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E-1 Visa Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the E-1 visa?
Who is eligible for an E-1 visa?
Citizens of countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation or bilateral investment treaty with the United States are eligible to apply for the E-1 visa.
What is considered "substantial trade"?
“Substantial trade” typically refers to a continuous flow of sizable international trade involving numerous transactions over a period of time.
What types of trade qualify for an E-1 visa?
Both the exchange of goods and services can qualify as trade for the purpose of obtaining an E-1 visa.
How can I demonstrate substantial trade for an E-1 visa?
Providing detailed records of past trade transactions, contracts, invoices, and proof of the ongoing and significant nature of trade between your home country and the U.S. is crucial.
Can a service-based business qualify for an E-1 visa?
Yes, service-based businesses can qualify if they engage in substantial trade in services between the treaty country and the U.S.
How long can I stay in the U.S. on an E-1 visa?
E-1 visa holders can generally stay in the U.S. for up to two years initially, with extensions allowed in two-year increments. There is no limit to the number of extensions an E-1 nonimmigrant may be granted.
Can my family members accompany me on an E-1 visa?
Yes, spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age can accompany the E-1 visa holder. They can also work in the U.S. immediately upon entry since the regulations provide that work authorization is incident to E-1 visa status. Meaning it’s no longer necessary to apply for a work authorization from USCIS.
Can I change employers while on an E-1 visa?
E-1 visa holders can only work for the employer or business entity that is the basis for their E-1 status.
Can I apply for permanent residency (a green card) while on an E-1 visa?
E-1 visa holders are considered non-immigrants and must maintain their non-immigrant status. E-1 visas carry with them an intent to return to the home at the end of the authorized stay. Consult your immigration attorney for guidance on the requirements for permanent residence.
Can I travel outside the U.S. while on an E-1 visa?
E-1 visa holders can travel in and out of the U.S. during the validity of their visa. A valid E-1 visa and appropriate documentation are required for every entry.
Can I bring employees from my home country to work in the U.S. under my E-1 business?
Yes, certain employees of the treaty trader or treaty entity may be eligible for E-1 visa status if they have the same nationality as the principal trader and meet specific criteria.
Can a startup business qualify for an E-1 visa?
Generally, a startup business may not qualify for an E-1 visa as it needs to demonstrate a history of substantial trade.
Can I apply for an E-1 visa while in the U.S. or changing my status from another visa category?
Eligible applicants can apply for a change of status to E-1 if they are already in the United States, provided that they did not enter the U.S. through the ESTA program. One can also apply for an E-1 visa at the U.S. consulate in the applicant’s home country.
Davidson Law Group, P.C.
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I recently used the services of Davidson Law Group and I must say, they are truly exceptional! 😊The team, especially Jennifer, was incredibly kind and helpful throughout the process 🌟Their efficiency and online system saved me a lot of time and energy, making everything much more convenient as I didn't need to visit the office often 🙏I'm deeply grateful for all the support and guidance they provided! And I 100% recommend Davidson Law Group to anyone in need of legal services 👍Thank you, Davidson Law Group, for making my experience so positive!!! 🎉🎉🎉
My deepest gratitude for the outstanding support and guidance I received during the visa extension and stamping process. Davidson Law Group team, and particularly Leyla, went above and beyond to ensure a smooth and successful experience.Navigating visa-related matters can be daunting, but with Leyla's assistance and the overall support from your firm, I felt confident and well-informed throughout. Leyla provided tremendous support at every step, answering my queries promptly and offering valuable insights that significantly eased the process. The meticulous attention to detail and personalized service I received have left a lasting impression.I am truly grateful for the exceptional service provided by the Davidson Law Group. The team's commitment to client satisfaction and expertise in immigration matters have undoubtedly made a significant impact on my journey.Thank you once again for your invaluable assistance. I look forward to recommending your services to others in need of legal guidance.
Davidson Law group is absolutely the best at what they do! They are able to handle the nuances of every different case with such ease. Leyla, Stephanie and Dana were very prompt, cooperative and patient with all my questions and I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking immigration help!!
Davidson Law group made my visa application a breeze! Their expertise and efficiency ensured a smooth process from start to finish. Highly recommended!
Meet The Team
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Dana Davidson - Full Bio
Dana T. Davidson holds degrees from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and State University of New York at Stony Brook and has been practicing immigration law since 2003 in New York and nationwide. She represents corporations, individuals, and families in a broad range of immigration matters. Attorney Davidson has offices in New York City and Glen Cove.
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University
, New York, New York
Juris Doctor – 1988
Honors: Moot Court Board, Member, Judge
State University of New York at Stony Brook
, Stony Brook, New York
Bachelor of Arts – 1982
Major: Political Science
Safe Passage Project, Volunteer Attorney, 2013-Present
Educating the Educators, Founder, 2012-Present
Momentum Project, Board Member, 1991-1994
New York, Eastern District
New York, Southern District
AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Berlin, Germany, Speaker on “Public
AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa, Speaker: “Practice
Management in the New Age” panel
AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Madrid, Spain, Speaker: “El Traje de Luces:
Self-Sponsored Petitions – EB-1A and NIW”
AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2017, Brussels, Belgium, Speaker: “Continuing Blanket L Challenges”
Safe Passage Project, March 2017, Speaker: “Representing Unaccompanied Minors: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the Effects of President Trump’s Executive
Orders on Immigration”
AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2016, Speaker: “It’s Not About Money: I-864”
AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2016, Vienna, Austria, Speaker: “K-Visa: Differences Between K-1 and I-130 Processing”
New York Institute of Technology’s Center for Entrepreneurship, January 2016, Entrepreneur/Executive-in-Residence
AILA Fall Conference 2015, London, UK, Speaker: Impact of joint sponsors on family-based cases
Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Business Education Program, October 2014, “What is required to grow a business?”
Dowling College, May 2013, Keynote Speaker at the first annual Latino Summit at
International Taxation Conference, 2010