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What is a Treaty Trader visa and who qualifies?

The U.S. government encourages people from Canada to invest or trade in the United States. To qualify for this, Canadians must obtain E visas – E1 for traders and E2 for investors. The primary requirement for eligibility is the need for the visa applicant to be from a country included on the U.S. Department of State’s list of treaty investors. 

Canada is a part of this treaty, and successful E1 visa applicants will be allowed to trade services and goods. It’s possible to include trading of services and goods like technology and communications, tourism, transportation, insurance and banking. 

Stipulations about the trade

The trade carried out by the E1 visa holder must be substantial and continuous. It must involve a sizable volume of international trade items and multiple transactions over time. Also, you must engage in principal trade with the U.S., meaning that over 50% of the international trade volume must be between Canada and the United States. Specialist employees, managers and executives linked to the E1 Treaty Trader company from Canada may also qualify for E1 visas in the United States. 

What about their families?

Anyone from Canada who holds an E1 Treaty Trader visa may bring along their family. Spouses and children younger than 21 are permitted, but only the spouse may seek employment – the children may not work in the United States. 

When it comes to the length of stay under U.S. Immigration law, an initial period of two years applies. However, there are unlimited extensions allowed, as long as the E1 visa conditions are still met.