The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has several visa options based on specific criteria. Despite being available exclusively to a limited number of countries, the E visa category is an excellent option.  

In this article, you will find a full overview of the E visa category and understand the difference between E-1, E-2, and E-3- visas. 

E-1 E-2 and E-3 Visas – Eligibility Requirements 

E visas are nonimmigrant visas, which means they do not provide a straightforward path to permanent residence in the United States. Instead, visa holders have a certain period of stay authorized by USCIS with the possibility of renewal. 

For nonimmigrant foreign nationals already living in the United States, it is possible to request an adjustment of status with USCIS. While the E-3 category is restricted to Australia, the E-1 and E-2 categories are restricted to “treaty countries,” which are countries: 

  • With which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation 
  • With which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or  
  • Which have been deemed qualifying countries by legislation 

E-1 Visa  

The E-1 visa allows foreign nationals from eligible countries to be admitted to the United States to engage in international trade on their own behalf. USCIS defines the term “trade” as “the existing international exchange of items of trade for consideration between the United States and the treaty country.” 

Items of trade include but are not limited to goods, services, international banking, transportation, tourism, etc. 

The volume of trade conducted by the applicant is also an important element, as the E-1 nonimmigrant status applies only to traders engaged in “substantial trade.” The basic eligibility requirements for E-1 status are: 

  • The applicant must be a national of a treaty country 
  • Must be seeking to enter the United States to carry on substantial trade, and 
  • Carry on principal trade between the US and the applicant’s treaty country  

E-2 Visa 

The E-2 visa allows foreign nationals from treaty countries to be admitted to the United States upon investing a “substantial amount of capital” in a US business. USCIS has no fixed minimum cap to determine the eligible amount, relying on other factors to determine it.  

The basic requirements to qualify for an E-2 visa are: 

  • The applicant must a national of a treaty country 
  • To invest (or actively be in the process of investing) a substantial amount of capital in a US-based bona fide enterprise, and 
  • To enter the United States exclusively to develop and direct the proposed investment enterprise  

E-3 Visa  

The E-3 visa category is exclusively applied to Australian nationals seeking to enter the United States to perform services in a specialty occupation. The basic requirements to qualify for E-3 classification are: 

  • The applicant must necessarily be a national of Australia 
  • To have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States 
  • To have the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials, and  
  • Enter the United States to fill a position qualified as a “specialty occupation” 

USCIS defines a “specialty occupation” as a job that “requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.” 

Navigating the E Visa Category – Immediately Seek Expert Legal Guidance 

An experienced legal advisor in US immigration law, Attorney Romy B. Jurado willingly wants you to succeed. Contact us by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] for an individual consultation.