E Visas (E-1, E-2, and E-3) for Temporary Workers


Introduction of E Visas (E-1, E-2, and E-3) for Temporary Workers

E visas are for temporary workers from a treaty country who come to the United States to work for an international company.

There are three types of E-visas:

  1. E-1 Visa: Available for Treaty Traders – Engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country.
  2. E-2 Visa: Available for Treaty Investors – Develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which you have invested a substantial amount of capital.
  3. E-3 Visa: Available for Australian Professionals – Be a national of Australia working solely in a specialty occupation.

Eligibility For E-1, E-2, and E-3 Visas

E-1, E-2, and E-3 Visas are available to nationals of treaty countries who meet the following requirements:

For E-1 (Treaty Trader) Visa:

  • You need to be a citizen of a country that has an agreement with the United States.
  • The trading company that you plan to come in the United States must be owned by people with the country’s nationality. People from the country must own at least 50% of the company.
  • The international trade must be substantial, meaning that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
  • More than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the United States and the treaty country.
  • Trade is when you send something to someone and they give you something back. It can be things like goods, services, or technology. You have to send the title of the trade item from one party to the other for it to count as a trade.
  • You need to be an important worker in a supervisory or executive capacity, or you need to have skills that are essential for the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary workers do not qualify.

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For E-2 (Treaty Investor) Visa:

  • A person or a company from a country that has an agreement with the U.S. can be an investor.
  • A business must be at least 50% owned by people from the treaty country.
  • The investment must be substantial. This means that you must have money to use for the business and it can not be taken back.
  • A real operating enterprise is an active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking. A paper organization, speculative or idle investment does not count as an investment. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
  • It must generate more money than just what is needed to provide for your family. It needs to have an impact on the American economy.
  • In order to invest in a business, you must have control of the money. The investment must be at risk and not secured by a loan. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
  • You must be coming to America. You can’t just come to visit, you have to work here. If you are not the principal investor of a company, then you need to be considered an essential employee for a company with supervisory or executive skills.

For E-3 (Australian in Speciality Occupation) Visa :

  • You must have an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) issued by the Department of Labor (DOL).
  • You have to show that the prospective employment meets the standard of being a “specialty occupation employment.”
  • You must show that you have the necessary academic qualifications to do the job.

Read Also: Work Visa USA Guide

How to apply For E-1, E-2, and E-3 Visas

You can apply for an E1 visa from two places, depending on your situation:

For E-1 and E-2 Visa:

  1. From within the US through USCIS – If you will be directly engaged in foreign trade and are applying from within the United States, you must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The corporation must file Form I-129 if you will be working as a supervisor, manager, or executive for someone who is involved in foreign trade.
  2. From outside the US through a US Embassy – If you live outside of the United States, you must apply through your home country’s US Embassy and File Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application. It takes longer to apply from outside the United States.

For E-3 Visa:

  1. Employers in the United States must get a Labor Condition Application from the US Department of Labor before they can hire foreign nationals (DOL). The LCA certification confirms that hiring a foreign national does not have a negative impact on US employees’ salaries and working conditions.
  2. After the US employer gets the LCA, the applicant must file Form DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application. This form will ask you for personal information as well as information about your plans to visit the United States.

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Required documentation For E-1, E-2, and E-3 Visas

The document file must be completed on the day of the interview. Here is the list of required documents:

  • Passport
  • Filed Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  • Form DS-156E, Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application – If you are an Executive/Manager/Essential employee
  • Application fee payment receipt

Australian in Specialty Occupation (E-3) visa applicants will need the following additional documents:

  • An approved Labor Condition Application (LCA), which the U.S. employer obtains from the Department of Labor.
  • Evidence of academic or other qualifying credentials, such as required academic degrees and certificates or proof of sufficient work experience in the specialty field.
  • Job offer letter from the employer.
  • You can’t get a job if you don’t have a degree. You need to show that you have education and experience that is equivalent to a U.S. degree.
  • A certified copy of any required license or other official permission to practice the occupation in the state of intended employment.

Read Also: Q-1 Visa – Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program

Family or Dependents of E-1, E-2, and E-3 Visas’ Holder

  • With an E-1, E-2, and E-3 visa, you can also bring your dependents to the US.
  • Dependents are the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old.

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How Long is the E3 Visa Valid?

If the US Embassy or USCIS decides that you meet the conditions and issues you a visa, it will only be valid for a certain period of time. The E1 and E-2 visa has a two-year initial validity period.

For E-3 Visa, Your visa validity will match the LCA validity. If the LCA is valid for 6 months, your visa will be valid for 6 months too. Initially, the E3 visa cannot be valid for more than 24 months or 2 years.

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E Visas are visas that allow temporary workers to work for a U.S. company in the United States, and this is one of many types of visas available through immigration law. There are three different types of E Visas; an E-1 Visa allows a person from another country to come into the US as a businessperson at the invitation of their employer or organization without intending on immigrating permanently, an E-2 visa allows people from other countries who invest substantial capital in creating jobs with high growth potential.

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