What is an E-Visa?
An E-Visa is a type of visa which allows a citizen of a certain country to come the United States for business purposes.
Who is Eligible for an E-Visa?
As long as the applicant is a citizen of a participating country, they may apply for an E-Visa, so long as they are coming to the United States to:
- engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country; or
- develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested a substantial amount of capital.
How Does Someone Apply for an E-Visa if They are Outside the United States?
Just like applying for most visas to the United States, the applicant would have to first complete the DS-160 visa application online. Once the application is submitted and fees paid, the applicant will need to schedule an interview with their local U.S. Embassy. All required documentation must be brought to their visa interview. This includes passports, copies of their application, receipts for payment, passport photos, and Form DS-156E, Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application.
How Does Someone Apply for an E-Visa if They are in the United States?
It is possible to adjust status from another nonimmigrant visa to an E-Visa. If the applicant is currently in the United States and they are in lawful nonimmigrant status, they must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. If the applicant is employed by a qualifying employer, then their employer must submit Form I-129 on their behalf to initiate the process.
How Long Can I Stay on an E-Visa?
Qualified traders and employees are permitted to stay in the United States for a maximum initial stay of up to two years. This period may be extended upon request for another two years and there is no maximum limit of times which an E-1 holder may request extensions.
Family of E-1 Visa Holders
The family of an E-1 Visa holder is permitted to accompany them to the United States. Spouses of E-1 visa holders may apply for work authorization. Similarly to the primary E-1 holder, their family members must also make requests for an extension of their visa status if they choose to remain in the United States.
Consider setting up a consultation with an immigration attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.
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