterprise. Holders of E visas must intend to depart the United States upon the termination of their E status.

The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of treaty traders, treaty investors, or employees of Enterprises may also receive dependent E visas in order to accompany or follow to join their spouse or parent. They are not required to have the same nationality as the principal applicant to obtain an E visa.

E visas permit the investor/trader and his or her family to live in the United States during the period of stay authorized by DHS. These visas are nonimmigrant visas; consequently, you are allowed to live in the United States only so long as the conditions under which the visa was granted remain valid. Please see below for additional information about E visas for dependents.

How to Apply for a Visa

The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will only review the documents of applicants who have registered in our appointment system and paid the proper visa fee.

Please follow the steps below to make an appointment:

Step 1

Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 2

Pay the visa application fee. Save your receipt.

Step 3

Schedule your appointment on this web page. You will need the following information in order to schedule your appointment:

  • Your passport number
  • The receipt number from your Visa Fee receipt. (Click here if you need help finding this number.)
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
Step 4

Refer to below tables for additional required documents, and immediately send your application with your appointment confirmation letter to the interview location at U.S. Embassy Islamabad or the U.S. Consulate in Karachi via trusted courier at your own expense. Applicants do not have the option to email their documents; they must send the documents with a courier. We must receive your application, appointment confirmation letter, and all other required E visa documents within three days of when you make your online appointment, and two weeks before the date of your interview appointment.

U.S. Embassy Islamabad,
Nonimmigrant Visa Section,
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5,
Islamabad, Pakistan.

OR,

U.S. Consulate General,
Nonimmigrant Visa Unit,                                                                                                                                      Plot No 3-5, New TPX Area,
Mai Kolachi Road, Karachi, Pakistan.

IMPORTANT: The review of E-visa applications is a lengthy process. For this reason, your application packet must be submitted immediately after scheduling your interview appointment. If the application packet is not received by the Embassy or Consulate within three business days after the scheduling of your appointment, you will be required to reschedule. This will delay your interview by an additional two weeks or more.

If you are mailing your application packet from the U.S., please select an interview appointment date that is at least four weeks from the date of shipping your application to allow for additional shipping time.

Step 5

Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the date and time of your visa interview. You will need to bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, and all current and old passports.

If you repeatedly miss your scheduled appointment, your documents will be sent back to you and you will have to reapply.

Application Documents for Treaty Trader (E-1) Visa

Submitted applications must be clearly divided into sections separated by lettered or numbered tabs, and secured in a 3-ring binder or with 2-hole prong fasteners. A copy of your appointment letter must be included in your application packet. You must also bring a copy of your appointment letter with you on the day of your interview. A cover letter from the applicant’s representative may also be included outside the binder. Applications that do not follow these guidelines will be returned unread, which may delay your appointment. Please do NOT include additional documents that are not specifically requested below.

Tab A or 1

A printed confirmation page from the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application DS-160, one 5X5 cm photo taken within the last six months with a white background.

Tab B or 2 One copy of Form DS-156E. Contact information must include an e-mail address and local phone number. Please ensure that the form is filled out completely.
Tab C or 3 A photocopy of the biographical page of the passport of each applicant (page with the name and photo). Please include copies of all prior US visas and approved change of status notices (Form I-797). Also include a photocopy of the Entry/Exit immigration stamp in passport from last trip to the U.S. Please bring your original passport and any prior ones containing U.S. visas with you at the time of the interview.
Tab D or 4 Proof of the relationship (e.g., marriage, birth, and adoption certificates). Certificates in Urdu must be accompanied by a certified translation.
Tab E or 5 Cover letter describing company, position, and beneficiary. This letter must address all requirements for E visa eligibility as defined by the Foreign Affairs Manual and U.S. law. It should address the following in detail:
  • that the trade is substantial, as defined in 9 FAM 41.51 N6 (to be documented in Tab G/7); and
  • that the trade is occurring principally between the United States and the treaty country, 9 FAM 41.51 N7 (to be documented in Tab H/8); and
  • that the applicant, if an employee, will fill an executive/supervisory role or possesses skills essential to the firm’s operations, 9 FAM 41.51 N14 (to be documented in Tab I/9).
Tab F or 6

Proof of treaty country ownership (at least 50%) and controlling interest in the enterprise. Examples for Corporations include: Articles of Incorporation, stock certificates and ledgers, Secretary of State certificates, other documents of this nature.

Examples for Private Companies include: Articles of Organization/Formation, State Registration of Ownership, construction or environmental permits, and other documents of this nature.

Tab G or 7

Evidence of substantial trade as defined by 9 FAM 41.51 N6. This should include:

  1. All Enterprises
    1. IRS Form 941 – Pages 1-2 for the four most recent fiscal quarters
    2. Enterprise with 10 employees or less
      1. State Wage Record (ex. DE-6 or DE-9C) with names of all employees and quarterly salaries for the four most recent fiscal quarters
      2. USCIS Form I-9 – Pages 7-8 for each employee
  2. If Enterprise (including previous owners) has existed less than one year –
    1. Sales invoices
    2. Sales contracts
    3. Bills of lading
  3. If Enterprise (including previous owners) has existed more than one year – provide the three most recent fiscal years (if applicable)
    1. Corporation - IRS Form 1120 – Pages 1-2
    2. Foreign Corporation - IRS Form 1120-F – Pages 1-3
    3. LLC – IRS Form 1065 – Pages 1-5
    4. Private Ownership - IRS Form 1040 + Schedule C – Pages 1-2 of each
Tab H or 8

Evidence that trade is principally between the US and the treaty country as defined by 9 FAM 41.51 N7. US customs invoices and/or purchase receipts may be submitted here, as well as a letter from a company officer certifying the followig for the last calendar year:

  1. Percentage breakdown of company trade between
    1. Any Pakistan company / U.S. company
    2. Pakistan parent company / other countries
    3. U.S. company / other countries
  2. Include both imports and exports
Tab I or 9

Applicant’s resumé

Organization Chart of business:

  1. Showing position in company
  2. Showing direct subordinates of PA
  3. Identifying any person being replaced

IRS Form 1040 – Pages 1-2 – provide the three most recent fiscal years (if applicable - only for Applicants who have previously worked in the U.S.)

If the applicant is applying as an employee with Executive and Supervisory Responsibility, evidence that he or she meets the criteria outlined in 9 FAM 41.51 N14.2.

If the applicant is applying an essential employee, evidence that employee has essential skills that the enterprise urgently needs, as well as the projected duration of this essentiality. You should include relevant diplomas, job training certificates or letters from previous employers in this section. You may also wish to explain why the enterprise was unable to find a qualified US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident to fill the position. You should address the criteria contained in 9 FAM 14.51 N14.3.

Tab J or 10 G-28I or G-28 "Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative" (as appropriate), including contact e-mail address and phone number.

Application Documents for Treaty Investor (E-2) Visa

Submitted applications must be clearly divided into sections separated by lettered or numbered tabs, and secured in a 3-ring binder or with 2-hole prong fasteners. A copy of your appointment letter must be included in your application packet. You must also bring a copy of your appointment letter with you on the day of your interview. A cover letter from the applicant’s representative may also be included outside the binder. Applications that do not follow these guidelines will be returned unread, which may delay your appointment.

Tab A or 1 A printed confirmation page from the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application DS-160, one 5X5 cm photo taken within the last six months with a white background.
Tab B or 2 One copy of Form DS-156E. Contact information must include an e-mail address and fax number. Please ensure that the form is filled out in its entirety.
Tab C or 3  A photocopy of the biographical page of the passport of each applicant (page with the name and photo). Please include copies of all prior US visas and approved change of status notices (Form I-797). Also include a photocopy of the Entry/Exit immigration stamp in passport from last trip to the U.S. Please bring your original passport and any prior ones containing U.S. visas with you at the time of the interview.
Tab D or 4 Proof of the relationship (e.g., marriage, birth, and adoption certificates). Certificates in Urdu must be accompanied by a certified translation.
Tab E or 5 Cover letter describing company, position and beneficiary. This letter must address all requirements for E visa eligibility as defined by the Foreign Affairs Manual and US law. It should address the following in detail:

  • that the investor has invested or is actively in the process of investing, as per 9 FAM 41.51 N8 (to be documented in Tab H/8); and
  • that the enterprise is currently running or will open its doors imminently, 9 FAM 41.51 N9 (to be documented in Tab I/9); and
  • that the investment is substantial, 9 FAM 41.51 N10 (to be documented in Tag J/10; and
  • that the investment is more than a marginal one solely for earning a living, 9 FAM 41.51 N11 (to be documented in Tab K/11); and
  • that the applicant will fill an executive/supervisory role or possesses skills essential to the firm’s operations, 9 FAM 41.51 N14 (to be documented in Tab L/12); or
  • that the applicant is entering the U.S. solely to develop and direct the enterprise, 9 FAM 41.51 N12 (to be documented in Tab L/12).
Tab F or 6

Proof of treaty country ownership (at least 50%) and controlling interest in the enterprise. Examples for Corporations include: Articles of Incorporation, Stock Certificates and Ledgers, Secretary of State certificates, other documents of this nature.

Examples for Private Companies include: Articles of Organization/Formation, State Registration of Ownership, other documents of this nature.

Tab G or 7

Proof that the funds have been invested or that the investor is actively in the process of investing as defined by 9 FAM 41.51 N8. This must include a complete trail of the money invested including documentation of the original source of the funds (sale of property, inheritance, loans, earnings, etc); movement of these funds to a U.S. account; and use of these funds for qualifying business expenses. Supporting documentation may include:

  1. Escrow documents
  2. Wire transfers
  3. Lease contracts (only the pages containing the following are needed)
    1. Length of time
    2. Address of facility
    3. Size of property / office
    4. Rental fee
    5. Names of landlord and tenant
    6. Signature page
  4. Invoices and receipts for business expenses, including utilities contracts and bills and office supplies
  5. Investment list
  6. Purchasing agreement (only the pages containing the following are needed)
    1. Buyer and seller names
    2. Date of agreement
    3. Amount of purchase price
    4. Any special purchase conditions (ex. Escrow accounts, etc.)
    5. Percentage of ownership share
  7. Franchise agreement (entire agreement)

It is important to provide proof of actual purchases and/or signed contracts and leases related to the enterprise, not just wire transfers to a US account.

Tab H or 8

Proof that the enterprise is currently running or will open its doors imminently as defined by 9 FAM 41.51 N9.

  1. Business licenses
  2. Special permits (food, alcohol, etc.)
  3. Photos of enterprise
  4. Utility bills (electrical, water, etc.)
  5. Bank statements
  6. Sales contracts / invoices
Tab I or 9 Evidence that investment is substantial as defined by 9 FAM 41.51 N10.
Tab J or 10

Evidence that enterprise is more than marginal as defined by 9 FAM 41.51 N11.

  1. All Enterprises
    1. IRS Form 941 – Pages 1-2 for the four most recent fiscal quarters
    2. Enterprise with 10 employees or less
      1. State Wage Record (ex. DE-6 or DE-9C) with names of all employees and quarterly salaries for the four most recent fiscal quarters
      2. USCIS Form I-9 – Pages 7-8 for each employee
  2. If Enterprise (including previous owners) has existed less than one year –
    1. Sales invoices
    2. Sales contracts
    3. Bills of lading
    4. Business plan for the next five years prepared by a certified C.P.A., including projected expenses and profits. The plan must verify the capacity of the enterprise to realize a profit within a maximum of five years (this is only a requirement for new businesses; it is optional for others).
  3. If Enterprise (including previous owners) has existed more than one year – provide the three most recent fiscal years (if applicable)
    1. Corporation - IRS Form 1120 – Pages 1-2
      IRS Form 1125-A – Page 1 (if applicable)
    2. Foreign Corporation - IRS Form 1120-F – Pages 1-3
      IRS Form 1125-A – Page 1 (if applicable)
    3. LLC – IRS Form 1065 – Pages 1-5
      IRS Form 1125-A – Page 1 (if applicable)
    4. Private Ownership - IRS Form 1040 + Schedule C – Pages 1-2 of each
Tab K or 11

Applicant’s resumé

Organization Chart of business:

  1. Showing position in company
  2. Showing direct subordinates of PA
  3. Identifying any person being replaced

IRS Form 1040 – Pages 1-2 – provide the three most recent fiscal years (if applicable - only for Applicants who have previously worked in the U.S.)

If the applicant is entering the United States as the principal investor, proof that he or she will and is qualified to solely develop and direct the enterprise (9 FAM 41.51 N12)

If the applicant is applying as an employee with Executive and Supervisory Responsibility, evidence that he or she meets the criteria outlined in 9 FAM 41.51 N14.2.

If the applicant is applying an essential employee, evidence that employee has essential skills that the enterprise urgently needs, as well as the projected duration of this essentiality. You should include relevant diplomas, job training certificates or letters from previous employers in this section. You may also wish to explain why the enterprise was unable to find a qualified US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident to fill the position. You should address the criteria contained in 9 FAM 14.51 N14.3.

Tab L or 12 G-28I or G-28 "Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative" (as appropriate), including contact e-mail address and phone number.

Processing time varies with the complexity of the case and our overall workload. Generally, it takes two weeks for an officer to review your case. Applicants should not make unchangeable travel or business plans until their visas have been issued. Please do not inquire as to the status of the case within two weeks of our receipt of the case.

Dependents

Spouses and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the principal visa holder in the United States for the duration of his/her stay require a derivative E visa.

Family members who do not intend to reside in the United States with the principal visa holder, but wish to visit for vacations only, may be eligible to apply for visitor (B-2) visas.

Spouses and dependents may not work in the United States on a derivative E visa. If your spouse/child seeks employment, the spouse must obtain the explicit authorization to do so from DHS-USCIS in the United States. This authorization must be applied for after their arrival in the United States.

Supporting Documents for Dependents

It is preferred that families apply for their visas at the same time, but if the spouse and/or child must apply separately at a later time, they should follow the investor visa application process and submit the following required documents by courier service:

  • A confirmation page of DS-160
  • One 5X5 cm photo taken within the last six months with a white background.
  • A copy of interview appointment slip
  • A copy of Form DS-156E which was submitted by principal applicant at the time of his/her visa application
  • Proof of the relationship (e.g., family relationship, marriage, basic and adoption certificates)
  • A copy of the principal applicant’s E visa and/or I-797 approval notice
  • A dependent’s copy of I-797 if it is applicable