E1 Visa

If you are from a treaty country with the United States, you may be able to obtain an E1 visa to enter the United States to engage in international trade. Irish citizens can apply if they meet the eligibility requirements.

For assistance with your application for the E1 visa, get in touch with us today by calling (+353) 061 518 025 or submitting a message through our contact form.

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    What is the E1 Visa?

    The E1 Treaty Trader Visa allows an individual to enter and work inside of the US, based on commerce they will be conducting whilst there.

    This is a visa that does not lead to permanent immigration status and is for short-term or fixed-term purposes only.

    To be eligible for the E1 visa, you must be a citizen of one of the 78 different countries that the US has signed the Treaty of Commerce with, and Ireland is lucky enough to be one of them! As well as being from one of these countries, there are several other requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for the E1 visa.

    For assistance with your application for the F2 visa or advice, get in touch with us today by calling (+353) 061 518 025.

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    Eligibility Criteria for an E1 visa

    In order to have a successful application for an E1 visa, you need to meet the following criteria:

    • You must be involved in a substantial and continuous flow of international trade
    • If working for a company, at least 50% of that company must be owned by people with the same nationality of the Treaty’s country
    • You have a supervisory or managerial role within the company you work for
    • You have special qualifications and/or proven expertise

    Alongside the aforementioned requirements, there must be a principal trade between the US and the applicant’s country.

    That means that at least 50% of the international trade involved must be between the US and Ireland, which it is! This requirement of being involved in a substantial amount of trade can seem quite vague, but it simply means that there is a continuous and sizable volume of trade happening between the US and Ireland.

    The trade can be in the form of transportation or physical movement of goods, or non-physical services such as banking, insurance, journalism, tourism or technology.

    How to apply for an E1 Visa

    The application process will vary, depending on whether you are applying as the business owner or as an employee within the company.

    If you are already in the US, you will need to apply by filing Form I-129, the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker form. You will also need to supply the appropriate documentation to confirm that you meet the requirements for this particular visa. If the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) approve your request, they will give you a Form I-797 Approval Notice.

    If you are applying from within the US as an employee engaged in international trade in a supervisory, managerial or executive role, the company that you work for must file the I-129 on your behalf. The company will then become the recipient of Form I-129 Approval Notice if the application is successful and will advise you accordingly.

    However, if you are not already in the US and are just starting the immigration process, the process is slightly more complicated but entirely achievable. If you are applying as the owner of the company (the treaty trader), you must first register your company with the E-Visa Unit. To have your company reviewed by the E-Visa Unit, you will need to complete the following process:

    • Fill out and complete the DS-160 Visa application form online
    • Create an account on the Visa Appointment Service website. This is when you will need to pay an application fee and arrange a delivery for your password for after you have attended the visa interview
    • Submit all the required documents for the application via email. There will be a list of all the documentation required and how to achieve this on the website.

    Once your application has been completed and reviewed, you will be contacted with a date for your visa interview. During this interview, a US Embassy official will ask you a series of questions to gauge your character and the true purpose of your visa application. During this process, the US Embassy official will attempt to determine whether or not you have any intentions of returning to Ireland.

    If you are an employee of a company already registered with the E-Visa Unit, you can make an appointment for your visa interview through the US Visa Appointment Service.

    You will not be required to submit any documentation in advance, but you may be instructed to bring some with you at the time of your visa interview. It is best to ask if you need to bring anything if you have not been advised to do so, as it will prolong the application process if you do not attend the interview fully prepared.

    The decision about your E1 Visa application will usually come within two to four weeks after your interview, so you do not want to extend the time of the process by being unprepared for your interview.

    E1 Visa document checklist

    As with all visa applications, there is an abundance of documentation that you will need to provide to support your E1 Visa application.

    First and foremost, you will need to submit a cover letter that describes yourself as a person and employee/employer, and intimate details about the trading company. This is the first opportunity you have to really upsell yourself and what you can bring to the US, so make sure you spend a decent amount of time on this. This cover letter should also address exactly how you meet all of the E1 Visa eligibility criteria as mentioned above.

    Alongside your brilliant cover letter, you will also need to submit the following documents:

    • A copy of the confirmation page from your online DS-160 Visa application form
    • A copy of the confirmation page from your online DS-156E application form
    • If you are an employee of the company and not a trade holder, you must provide a letter about your job. This should be printed on the company’s letterhead, and should include the following:
      • Details about your company
      • Your job title and role within the company
      • Your salary and benefits
      • The qualifications you obtained to achieve your role in the company
      • The contact information for the company
    • A photocopy of your current valid passport
    • A photocopy of any previous US visas (if applicable)
    • A photocopy of any extensions or changes of status granted by USCIS
    • Evidence of your ongoing residency in Ireland
    • A copy of your current CV
    • Photocopies of your educational certificates
    • A signed statement of intent to depart the US upon the termination of visa status

    If you are the owner of the company, you must also provide documentation that shows proof of ownership. You must also provide documentation that proves that the company has substantial trade with the US, which could include any of the following:

    • Copies of invoices proving trade, including shipping invoices and air bills
    • A detailed spreadsheet listing all qualifying transactions of international trade between Ireland and the US, dating back at least an entire financial year
    • The most recent US federal tax returns for a US entity, or annual report

    Regardless of your circumstances, the best step is to get in touch with the team at Total Law, so you know that you are guaranteed the right path, and stand for a much higher success rate for your visa application. You can contact us seven days a week, either on the phone or by using the online chat function to speak with one of our client care agents.

    Contact our expert immigration lawyers for assistance with obtaining an E1 visa. Contact Us

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      How Total Law can help

      Hiring the services of specialised immigration lawyers when it comes to moving to the US from Ireland for business can save you a lot of time and money. At Total Law, we ensure that your E1 visa application is of high quality to maximise your chances of success.

      We will work with you during every stage of the process, assisting you with preparing a top-notch application, gathering supporting evidence and documents, and liaising with the USCIS on your behalf.

      For more information on how we can help you or get started right away, you can call our Ireland office on (+353) 061 518 025 or our USA office on +1 844 290 6312 today.

      Take the first step to acquiring an E1 visa. Contact us today. Contact Us

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The E Visa category contains two other types of visas alongside the E1 Visa, and they are simply the E2 Visa and the E3 Visa.

                  The E2 Visa is very similar to the E1 Visa, except that the category is for a treaty investor instead. The E2 Visa allows someone to enter the US to either purchase a business or start a new business. To be eligible for the E2 Visa, you must have the intention to invest a substantial amount of funds into a business in the US.

                  Many countries around the world are classed as both treaty trader countries and treaty investor countries. This means that all nationals from this country could be eligible for either the E1 Visa, or the E2 Visa, so the route you choose to take will be dependent on your personal circumstances. Having said that, however, some countries only have a treaty trader agreement or a treaty investor agreement with the US.

                  The E3 Visa will most likely not affect you coming from Ireland, as it is open to Australian professionals who can undertake a speciality occupation in the US.

                  One of the main requirements of entering the US on an E1 Visa is to provide proof of your intentions to eventually return to Ireland. It is because of this, that the application for a green card coming from an E1 Visa would be exceptionally difficult.

                  If you decided that you did want to become a permanent and lawful resident in the US, you may still be able to do so by changing your visa. If your employer is willing to sponsor you for a green card, then you will be able to apply to adjust your status to an H-1B Visa, after which you will be eligible to apply for an employment-based green card. Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a green card if you have family members or a fiancee who have a permanent residence within the US.