Eligibility

  • The foreign employee must be a citizen of a qualifying treaty country with the U.S.
  • The nationality of the petitioning company and that of the foreign employee must be the same. The nationality of a company is determined by the nationality of its ultimate owner.
  • The foreign employee’s offered position in the U.S. must be either an executive/managerial position or an essential skills position.
  • For E-1 Treaty Trader visa, the company must conduct substantial amount of trade between the U.S. and the foreign employee’s country.
  • For E-2 Treaty Investor visa, the company must make substantial investment in the U.S.

Validity Period

  • Visa stamp (permission to travel)
    • Usually valid for 5 years.
    • The foreign employee must apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate at the foreign employee’s home country.
    • There is no limit to how many time the foreign employee can renew the visa, as long as the foreign employee qualifies for a visa.
  • I-94 (permission to stay)
    • Usually valid for 2 years, unless the foreign employee’s  passport expires within 2 years, in which case the I-94 will be valid until the expiration date of the passport.
    • The foreign employee will usually be given 2 years every time the foreign employee reenters the U.S.
    • There is no limit to how many time the foreign employee can renew the I-94, as long as the foreign employee qualifies for an E status.

Procedure Overview

If the petitioning company has never registered its company with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, the company must complete the company registration process upon the visa stamp application of the first employee.

If the foreign employee is applying from abroad, the foreign employee must apply for a visa stamp at a U.S. embassy or consulate at the foreign employee’s home country. If the foreign employee is currently in the U.S. under E or other visa status, the foreign employee may choose to travel abroad and apply for a visa stamp or to apply for a new I-94 without leaving the U.S. If the foreign employee chooses to apply for a new I-94, the foreign employee will need a valid E visa stamp next time when reentering the U.S. from abroad.

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