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Not all visas are intended for United States immigration. If you do not wish to immigrate to the U.S., but you need to be in the country for business-related purposes, then you can consult an immigration lawyer about applying for an E1 treaty trader visa. For example, an E1 visa may be appropriate for those who plan to conduct substantial trade that involves transactions in goods and services, technology transfer, design and engineering, management consulting, or any other measurable services.

Assessing Your EligibilityU.S. Treaties

Your immigration lawyer will first determine whether you are a citizen of a treaty nation with the U.S. A treaty nation with the U.S. maintains a bilateral agreement or a treaty of commerce and navigation. You may also be eligible for an E1 visa if you facilitate international trade, own 50 percent of a treaty nation company operating in the U.S., or are a specialist, manager, or executive with that company. The company must be considered to have the nationality of the treaty country. If you are eligible and you do obtain an E1 visa, you can travel in and out of the U.S. freely and legally work in the U.S.

Understanding the Limitations

Before applying for the E1 visa with the help of your immigration lawyer, it’s important that you understand its limitations. While in the U.S., you may only work for your self-owned business or for the employer that is your E1 visa sponsor. Additionally, your E1 visa is subject to expire after two years. If you choose to become a student while in the U.S. with an E1 visa, you may not participate in full-length study programs. You can take only a few credits of coursework as long as it does not interfere with your work.

Applying for Extensions

Although this visa is only valid for two years, you may apply for unlimited time extensions in either two-year or five-year increments. However, you can only apply for extensions as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.