People from all over the world come to the United States to engage in trade, import goods, and perform other business-related activities. The U.S. economy depends on this flow of commerce to thrive economically. Over the years, Congress has recognized the need for international markets and passed many free-trade agreements with other countries to ease the passage of goods across borders.
One major part of these agreements is the E-1 visa program, which allows people who are already legally in the U.S. to request a change of status that allows for a temporary legal residence in the country. However, the qualification rules for this program are strict, and applicants must be able to satisfy a precise set of criteria to obtain an E-1 visa.
An Aurora E-1 visa lawyer may be able to help if you are seeking a change of status because of your role as an international trader. An experienced visa attorney could help you to understand the rules concerning international trade within the United States, how it may affect your visa application, and complete and file the necessary paperwork for an E-1 visa.
What is an E-1 Visa?
An E-1 visa is a temporary document that allows a non-U.S. citizen to enter the country and do business. Like all other visas, an E-1 visa provides for entry for a specific amount of time and to perform a particular purpose. An Aurora E-1 visa attorney could help you understand the specific rules for these visas.
According to 8 CFR 214.2(e)(9), an applicant must be a “treaty trader.” This means:
• The applicant is a citizen of a country that is currently a member of a treaty for commerce and navigation with the United States
• The applicant must carry on substantial trade
• The applicant must carry on principal trade between his or her home country and the United States
An E-1 treaty lasts for a maximum of two years, although a trader may apply for an extension upon the end of this term. Each applicant should know, however, that an E-1 visa is not a path to citizenship, and that he or she must maintain a plan to return home once the visa expires. A visa holder may also apply to bring a spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 along with him or her.
How You Could Apply for an E-1 Visa
Most applicants for an E-1 visa are already legally in the United States. For example, an applicant may work for a company under a B-1 business visa and wish to change the status of his or her stay. These people may file for an official change of status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) using Form I-129.
This form requires detailed information regarding the applicant, his or her job status, reasoning for requesting a change of status to E-1, and information about relevant employers if any. It is essential that all information provided on this form is correct.
A failure on the part of a petitioner to accurately complete the form may result in a denial of a visa or even trigger deportation proceedings. An E-1 visa lawyer in Aurora could help people to investigate the steps needed to file Form I-129, gather the required information, and submit the forms to the appropriate USCIS office.
An Aurora E-1 Visa Attorney Could Help You Apply for a Change of Status
The free trade agreements that exist between the United States and various countries around the world create a free flow of goods and services and includes the labor of workers. If you are engaged in the trade of goods and are a citizen of one of these countries, you may be eligible to establish residence in the United States for the purpose of performing this trade.
An E-1 visa is meant to allow traders to live in the country with their families for up to two years. However, the USCIS’s definition of a “Trader” is precise, and you must not only engage in that trade as your only profession but also spend more than 50 percent of your efforts in trade with the United States.
An Aurora E-1 visa lawyer could help you determine if you fit these requirements and take the steps toward obtaining an E-1 visa. Contact an attorney today to learn more.