E1/E2 visa – treaty trader and investor visa available to Filipinos


THE E-1/E-2 visa is available to citizens of countries with which the U.S. maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. The Philippines is a participating country, and therefore, Philippine citizens are eligible to apply for an E-1/E-2 visa.

The purpose of the E-1/E-2 visa is for the Filipino national to engage in substantial trade principally between the U.S. and the Philippines (E-1) or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the Filipino national has invested a substantial amount of capital (E-2). Some examples that constitute trade under E visa provisions include international banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, communications, etc.

The requirements for an E-1 visa are as follows:

• A treaty between the U.S. and the Philippines exists;

• The individual or business possesses the nationality of the Philippines;

• The E-1 will engage in activities that constitute trade;

• The trade is substantial;

• The trade is principally between the U.S. and the Philippines;

• The applicant will be in an executive / supervisory position or possesses skills essential to the business’s operations in the U.S.; and

• The applicant intends to depart the U.S. when status terminates.

The requirements for an E-2 visa are as follows:

• A treaty between the U.S. and the Philippines exists;

• The individual or business possesses the nationality of the treaty country;

• The applicant has invested or is actively investing in the business;

• The business is a bona fide, operating business;

• The investment amount is substantial and not marginal;

• The applicant will develop and direct the business;

• The applicant will be in an executive / supervisory position or possesses skills essential to the business’s operations in the U.S.; and

• The applicant intends to depart the U.S. when status terminates.

For Filipino nationals, the E-1/E-2 visa will be granted a validity period of 5 years. However, the E-1/E-2 treaty trader or treaty investor may only be admitted for an initial period of up to 2 years. If the E-1/E-2 treaty trader or treaty investor does not leave the U.S. during that time, he/she must file a petition to extend status before the I-94 expires. Requests for extensions may be granted in increments of up to 2 years. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E visa holder may be granted.

An E visa holder can bring his/her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to the U.S. for the same duration of stay. In addition, the E visa holder’s spouse can apply for employment authorization to work in the United States.

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Catharine Yen manages the immigration department at Sullivan, Krieger, Truong, Spagnola, and Klausner. She has a 100% approval rate for filed EB-5 petitions. She has spoken at national conferences and co-authored several articles on various EB-5 topics.

Website: www.sullivankrieger.com

Contact us at any of our offices:

Long Beach + 1 (562) 597-7070

Irvine + 1 (949) 390-5270

Philippines + 63-2-788-5196

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