Comparing the United States E1 Treaty Trader and EB5 Investor Visas
The fifth preference employment based visa (EB5) was created in 1990 as a way for foreign investors to gain United States permanent residency (and eventual citizenship if desired), through an investment in a new or pre-existing American business that sees the creation of at least 10 new full-time jobs for American workers. The E1 Treaty Trader visa is described by the government’s website as being a “nonimmigrant classification (that) allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf.” In this article we will take a closer look at the E1 Treaty Trader and EB5 investor visas to see how the two compare and contrast.
E1 Treaty Trader Visa – As per the government’s website: The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.
Who May File for Change of Status to E-1 Classification – If the treaty trader is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, he or she may file Form I-129 to request a change of status to E-1 classification. If the desired employee is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, the qualifying employer may file Form I-129 on the employee’s behalf.
How to Obtain E-1 Classification if Outside the United States – A request for E-1 classification may not be made on Form I-129 if the person being filed for is physically outside the United States. Interested parties should refer to the U.S. Department of State website for further information about applying for an E-1 nonimmigrant visa abroad. Upon issuance of a visa, the person may then apply to a DHS immigration officer at a U.S. port of entry for admission as an E-1 nonimmigrant.
To qualify for E-1 classification, the treaty trader must:
Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
Carry on substantial trade
Carry on principal trade between the United States and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.
“Trade” is 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 – Insurance – Transportation – Tourism – Technology and its transfer – Some news-gathering activities.
“Substantial trade” generally refers to the continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time. There is no minimum requirement regarding the monetary value or volume of each transaction. While monetary value of transactions is an important factor in considering substantiality, greater weight is given to more numerous exchanges of greater value.
“Principal trade” between the United States and the treaty country exists when over 50% of the total volume of international trade is between the U.S. and the trader’s treaty country.
1) Invest or be in the process of investing at least ,000,000. If your investment is in a designated targeted employment area (A Targeted Employment Area is defined by law as “a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average.) then the minimum investment requirement is 0,000.
2) Benefit the U.S. economy by providing goods or services to U.S. markets.
3) Create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. This includes U.S. citizens, Green Card holders (lawful permanent residents) and other individuals lawfully authorized to work in the U.S. (however it does not include you (the immigrant), or your spouse, sons or daughters).
4) Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy – for example as a Limited Partner, corporate officer or board member.
We see in this comparison that despite the E1 Treaty Trader and EB5 immigrant investor visa are very different in nature and offer disparate paths to a green card visa. While the E1 allows a national of a treaty country to come to the United States for the purposes of conducting international trade on their own behalf, the EB5 visa relies on an immigrant’s investment to create new full-time jobs for the American workforce.
This article was written by Terry Martin. He recommends you visit http://Eb5Central.com for more information on the eb5 investor visa, also known as the immigrant investor visa.