Comparing E1 and E2 Visas: What Sets Them Apart

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If you are considering moving to the United States for work, you may have come across the E1 and E2 visas. These visas are both non-immigrant visas that allow individuals to enter the US for the purpose of conducting business. However, there are some key differences between the two that you should be aware of before deciding which one is right for you.

In this article, we will explore the differences between the E1 and E2 visas, their benefits, and how to determine which one is the best fit for your situation.

What is an E1 Visa?

The E1 visa, also known as the Treaty Trader visa, is a non-immigrant visa that allows individuals from certain countries to enter the US for the purpose of conducting international trade. This visa is only available to individuals from countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US.

Benefits of an E1 Visa

One of the main benefits of an E1 visa is that it allows for unlimited entries into the US for a period of up to 2 years. This means that you can enter and exit the US as many times as you need to during the 2-year period without having to apply for a new visa.

Additionally, E1 visa holders are allowed to bring their spouse and children under the age of 21 to the US as dependents. These dependents are also allowed to work in the US, making it a great option for families looking to relocate.

Eligibility for an E1 Visa

To be eligible for an E1 visa, you must be a citizen of a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US. You must also be coming to the US to engage in substantial trade, which is defined as a continuous flow of international trade between the US and your home country.

What is an E2 Visa?

The E2 visa, also known as the Treaty Investor visa, is a non-immigrant visa that allows individuals from certain countries to enter the US for the purpose of investing in a US business. Like the E1 visa, this visa is only available to individuals from countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US.

Benefits of an E2 Visa

One of the main benefits of an E2 visa is that it allows for unlimited entries into the US for a period of up to 5 years. This means that you can enter and exit the US as many times as you need to during the 5-year period without having to apply for a new visa.

Additionally, E2 visa holders are allowed to bring their spouse and children under the age of 21 to the US as dependents. These dependents are also allowed to work in the US, making it a great option for families looking to relocate.

Eligibility for an E2 Visa

To be eligible for an E2 visa, you must be a citizen of a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US. You must also be coming to the US to invest a substantial amount of capital in a US business. The amount of capital required varies depending on the type of business and its location.

Key Differences Between E1 and E2 Visas

While both the E1 and E2 visas are non-immigrant visas that allow individuals to enter the US for the purpose of conducting business, there are some key differences between the two.

Purpose of Entry

The main difference between the E1 and E2 visas is the purpose of entry. The E1 visa is for individuals coming to the US to engage in international trade, while the E2 visa is for individuals coming to the US to invest in a US business.

Duration of Stay

Another key difference is the duration of stay. E1 visa holders are allowed to stay in the US for up to 2 years, while E2 visa holders are allowed to stay for up to 5 years. However, both visas allow for unlimited entries during their respective periods of validity.

Investment Amount

The amount of investment required for an E2 visa is typically higher than that of an E1 visa. E2 visa holders must invest a substantial amount of capital in a US business, while E1 visa holders do not have a specific investment requirement.

Country Eligibility

Not all countries have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US, which means that not all countries are eligible for the E1 and E2 visas. It is important to check the list of eligible countries before applying for either visa.

Which Visa is Right for You?

Determining which visa is right for you will depend on your specific situation and goals. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between the E1 and E2 visas:

Purpose of Entry

If you are coming to the US to engage in international trade, the E1 visa may be the best option for you. However, if you are coming to the US to invest in a US business, the E2 visa may be a better fit.

Investment Amount

If you are able to invest a substantial amount of capital in a US business, the E2 visa may be the better option. However, if you do not have a specific investment amount in mind, the E1 visa may be a more flexible choice.

Country of Citizenship

As mentioned earlier, not all countries are eligible for the E1 and E2 visas. If your country is not on the list of eligible countries, you will not be able to apply for either visa.

Duration of Stay

If you are looking for a longer stay in the US, the E2 visa may be the better option as it allows for a stay of up to 5 years. However, if you do not need to stay in the US for an extended period of time, the E1 visa may be sufficient.

Conclusion

In summary, the E1 and E2 visas are both non-immigrant visas that allow individuals to enter the US for the purpose of conducting business. While they have some similarities, there are also key differences that should be considered when deciding which one is right for you.

If you are still unsure which visa is the best fit for your situation, it is recommended to consult with an immigration lawyer who can provide personalized advice and guidance. With the right visa, you can successfully enter the US and pursue your business goals.


Find an Immigration Lawyer in Australia

Global Immigration Partners PLLC in Australia
Level 2, 215-219, George Street, Liverpool
New South Wales, Sydney 2170 Australia
+61 (02) 9099 1613

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