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Business & Investor Visas

E-1 Visas | E-2 Visas | E-3 Visas | L Visas

E-1 Visas

E-1 visas are also known as Treaty Traders or Investors Visas. E-1 visas are reserved for those persons entering the US:

  • To carry on a substantial trade which is international, principally between the United States and the foreign country of which the person is a national;
  • And is a key employee from a treaty country. This may include executives, supervisors or other persons whose services are deemed “essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise”;
  • And seeking to develop and direct the operations of a business or enterprise in which the foreign national is invested or is about to actively invest in, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide business or enterprise;
  • And is a principal employer who is either a national of a treaty country (whether in our outside the US), or an enterprise or organization is more 50% or more by treaty nationals.

Dependents on the persons listed above are included as well. If you believe you qualify for any of the above categories, please contact us so we can explain the documentation required to meet the classification.

Many considerations should be considered such as:

  • The person seeking classification must demonstrate he or she is not seeking to permanently remain in the United State and that the person intends to depart;
  • Cannot be denied because of an approved Labor Certification or Immigrant Visa petition with only one exception; the United States Department of State requires that the person establish that he or she will not file an Adjustment of Status petition while in the United States;
  • Treaty with the United Kingdom is the only one which requires that the UK Citizen prove he or she is domiciled in the UK;
  • All submissions whether for E-1 or E-2 classification should include a detailed business plan.
  • Approved E-1 petitions allow two-year admission and extension of status may be applied for and granted in two-year increments;
  • Need to pay attention to the details of how “trade,” “principal trade,” and “substantial” are defined;
  • Employees for the business venture or enterprise may be a new hire and have had no working history with that particular company.

E-2 Visas

  • Nationality requirements are the same as E-1 investor visas;
  • The funds must be invested or are actively in the process of investing;
  • Funds must be at risk;
  • Investment evaluation may include rent paid on equipment or property with limitations;
  • Investments that appear to be passive in nature are not allowed for E-2 classification (i.e., undeveloped land);
  • Department of State determines the substantiality of the investment;
  • Five-year business plan demonstrating projected future capacity and that investor and his family will be supported but investment cannot be solely to earn a living for the investor and the investor’s family;
  • Investor must show that the investment will expand job opportunities, generate other sources of income, etc.
  • Investor must develop and direct the business;
  • Investor must have controlling interest in the business;
  • Employees of E-1 or E-2 must have same nationality as the treaty employer;
  • Employees must be either executives, supervisors or an essential employee;
  • Families of E Visa holders follow to join the principal E Investor without regard to the family members’ nationality.

If you believe you qualify for any of the above categories, please contact us so we can explain the documentation required to meet the classification.

E-3 Visas

E-3 visas are reserved for those persons who are Nationals of the Commonwealth of Australia and meet the following criteria:

  • The person is entering the US “solely to perform services in a specialist occupation in the US;”
  • Labor Certification must be presented;
  • Academic or other acceptable credentials to demonstrate the E-3 applicant qualifies for the position (i.e., bachelor’s degree or higher) must be proven;
  • Employer’s  job offer letter or other proof that E-3 applicant will be engaged in a specialty occupation must be presented;
  • Applicant must demonstrate that he or she will be paid the higher wage of the actual or prevailing wage;
  • Has a visa number available (limited to 10,500 per fiscal year);
  • Intends to depart US at end of E-3 status.

E-3 spouses may work. If you believe you qualify for any of the above categories, please contact us so we can explain the documentation required to meet the classification.


L Visas – Intracompany Transferees

L visas are reserved for those foreign nationals who has been employed for a continuous period of at least one more over the previous three years by  a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary of a US company. The US company is the petitioner.

  • Foreign national seeks to temporarily enter US to continue to work for same employer;
  • L-1A: Must work in a managerial or executive capacity;
  • L-1B: Position involves specialized knowledge

One-Year Employment Terms:

  • The one-year requirement must have accrued outside the United States;          
  • Employment must have been full time (if time divided between affiliated companies, hours worked may be counted in the aggregate)

L-1A applications must demonstrate that:

  • The foreign national employee primarily manages the organization, department, etc.
  • Employee supervises and controls the work of other employees or manages an essential function within the business;
  • Directly supervises and therefore has the power to hire, fire, or make personnel recommendations OR functions at a senior level; and,
  • Has the authority and actually exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the function;
  • First line supervisors are not considered managers


Caterina Ranieri Grasso, Esq. | Call (315) 410-0119

Caterina Ranieri Grasso
Of Counsel
Bousquet Holstein PLLC

110 West Fayette Street
One Lincoln Center, Suite 1000
Syracuse, New York 13202
Phone: (315) 701-6462

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