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Traders from foreign countries and E-1 visa eligibility rules

Sometimes, individuals involved in international trade desire to come to the U.S. to further their trade-related aims. How immigration matters related to getting admittance to the U.S. for this purpose go could have major implications, including business and financial implications, for such traders.

One immigration route some traders may be able to pursue for getting permission to come to the U.S. for trade-related purposes is the E-1 visa program.

Now, only traders from certain countries are eligible for E-1 visas. Specifically, a person has to be from a country that has a commerce and navigation treaty with the United States. This is why E-1 visa recipients are sometimes referred to as treaty traders.

However, simply being from a qualifying treaty country and having international trade as one's purpose for wanting to come to the U.S. isn't enough, by itself, to make a person eligible for an E-1 visa. There are other qualifications that have to be met.

Among these are that the trade the person carries on must meet certain requirements. This include the:

  • "Substantial trade" requirement. This requirement regards the overall flow and size of the trade the trader is engaged in. Various things regarding the trade activity of an individual are looked at when determining if the trade they engage in is "substantial."
  • "Principle trade" requirement. To meet this requirement, over half of the total volume of the trader's international trade must be between the treaty country and the United States.

So, a lot of different things can be at play when it comes to whether the E-1 visa program would be an available route for a given foreign national who wants to come to the U.S. in connection to international trade. Skilled attorneys can advise traders on whether pursuing an E-1 visa would make sense given their particular situation. They can also help traders seeking to get an E-1 visa with the various aspects of applying for such a visa, including gathering and presenting evidence showing that the eligibility rules for such a visa have been met.

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